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  #261  
Old 22nd October 2020, 12:57 PM
Susan Foreman's Avatar
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Album #6:
Who's Next

After the Mod album, the experimental album, the themed concept album, the narrative concept album and the live album, 'Who's Next' is the bands progressive rock album

'Who's Next, which was their only release to reached the top of the UK album charts, is considered by many to be not only the best album the band ever released, but also one of the finest rock albums of all time, and there is some merit to this. It's certainly the most consistent thing they recorded in terms of quality songs - there isn't a bad one amongst them - and it introduced an important new element into the groups overall sound: the synthesizer. More importantly, The Who were now at their creative peak, both as individual musicians and as a band. On stage they regularly performed with breathtaking panache, their confidence was at an all-time high, and their status as one of the world's great rock acts was secured for eternity

'Who's Next' started life as another one of Pete's concepts, this time a science fiction movie / musical / multimedia production called 'Lifehouse', which contained enough songs for a double album. However, the project became bogged down in its futuristic, philosophical complexities, and was eventually reduced to a single LP and no film

The concept of 'Lifehouse' is long and bewildering, and the random nature of the songs on 'Who's Next' gives little clue to the storyline. In view of what the album eventually became, there is little point in trying to explain it here, but among the many ideals was Pete's design for the band to become one with the audience, and to break down the barrier that exists between concertgoers and artists. U2 have been grappling with a similar idea throughout their career!

There are two main things that make 'Who's Next' different to any of the bands previous albums. The first is the clarity of sound that was achieved by producer Glyn Johns who was much more technically adept than Kit Lambert was. The second, as already mentioned, was the introduction of synthesizers into the bands sound, most notably on 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Won't Get Fooled Again' which top and tail the (original) release. Unlike so many of his unimaginative peers, Pete didn't use his synth simply as a solo keyboard that would make funny noises, but as a rotating musical loop which underpinned the melody and added a sharp bite to the rhythm track. The style on offer here, in fact, is the first appearance on a rock record of the repetitive electronic sequencing that was so common on the pop and dance music of the 90's

There were other leaps forward as well. Pete's songwriting showed a sustained level of brilliance that he would never achieve again (although he would come close on the 'Quadrophenia' album). John's bass lines were more melodic, but as fluid as ever, and Keith managed to reign in his wilder antics while maintaining his usual key expressive role. But the biggest triumph belonged to Roger. The experience of 'Tommy' has boosted him confidence as a vocalist immeasurably, and it shows here

The front cover of the album is a photo that was taken at Easington Colliery in County Durham, featuring the band standing next to a large concrete monolith, apparently just having had a wee-wee against it! apparently, only Pete's was genuine - the rest 'couldn't perform' and had to make do with some water poured from a bottle


The rear cover featured the band backstage at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, amongst a debris of furniture


Other suggestions for the cover included the group urinating against a Marshall Stack; an overweight nude woman with the bands faces in place of her genitalia; and Keith dressed in lingerie and a wig, holding a whip


Thirty seconds of spiraling solo synthesizer, excessively long for any intro, opens the album and one of the most memorable tracks ever recorded. 'Baba O'Riley', originally titled 'Teenage Wasteland', is a tribute to both Meher Baba, Pete's spiritual guide, and Terry O'Riley, the electronic composer whose work 'A Rainbow In Curved Air' inspired the use of looping synth riffs. After forty seconds, a piano joins the mix, followed by vocals, drums, bass and eventually guitar join in, but it's the cut-and-thrust between Roger's leonine roar and Pete's tuneful pleading that gives the song it's tension and best moments, although the free-form ending, featuring Dave Arbus (from the band East Of Eden) on violin and Keith, playing as fast as he's ever played, is quite mesmerizing

The song, the starting point for Pete's imaginary generation in their search to find Nirvana, is a timeless Who entity in Roger's hands, and the downright disgust at the way things have turned out (post Woodstock) was never best expressed in rock and roll

The explanation of how the synth loop came about is fascinating:

Pete:
"This was a number I wrote while I was doing these experiments with tapes on the synthesizer. Among my plans was to take a member of the audience and feed information - height, weight, autobiographical details - about this person into the synthesizer. The synth would then select notes from the pattern of that person. It would be like translating a person into music. On this particular track, I programmed details about the life of Meher Baba and that provided the backing for the number"

"Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven

Don't cry
Don't raise your eye
It's only teenage wasteland

Sally ,take my hand
Travel south crossland
Put out the fire
Don't look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let's get together
Before we get much older

Teenage wasteland
It's only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
Oh, oh
Teenage wasteland
They're all wasted!"


