The WHO – ” A Quick One ” Released 9th December 1966

Posted: December 6, 2016 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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A Quick One (Remastered)

Not long after The Who’s debut album was released, Pete Townshend was already moving on. “My Generation”, which had arrived at the tail end of 1965, was mostly made up of R&B covers, garage-rock rave-ups and guitar-powered pop that pretty much sounded like every other above-average British rock LP of the period, but louder. Their second record, “A Quick One”, showed a glimpse of Pete Townshend’s ambition, wit and skewed sense of what rock music should sound like in the mid-’60s when it was released on December 9th, 1966.

So when the group assembled in IBC Studios and Pye Studios in London late in the year to lay down tracks for its second album, Townshend  with the other band members dutifully along for the ride by contributing their own material . A Quick One is the Who’s most delightfully unfocused album,  weaving through the band’s most democratic period. Bassist John Entwistle contributed two songs (including “Boris the Spider,” probably his most well known composition); drummer Keith Moon did (the instrumental “Cobwebs and Strange” encapsulates his boozy, woozy charm in two and a half minutes). Vocalist Roger Daltrey wrote one song, plus there’s a cover of the Martha & the Vandellas hit “Heat Wave.”

That left the remaining four tracks to Townshend, who, by comparison to most of his bandmates’ contributions, sounds rather conventional on three songs, although “So Sad About Us” is one of his most underrated. But it’s his final number, and the album’s closer and de facto title track, that dominates the LP and sets up the Who’s future and legacy. Clocking in at more than nine minutes, “A Quick One, While He’s Away” distills six separate songs into one cohesive track. It was Townshend’s first attempt at a rock opera, prefiguring future classic Who albums like Tommy and Quadrophenia. And it’s a masterpiece of tension and release, the story of a woman who has an affair after her boyfriend goes missing, told through various song movements that shift through moods and tempos.

Today, the album is viewed as the link between the band’s more traditional early years and the start of the ambitious period that followed with 1967’s The Who Sell Out .

Recorded at IBC Studios, Pye Studios and Regent Sound, London in the autumn of 1966. Pete’s first rock opera contains six separate songs, ‘Her Man’s Gone’, ‘Crying Town’, ‘We Have A Remedy’, ‘Ivor The Engine Driver’, ‘Soon Be Home’, and ‘You Are Forgiven’. Along the way the unnamed heroine pines for her absent lover, selects Ivor as a substitute, regrets her folly when her man returns, confesses her indiscretion and is ultimately forgiven. John:”We wanted to put ‘cellos on the track but Kit Lambert said we couldn’t afford it. That’s why we sing ‘cello, cello, cello, cello,’…where we thought they should be.”

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