Who, The


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1: (1964-79)

- Roger Daltry - vocals
- John Entwistle (RIP 2003) - bass, horn
- Keith Moon (RIP 1978) - drums
- Pete Townshend - vocals, guitar, keyboards

 

  line up 2: (1979-)

- Roger Daltry - vocals
- John Entwistle (RIP 2003) - bass, horn
NEW - Kenny Jones - drums (replaced Keith Moon)
- Pete Townshend - vocals, guitar, keyboards



 

- Roger Daltry (solo efforts)
- John Entwistle (solo efforts)
- The High Numbers
- The Law (Kenny Jones)
- Keith Moon (solo efforts)
- Pete Townshend (solo efforts)
- Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane 
- The Small Faces (Kenny Jones)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Magic Bus - The Who On Tour

Company: Decca

Catalog: DL 75064

Year: 1968

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: name in ink top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4441

Price: $30.00

Cost: $66.00

 

Without a new studio album to promote, Decca Records cobbled together 1968's "Magic Bus" around the group's title track single ('Magic Bus' b/w 'Someone's Coming' Decca catalog number 732362).  The result is an interesting, if not entirely successful compilation.  In spite of what the title implies, it isn't a live set, rather offers up a mixture of earlier singles and material from their previous couple of albums (notable "A Quick One" and "The Who Sell Out").  In sonic terms the collection's just this side of a wreck, but since I like virtually every one of the eleven tracks (okay, 'Bucket T' is admittedly needless), I can overlook that as well.  To my ears the highlights include Townshend's bouncy 'Run Run Run', the perfect Who 45 'Call Me Lightening', the title track (which would have been better had an unedited version been included) and 'Pictures of Lily' (that's always struck me as something Enwistle would have written).  Speaking of Entwistle, beside the fact the liner notes misspelled his name (Entwhistle") his three contributions ('Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde', 'Doctor Doctor' and 'Someone's Coming') only serve to underscore what a talented and overlooked writer/singer the guy was.    

 

"Magic Bus" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Disguises   (Pete Townshend) - 3:04

2.) Run Run Run  (Pete Townshend) - 2:36

3.) Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde  (John Entwistle) - 2:24

4.) I Can't Reach Out  (Pete Townshend) - 2:56

5.) Our Love Was, Is  (Pete Townshend) - 3:00

6.) Call Me Lightening  (Pete Townshend) - 2:21

 

(side 2)

1.) Magic Bus  (Pete Townshend) - 3:10

2.) Someone's Coming  (John Entwistle) 2:26

3.) Doctor Doctor  (John Entwistle) 2:55

4.) Bucket T   (Don Altfeld - Roger Christoan - Dean Torrence) - 2:05

5.) Pictures of Lily  (Pete Townshend) - 2:37

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  A Quick One / The Who Sell Out

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA 2-4067

Year: 1973

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: double LP reissue set; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5267

Price: $20.00

 

Looking for an economical way to buy two classic Who LPs?  Well, this two-fer is the way to go.  Geez, I can remember when the market was flooded with this reissue package.  My local record store (yes I’m showing my age) literally had stacks of them.  Good luck finding a copy today.

 

1966’s “A Quick One” was the band’s second album in less than a year.  Apparently afraid using the English slang term for casual sex might be too risqué for sensitive American audiences, Decca executives hastily re-titled the LP “Happy Jack” for domestic release.  Musically the album was considerably more sophisticated than their first release.  Townshend and company wasted little time moving away from the debut’s energetic, but conventional R&B moves in favor of mixture of quirky rockers (all four members contributed material) and Townshend’s early attempt at creating a themed ‘rock opera’ (‘A Quick One While He’s Away’). Though critics were lukewarm in their praise Townshend’s tale of marital infidelity was actually quite enjoyable, boasting a nifty jangle-rock melody in the opening segment, some of the group’s prettiest harmony work, and a great Daltry lead vocals.  It was also innovative in a number of ways, including the decision to link the discrete segments into a continuous suite.  In spite of all those strengths, it was little more than a dry run for future efforts. Keith Moon’s two contributions ranged from enjoyable (‘I Need You’) to horrible (the instrumental ‘Cobwebs and Strange’).  Daltry’s ‘See My Way’ wasn’t a half bad ballad, while the band’s standard Motown cover (‘Heatwave’) was merely needless.  That left John Entwistle’s contributions as the biggest surprise.  ‘Boris the Spider’ and ‘Whiskey Man’ were clearly the two standout performances and remain among the best things the band (or Entwistle) ever wrote.  Elsewhere the album included ‘Happy Jack’ which had previously been released as a US single b/w ‘Whiskey Man’ (Decca catalog number 732114).  A top-10 UK seller, backed by their first US appearances, including a Murray The K tour package, an appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, and a summer tour opening for Herman’s Hermits and The Blues Magoos, the album managed to hit # 67 in the US.

