Posts Tagged ‘Pete Townshend’

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #74 – The Who: “I Can See For Miles” b/w “Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand”– Decca 32206 (G8/H8)

45-adapter-logo2whoIcanseeformiles45whomaryanne45

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #74 – The Who: “I Can See For Miles” b/w “Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand”– Decca 32206 (G8/H8)

The Who have several masterpieces in their canon including Tommy, Who’s Next and Quadrophenia. However, one record that doesn’t get name-checked enough when it comes to The Who’s masterworks is The Who Sell Out which is by far my all-time favorite of all of their albums.

Back in 1967, The Who managed to do what Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys couldn’t. The Beach Boys’ Smile was meant to create a painterly picture of Americana through music and inject a broad sense of humor into the music. The Who’s 1967 album, was a quintessentially British album that was injected it through and through with humor to burn.

The Who took their British concept one step further by building the album around a fake pirate radio station concept, complete with commercials and public service announcements between each song. The album’s release was met with a flurry of law suits because some of the fake jingles were for real products including Heinz Baked Beans and Odorono Deodorant.

Furthermore, the album cover depicted a photo of each band member advertising a product. Pete Townshend is shown applying Odorono Deodorant to his underarm, Roger Daltrey is shown sitting in a bathtub full of Heinz Baked Beans, Keith Moon is shown putting Medac zit cream on his face and John Entwistle is shown with a woman flexing his muscles and holding a teddy bear depicting the album’s Charles Atlas jingle. British first pressings of the album came with a psychedelic poster of a butterfly which was originally considered for the album’s cover art. (Sure wish I had one of those!) Copies of the album with the poster sell for thousands of dollars on eBay.

The album includes the single “I Can See For Miles” which is today’s jukebox classic, and along with “Pictures Of Lily,” is amongst The Who’s very best singles. The song was written by Pete Townshend and it remains the group’s biggest hit reaching #9 on the U.S. singles chart. The track was recorded in both England and the U.S., and the single version differs from the album version featuring an overdubbed second bass track.

The song was said to inspire Paul McCartney who read a review of “I Can See For Miles” that claimed it was one of the heaviest songs ever released. Not being the type to be one-upped, McCartney set out to write an even heavier song (even though he hadn’t heard “Miles”) resulting in “Helter Skelter.” (songfacts.com)

The song features a one-note guitar solo that was a reaction to the arrival of Jimi Hendrix on the scene. Townshend believed that he couldn’t possibly complete with the American axe man, so why bother trying. (songfacts.com) While the record was The Who’s best showing on the charts, Townshend was sure that the song would be their first number one single and was disappointed when it only climbed into the top ten. It has been covered by the likes of Tina Turner, Styx, Marty Stuart and Old Crow Medicine Show and Petra Haden who not only covered the song, but also covered the whole album.

The flip of today’s single is an alternate mix of another Who Sell Out track, “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand,” which is another essential psychedelic Who track. The song describes a woman who is afflicted with hand tremors, but many believe that the song is their second stab at creating a great song about masturbation (following “Pictures Of Lily”) because of the line “What they’ve done to a man, those shaky hands.”

Several versions of the song exist. The album version included an acoustic guitar part with Latin rhythms on it, while a second version trades the acoustic guitar for an electric and features an organ solo courtesy of Al Kooper. The version on the flip of today’s single is a mono version with the electric guitar and without the organ solo.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: September 15th, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #74 – The Who: “I Can See For Miles” b/w “Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands”– Decca 32206 (G8/H8)

45 adapterthewhoicanseeformiles45thewhomaryaneewiththeshakyhands45

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #74 – The Who: “I Can See For Miles” b/w “Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands”– Decca 32206 (G8/H8)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

The Who have several masterpieces in their canon including Tommy, Who’s Next and Quadrophenia. However, one record that doesn’t get name-checked enough when it comes to their greatest masterworks is The Who Sell Out which is by far my all-time favorite of all of their albums.

Back in 1967, The Who managed to do what Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys couldn’t. The Beach Boys’ Smile was meant to create a painterly picture of Americana through music, and inject a broad sense of humor into the music. The Who’s 1967 album, was a quintessentially British album that was injected through and through with humor to burn.

The Who took their British concept one step further by building the album around a fake pirate radio station concept, complete with commercials and public service announcements between each song. The album’s release was met with a flurry of law suits because some of the fake jingles were for real products including Heinz Baked Beans and Odorono Deodorant.

Furthermore, the album cover depicted a photo of each band member advertising a product. Pete Townshend is shown applying Odorono Deodorant to his underarm, Roger Daltrey is shown sitting in a bathtub full of Heinz Baked Beans, Keith Moon is shown putting Medac zit cream on his face and John Entwistle is shown with a woman flexing his muscles and holding a teddy bear depicting the album’s Charles Atlas jingle. British first pressings of the album came with a psychedelic poster of a butterfly which was originally considered for the album’s cover art. Copies of the album with the poster sell for thousands of dollars on eBay.

