Monday, 11 September 2017

The Who: Non-Album Recordings Part Two 1968-2014



Non-Album Recordings Part #5: 1968

The year 1968 was what might be termed The Who's 'wilderness' years (well, year anyway - trust The Who to speed through thinks at top speed!) The 'failure' of 'I Can See For Miles' really stung the band (who largely considered it their masterpiece) and while Pete for one vowed to turn his back on writing mere 'pop songs', albums take a lot longer to create than singles - especially when the album in a question is a double-record set about a deaf, dumb and blind pinball player that takes a lot of work. Even Track Records' comparatively lenient record contract by 1960s standards (three singles and an album a year) couldn't be put off forever and so the band wearily broke off from early rehearsals of 'Tommy' to record a trio of singles across 1968 that are best described as lacking that special touch. The curious thing is that none of them reflect the harder-edged rockier sound so many bands gleefully returned to in 1968 after a sometimes difficult year playing with psychedelia. While The Beatles were making 'Lady Madonna' and 'Revolution' and The Stones were doing 'Sympathy For The Devil' and 'Street Fighting Man', The Who decided to record light poppy songs that meant less than any of their records had in the actual 'pop' era. [80] 'Call Me Lightning' isn't well regarded by fans, is absent from all Who compilations to date (except rarities sets) and may well be the single worst 1960s Who release. A 'dum-dum-dum-doo-lay' riff that would have shamed even a 1950s teen idol, a swirly bass-heavy mix and some curious lyrics ('The noose around is slowly tightening - I'll show you why they call me lightning!') make for a difficult song to sit through, without any of the band's usual trademarks (no guitar solo, no French Horn, Keith's drums mixed awfully low) almost as if the band are 'ashamed' of their sound post-'Miles'. Only one thing enlivens the song: John Entwistle's second ever bass solo, although it's few seconds of murky chugging is no match for the virtuoso middle section of 'My Generation'. For years I'd assumed that Pete's interest was simply elsewhere, but actually his demo (included on one of his demo archival 'Scoop' sets) is great fun, full of life and energy and actually in ruder health than a lot of the near-period demos from 'Who Sell Out' and 'Tommy'. So what went wrong in the studio? 'Call Me Lightning' is something the band had only achieved once before on 'Heatwave' - an unmitigated flop in every department. Find it on: 'Magic Bus - The Who On Tour' (1968), 'Who's Missing' (1986) and the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

John's B-side to 'Lightning' is [81] 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', a much more interesting song that manages to combine two favourite 'Ox' themes: misers (see 'Silas Stingy') and schizophrenia (see 'Whiskey Man'). The song even begins with a characteristic 'bass rumble' from John, his best since 'Boris The Spider'. A curious haunting refrain ('Mr Hayyy-aaa-aaa-ee-aaade') is very unusual for The Who (it's more like something The Beach Boys would do) and there are even more electronic production effects on this song than in the band's psychedelic years (Pete's guitar sounds less like an instrument and more like a workman's drill). The lyric is much as you'd expect: a re-telling of the 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' story without any real surprises and is in truth a little dull by John's usual standards without as much evidence of his wicked sense of humour. However the subject matter is so fittingly macabre that the bassist just had to do a song like this somewhere didn't he? Find it on: 'Magic Bus - The Who On Tour' (1968) and 'Who's Missing' (1986)

[82a] 'Dogs' was The Who's next single, with 'Call Me Lightning' given a second go as a humble B-side. This one was even weirder, with The Who's relative failure in America in this period and Pete Townshend's admiration for The Kinks combining to inspire a song that sounds like a Who version of 'The Village Green Preservation Society' (though funnily enough, after the single flopped, Roger claimed Pete had been trying to write in his new pal Ronnie Lane's style for The Small Faces - I still say Ray Davies is closer). Only, this being The Who, we're not next to the village pond but a dog-racing track, that bystand of the cockney working classes. Roger's best 'artful dodger' vocals are put to the test on what's a sweet if unlikely song about finding love at the race track and Daltrey's narrator losing his bet but winning a love instead which sounds a much better bargain to me, especially given his admission to his beloved 'there warrrz nawthin' een meee laife biggah thaaan beer!' Pete's only real song designed purely for his working class fans, this song is more of a celebration than most fans suppose, with a simple life full of simple pleasures (job, booze, girl) that seems to work for the happy couple. In many ways given the troubles the band were going through at the time it seems more like a utopia from a tired wannabe philosopher-rock and roller wondering why he bothers anymore. Not that this is a serious song either: John's comedy bass passes tips with Pete's drag queen in the middle, to brief hilarious effect. Under-rated, even if it was obvious to everyone but the band that this song was too quirky to be a big hit. Find it on: 'Two's Missing' (1987) and the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

The Who's 'Magical Mystery Tour' in even more ways than the mode of transport, [83] 'Magic Bus' is one of those psychedelic songs from late 1967/up to mid 1968 where flower power has stopped becoming a reason for pushing the boundaries and has instead become a reason to throw songs together where previously they'd have been thrown away. Which is not to say that 'Magic Bus' is bad - it's popular with Who fans for several reasons, including the fact that no other band would have hit on the similarities between the Bo Diddley 1950s beat and the oh-so 1967 use of production echo, while also breaking ground by being on the cusp of returning to the more basic music of late 1968 ('Magic Bus' uses less chord changes than any Who previous single, even 'I Can't Explain', and was supposedly written in protest at the more complex 'I Can See For Miles' being such a flop single). When the rest of the world were calling themselves 'Jefferson Airplane' or 'Quicksilver Messenger Service', it's also good to hear The Who celebrating a far more basic form of down-home English transport (busses are basically taxis for poor people, but a much more enjoyable - and cheaper - ride home). The Who's bus wanders through some very weird scenery indeed, thanks to Keith forsaking his usual drums for clicking his drumsticks together in an echo chamber, while Pete and John both sing backing vocals that are deep and throaty rather than their usual falsetto. Roger tries to keep control, but sounds like a substitute teacher with so much mayhem going on. Pete's original demo broke off near the end to ask the entirely reasonable question 'what are they singing? God knows!' but on the record Roger and Pete get into a dialogue about 'wanting' a ride and saving up his 'sixpences' but Pete as 'the man' telling him 'ya can't have it!' A song about not so much supply and demand as much as need and denial, it's all very Who-like despite the unusual psychedelic overcoat the song comes wrapped in and this bit would become extended in concert to include raps on capitalism that will burst your tyres. A higher charting single than 'Dogs' or 'Call Me Lightning', this track was greeted as a return to form at the time - before being overshadowed completely by next single 'Pinball Wizard'. Find it on: most Who compilations starting with 'Magic Bus - The Who On Tour' (1968)

