The Guess Who - These Eyes - On Greatest Hits Album (1969)

The Guess Who - These Eyes - On Greatest Hits Album (1969) -  WLCY Radio HITS
The Guess Who '60s #1 Hits On WLCY Radio

"These Eyes" is a song by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who. The song was co-written by the group's lead guitarist Randy Bachman and lead singer Burton Cummings and originally included on the band's 1969 album Wheatfield Soul. It was first released as a single (backed by "Lightfoot"), in their native Canada, where its chart success (#7) helped land them a U.S. distribution deal with RCA Records. It was then released in the U.S. in April 1969, and became a breakthrough success for the group, as it would be their first single to reach the top ten on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, peaking at number six, and would eventually be certified gold by the RIAA for sales of over one million copies. While it was actually the 18th single released by the band, it was the first from the quartet of Cummings, Bachman, Jim Kale, and Garry Peterson as produced by Jack Richardson.


  1. In 1966, the Guess Who virtually disappeared from view in the United States, though they remained popular in Canada. Allan left the group due to voice problems. He was briefly replaced by Bruce Dekker before Cummings became sole lead vocalist and the group became a quartet. Cummings, Bachman, Kale and Peterson would be the group’s most successful lineup, but not without more struggle. In 1967, the Guess Who’s Canadian release “His Girl” was a minor hit in England, but a promotional tour of Britain was canceled due to a contract dispute, and the group returned to Canada $25,000 in debt.

    Back home the Guess Who remained popular. In 1968, they started appearing on a CBC-TV music show, “Where It’s At.” Their efforts so impressed producer Jack Richardson that he mortgaged his house to start a record label, Nimbus 9, and produce a Guess Who album, Wheatfield Soul. The third single released off the album, “These Eyes,” hit big, topping the charts in Canada and rising to number six in the Billboard ranking, eventually selling more than a million copies in the United States. The song, a soulful, bluesy ballad about a broken relationship, featured the haunting refrain, “These eyes have seen a lot of love but they’re never gonna see another one like I had with you,” repeated at increasingly higher octaves by Cummings. “These Eyes” became a ballad standard but had enough soul to be a hit when covered by Motown’s Junior Walker & the All-Stars. That song earned the Guess Who a contract with RCA Records and started their remarkable run.

  2. The Canadian music scene has a very special place in its heart for the Winnipeg rock group The Guess Who. The floodgates which have poured so much incredible Maple Music into the world pop mainstream were opened by the Guess Who when in 1969 their recording of "These Eyes" went top 5 in the U.S. and began a chain hits unbroken to this days.

  3. Some songs and performances have that in-the-pocket "magic," and "These Eyes" by the Guess Who is such a recording. Sung by Burton Cummings, who replaced pianist Bob Ashley in Chad Allan & the Expressions a year after the group hit with "Shakin' All Over," his distinctive voice would become the cornerstone of the band's sound. The innovative piano pauses which begin the song, along with the restrained guitar through echo, lay the groundwork for Burton Cumming's career-making performance on what became the band's true "breakthrough" 45. A premier love song of broken love, it is Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings collaborating on a masterpiece. Jack Richardson's production is sublime, Jim Kale's bass speaking volumes, doing most of the work while allowing the spaces to be filled in by strings and drums. That the Guess Who didn't want to release this first because it was a ballad is ludicrous in retrospect as it is the most cohesive work on the band's RCA label debut, the Wheatfield Soul album. the Guess Who's vast catalog contains album rock classics, but this remains the band's only true love-song "standard." The horns trumpet the emotion in, and alongside Cummings' very believable voice, coming to grips with the fact that the real thing has gotten away, the song modulates out of control, ending with a nice rock & roll fade where the singer reaches notes that are essential to proving his point. The poem's simplicity is the key, repetition of the words over complex production, instrumentation swelling while the singer pours his heartache into the performance. The mastering on the 1997 three-CD compilation The Guess Who: The Ultimate Collection makes the bass even more pronounced than the vinyl version on Wheatfield Soul. The liner notes to that "best-of" package state that this was "technically the 18th release by the band," debuting in April of 1969.