The album includes the single “I Can See For Miles” which is today’s jukebox classic, and along with “Pictures Of Lily,” is amongst The Who’s very best singles. The song was written by Pete Townshend and remains the group’s biggest hit reaching #9 on the U.S. singles chart. The track was recorded in both England and the U.S., and the single version differs from the album version featuring an overdubbed second bass track.

The song was said to inspire Paul McCartney who read a review of “I Can See For Miles” that claimed it was one of the heaviest songs ever released. Not being the type to be one-upped, McCartney set out to write an even heavier song (even though he hadn’t heard “Miles”) resulting in “Helter Skelter.”

The song features a one-note guitar solo that was a reaction to the arrival of Jimi Hendrix on the scene. Townshend believed that he couldn’t possibly complete with the American axe man, so why bother trying. While the record was The Who’s best showing on the charts, Townshend was sure that the song would be their first number one single and was disappointed when it only climbed into the top ten. It has been covered by the likes of Tina Turner, Styx, Marty Stuart and Old Crow Medicine Show and Petra Haden who not only covered the song, but also covered the whole album a capella.

The flip of today’s single is an alternate mix of another Who Sell Out track, “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands,” which is another essential psychedelic Who track. The song describes a woman who is afflicted with hand tremors, but many believe that the song is their second stab at creating a great song about masturbation (following “Pictures Of Lily”) because of the line “What they’ve done to a man, those shaky hands.”

Several versions of the song exist. The album version included an acoustic guitar part with a rhythmic percussion track, while a second version trades the acoustic guitar for an electric and features an organ solo courtesy of Al Kooper. The version on the flip of today’s single is a mono version with the electric guitar and without the organ solo.

Edited: February 9th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 10/20/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “I’m The Face” by The High Numbers

The Who formed out of the ashes of two bands. Pete Townshend and John Entwistle had a Dixieland Jazz band called The Confederates while Roger Daltry had a blues band called The Detours. One day, Daltry saw Entwistle walking down the street with his bass and asked him to join The Detours. Entwistle joined and brought Townshend along with him. By 1964, and the addition of Keith Moon on drums, the quartet began calling themselves The Who. But for a brief period in 1964, they changed their name to The High Numbers and released their first single aimed at the burgeoning British Mod scene featuring “Zoot Suit” as the A-side and “I’m The Face” on the B-side. “Face” was written by then-manager Peter Meaden and is a total rip of Slim Harpo’s “Got Love If You Want It.” Listening to it now, you can hear how the band’s sound that they termed “Maximum R’n’B” was already fully-formed and wholly their own. Shortly after the single bombed, the band changed their name back to The Who and began to write their own material at the insistence of their new manager, Kit Lambert, who wisely began molding them after The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. But with Keith Moon as their not-so-secret weapon, The Who stood tall amongst their peers, and far above all of the rest in the music scene of the early 1960s.

Edited: October 19th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/24/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “I’ve Had Enough” by Pete Townshend

One of the gems I picked up on Record Store Day last weekend was the second volume of “Quadrophenia” demos by Pete Townshend pressed on 10″ vinyl. (The first volume was released last November on Black Friday Record Store Day.) Last year, The Who released a deluxe “Quadrophenia” CD box set that featured the whole two record set in demo form as bonus tracks. The demos illustrate Townshend’s creative process of pretty much having everything figured out ahead of time before he presented the songs to the band. The arrangements are all there in demo form with Townshend handling all instruments, overdubs and vocals. While Roger Daltry was a more dramatic vocalist, Entwistle the definitive anchor to the band and Moon a far more exciting drummer, Townshend holds his own on these recordings and really could have released them as a solo record. As far as the album is concerned, “Quadrophenia” was Townshend’s last real credible musical statement. Sure “Who By Numbers” and “Who Are You” are good albums, but they are patchy collections of songs without a defining theme. Most of his solo records, barring “Empty Glass” are pretty uneven with “The Iron Man” being the low point of his career. I also feel “Quadrophenia” is a far more consistent and developed collection compared to “Tommy,” Townshend’s other epic musical statement.

Edited: April 23rd, 2012

Song Of The Day – 8/21/11

Song Of The Day – “Run Run Run” by The Who

Back when Pete Townshend and company had credibility. Their “A Quick One” album is still killer 45 years later and when played today it still sounds fresh. It’s a shame about Keith and The Ox…it’s more a shame for what they left behind with their faux reunion tours. Does anyone really care about “The Two” anymore?

Edited: August 21st, 2011

Song Of The Day – 8/19/11

Song Of The Day – “Save It For Later” by Pete Townshend

I don’t really like Pete Townshend anymore. Too many Who (or is that “Two”) reunions and self-important concepts (“Iron Man”) have muddied the waters for me over time. But there was a time when he was the essence of rock ‘n’ roll. Here’s Petie basking in the ever dimming light of relevance with a great cover of an English Beat classic. Sadly…it was all downhill from here.

Edited: August 19th, 2011