 

"A Quick One" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Run Run Run   (Peter Townshend) –

2.) Boris the Spider   (John Enwistle) –

3.) I Need You   (Keith Moon) –

4.) Whiskey Man   (John Enwistle) –

5.) Heat Wave   (Brian Holland – Lamont Dozier – Eddie Holland) –

6.) Cobwebs and Strange (instrumental)   (Keith Moon) –

 

(side 2)

1.) Don’t Look Away   (Peter Townshend) –

2.) See My Way   (Roger Daltry) –

3.) So Sad Bout Us   (Peter Townshend) –

4.) A Quick One While He’s Away   (Peter Townshend) –

5.) Happy Jack   (Peter Townshend) –

 

 

Whereas “Happy Jack” had been a major step ahead of “My Generation” in terms of creativity, 1967’s “The Who Sell Out” was an even bigger leap forward.  Fully embracing the idea of a concept album, the album was apparently inspired by the British government’s decision to ban offshore ‘pirate’ radio stations.  Apparently intended as an attempt to capture the unique and eclectic sound of pirate stations, complete with fake commercials and in-between song patter, the ‘concept’ wasn’t completely successful, but had more than its share of winners.  This time out Townshend shouldered most of the songwriting chores turning in an engaging mix of pop, conventional rock and more experimental pieces.  Townshend also deserved some sort of credit for the closer ‘Rael’ that found him figuring out a way to embed a concept piece within in a concept album (the song’s closing instrumental break was re-used in “Tommy”’s ‘Underture’)’.  Elsewhere tracks like ‘Tattoo’ and ‘Our Love Was, Is’ served to expose the ‘deep-and-sensitive’ Townshend, while ‘Mary-Anne with the Shaky Hands’ and ‘Odorone’ demonstrated that he had a sense of humor (thought not nearly as funny as Enwistle).  Unfortunately, this time out Entwistle’s own contributions (‘Heinz Baked Beans’, ‘Medac’ and ‘Silas Stingy’) were little more than forgettable commercial segments. Other highlights included the band’s fuzz-propelled cover of Speedy Keene’s ‘Armenia City In the Sky’ (probably the most psychedelic thing they ever recorded), ‘Relax’ and the killer single ‘I Can See for Miles’.  A top-10 LP in the UK, backed by another US tour, the album hit # 48 in the States. Released as a single ‘I Can See for Miles’ b/w ‘Mary-Anne with the Shaky Hands’ (Decca catalog number 732206) provided the band with their first US top-10 hit.  As an aside, even if you hate The Who, the album’s worth owning for the classic cover art. 

 

"The Who Sell Out" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Armenia City In the Sky   (John Keene) –

2.) Heinz Baked Beans   (John Enwistle) –

3.) Mary-Anne with the Shaky Hands   (Peter Townshend) –

4.) Odorone   (Peter Townshend) –

5.) Tattoo   (Peter Townshend) –

6.) Our Love Was, Is   (Peter Townshend) –

7.) I Can See for Miles   (Peter Townshend) –

 

(side 2)

1.) I Can’t Reach You   (Peter Townshend) –

2.) Medac   (John Enwistle) –

3.) Relax   (Peter Townshend) –

4.) Silas Stingy   (John Enwistle)

