Randy Bachman-Every Song Tells A Story
POSTED: NOVEMBER 15TH, 2002
(4.5 stars) Every Song Tells a Story (CD & DVD) True North / Universal
They say good writers copy and great ones steal. In that case, the ones who own up to it oughta be best of all.
That would put Randy Bachman right at the top of the heap, judging by his superlative live retrospective Every Song Tells a Story. Combining the intimacy of an Unplugged album with the casualness of a Storytellers set, this 76-minute disc features the newly svelte Bachman strolling down memory lane as he spills the beans about where all those Guess Who and BTO classics came from. Laughing? An old Bee Gees tune, with an extra finger on the fretboard. Undun? An old Bob Dylan lyrical snippet, set to jazz chords Lenny Breau taught him. Taking Care of Business? A combo of The Beatles' Paperback Writer, Santana's Oye Como Va and a deejay's patter. And there's about a dozen more where those came from, each engagingly told with humility, warmth and wit. More than simply entertaining, though, Bachman's approach is also savvy -- it breathes new life into old material and gets you to listen to familiar tracks like No Time, Hey You, Let it Ride and No Sugar Tonight with fresh ears and renewed enthusiasm. The fact that his long-serving band pulls off superb renditions of the tracks -- and features a keyboardist who sounds uncannily like the old Burton Cummings -- doesn't hurt either. Informative, interesting and endearing, Every Song Tells a Story is a far more essential keepsake for Bachman fans than some typical live album or best-of. For the whole story, though, get the DVD from www.randybachman.com. It has all the tracks on the CD, along with plenty of old pictures, live footage and even two versions of the Prairie Town video featuring Neil Young. Why two versions? Well, that reminds us of a story ...
Sun rating (out of 5 stars)