Today’s album is “A Quick One” by The Who. It will become obvious through this blog that I am a big fan of The Who, but I have no hesitation in saying this album is not my favorite. A quirky collection of odd songs, many of which were covers or written by other members of the band besides their primary songwriter Pete Townshend, this album is frankly a bit of a hot mess in my opinion.
One of the most notable segments is the infamous “mini-opera”, “A Quick One, While He’s Away”, a nine-minute connected story of mini-songs about lost female love, who falls under the romantic/sexual prey of Ivor the Engine Driver. She ultimately confesses her moment of straying, and is forgiven by her true love. It is an interesting piece and comes across better in a live setting, but it still is a far cry from their more ambitious story-telling musical pieces to follow.
I like their cover of “Heat Wave” by Motown legends Martha and the Vandellas, and although it is a bit odd during the musical break, I also appreciate their version of “Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys, featuring drummer Keith Moon on lead falsetto vocals. Frankly though, the most passible other songs are the Townshend numbers, and the rest of the album, featuring contributions by Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon and John Entwistle’s unusual “Boris The Spider”, which would follow the band throughout their career, fall way short of the capabilities of this great band.
A lesson I learned today… if you want to introduce someone to The Who, don’t start with this album as you may not win them back. Better days ahead!