The Who got several strange commissions in their career - [84] 'Little Billy' was perhaps the strangest. The American Cancer Society thought they'd have more popularity if they got a 'cool' and popular band in to tell the kids that smoking was bad for them. Failing that, they asked for The Who, then at perhaps the low point of their popularity. Pete, though, was intrigued and liked the executive who took him out to lunch and Billy is, like many a Who song from this period, clearly the kind of fan he's glimpsed from the stage smoking like a chimney and for whom he'd been genuinely worried about their health (though arguably the society would have had even better success had they got Entwistle to write a truly creepy song to put the kids off their fags!) In fact this song is quite John-esque in many ways: Billy gets bullied for being too smart to follow his peers into smoking for the hell of it and for being fat. However he gets the last life in later life when all his 'friends' die from cancer - or then again does he? The last line reveals that kind old Billy is housing all their orphans (we'll assume for a moment that this was a cross-pollinating class where they all married each other), so presumably he isn't too happy about the end result either. An odd little song, performed straight even though it could just as easily have been done for laughs, it sounds like an early version of 'Joker James' from 'Quadrophenia' with its hollow children's laughter and morality lesson. The society didn't much care for it and stuck it on a shelf somewhere - which begs the question why ask The Who in the first place as they were always going to come up with something brutal and dark like this. Find it on: 'Odds and Sods' (1974/1999) and the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

An early sign of the more 'spiritual' songs to come, [85] 'Faith In Something Bigger' is a beautiful song sadly confined to the vaults until the 'Odds and Sods' compilation in 1974. Reflecting that all men are 'weak' but that the belief in 'something bigger' enables them to become great themselves, 'Bigger is a very thoughtful song that shows just how much thinking had been going in Pete's head across a difficult year. Unlike some other 60s bands (like Jefferson Airplane or The Beatles), The Who don't immediately laugh at their Christianity-driven childhoods (they all went to Catholic schools, which In Britain means studying the bible alongside sciences, probably weekly sermons from a local Reverend, prayers in every assembly and the same bleeding three hymns every day which are the only ones the music teacher knew how to play). While Pete is clear to never use the name of any religion or mention a 'God', this song is clearly a 'Christian' vision of a deity: all those lines about 'bowing to weaker men' and the idea of something 'bigger' outside us (rather than 'in' us, as per a lot of religions) suggests that this 'sermon' is another of those drug-fuelled songs from the 1960s inspired by suddenly unlocked memories of childhood. Pete is in mellow mood, though, with this very unfashionable song, with some delightful lyrics that - like many of his songs - ask questions without actually finding any answers ('The more we learn the less we believe to be true, the more we prove the more remains to be proved ' is a key Townshend line, virtually the backbone of 'Tommy' and it's discussion of 'faith'). Pete was dismissive of this song in later years (his sleevenotes for 'Odds and Sods' are a hoot, describing this song as 'embarrassing' and praising the others with 'do you think anybody else would have put up with this nonsense?') but he shouldn't be: this lovely song manages to straddle the lines of belief and sarcasm, with The Who making full and sadly all but last use of their 'angelic choir boy' backing harmonies and the new 'depth' of their vision across 1968. Like 'Pure and Easy' to come, the most descriptive Who song of a whole era never came out at the time but it served it's purpose, enabling the band to think about deeper matters. Find it on: 'Odds and Sods' (1974/1999)

[86] 'Fortune Teller' is a fabulous song. Written by Allen Touissant, it was a hit for Benny Spellman in 1958 it somehow manages to be funnier and deeper than almost all songs from the 1950s (we included it as second on our list of 'best ever 1950s recordings' , follow-up to just Buddy Holly's 'Well...Alright' in one of our top fives a few years ago). We've already covered two other versions by AAA bands: a rather fast and silly Rolling Stones version (an outtake from their first session, overdubbed with fake audience noise and released on 'Got Live If You Want It') and a classy polished reading by The Hollies (released on their third album 'The Hollies'). The Who's version starts off as menacing and then lurches into pop after an unexpected tempo change midway through. This doesn't work too well on this studio original, but in time (ie the band's 1970 tour) this song's switch from playing to deadly seriousness will be one of the highlights of the entire set. Pete has fun turning the original's sleepy riff into an angry protest song, Nicky Hopkins diffuses the effect in the left channel and plays 'off' him while Roger is on great form as the hapless romantic convinced a girl is going to come into his life (it's probably not giving too much away to say that he falls for the fortune teller after going back to complain that she got things wrong: the pay-off line 'and now I get my fortune told for free!' is one of rock and roll's daftest conclusions). There's something a little...off about this studio version though. The concert recording released on 'Live At Leeds' is a streamlined prize-fighter, boxing its way through a series of wild key changes; this B-side version is an out-of-shape heavyweight falling through them all. Still, it's a good arrangement of a great song that the band will make their own once they get to know it just that little bit better. Find it on: the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

Taped just 16 months before the killer version on 'Live At Leeds', a tentative studio take on concert favourite [  ] 'Young Man's Blues' was taped twice during very early sessions for 'Tommy' (goodness knows where it would have fitted into the plot!) Mose Allison's tale of teenage outrage and injustice against the adult world is clearly a key Who song - it's 'My Generation' with added screaming - but the 1968 version just doesn't have much life to it, with Pete sticking religiously to the song's original basic groove, Keith hitting the cymbals without much variety and John unusually timid on the bass. There are, in fact, two similar studio versions of this song doing the rounds: one, with plentiful overdubs, was released on the rare and wittily named Track Records sampler 'The House That Track Built' given out to DJs in the hope of getting a plug on the radio and a second, spikier version which features an even slower tempo and Roger singing in a deeper more expressive voice was released on 'Odds and Sods' (1974/1999). 