'Bargain', which stands alongside any of the best songs on the album, is about the search for personal identity amid a sea of conformity, although lyrics like "I know I'm worth nothing without you" suggest that once again, this is about Baba - especially when the verse is sang by Pete and not Roger

Although there is a low-key synth in the background, 'Bargain' shows off The Who's ensemble playing at its very best. Block chords abound, there's a terrific guitar solo, bass lines pop and crackle and Keith's drumming gives the song a rhythmic foundation that lifts the song right out of your speakers

The main guitar that Pete used for the song was a vintage Gretsch which he had been given by Joe Walsh from The Eagles


"I'd gladly lose me to find you
I'd gladly give up all I had
To find you I'd suffer anything and be glad

I'd pay any price just to get you
I'd work all my life and I will
To win you I'd stand naked, stoned and stabbed

I'd call that a bargain
The best I ever had
The best I ever had

I'd gladly lose me to find you
I'd gladly give up all I got
To catch you I'm gonna run and never stop

I'd pay any price just to win you
Surrender my good life for bad
To find you I'm gonna drown an unsung man

I'd call that a bargain
The best I ever had
The best I ever had

I sit looking 'round
I look at my face inm the mirror
I know I'm worth nothing without you
And like one and one don't make two
One and one make one
And I'm looking for that free ride to me
I'm looking for you

I'd gladly lose me to find you
I'd gladly give up all I got
To catch you I'm gonna run and never stop

I'd pay any price just to win you
Surrender my good life for bad
To find you I'm gonna drown an unsung man

I'd call that a bargain
The best I ever had
The best I ever had"
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  #262  
Old 24th October 2020, 02:54 PM
Susan Foreman's Avatar
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Seriously upfront acoustic guitars feature strongly throughout 'Love Ain't For Keeping', one of the slighter (and shorter) songs on the album, but the bouncy tempo, which is relatively simple compared with the other songs, and understated synth holds this together well

The song was used to open The Who's live shows throughout this period


"Layin' on my back
In the newly mown grass
Rain is coming down
But I know the clouds will pass
You bring me tea
Say "the babe's a-sleepin'"
Lay down beside me
Love ain't for keeping

Black ash from the foundry
Hangs like a hood
But the air is perfumed
By the burning firewood
The seeds are bursting
The spring is seeping
Lay down beside me
Love ain't for keeping
Lay down beside me
Love ain't for keeping

Lay down beside me
Love ain't for keeping
Lay down my darling
Love ain't for keeping"


'My Wife' is John's contribution to the album. Arguably it's the best thing he ever wrote for the band, it this song provided them with a terrific stage rocker, complete with the kind of block chords that Pete loved to play, while windmilling!

John wrote the song after a fight with his wife. Apparently he took his dogs for a walk in the woods afterwards, and wrote the song in his head. He said his wife took it good-naturedly and tried to talk him into letting her make a guest appearance on stage wielding a rolling pin, but this never happened!

Although this version is no slouch, John wasn't satisfied with the sound, so he re-recorded it for his third solo album 'Rigor Mortis Sets In' in 1973

This was John's vocal performance the first time I saw the band live


"My life's in jeopardy
Murdered in cold blood is what I'm gonna be
I ain't been home since Friday night
And now my wife is coming after me

Give me police protection
Gonna buy a gun so
I can look after number one
Give me a bodyguard
A back belt Judo expert with a machine gun

Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane
When she catches up with me
Won't be no time to explain
She thinks I've been with another woman
And that's enough to send her half insane
Gonna buy a fast car
Put on my lead boots
And take a long, long drive
I may end up spending all my money
But I'll still be alive

All I did was have a bit too much to drink
And I picked the wrong precinct
Got picked up by the law
And now I ain't got time to think

Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane
When she catches up with me
Won't be no time to explain
She thinks I've been with another woman
And that's enough to send her half insane
Gonna buy a fast car
Put on my lead boots
And take a long, long drive
I may end up spending all my money
But I'll still be alive

And I'm oh so tired of running
Gonna lay down on the floor
I gotta rest some time so
I can get to run some more

She's comin'!
She's comin'!"
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  #263  
Old 25th October 2020, 03:08 PM
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Closing the first side of the album, and intended to be the final song of the 'Lifehouse' film, 'The Song Is Over' is among the most beautiful ballads that Pete has ever written. Once again, it highlights the contrasting voices of Roger and Pete as well as some lovely piano work from session musician Nicky Hopkins. A very complex song which was never played live, the closing passages are enhanced by an almost subliminal top-of-the-scale synth harmonic line which traces the melody with a marvelous undulating counterpoint.

It's only by listening to these songs that the real potential of 'Lifehouse', at least from a musical point of view, can be appreciated. A rock opera, or at least a cycle of songs build around tunes as strong as this would surely have been the rock masterpiece to end all rock masterpieces. Sadly, when it failed to materialise in the way he had envisioned it, Pete's disillusionment led to his first nervous breakdown and almost broke up the band


"The song is over
It's all behind me
I should have known it
She tried to find me

Our love is over
They're all ahead now
I've got to learn it
I've got to sing out

chorus:
I'll sing my song to the wide open spaces
I'll sing my heart out to the infinite sea
I'll sing my visions to the sky high mountains
I'll sing my song to the free, to the free
I'll sing my song to the wide open spaces
I'll sing my heart out to the infinite sea
I'll sing my visions to the sky high mountains
I'll sing my song to the free, to the free

When I walked in through the door
Thought it was me I was looking for
She was the first song I ever sang
But it stopped as soon as it began

Our love is over
It's all behind me
They're all ahead now
Can't hope to find me

(chorus)

