John Entwistle

Band members                             Related acts

- John Entwistle (RIP 2002) -- vocals, bass, piano, horns,



  backing musicians: (1972)

- Gordon Barton -- drums

- Rod Coombes -- drums

- Peter Frampton -- lead guitar

- Jimmy McCulloch -- rhythm guitar, lead guitar

- Alan Ross -- acoustic guitar, backing vocals

- Neil Sheppard -- keyboards

- Johnny Weider -- violin

- Brian Williams -- trombone




- The Best

- The Confederates

- The Crowd

- Rigor Motris

The Who




Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Whistle Rymes

Company: Decca

Catalog: DL  7-9190

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 1199

Price: $10.00


Released in 1972, "Whistle Rymes was simply the most cohesive and enjoyable solo album John Entwistle ever released.  With a  title supposedly inspired by people's constant misspelling of his name, the-Entwistle and John Alcock produced album featured all original material which served to showcase Entwistle's dark sense of humor, as well as his overlooked knack for crafting insidiously catchy melodies.   The album also underscored his overlooked voice - maybe not as powerful as Roger Daltry's, but to my ears he was easily as consistent as Pete Townshend.  Maybe because I have a dark, cynical sense of humor (so says the wife and my closest friends), I've always enjoyed Entwistle's material.   Tracks like the take-no-prisoners divorce tune 'I Feel Better', the instantly obscure single 'I Wonder', and the Peeping Tom-themed 'The Window Shopper' were simultaneously hysterical and harrowing.  Yeah, there was just something kind of creepy in these grooves. and you kind of understood why Townsend and Daltry only allowed Entwistle to have one or two tunes on a Who album - a little bit of Entwistle went a long way; especially for folks who didn't share his dark outlook on affairs.     


"Whistle Rymes" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Ten Little Friends   (John Entwistle) - 4:03

Great little boogie rocker with Peter Frampton providing the  blazing lead guitar.   As for the song, I've read different different stories including it was inspired by a gift od a pack of toy trolls that read "Mr. Bones" Keith Moon gave to Entwistle.  The trolls included a character named "Mr. Bones".  An alternative story traced the song to an autobiographical base - namely a reflection of Entwistle's musical dexterity on multiple instruments.   Regardless, it was one killer tune.  rating: **** stars
2.)  Apron Strings 
   (John Entwistle) - 3:47

'Apron Strings' is another tune that's been interpreted in a number of ways ... If I had to pick one of the stories,  I'd go with it being a reflection of Entwistle's difficult childhood - divorced parents; growing up with grandparents, etc..   No disrespect to Pete Townshend, but all hyperbole aside, the ballad 'Apron Strings' was simply one of the pretties and most haunting tunes in the entire Who family catalog.   Frampton turned in one of his best lead solos.    rating: **** stars
3 )  I Feel Better 
   (John Entwistle) - 4:46

Geez, talk about a bitter break-up song !!!  A blazing list of things he hates about an ex ....   "I remember you were the worst lay I ever had ..."   Entwistle simply had a special knack for exposing his frustrations.   Having gone through a bitter divorce I can certainly identify with the anger and frustration that came streaming out of the man.   rating: **** stars
4.)  Thinkin' It Over 
   (John Entwistle) - 3:12

And just when you thought 'I Feel Better' was a fantastic break-up song, along comes 'Thinkin' It Over' ... Even more disturbing for it's suicide theme, the song had one of Entwistle's prettiest melodies - kind of a black waltz.  The song also featured some early synth bass.    rating: **** stars
5.)  Who Cares? 
   (John Entwistle) - 4:28

The lyrics were a nice example of Entwistle's unique look at life (why worry about things?),  but musically 'Who Cares' was the first mild disappointment.  Kind of a forgettable mid-temp rocker without a lot to make it memorable.  rating: *** stars

(side 2)
1.)  I Wonder  
   (John Entwistle) - 2:58

Another wonderful melody with intriguing lyrics and, yes, Entwistle was responsible for the killer trumpet arrangement.   My only complaint was the totally unexpected abrupt ending.    rating: **** stars
2.)  I Was Just Being Friendly
    (John Entwistle - 3:33

Hopefully this one wasn't autobiographical, though the tale of mistaken identity might have had a real life basis.  Bet his wife wasn't thrilled with this one.    rating: *** stars
3.)  The Window Shopper
   (John Entwistle) - 3:28

Peeping John ?    Supposedly inspired by Entwistle's evening walks with his dogs ...   Lots on interesting going ons in his neighborhood.    Great melody and one of those slightly ominous auras that Entwistle was so good at generating.   rating: **** stars
4 .)  I Found Out  
   (John Entwistle) - 3:51

Showcasing Entwistle on piano (he often wrote material using keyboards, 'I Found Out' actually sounded like a demo.  The stark arrangement; just keyboard, bass and Alan Ross on acoustic guitar, underscored a sense of disappointment and despair.   rating: *** stars
5.)  Nightmare (Please Wake Me Up)
   (John Entwistle) - 6:16

Hum, the closer was a nice example of the truth-in-advertising concept, even if it wasn't particular enjoyable.   A truly ominous tune the degenerated into nightmarish chaos, the song was apparently built on real-life experience (the man clearly had some internal issues).  The tune sported some of Entwistle's heaviest bass moves, as well as John Weider's  equally scary violin.   rating: *** stars   


In the States Decca released a single:


- 1972's 'I Wonder' b/w 'Who Cares' (Decca catalog number  33052)


Song-for-song easily my favorite John Entwistle solo album.