The Who Album-By-Album (& Single-By-Single) Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Driver 8, May 12, 2009.

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  1. Ringmaster_D

    Ringmaster_D Surfer of Sound Waves

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Great interview! I hadn't read that one before. Keep 'em coming. Let's not let this great thread be buried under a pile of Beatles!
     
  2. Devotional

    Devotional Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    Pictures Of Lily

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    UK: April 21, 1967 - Pictures Of Lily / Doctor, Doctor - Track 604002
    US: June 24, 1967 - Pictures Of Lily / Doctor, Doctor - Decca 32156

    A1: Pictures Of Lily (2:37) ****
    (Pete Townshend)
    B1: Doctor, Doctor (2:59) ****
    (John Entwistle)

    A lot happened in The Who camp in early 1967. One of the most important things was a huge claim of independence with the launching of their very own record label. Reaction was bought by NEMS in January, so the band decided they would set up their own label instead; Track Records. Distributed by Polydor, Track was run by Who-managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp (the pair had studied the production methods of biscuit and washing powder firms that marketed goods roughly the same size as a box of records), and The Who themselves were A&R/talent scouts, with Roger looking for soul and R&B, Pete looking for jazz and new sounds, John looking for orchestral music, and Keith looking for surf and good-time music. Their first three signings all fell under the "new sounds" category; James Marshall Hendrix, John's Children and Arthur Brown. Meanwhile, the band finally made it to the US in March, playing small ultra aggressive sets at Murray The K in New York up to five times a day (they refused to play Ed Sullivan because of an ongoing news readers' strike), blowing out the entire electrical system at the theatre at least once a day. "We want to leave a wound", proclaimed Pete (wearing a self designed "electric" jacket, consisting of flashing fairy lights connected to the same circuit as his guitar), and he did indeed require three stitches in the head following their last performance on the show. Once back home they recorded their first single for Track at Pye with Kit producing again. Pete: "Pictures Of Lily is merely a ditty about masturbation and the importance of it to a young man. I was really diggin' at my folks who, when catching me at it, would talk in loud voices in the corridor outside my room. "Why can't he go with girls like other boys?" It’s all about a boy who can’t sleep at night, so his dad gives him some dirty pictures to look at. Then he falls in love with the girl in the pictures, which is too bad because she is dead... John and I used to exchange pictures like that when we were at school. We used to go into grubby little shops to buy them. Looking at dirty pictures is a normal part of adolescence.” Lily was actually French model Lily Bayless. Sonically the song is a warm and gentle step forward from their last offerings, but much more than just a "ditty". It's great power pop; delicate and melodic - almost accessible - all the way up to the explosive headbanging "breakdown", with John once again crashing the party with his elephant horn, giving a nod to both Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra in the process. It's also probably the tightest performance the band have done since the My Generation-sessions. Roger sounds relaxed (stoned almost) and comfortable, and the harmonies are great. Pete had become a fan of Fender guitars in the States, but still used Rickenbackers for this session to great effect (as can be seen in the filmed bits French ORTF TV did of the session). Another great thing about this single is its B-side "Doctor, Doctor", which is a killer John-tune done the classic Who-way with a thumping beat and hypnotic riffing from Pete and John, sung in proto-Monty Python hypochondriac falsetto to great effect! Possibly even better than Boris! Pete's guitar almost sounds like it shatters at one point. The lyrics to "Pictures Of Lily" were of course considered offensive in the States, and several (dirty) radio stations banned the track. Of course the lads didn't mind a bit of controversy. After all they were now their own record company, with complaints office manager Keith Moon happilly making sure that your angry calls were warmly received...
     
  3. WickedUncleWndr

    WickedUncleWndr New Member

    Location:
    Wilmington, DE USA
  4. WickedUncleWndr

    WickedUncleWndr New Member

    Location:
    Wilmington, DE USA
    You mean "bass the way the OX heard it before he lost his hearing in the late 70's and trebled his bass?" I'm jealous I didn't think of that avatar first. That is the best Pete/Who picture ever! Nevertheless, the 'Green God' is fine.
     