Non-Album Recordings Part #6: 1969

If 'Pinball Wizard' was the future, then it's B-side [82b] 'Dogs Part Two' is the hangover The Who were still suffering during their 1968 doldrums. An aimless and noisy instrumental, this piece is most notable for the sound of Pete's guitar (which never sounded better or more sneering), characteristically dramatic drumming from Keith and John's gusty bass (at least on the original vinyl - the CD version ducks it very low in the mix and leaves a lot to be desired). The writing credits gave Keith some much-needed, no doubt sensibly spent royalties - though goodness knows what his collaborators did with their money, 'Towser' and 'Jason' being Pete and John's dogs respectively who provided 'inspiration' (given how many copies 'Pinball' shifted, that's a lot of bones!) Pete's publishing company for most of The Who's lifetime was 'Towser Music' in tribute to his canine! Find it on: the deluxe CD re-issue of 'Tommy'

Sixteen seconds of noise and spoken word gibberish which ends in a crescendo, fans have been trying to work out where [111] 'I Was' fits in the 'Tommy' story ever since it came out on the deluxe edition in 2003. It sounds a little like the mirror 'breaking' to me, but it could well have been anywhere given the randomness of the 'song' and how unlike everything else on 'Tommy' it is. Though it's always nice to hear unreleased snippets like this, the fact that it was promoted as an 'unreleased and unheard track from Tommy' when it lasts about as long as a UKIP leader does these days is taking the mickey a stage too far. Yes they wazzzz-ah! Find it on: the deluxe CD re-issue of 'Tommy'

John's first go at writing about Tommy's mental and physical torture, [112] 'Cousin Kevin Model Child' is decidedly more jolly than the simple 'Cousin Kevin' included on the final LP. Kevin is such a good boy whenever an adult is in the room: he's caring, sweet, good as gold and of course the perfect baby-sitter for his mentally unstable cousin Tommy while his folks are out at the theatre. The threat is much more subtle in this early version: Kevin 'will caress [Tommy's] little haircut and do everything to please him, oh no!' - that 'no' saying a whole lot that the audience understands but Kevin/Tommy's unfit parents won't get at all. Keith sings the song on John's behalf and has just the right amount of twinkling mischief being one of the drummer's better vocals. As a song, though, it lacks the dark intensity, falsetto stares and against-his-better-wishes eerieness of 'Cousin Kevin'. Find it on: 'Odds and Sods' (1999 CD version) and 'Tommy' (deluxe CD re-issue)

Another not-that-special outtake from 'Tommy', [113] 'Trying To Get Through'is a very early version of Tommy's parents getting through to him before they 'smash the mirror'. Angrier than most of 'Tommy' and grittier, it's basically Pete yelling at the top of his voice over his own guitarwork and Moony pounding away at his drums. The song clearly isn't done baking in Pete's mental oven yet but the riff is a killer one and really should have been used on a later song as Tommy tells us - but not his mum or dad  - 'I'm really trying!' 'Keep that going, yeaaaaah!' yells Pete for the ending he hasn't got yet which is the cue for one of the noisiest and explosive - if also one of the least musical - moments in The Who's canon before the song finally slows into a blissful bluesy instrumental piece. Find it on: the deluxe CD re-issue of 'Tommy'

Non-Album Recordings Part #7: 1970

Though are millions of versions of 'Shakin' All Over' around, there's only one officially available version of the song in a medley with Willie Dixon's [115/117] ''Spoonful' (though an extract is heard at the end of the jam on 'Live At Leeds'). The songs make for a good pairing, with their similar feel, surging power chords and lyrics (both songs are about infatuation - 'Shakin' about the effect iot has on the narrator and 'Spoonful' the dose of magic he can feel permeating from his missus-to-be). As per most versions though, The Who don't sing the whole song: the full second verse is that 'men lie about that spoonful, some die about that spoonful' but Roger simply gets stuck on 'LIES about that spoonful' which is far more threatening. Like all the BBC sessions, The Who are slightly hampered by the lack of re-action from an audience and are a little more cautious than they are on stage (plus the BBC engineers were never 'taught' how to record a rock band this loud!) However it's a strong version with Roger on particularly good sneer. Find it on: The BBC Sessions (2000)

One of John's most beloved songs, [116] 'Heaven and Hell' (B-side to the live version of 'Summertime Blues', a curious choice for a single) was The Who's set list opener for years, the band enjoying its moody chords and ability to stretch out and warm up tired fingers (the 'deluxe' edition of 'Live At Leeds' features a particularly strong version). The studio take with a very prim and proper lead vocal from John and much less mayhem all round could never compete with any live version, but it's still a fine and very Entwistle song debating whether the afterlife really exists. 'Heaven and Hell' doesn't have many lyrics: John imagines a highly simplified version of the Bible ('at the top of the sky is a place where you go if you've done nothing wrong', while Hell is the place to go 'if you've been a bad boy'), that could be taken as faithful - but then gets silly, perhaps poking fun at the kind of church services Entwistle must have sat through as a lad ('Down below you walk around with horns and a tail...') Sadly Entwistle doesn't make the obvious connection: 'God' Is 'Good' with a missing 'o' while the 'devil' is 'evil' with a bonus 'd'! (Religious Education lessons were much more fun once I'd worked that out!) Rather than a truly damning song, though, 'Heaven and Hell' is more about terrific interaction between the band, with a heavily echo-laden Townshend on particularly bright form (though Roger is conspicuous by his absence - John does all the vocals including the backing). A curious fade suggests that something went wrong (heard live the song comes to a very natural sounding full stop). Find it on: 'Who's Missing' (1986) and the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

At long last [118] 'The Seeker' has been rightfully restored to its 'proper place' in The Who's canon. Something of a 'flop' single in the wake of 'Pinball Wizard', 'The Seeker' was well and truly lost for a time, missed out of most compilations down the years despite selling more copies as a single than 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. However the song's heavy strumming attack was perfect for the 'Rockband' play-like-your-heroes computer game ('Drowned' and 'Sea and Sand' were two other Who songs, available only if purchased separately) and most compilations now feature it. A rather retro song, with a 1950s 'sound' and a 1960s 'theme' to greet the new decade ('I won't get to get what I'm after till the day I die!'), in many ways its Pete waving goodbye to the end of the band's 'first' era after Tommy before knuckling down to work on 'Lifehouse'. Returning to the 'outsider' narrator of earlier songs, this 'seeker' is deadly earnest about the meaning of life, searching 'low and high' and even asking Timothy Leary and The Beatles before realising that the truths of lifes will remain a locked mystery until the narrator dies and discovers what life was 'really' about. In many ways this is Pete's guilt at fans 'assuming' that Tommy had 'answers' for anyone except Townshend himself: strangely even the album's ending (where the crowd turn out Tommy's false moralism with the lines 'we're not gonna take it') wasn't enough to stop fans badgering Pete for 'the answer'. Here the narrator 'ransacks their homes' on a drunken rampage whilke the fanbs cheer them on, 'shaking my hand', asking for wisdom and enlightenment Pete can't find himself (the closest he can come up with is the winsome: 'I'm happy when life's good, and when it's bad I cry'). Siding himself firmly with the 'seekers' in Tommy's crowd, ready to pull down false idols rather than being interested in becoming one himself, 'The Seeker' is a clever song that both mirrors and critiques the band's growing audience (perhaps a reason why at the time fans didn't much take to this song). The music is a nice accompaniment to this lyrical angry turbulence, with a sullen guitar riff saying 'don't come near me' despite the lyrics attempts to reach out and discuss things - cue the narrator's confusion as to why people leave him alone. The result is a clever song, better than it's often given credit for and a nice stepping stone between Tommy's allegories and Lifehouse's 'realler' emotions. Find it on: 'My Generation - The Best Of The Who' (1996) and the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994) among other compilations