5.) Sunrise   (Peter Townshend) –

6.) Rael (1 and 2)  (Peter Townshend) –

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Tommy

Company: Decca

Catalog: DXSW 7205

Year: 1970

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: missing lyric insert; sticker on cover; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4442

Price: $12.00

 

A rock classic, 1969's "Tommy" established the band as one of rock's biggest acts. A three album set chronicling the life of the "deaf, dumb and blind kid", Townshend's symbolism and plot line may have been somewhat murky (something along the lines of Tommy's rise to prophet status, followed by his betrayal and collapse), but whatever lapses in plotline were more than compensated for with several instantly recognizable tracks, including 'Pinball Wizard', 'See Me, Hear Me' and 'I'm Free'. Their first top-10 American release, ironically the album's overwhelming success quickly became a major burden. Public demand for "Tommy" product led to a stage show, a rock orchestra version of the album, a film, an all-star movie soundtrack and a slew of related projects. Even worse, the album set the standard whereby future Who releases were judged. (The album was originally released with an elaborate four section gatefold sleeve and accompanying lyric brochure.)

"Tommy" track listing:
1.) Overture / It's a Boy (Pete Townshend) - 5:58
2.) You Didn't Hear It (Pete Townshend) - 2:48
3.) Amazing Journey / Sparks (Pete Townshend) - 7:09
4.) Eyesight To the Blind (Sonny Boy Williamson) - 2:11
5.) Christmas (Pete Townshend) - 4:31
6.) Cousin Kevin (John Entwistle) - 4:03
7.) The Acid Queen (Pete Townshend) - 3:33
8.) Underture (Pete Townshend) - 9:59
9.) Do You Think It's Alright/Fiddle About (Pete Townshend/John Entwistle) - 1:51
10.) Pinball Wizard (Pete Townshend) - 3:00
11.) There's a Doctor I've Found (Pete Townshend) - 0:23
12.) Go To the Mirror Boy (Pete Townshend) - 3:46
13.) Tommy Can You Hear Me (Pete Townshend) - 1:34
14.) Smash the Mirror (Pete Townshend) - 1:32
15.) Sensation (Pete Townshend)- 2:24
16.) Miracle Cure (Pete Townshend)- 0:11
17.) Sally Simpson (Pete Townshend) - 4:08
18.) I'm Free (Pete Townshend) - 2:39
19.) Welcome (Pete Townshend) - 4:30
20.) Tommy's Holiday Camp (Keith Moon) - 1:01
21.) We're Not Going To Take It (Pete Townshend) - 7:02

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Live At Leeds

Company: Decca

Catalog: DL-79175

Year: 1970

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve with original inserts; minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4443

Price: $20.00

 

 

Townshend and company initially planned to follow "Tommy" with another concept album entitled "Lifehouse". Although a considerable amount of material was written and even recorded (in an effort to come up with creative ideas the project reportedly included a disastrous attempt to live with some of the band's more ardent fans), the project was abandoned prior to completion. As a stopgap, the band released 1970's "Live At Leeds". Perhaps reflecting a backlash against their increasing reliance on sophisticated studio technology, the album presented a no frills, straight-ahead (and extremely loud) mix of early material, personal favorites and an uncredited "Tommy" segment. Recorded at Leeds University, the band's blistering attack, particularly Daltry's tear-out-my- vocal-chords screams and Moon's take-no-prisoners percussion left no doubt they could rock with the genre's best. Highlights included stomping covers of Moses Allison's "Young Man Blues", Johnny Kidd's "Shakin' All Over" and Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues". Released as a single the latter b/w "Heaven and Hell" (Decca catalog number 732708), hit # 27. For a concert set, the collection sold well, peaking at # 4. Extra credit for the classic mock bootleg packaging. (The set was originally released with a gatefold sleeve and numerous inserts.)

"Live At Leeds" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Young Man Blues (Moses Alison) - 4:45
2.) Substitute (Pete Townshend) - 2:05
3.) Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran - Jerry Capehart) - 3:22
4.) Shakin' All Over (J. Kidd) - 4:15

 

(side 2)
1.) My Generation (Pete Townshend) - 14:27
2.) The Magic Bus (Pete Townshend) - 7:30

 

 


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