  5. mrbillswildride

    mrbillswildride Internet Asylum Escapee 2010, 2012, 2014

    She's been dead since 1929, oh how I cried that night, If only I'd been born in Lilys

    Pictures of Lily is one of the pivotal songs of my youth. Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy was the first record I bought (along with Live at Leeds) at age 15, in 1980. I devoured this incredible singles collection personally compiled by Pete, and this some was instantly one of my faves (along with Happy Jack and...all the rest!) I love this song, so much going on, so much to say, so much permission to be a teen male and not feel like a freak cause you'd discovered girls but could not get your hands on one...so much magic in this music, the drums--who's this cat then?, Pete's guitar, the way Roger sings Pete's perfect pop poetry in such a sweet, subversive way... :love:

    Picture of Lily (the song and the message) helped me sleep at night... :righton:


    :D
     
  6. glea

    glea Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bozeman
    The 68 Fillmore West show I saw..... Lily, I'm A Boy, Little Billy, Daddy Rolling Stone... a teenagers christmas in SF...
     
  7. joachim50

    joachim50 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    My favorite "power pop" single by the Who,great tune,great execution,great subject-matter(!!)which I only learned to understand and appreciate much later(I was just 16 at the time,and my knowledge of English very limited,indeed)!
    My favorite "live" version is on the 1997 Rhino/Castle Monterey Pop Festival 4 CD Box as that one includes the complete Who concert!!
     
  8. Steve E.

    Steve E. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    This song woulda fit in great on "The Who Sell Out." Has it ever been included among the bonus tracks on any version?
     
  9. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    None that I can think of...
     
  10. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    They seemed to shy away from putting singles A sides as bonus tracks on the reissues as a rule. The closest they got was the different version of Happy Jack on AQO.

    Why did this thread die? Did you all buy Beatles albums? Last post 09/09/09.
     
  11. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    The OP hasn't done a new write-up in awhile...
     
  12. reb

    reb Long Live Rock

    Location:
    Long Island
  13. Devotional

    Devotional Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    So sorry about the write-ups, guys. I've been away for a while, but will be back tomorrow, and the next single ("The Last Time") is here on Sunday. We've got the best things ahead of us in this thread! :)
     
  14. riknbkr330

    riknbkr330 Forum Resident

    :edthumbs:
    Thanks Devotional!
     
  15. glea

    glea Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bozeman
    'bout time....
     
  16. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    Said with tongue in cheek, I assume...
     
  17. glea

    glea Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bozeman
    I've just been waiting patiently for this to kick back into full swing. Got all my records stacked on my knee so I can thumb through and see what pressings I have.:D
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Devotional

    Devotional Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    The Last Time

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    UK: June 30, 1967 - The Last Time / Under My Thumb - Track 604006

    A1: The Last Time (2:51) ***
    (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards)
    B1: Under My Thumb (2:37) **
    (Mick Jagger/Keith Richards)

    The band came back from a very violent German tour with John's Children the day before their last single "Pictures Of Lily" was released in April. Keith was attacked by a mob before a gig in Düsseldorf, and when the same bunch of youths climbed onstage during the show, he threw his floor toms at them, and hit one over the head with a cymbal. John: "We had to give up playing on the Continent, because if we smashed our equipment, the audience went wild and smashed up the hall, and if we didn't do the violence bit, they smashed up the hall anyway in a temper!" Following a small Scandinavian tour in May, the band came back to the UK in a raging state for a few gigs. The first was in Stevenage, where they were instantly banned following the smash-up. Backstage John broke a finger on his right hand after punching the dressing room wall, apparently taking exception to a poster of the leader of a well known band. The second gig was in Oxford, where Keith threw his drums around with such fury that he collapsed in agony following the gig, and was rushed to the hospital for an emergency hernia operation. Chris Townson of John's Children stood in for Keith on the rest of the tour, which culminated in Who's roadies (on order from the band) blowing him up by secretly putting flash powder underneath his stool and setting light to it during the end of the concert. Chris was literally shellshocked and tried to attack a laughing Pete onstage. Keith came back for an American tour, which included Fillmore (Pete commented that it was probably the best gig they'd ever done) and a sloppy, but visually exciting performance at the Monterey Pop festival. Pete had a bad trip on STP on the flight home, that made him anxious to hallucinogenic drugs for years to come. Pete: "I was so disgusted with what I was and what I was thinking and my body and what I felt, that I actually left my body. I was looking down at myself in the seat, and in the end I realised I must go back otherwise I was gonna die." But ironically, it was drugs that indirectly was to determine The Who's next move. On June 28th, just one week after they came home, The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were arrested on drug charges. Roger, Pete and Keith (John was on honeymoon) went into De Lane Lea that same day with Kit Lambert and engineer Damon Lyon-Shaw on June 28th, and recorded a version of "The Last Time" and "Under My Thumb", and upon hearing the verdict The Who wrote a statement saying that they consider Mick and Keith scapegoats for the drug problem, and as a protest against the savage sentences they were going to release a series of Jagger/Richards songs to keep their work before the public until they are free to record themselves again. Pete asked Who's secretary to call Queen Elizabeth II (the ship, that is) to ask the honeymooning John if it was OK to release the single without him. John, when called for an emergency message, thought someone in his family had died. Told what it was, he said "The Who can release LSD into the nation's water supply for all I f***ing care!" Mick and Keith was found guilty and sentenced to prison the following day, and Keith and wife Kim were among those demonstrating outside the offices of The News Of The World, the tabloid paper widely suspected of setting up the bust after Mick issued a libel suit against them. The day after, the first (and only) of The Who's Stones-singles came out on Track - just over 24 hours after it was recorded/mixed. The initial plan was to record and release one 7" with two Rolling Stones-covers every single week, but Mick and Keith received bail pending appeal within days, making this 7" the only in the series. The songs are loose takes, clearly sonically and musically inferior to the last couple of singles, but with a punishing solo from Pete being the highlight of "The Last Time", and Pete's bass playing is surprisingly good. "Under My Thumb" is a rather weak affair, but still deemed controversial because of the use of the word "bitch". It might not be a great single, but it was a bold statement that seemed somewhat natural for the most unruly band in the world. Kit: "We made this record and released it in 24 hours flat before we knew they'd got bail. It's just a simple gesture, and we are not trying to cash in at all. All royalties will go to charity."
     