[119] 'Here For More' is a curious Daltrey song (only the singer's third ever composition), the B-side to  and a 'companion' to 'The Seeker' in many ways. Like Beatles B-side 'The Inner Light' this song talks about how you can learn less travelling the world than opening up your mind in your own home, although like 'The Seeker' it sounds more like a song inspired by Meher Baba and the idea that only you can provide answers to the questions you seek (as the end of 'Tommy' showed, institutions pretending to know all the answers are to be scorned). Asking himself what on earth his purpose is, Roger comes to the conclusion that he doesn't know - all he can rely on is that he's 'here for more' lessons to come. However this isn't any great Townshend philosophical number but a rather dry and boring country-western song that, much like the narrator, doesn't really go anywhere. Interesting Pete will resurrect this song's best point (the quick-snapping guitar riff) for a very similar song about 'going round and round' not finding anything in 1975 when this becomes the centrepiece of 'Who By Numbers' closer 'In A Hand Or A Face' (a song every bit as weird as that title suggests...) Find it on: 'Who's Missing' (1986)

'We're having a lovely time - wish you were here' sulks John Entwistle at the start of [120] 'Postcard', with that sort of voice reserved for English holiday-makers when it's raining and soggy and your flight's just been delayed another hour. Written for a proposed 'EP' meant to mark-time between 'Tommy' and 'Who's Next', the band later abandoned it for not being up to standard (the other tracks were [121] 'I'm A Farmer' and two songs we've reviewed under the not-quite-finished 'Lifehouse': [139] 'Water' and [140] 'Naked Eye'). Once again, poor John gets the short straw on a Who project: his song is the best of the bunch and cuts through the layers of doubt and self-angst drawn up by his colleague to basically tell us 'I'm fed up!' in as few words as possible. The opening French Horn burst sounds solemn and sarcastic, while John's lyrics reveal just what a slog touring was becoming for the band ('There's miles of Frankfurters and people who hurt us in Germany' he glowers, adding for good measure 'we haven't been paid since yesterday!') A later verse has the band 'Thrown off the plane for drinking beer' - a true story, caused - you won't be surprised to learn - by Keith; the comparatively sober Entwistle was not happy at being frogmarched off the plane in Australia! A very human response to the sudden add ed pressure of the extra crowds 'Tommy' had created, John sounds as if the band's big break hasn't changed any of the financial difficulties they always suffered through the 1960s: 'We've been here too long - the money's all gone!'  The chorus is perhaps repeated a few too many times for comfort, but that is the point of the song - the band get over the claustrophobia of being on tour only too well. Some fun comic sound effects (a boomerang and a hopping Kangaroo for the 'Australian' verse, some goose-stepping rhythms for the one about Germany) make this one of The Ox's funnier songs. One senses that John's enthusiasm for the 'Odds and Sods' compilation (which he organised and oversaw) was partly so that he could revive one of his better songs, which duly became that compilations' opening track. Find it on: 'Odds and Sods' (1974/1999)

Another song from that aborted EP, [121] 'Now I'm A Farmer' is alarming yet charming as it sings about a-farming and Roger (soon to be a 'salmon farmer' in his own right) is utterly convincing as the rural narrator (even if he is upstaged By Pete's utterly OTT redneck caricature in the final verse). However like 'Postcard' and the band's singles across 1968 this is The Who back in playful mode, recording lots of silly songs because they don't want to get back to writing 'heavy' stuff again so soon. Some clever quick-stepping lyrics, a cute riff, some brilliant Nicky Hopkins piano and Pete's giggled references to 'gourds' over the fade-out aren't quite enough to rescue this song, but it would have made a nice B-side. You know, in the same way that, like, gourds are nice. Find it on: 'Odds and Sods' (1974/1999)

Non-Album Recordings Part #8: 1971

The single greatest B-side in The Who's canon (it beats A-side 'Let's See Action' hands-down!), [141] 'When I Was A Boy' is Entwistle offering sympathy to Townshend's self-questioning in this period (good as 'My Wife is, this song would have made an even better and more apt addition to 'Who's Next'). Sounding like a sulky little boy, John recounts how he used to think he knew where he was going - that childhood was a 'practice' from an adulthood where he would know right from wrong and how to do everything he needed. Instead the older he gets the more he realises no one knows what they're doing and leaves him pondering that 'when I was a boy I had the dreams of a boy - but now I'm a man ain't got no dreams at all'. Life is futile he suggests, a human lifespan is too short to do anything productive and he reflects that 'it's been so long since the good days - I wonder what went wrong?' In fact, forget 'Who's Next' - this song sounds like a 'Who By Numbers' outtake, a cry for help that sounds utterly real and heartbreakingly sad. A marvellous tune starts low down and then somehow gets lower, swapping through some unexpected minor key changes that give the effective of John's narrator moving ever further and further away from where he feel he 'should' be. One of John's most mournful French Horn parts is a neat touch, and another excellent Townshend snarling guitar part is good practice for his own similar songs later in the decade. Entwistle's most 'serious' song for The Who (although there are a few more in his solo work), this song is evidence of what a deep and sensitive heart beat beneath all that wry humour and jokey B-sides. It's an awful shame The Ox didn't write more songs like this during his time with The Who - even by the high but depressing standards of his colleague this is a hugely important, moving song. Find it on: 'Who's Missing' (1986)

