"She's Come Undone" (song against drug abuse)

Does anyone remember who performed this late-1960s/early 1970s song warning of the perils of drug abuse? There’s a part that goes,

*She’s come undone / She didn’t know what she was headed for / And when I knew what she was headed for / It was too late! *.

I’ve always liked this song for it’s interesting chord changes and for not being really preachy, which is always a hazard for the genre. The singer reminds me of Arthur Lee in the Forever Changes stage, but I know it’s not him.

You can thank Burton Cummings and Canada’s Guess Who.

Best band ever in Canukland!!!

And the title of the song is spelled “Undun.”

Pretty sure Randy Bachman wrote this one alone while he was a member of the Guess Who. Cummings sang it, of course, and the two of them wrote quite a few hits together, including American Woman and These Eyes, but I think Randy wrote this one on his own.

I hate to think of it as a song about the perils of drug abuse, but Bachman supposedly did write it after witnessing some sad drug experience at a show. He was also a pretty straight-laced guy, so maybe it really is just about drug abuse.

I know that the version I heard that made it popular in the US was by the Guess Who.

And, by the way, thanks for the earworm. :smack:

Damn, not Guess Who, the Zombies! Why did I say the wrong group when I was thinking the right one?

I think you did say the right one. The Guess Who original was a big American hit; I’ve never heard of a cover by the Zombies.

The Zombies have never performed this song. In fact, allmusic.com lists only four other artists not The Guess Who, Randy Bachman or Burton Cummings who have covered it.

You’re probably thinking of She’s Not There by the Zombies. I know I associate the two together personally.

Undun always reminded me of the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus - “she couldn’t fly,” “she’s lost the sun.”

That’s interesting…I made the Zombies/Guess Who mixup when I first read the OP, as well. I think the songs (She’s Come Undun and She’s Not There) mingle in my head.

It’s easy to dismiss Randy Bachman (YMMV) for the pop stuff he and BTO were known for but he really was a gifted writer, as evidenced by Undun. But if you like it, be sure and listen to Lookin’ Out For #1 sometime. It’s just as well crafted and is an absolute joy.

Bachman was the founder and creative force behind The Guess Who, although a lot of people thought Cummings was the real force, since he sang all of the tunes. Cummings was a decent writer, a good pianist and a great singer, but Randy was an excellent guitarist and one of the best pop/rock writers ever. Taking Care of Number One (from the BTO days) is good, as is Let it Ride (especially the all-acoustic version on the Guess Who reunion album from 2000. Why a BTO song on a Guess Who album? Don’t ask.)

Anyway, Bachman was also a producer/writing consultant for Trooper (who had the hit Raise a Little Hell, though Bachman had nothing to do with that tune). Randy’s currently pounding out one tune after another, selling them to whomever, and hosting shows on Canada’s CBC radio. Best of all, he’s lost about 200 pounds, so he shouldn’t be shuffling off this mortal coil anytime soon.

Sorry. Lookin’ Out for # 1, not “Taking Care of Number One”.

As someone who utterly despises “Taking Care of Business”, I’m skeptical about claims that Richard Bachman was a good songwriter. How does that song fit into everything? Do his fans like it?

Even if it wasn’t done by the Zombies, it does sound a lot like a Zombies’ song, now that you mention it.

Randy Bachman. I don’t like Takin’ Care of Business either, and I’m not terribly fond of You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, but I do like American Woman, Undun, These Eyes, Laughing, etc., from the Guess Who days and Let it Ride, Lookin’ Out for # 1 and several other tunes from BTO. I also particularly like Portage and Main, a tune that he wrote after BTO and that he eventually recorded with Neil Young, but you probably have to have lived in Winterpeg (or at least Canada) to really appreciate that one.

There are also a couple dozen other minor tunes that I like, but that never got any airplay.

I’m Canadian, and I was exposed to The Guess Who from “These Eyes” in 1968, their first big success. Bachman had played with Chad Allan & The Expressions since the early ‘60s. They’re really only famous for their cover of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over.” It was released in the face of the British Invasion, and could so easily have passed for a British group, that Quality Records put “Guess Who?” as the artist on the label of the single. They made a series of highly collectible, but non-stellar records until 1968, when Chad Allan was replaced by Burton Cummings. Burton brought out Randy’s composer. Together, they wrote a series of pop and rock classics.

Bachman is a fairly extraordinary guitarist, and he has the gift of melody and arrangement. After he quit / was fired from The Guess Who, he released a solo album, and then started a soft, folk-rock group with Chad Allan called Brave Belt. They made two albums, and the group morphed when J. Fred Turner joined. It became a working-man’s rock group. With this band, Bachman wrote and collaborated on another series of pop rock classics. They filled arenas from coast to coast. Not all of their records that received airplay in Canada were played in the US, so they may only be known for “TCB” and “Let It Roll” down here. But in Canada, they were kings. The group had many more good songs in their catalogue; you just don’t hear them on the radio elsewhere.

They might not be your cup of tea, but it’s a bit unfair to slag a guy’s whole career based on one song you don’t like. Randy Bachman deserves all the respect he has. He’s earned it.

I need to correct two mistakes I made: Burton joined in 1966, where the group made more nondescript records, but they were finding their niche. Cummings upped the energy level of the group considerably.

And I goofed on Fred’s first initital. It’s C.

Not enough caffeine. Sorry!

I agree with you, fishbicycle, except I think that Bachman deserves more credit than he gets. How many guys have had major hits with two different groups? Not many, I think (although Neil Young had hits with Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, Crazy Horse and solo).

Anyway, I once saw Bachman on TV telling about hauling his massive catalog of unrecorded tunes down to Nashville for a song-selling fiesta. He got into some sort of cattle call affair and when he played a few of his tunes for the buyers, they were impressed and said, “You remind us of someone. Your style, your guitar – you know?” And Bachman replied, “Well, yeah, you’ve probably heard some of my recorded tunes,” and then he played a few bars of TCB, American Woman and Undun. The buyers said “No shit!? You’re the guy who wrote those songs?!?”

Bachman is too Canadian by half. If a Brit or American had written TCB, American Woman, Let it Roll, These Eyes, Undun, etc., everyone on the planet would know his or her name. But that’s just Bachman’s fault. From what I’ve read, he can be a pretty difficult guy, which probably doesn’t aid his cause any.