  19. glea

    glea Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bozeman
    Exciting... Mick and Keith in jail, the Who step up with a statement. The Who covering the Stones! Had to send off to the UK to get it, which made it that more exotic. Too bad the recent Odds And Sods mucked up Under My Thumb. Another good reason to have all the original UK 45s.
     
  20. reb

    reb Long Live Rock

    Location:
    Long Island
    Who's Better?:cheers:
     
  21. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    Yeah, I always digged these two Stones' covers by The Who.
     
  22. crassus515

    crassus515 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Wow, how great would that have been? Would have loved to hear how they would have handled other Stones songs.
     
  23. Devotional

    Devotional Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I Can See For Miles

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    UK: October 13, 1967 - I Can See For Miles / Someone's Coming - Track 604011
    US: September 18, 1967 - I Can See For Miles / Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands - Decca 32206

    UK

    A1: I Can See For Miles (4:06) *****
    (Pete Townshend)
    B1: Someone's Coming (2:29) **
    (John Entwistle)

    US

    A1: I Can See For Miles (4:06) *****
    (Pete Townshend)
    B1: Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands (3:16) ***
    (Pete Townshend)

    The world was moving fast, and the masses had dived nosefirst into psychedelia during the course of 1967, and as most acts of the British R&B boom went further and further away from the blues, and The Beatles proved that creative people can sell millions of records, the cutting edge of pop art - including The Who, were almost expected to be experimental and avant garde in their nature. By default The Who never struggled to be different, genuine or original; quite the opposite, but Pete undoubtedly felt that the timing was now perfect to make their masterpiece. Pete was going to bring everything that was great about his band, let it fully realise itself over the course of 3-4 minutes, couple it with the greatest song he could possibly write, and thus make the ultimate Who record. And it wasn't going to be "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". Almost like a reaction to the softer, flowery sides of psychedelia around them, The Who instead set out to make the heaviest record ever made. Pete: "It was a number we’d been saving, thinking that if The Who ever got into trouble, this one would pull us out. I felt that it was the best constructed song that I'd ever written. I put about two solid days into that, and when it actually worked..." Pete had bought loads of new guitars during the year - most of them Gibson's, including his first Les Paul, and several SG's (one doubleneck as well), but he chose a Strat for the recording of their new single, fed into a Fender Pro 1x15 amp. John was using his newly built 1965 sunburst (later refinished Fiesta Red/salmon pink) “Frankenstein” Fender Precision Bass, made from 5 smashed basses (he once spent 10 minutes smashing one alone onstage in complete silence with just the rest of the group shouting encouragement), which he fed through two modified Sound City L100 amps with four Sound City 4x12s. Keith was also proud to be sporting a custom Premier "Keith Moon Patent British Exploding Drummer" Pictures Of Lily drumkit that took 6 months to build, but it wasn't ready for the "I Can See For Miles"-sessions, which started back in May at CBS with Kit Lambert again, so he used his old Premier drums for that. The Lily-kit was however ready for The Who's next visit to the States, where they very unfortunately for the headliners and their fans were brought in to support Herman's Hermits on their ten week, coast-to-coast ironically entitled "There's A Kind Of Hush All Over The World" US tour. The tour was of course doomed from day one, with The Who absolutely destroying the Hermit's each and every night, frightening the living daylights out of the Hermit's teenybopper-fans, Keith getting beaten up by rednecks, Keith throwing TV's into swimming pools, Keith throwing a cake into the face of a sheriff (only to be driven to the dentist by the same sheriff after having tripped over while escaping, smashing two front teeth