A definite candidate for daftest Who song, [142] 'Waspman' is Keith Moon pretending he's a wasp for three whole minutes behind a typical Who 'Underture/We Close Tonight/Baba O'Riley' style beat with Roger's harmonica particularly strong. Keith is having fun and is pretty convincing as a buzzing predator shouting 'sting!' at random moments while a backing track of anti-bug cans provide the backing track by squirting at opportune moments, but I'm not sure anybody else is having quite so much fun - including the rest of The Who and you and me sitting listening to this repetitive nonsense at home. The track was inspired - according to Roger's drunken reminiscences anyway - by a plane flight in which Keith borrowed the bra of the groupie he was travelling with and pretended to be a wasp for the whole flight (which was really just an excuse for Keith to kiss all the females on the plane - these were very different times!) The B-side of 'Relay' and intended as a sequel to 'Batman' of sorts, it is perhaps the band's weakest A and B side pairing. Rarely heard and only available for a limited time, Who fans still have a real 'buzz' around this track which it arguably doesn't deserve. We are, though, thankful that after his obsession with 'Dogs' and 'Wasps' Keith seemed to have his thing for animals under control so we didn't get four minutes of, say, 'ElephantWoman' or 'BuffaloBishop' on the next Who single. Find it on: Two's Missing' (1987)

Another live favourite, it seems odd that The Who never attempted Larry Williams' [143] 'Bony Maronie' in the studio given how many times they sang this rock-and-roll-and-women anthem. Instead the only officially available version was taped as a bit of light relief during The Who's residency at The New Vic Theatre when they were meant to be singing 'Lifehouse'. Roger is hoarse, the band miss the stop-start cues almost every time and Pete's guitar solo is exuberant but perfunctory but it doesn't really seem to matter much. The Who were still the greatest rock and roll band in the world in 1971 and get through the song to the end. Well, just about as Pete goes for a false ending and everyone else goes for a big finale, but that's all just part of the fun. Find it on: the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

Non-Album Recordings Part #9: 1972

By 1972 rock and roll was old enough to start feeling like an institution rather than something mums and dads were convinced was going to die out. Partly inspired by seeing Keith act in the 1950s set 'That'll Be The Day' with its rock and roll soundtrack (for which Pete was asked to write a song) and partly by thoughts about how intrinsic music was to his own youth, Pete wrote [144] 'Long Live Rock!' for an early version of 'Quadrophenia' back when the piece was more about the fun of being young than the horrors of growing up. Sung by Pete in his best parent-defying voice with Roger's occasional interruptions, 'Rock' isn't the deepest or most thought-provoking Who song but it is a lot of fun and a happy trip down memory lane for a band all too often to look back on their past with a distasteful (naked) eye. The Who celebrate the 'Astoria' (one of their earliest London venues, remember playing in bingo halls back before music was a big thing and being the first band so drunk they would 'vomit at the bar' (unlikely to be honest given what The Stones and even The Beatles were up to!) Some of the lines are hilarious: Pete sings that they found 'the distance to the stage too far' (from backstage?!), imagine their promoter so busy counting the money that they've 'lost' the band in a 'Hard Day's Night' style chase round town and have The Who in the era of glam (which really didn't suit them) 'putting their make-up on' in a gentle put-down of every hip band of the era. However behind the laughs this song is serious too: the chorus confirms that rock and roll is the most addictive life-affirming fuel there is and the band - who everyone assumed would have broken up years ago - still 'need it every night'. Roger's scream 'be it dead or alive' is more than just mischief; this is a band who knows how big and important music is to their audience and it's also a 'See Me Feel Me' acknowledgement that they don't take their job lightly - even on a track where, more than ever, they take their job lightly. Good fun and a memorable ending (indeed, the only suitable ending) to the documentary film 'The Kids Are Alright' in 1979, for which the song was also released as a promotional single despite being seven years old. As Pete puts it in his 'Odds and Sods' sleeve-note, even though Billy Fury sang it well for 'That'll Be The Day' the Who version is 'definitely the definitive one'. Find it on: 'Odds and Sods' (1974/1999)

Credited jokingly to 'Willie Nix' on the cover of 'Two's Missing', [  ] 'Goin' Down' is a parody blues song (by Willie Dixon?) that was improvised at one of The Who's 1972 gigs (it sounds like it came from the mammoth finale to 'My Generation' then still very much a part of the band's set-lists, the bit where Roger usually sang 'Can you see me coming now to get yooooo?!') Pete adds lyrics for this one and only time, though he doesn't get much further than the title, which could be a bit of sexual innuendo, a touch of melancholia or a promise that the band are about to go off stage and go down, down, down to the nearest pub (that's John's suggestion in the sleevenotes anyway). Pete's guitar and John's bass are heading for a titanic battle at the 2:30 mark, but sadly Pete decides to go for the big ending just when things are getting interesting and the last minute is an uncomfortable collection of clashing chords and general mayhem, presumably with a few smashed instrumentals along the way. Forgettable - but incredibly rare for an official release and thus worthy of a special glow for me and no doubt all you readers who've gone out of their way to hear it, while everyone else just thinks it's a racket we shouldn't be playing with such reverence. We know better. Umm, I think! Find it on: 'Two's Missing' (1987)

