RS #384: The Who, A Quick One


The Who, A Quick One

Release Date: 1966
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes

By Source, Fair use, Link

Impressions: The Who’s second album. When it comes to the Who, I probably respect them more than I enjoy them. Let’s go….”Run Run Run” okay, but smells a little like the second album lull. “Boris the Spider” is pretty nutty and, of course, being a John Entwistle song, bass heavy. So, I guess everyone in the band wrote songs? Even Keith Moon? Okay. “I Need You” is pretty catchy, although the falsetto singing needs work. Entwistle is a weird guy. “Whiskey Man.” Kind of all over the place, not quite “Maximum R&B” but listenable and they seem to be having fun. Still, throughout the album it feels like something (maybe that each member had to write two songs) is holding them back and they are trying to find themselves. “Heat Wave.” Great song, okay version. The instrumental “Cobwebs and Strange” lives up to its name. And it’s great with a ton of blaring horns. I dunno about this record, it reminds me of The Doors second album…kind of cool but so far, not grabbing me by the lapels. I’ve always loved “So Sad About Us” since the Jam covered it. Looking at this record, The Jam covered at least four songs from this collection alone (two of which are already covers.) I mean, I knew about Paul Weller’s Who fixation, but woah. Wistful singing, Moon’s careening drums, Pete Townshend’s catchy chiming guitar… great performances: just a perfect early Who track. Okay, this album is picking up. The stitched together multi-song suite “A Quick On While He’s Away” serves as a dry run for all their future rock operas.
Starred Songs: “Boris The Spider,” “Happy Jack”
Sneaky Track: “So Sad About Us”
Should this album be on the list? It’s a little unfocused, but it’s got some good stuff on there. Definitely got the second album messiness and finds them in between “maximum R&B” and “sophisticated Rock Opera Who.” (What did they say… you have years to write your debut album and six months to make the follow up?) I might replace it with Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy but that’s a compilation and that’d go against my anti-compilation thing that I’m only moderately adamant about.
Will You Listen To This Again: Naw. Strip for parts.
Verdict: Kind of all over the place sophomore album from ’60s British invasion heros has some high points but ends up being pretty spotty.
Rating:  ★★★