in the process) etc. And in the midst of all the chaos they brought the tapes from CBS to Talentmasters, New York in August, where they did some final overdubs and completed vocals for their new single; "I Can See For Miles". The band felt that they had created a masterpiece, and to give it an extra spark, they booked Gold Star studios in Hollywood to mix and master, because Gold Star owns the nicest sounding echo chamber in the world, according to Pete. "I swoon when I hear the sound." And so do we, Pete! Because this is not only the sound of a band at the absolute peak of their powers, but also one of the greatest achievements in the history of rock music. "I Can See For Miles" is monumental. It has all the qualities of The Who's earlier stuff. It's exciting, angry, primal, cathartic, explosive, energetic and apocalyptic, BUT it is also a very sophisticated piece of music, with vocal and guitar harmonies far surpassing many of their most educated contemporaries. The band just melt together into an inferno of sound. John's loud and deep, shaking foundations with his bass, and Pete is a God; jawdroppingly great throughout, and just reclaims the noise-throne with this amazingly brutal performance, all the while being inventive and challenging. You can almost picture him leaping through a glass window when the guitar kicks in. Magic! And then there's Keith, who's just an accelerator beyond belief. He builds up, explodes and culminates at the same time for four minutes. The barest element in the song must be Roger's vocals, which are great, and delivered with passion and confidence. He's turning into one of those voices you just feel at home with. Pete: "The words, which aging senators have called "Drug Oriented," are about a jealous man with exceptionally good eyesight. Honest. I think the lyrics are great, they create a great sort of impression of images, and the music is harmonically exciting." The single was released in the US on September 13th, and while some would say from hearing the A-side first, that it is noble of a band with such an ambitious and sophisticated songwriter as Pete, to perfect the loudest noiserock the world has ever heard, instead of laying the songs bare, the B-side does actually does just that, and thus showcase a side we haven't heard from the band up until now, with the mellow "Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands". On first listen it is a quite simple little popsong featuring Al Kooper on organ (mixed way low), but the lyrics actually have pretty explicit sexual undertones (about a girl Pete knew about in school), once again causing controversy. In the UK, we got the John track "Someone's Coming", which is not one of his stronger songs, but deals with issues he had with his girl's parents when they were about 14, giving both B-sides somewhat similar themes. The Who appeared on American TV for the first time four days after the release, miming "I Can See For Miles" and a re-cut "My Generation" (with live vocals) on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Keith filled up his bass drums to the brim with flash powder, and during the climax of "My Generation" set light to it. The explosion that followed was so massive that it blew out all the studio monitors, set Pete's hair on fire (and left him partially deaf for the rest of his life), lifted Keith off the ground and gave him a three inch gash in his arm (he was left rolling around on the floor, concussed and bleeding), and - according to legend - caused Bette Davis to faint into the arms of fellow guest Mickey Rooney. When Tommy Smothers emerged dumbstruck from the wings with an acoustic guitar around his neck, Pete, hair still smouldering, seized the instrument and reduced it to matchwood with four mighty whacks onto the studio floor. With "I Can See For Miles" The Who's hurricane turned into a tornado, and for a brief moment it seemed like The Who were invincible - on top of everything - at their best in the midst of complete and utter chaos.
     
  24. jimmydean

    jimmydean Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    i can see for miles: for me the best single of the who... perfect... the us b-side is also very good (underrated imho)...
     
  25. reb

    reb Long Live Rock

    Location:
    Long Island
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