Non-Album Recordings Part #10: 1973

 [162] 'We Close Tonight' really really really should have made the final running for 'Quadrophenia' (if nothing else it would make me feel better for forking out double the money for a two-CD that's a grand total of 17 seconds of sea noises longer than a single CD). A delightful song that would have fitted in nicely at the end of the album's first side, it features a messed up Jimmy coming to terms with the fact that he's never been a 'cool' kid until mod came along and wondering how to chat up birds when he's intensely shy. It also gives John and Keith something to do, the rhythm section taking alternate verses and evidence of how well and supportively both of them could get behind Pete's weirdest ideas, with yet another Entwistle song gently taking the mickey out of his partner's more cerebral exploits. This 'Jimmy' is a shy reclusive jazz record collector, chasing girls he never talks to because 'I ain't got the guts to let her see the real me' and trying way too hard ('I pretended to myself that you were mine already' - trust John to hit upon Jimmy's 'quadraphonic' and slightly crazy tendencies!) A delightful rejoinder sung by Keith lists Jimmy's sudden passion for record collecting, meeting famous names at clubs and gigging in his own small band that's going nowhere 'cause we close tonight', which probably wasn't the most subtle chat-up line ever but, hey, at least Jimmy's being himself (and there must be more collectors out there who like these chat-up lines about having hundreds of records, right? Not that they ever worked for me). Like 'Cousin Kevin Model Child' from 'Tommy', this song was given the boot presumably because Pete's story changed so much from his original draft, concentrating more on Tommy's attempts to fit in than fleshing out the past when he didn't. Poor Entwistle was yet again the casualty, his rather fine vocal (plus lots of deliciously inventive bass-playing) consigned to the vaults and not released until as late as the 1990s and the CD  re-issue of 'Odds and Sods'. Listen out for the line about Jimmy being 'a big bird man' - the nickname given to a teenage Townshend because of his big beaky nose. Astonishingly even the four disc 'Director's Cut' of 'Quadrophenia' didn't even include the song, which badly needs to be restored back to its rightful place. One of the band's better outtakes, charming but rocking with it and please please please include it with the CD on the inevitable forthcoming 'deluxe deluxe deluxe Quadrophenia set complete with mod scooter and free rock' which is due in the shops about, ooh, next year I'd say on past experience. Find it on: 'Odds and Sods' (1999 CD re-issue)

For other 'Quadrophenia' outtakes and the film soundtrack recordings please see our lengthy review of 'The Director's Cut' version of the album later in the book which includes them all, every last one!

Non-Album Recordings Part #11: 1975

Sounding more like a missing section from 'Quadrophenia' than 'Tommy', the first of the two 'new' songs written for Ken Russell's film soundtrack  is [172] 'Champagne' sung by Ann-Margret (as Tommy's mother). This song takes place at the part of the film where Tommy is still 'asleep' but has now become a millionaire, with people rushing the world over to see him play football. Added to the film primarily to give Ann-Margret something to do (both she and Oliver Reed's 'dad' rather disappear from the storyline after the middle), this is an odd song in that it makes the one vaguely sympathetic character in Tommy's life (his mother at least cares for his welfare, even if she's hopeless at providing it and trusts all the wrong people) into something of a monster. She's adoring this new lifestyle her son has  - apparently unknowingly - brought her and is becoming increasingly distanced from her roots and, it's hinted, slightly unhinged (this is the sequence in the film where first champagne and then chocolate pours from her TV set by the gallon; poor Ann-Margret cut her hand quite badly in this scene when the TV set smashed 'early' and had to be rushed to hospital, still in her chocolate-stained dress much to the shock of the hospital receptionist and doctors; like a trooper she returned the next day to set to finish the scene despite the very real chance she might get cut again). Until Roger finally wakes up, Ann-Margret is by far the most accomplished 'singer' in the film (her 1963 single 'I Just Don't Understand' was even covered by The Beatles on a 1965 BBC session) and yet Pete tries to give her a very 'ugly' passage to sing her, making her sing deep and gravelly on two notes a lyric about deceived people getting their 'just desserts' - was this song originally written for Oliver Reed? (did Oliver refuse to get drenched in chocolate and fake champagne?!) Pete cleverly writes in yet another 'See Me, Feel Me' refrain from Roger, however, hovering over his mother as her 'conscience' leading her to finally see the error of her ways ('What's it all worth when my son is blind? He can't hear the music nor enjoy what I'm buying') - well briefly (the passage then ends 'His life is worthless - affecting mine, I'd do anything to drive his face from my mind!' Charming - this is Tommy's mother, remember!) Clearly here to embellish the plot rather than for its musical worth, this is a funny start to the soundtrack album's second disc (coming in right after 'Pinball Wizard') and doesn't quite work. Find it on: the 1975 Film Soundtrack version of 'Tommy'

[173] 'Mother and Son' is another new song written especially for the film soundtrack and once again here to give Ann-Margret something to do in the movie's second half. Set in the film immediately after Tommy's recovery ('I'm Free!') it's where the whole plot moves around: from now on in Tommy's mum and dad will be the passive ones, their lives changed by their son ('And you, dear mother, must be prepared...' is an ominous line with which to leave the song). Rather neatly Ann-Margret now gets to sing 'See Me, Feel Me' as she tries to re-connect with the now grown-up song she doesn't know. Sadly the rest of the song is more ordinary, full of clunky plot exposition for anyone who fell asleep at the start of the film ('You're adored and you're loved, thousands watch you play. pinball, it's a fever and you're master of the game!') Roger clearly relishes the chance to sing 'heavily' though and sings with great conviction and power - to be a honest it's a shame he didn't wake up earlier. A nice backing 'fits' in neatly with the 'Tommy' style, a cross between 'Sparks' and 'We're Not Gonna Take It', but this is still a song rather clumsily shoe-horned into the song sequence to help movie-goers make sense of the plot (we music-lovers 'knew' the plot without such extra details the first time round, of course...) Find it on: the 1975 Film Soundtrack version of 'Tommy'

'TV Studio' is a brief 90 second addition to the film soundtrack, shared between Tommy's mum and dad in which they plot his - and their - future. A long list of places really tests Oliver Reed's drink-sozzled memory, but apart from that not much is happening on this song which is like a chirpier version of 'Champagne'. Find it on: the 1975 Film Soundtrack version of 'Tommy'


Non-Album Recordings Part #12: 1978

Closer in style to the slightly sad ballads on 'Empty Glass', my bet is that Pete's demo for  [193] 'No Road Romance' was meant for his solo work than The Who, despite the presence of simple bass and drums which usually only occurred on songs Pete was pitching for the band (there's no evidence the others ever played on it or indeed heard it). The downside to 'Long Live Rock!', Pete sings about what it's really like to be a rockstar behind all the glamour - long endless travelling and 'frustration and overload'. Even having groupies on tap has stopped being special: there's no thrill of the chase as Pete knows they 'won't say no' and it can never be love because 'she's only riding' and 'he's only hiding', safe away from the eyes of his family. Returning to his favourite idea of seeing himself through the eyes of his fans, Pete acknowledges that all the Sally Simpsons of his life are probably bitterly disappointed when they meet the real him: surly, anxious, chewing his nails and with a frown creasing his brow in two, Pete really isn't the typical rockstar party animal (that's Keith and possibly Roger, a few doors down the corridor!) Less thought out than most Townshend ballads, this song clearly had a long way to go before being kicked into shape and it would have sounded out of place on the largely-upbeat 'Who Are You' record, but like all of Pete's cries from the heart it has a special magic about it that means it deserves to be much better known. If you like this simple style then Pete's 'Scoop' series of demos are for you! Find it on: the CD re-issue of 'Who Are You' 

Non-Album Recordings Part #13: 1980

Effectively Kenney Jones' audition piece, The Who decided to record a full-blown version of Quadrophenia song [146b] 'The Real Me' to see if they'd found the 'real drummer'. No seems to be the answer: Kenney is clearly nervous and doesn't play with the glorious wild abandon of either Moon or his own fine work with The Small Faces and you can hear Roger get visibly distressed as the recording goes on (of all the band he struggled the most to make the adjustment to the new drummer and sounds unsure of himself here, second-guessing drum-rolls that never come). To be fair though the rest of the band don't sound any healthier: John does weird things with both his angular bass and his synthetic brass, while Pete stays uncharacteristically quiet, perhaps listening out for what the drummer and singer are up to. You have to say the finished product is quite disappointing and for many is where the rot set in and The Who began sounding ordinary after decades of being extraordinary nearly every time, but don't discount Kenney just yet - on tracks he can mould and shape to his own advantage he'll sound as good a replacement as any person doing Moony's thankless job could be. An intriguing bit of history then, but I'm surprised The Who let this out the vaults to be honest. Find it on: the box set '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

Non-Album Recordings Part #12: 1981

A neurotic Pete tries to write in the Entwistle style and comes up with [203] 'I Like Nightmares', a song celebrating actually enjoying the ghoulish side to life because it makes him feel 'alive'. For what can good dreams be without nightmares to go with them? Pete also likes being 'scared witless' and losing control of his usual inhibitions - it brings out a side of him that makes him feel more 'plugged in' to his emotions. Two middle eights with different lyrics have Pete both enjoying and hating his dependency on drink and herbal cigarettes while wondering if his heart will give out 'after one, maybe two, maybe three...' shocks to the system. In retrospect another cry for help a la 'Who By Numbers' from a period when we know Pete was drinking heavily, but it's all passed off as some big joke so convincingly that you don't think twice about it until you sit down and really analyse these lyrics. This wouldn't have been the best on the album by any means, but it beats 'Cache Cache' and 'Another Tricky Day For You' at least. Find it on: the CD re-issue of 'Face Dances'

A superb song with a much more Who-like drive than anything else in the short Kenney Jones period, [204] 'It's In You' proves how good the band could still sound when all the pieces are in place. Roger is superb as the cocky narrator whose actually trying to be very sweet and draw-out the talents he knows his girl 'Virginia' (note the rhyme with the title!) is keeping deep inside, while Pete's crunching guitar work and John's gulping bass are as good as ever they were. It's Kenney though whose come alive: he thunders as hard as Moony ever did in the chorus and keeps busy in the verses but plays to his own style, not his predecessors'. The lyrics too are fascinating, with a totally different take on Pete's usual message-to-fans: despite the music suggesting otherwise, these lyrics are another diatribe about growing old and kindly/nastily helping/provoking the next generation into providing music to measure up to The Who. Pete knows they've 'got it in ya' - he's been interested in punk since before most teenagers knew it existed, plugged Paul Weller as often as he could and was once kicked out of a club for being mean to two of The Sex Pistols! (see 'Who Are You' for more on that boozy tale). The Who protest that they can't be 'relied' on to play rock and roll anymore, that they have to change their sound and play slower as they grow older and reminds us all of 'who' is missing: that 'today is the day Moony laid his wraith'. The song ends with Roger trying to provoke a response as he spits out 'hey titch, toe-rag, tosser!' One last great moment of youthful abandon on a song that knows the clock cannot be turned down, this fabulous song beats practically all of 'Face Dances' and really deserved a final release. Find it on: the CD re-issue of 'Face Dances'

Also more than deserving of release was [205] 'Somebody Saved Me', an early version of one of Pete's greatest ballads which won't be released until as late as 1982 and his 'Chinese Cowboys' album. This early, rougher version is by far the better though thanks to the lack of production overload and the presence of the rest of the band, especially Pete's busy bass. Pete is 'saved' from a relationship - all that mess, all those things to go wrong, all those chances to get things wrong. He's grateful - honest he is - and not in denial at all. Twenty years he's been waiting for the moment but he still 'doesn't know what lips are for' - hey he can survive another twenty. A second verse worries about a past love who should have been with him but shacked up with a bloke who treated her badly, snapping her fingers and watching her 'obey' - should he have 'saved' her instead? A final verse has Pete leaving his home at 'Sunnyside Road' to go to college, which was basically a chance to stay in bed and A second verse recalls the death of a friend who 'nursed' Pete through a drug and alcohol collapse only to die himself, leaving his friend in shock: he's been saved again, but to do what? Pete is suffering from survivor's guilt and is worried about everything - if he 'blows my cool I'll blow it forever!' A gorgeous middle eight has Pete wondering about fate, too busy just trying to 'stay alive' to think about guardian angels before worrying why he's got off so lightly in life when 'little ones die and big ones thrive'. 'There've been times when I've been making it and I didn't deserve to!' he cries, before a need for self-destruction and a feeling of inadequacy leads him to destroy everything good in his life. Because that's what he wants deep down, isn't it? It's hard not to be affected by this revealing song, which thanks all and sundry for preventing Pete the chance to escape, to experience heaven and those 'awful moments' of falling in love when Pete knows he's going to spend the rest of his life with a soulmate. The song ends on Pete's wounded, frightened voice still sighing thankyou that 'somebody saved me' while sounding as if he's about to burst into tears. A phenomenal song, much under-rated, even if it's not really right for The Who. Find it on: the CD re-issue of 'Face Dances'

Non-Album Recordings Part #13: 1982

The last Who song yelled in anger is a cover of The Isley Brothers' [218] 'Twist and Shout', the final encore at the final Who gig (and captured for posterity on 'Who's Last' despite several 'nearly' released across the band's twenty-odd-year career). John and Roger share the lead on an aggressive but simple reduction of the song perhaps made most famous by The Beatles which misses the 'ahhhs' but does include a lengthy guitar solo in the middle. It's not clever and it's not pretty, but it is fun. Released as a tie-in single, it became the last Who single to chart a full year after appearing on the full album. 

Non-Album Recordings Part #14: 1989

The Who return to Bo Diddley's [26b] 'I'm A Man' - the only 'rare' song performed on their 1989 reunion tour - even though they are, as Roger puts it, 'way past 21!' The coming of age song suits the elder, more confident Roger much better than the one from the debut album and the by-now 46-year-old Roger sings with a real throaty roar. The rest of The Who sound a little worse for wear on this chugging blues though. A nice curio that deserved to make the 'Join Together' record (frankly one of them could have had a coughing fit and it would still have deserved a place on that record better), released on the box set instead. Find it on: '30 Years Of Maximum R and B' (1994)

Non-Album Recordings Part #15: 1991

The first new Who studio recording in nine years - what an event! Speculation amongst fans was rife: would it be a concept work, a sequel to 'Won't Get Fooled Again' for a new age, a glorious burst of rock and roll adrenalin or a beautiful exquisite ballad? Nope. Not even close. The Who were invited to cover an Elton John and Bernie Taupin song for a covers album alongside The Beach Boys, Eric Clapton and Sinead O'Connor. To be fair [220] 'Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting' is a strong choice, with Roger even more suited to the mindless party song than the one-time Hollies keyboard player then known as Reg Dwight ('I';m a juvenile product of the working class whose best years bubble at the bottom of a glass!'), while the stabbing guitar riff sounds just enough like The Who's usual style for them to get by. There's even a burst of 'Baba O'Riley' style keyboards over the spacey opening, which could conceivably be from The band have fun with the arrangement too, with Pete singing a middle eight from a different Elton John song (the obscure 'Take Me To The Chamber', the B-side to 'Your Song') in a sudden melancholic contrast, just like the days of old. All that effort though seems a bit wasted when The Who could be writing time-wasting rock and roll party songs like this but better on their own. And no, I'm not flaming writing a book on Elton John next, so there! Find it on: the Various Artists set 'Two Rooms: celebrating The Songs Of Elton John and Bernie Taupin' (1991)

Non-Album Recordings Part #16: 2004

The Who had been discussing a new studio album for years - right back to before John Entwistle died in 2002. Pete hadn't released anything new since 1993 bar demos though and knew a full album would be a big undertaking - especially the way he wanted to do it, as a concept work - so instead Pete and Roger went for a halfway house that would help kickstart them into a full record soon. As it happened the two songs recorded at this 2004 session are much stronger than almost all of 'Endless Wire' and sound more like that album should have done - an older, maturer, gentler Who that's still recognisable from the days of old. Much like 'Endless Wire' to come the theme is one of loss as the band pay tribute to both their bass player and his biggest addiction and then their own past with yet another audience's-eyes Townshend song. [221] 'Old Red Wine' is pretty in a way few Who songs had been before, with Roger's vocal pushed higher than usual and sounding more fragile and old as a result. Pete-Roger is upset to find a half-bottle still left to finish and pays tribute to John (not mentioned by name in the song), promising that together they'll drink it one day, but at 'some other time'. Remembering their early years, the narrator brings to memory the time when they 'weren't worth a dime' and nobody cared what happened to them - except each other. A tale of a gang trying to recover after losing a member, you can trace this song of belonging and identity right back to 'Quadrophenia' and beyond, even back to the band's name. Pete's howling guitar is slower than usual but adds a nice mournful part, while an audibly moved Roger sings perfectly. There's even a Who-like surprise at the end as the band suddenly burst into their usual roaring gear and Roger roars, whether about the wine or 'our' lives left behind on Earth, that we should learn to 'let it breathe' and pay tribute to those missing by living our lives to the full. A terrific comeback, too good to be abandoned on a compilation LP. Find it on: 'Then and Now' (2004)

Better yet, [222] 'Real Good Looking Boy' is what The Who are all about. A fan sees a band on TV, maybe The Who, maybe someone else, and recognises the same drive, passion and feelings. They make him feel so good he starts believing that he looks as good as they do on the telly and 'flying so high' when they play he feels on top of the world. Then in comes mum, who wants to know what he's nattering about. With typical parental dismissal she tells her son that he's ugly and that 'in our family there've been some real strange genes and you got 'em all, with some extremes thrown in!' The boy is heartbroken - he'd never realised he was quite that ugly before - but the music stops him feeling that way. The Who then pay tribute to their 'own' musical love, Elvis, with a burst from 'Can't Help Falling In Love' that's very fitting as it doesn't matter what a person looks like when you can connect on a deeper level, with music. A crescendo and a descendo then leads to a moving final verse where Roger's narrator is older and married, still with an ugly face but now with a wife who still thinks he's the most handsome man on the planet. 'God gave me these genes' sighs Daltrey, 'but then he gave me your sweet sweet love' and that's a bargain, the best that he ever had. I'll bet my vinyl gatefold edition of 'Tommy' that this is a Townshend song from the heart and based around the phobia he had growing up about his rather large nose and the bullies who taunted him for it. Figuring he'd never amount to anything much in life, he's thrilled this years on to find no one is talking about his features at all but about his music and, in true Townshend style, he's been 'listening to us' for what we say back to him - and for the first time he's realised how much 'sweet sweet love' has been sent his way down the years. Truly sublime, this is what The Who were all about, making the ugly beautiful and giving lost and lonely teens their own voice. The Who canon should have ended here, even with 'Tea and Theatre' to come. Find it on: 'Then and Now' (2004)


Non-Album Recordings Part #16: 2004
In 2014 The Who reunited for a new album. Reportedly it wasn't very good and got abandoned early on, with just one song from the sessions [  ] 'Be Lucky', seeing release till now as both a single and the final track on 'The Who Hits Fifty' compilation. It would be unfair to judge a whole project on just one song (would we be calling for 'Who By Numbers' release if all we'd heard from it had been 'Squeeze Box' or if 'Welcome' was all we'd heard from 'Tommy'?) but certainly judging by this one song Pete and Roger were right to cut their losses. 'Be Lucky' doesn't sound anything like the old Who with none of the wit, power, intelligence or emotional appeal and yet it doesn't sound like the best the 'new' Who can offer either without the same political outrage or nostalgia of the best of 'Endless Wire' either. Instead it's just a noise: three minutes of 'Rolling Stones' style riffs, a Roger Daltrey scream that's meant to sound 'young' but doesn't and some lyrics about making your own luck which have been heard in endless songs before this one. Stay lucky - don't buy this compilation just for this one song, it's a rotten way to end the 'new' entries in this book. Find it on: 'The Who Hits Fifty' (2014)

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