This song is over
I'm left with only tears
I must remember
Even if it takes a million years

The song is over
The song is over

Searchin' for a note, pure and easy
Playing so free, like a breath rippling by"


'Getting In Tune', which opens the second side of the album, uses the time honoured tradition of tuning up before a show as an allegory for creating harmony between disparate societies. This is another dynamic rocker - maybe not as breathtaking as others on the record, but certainly no slouch either. Like the previous song, this features Roger at his absolute best


"I'm singing this note 'cause it fits in well
With the chords I'm playing
I can't pretend there's any meaning here
Or in the things I'm saying

But I'm in tune
Right in tune
I'm in tune
And I'm gonna tune
Right in on you
Right in on you
Right in on you

I get a little tired of having to say
"Do you come here often?"
But when I look in your eyes and see the harmonies
And the heartaches soften

I'm getting in tune
Right in tune
I'm in tune
And I'm gonna tune
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you

I've got it all here in my head
There's nothing more needs to be said
I'm just bangin' on my old piano
I'm getting in tune with the straight and narrow
(Getting in tune with the straight and narrow)
Getting in tune with the straight and narrow
(Getting in tune with the straight and narrow)
Yeah, I'm getting in tune with the straight and narrow
(Getting in tune with the straight and narrow)

I'm singing this note 'cause it fits in well
With the way I'm feeling
There's a symphony that I hear in your heart
Sets my head a-reeling

But I'm in tune
Right in tune
I'm in tune
And I'm gonna tune
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you (right in on you)
Right in on you

Baby, with you
Baby, with you
Baby, with you
Baby, with you
Baby, with you

I've got it all here in my head
There's nothing more needs to be said
I'm just bangin' on my old piano
I'm getting in tune with the straight and narrow

Getting in tune with the straight and narrow (repeat)"


With its rolling, appropriately 'mobile' rhythm and absence of harsh chords, 'Going Mobile' might lack the grandeur of many of the other tracks on the album, but it's a witty and worthy contender nevertheless. A travelogue song with vocals by Pete about the joys of driving around the country gypsy-style in a holiday home. Lines about hippy gypsies are particularly apt in this age of 'new age travellers'!

Apart from the tricky little acoustic rhythm sequence, the song is also noted for the guitar solo, in which Pete wired his electric through a device similar to a wah-wah pedal called an 'envelope follower' which results in a sound like the instrument is being played underwater!


"I'm goin' home
And when I wanna go home
I'm goin' mobile
Well, I'm gonna find a home
And we'll see how it feels
Goin' mobile
Keep me movin'

I can pull up by the curb
I can make it on the road
Goin' mobile
I can stop in any street
And talk with people that we meet
Goin' mobile
Keep me movin'

Out in the woods
Or in the city
It's all the same to me
When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home
When I'm mobile

Hee, hoo!
beep beep!

Play the tape machine
Make the toast and tea
When I'm mobile
Well I can lay in bed
With only highway ahead
When I'm mobile
Keep me movin'

Keep me movin'
Over 50
Keep me groovin'
Just a hippie gypsy

Come on move now
Movin'
Keep me movin', yeah

Keep me movin', groovin', groovin', yeah
Movin', Yeah
Mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile, ...

I don't care about pollution
I'm an air-conditioned gypsy
That's my solution
Watch the police and the tax man miss me
I'm mobile
Oooooh, yeah, hee!

Mobile, mobile, mobile yeah"
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  #264  
Old 25th October 2020, 09:04 PM
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Why is there new compilation album so cheap....?
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  #265  
Old 26th October 2020, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector Abberline View Post
Why is there new compilation album so cheap....?
i would say that it is to do with the record label - Spectrum Music - which seems to be a cheap and cheerful label. In fact, most of the cheap compilation albums in the supermarkets appear to be on the UMC label which is, I would say, a subsidiary of Spectrum
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  #266  
Old 26th October 2020, 11:17 AM
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Opening with one of the prettiest melodies Pete has ever written, 'Behind Blue Eyes' rightly became an instant Who classic. A crystal clear acoustic guitar, Roger at his most melodic best and a fluid bass line are used for the first verse. Velvety three part harmonies join in for the second, and then finally Keith joins in to give the song its third and final dimension. The faster central passages - a plea to the creator for confidence and assistance in times of distress - contain some of the most moving lyrics the band have ever used before the band revert back to the gentle opening lines

'Behind Blue Eyes' was intended to be the main song in the film version of 'Lifehouse'. Its origins come from an event that occurred after a concert the band played in Denver in June 1970. Pete was almost tempted by a groupie, so he went back to his room alone and wrote a prayer beginning, "if my fist clenches, crack it open..."

The Who always had fun 'banishing' Keith from the stage for the beginning of this song. At one show, Pete said they had always had a problem doing good harmonies until they found the problem, and Keith slunk off. Of course he would sneak back on stage to take up his position at his kit ready to come in when needed for the last half of the song


"No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes"


In stark contrast to the gentleness of 'Blue Eyes', a shrill electronic synth riff opens 'Won;t Get Fooled Again'. If there is a key song on 'Whos Next', it is this lengthy call to arms which became the traditional closing song of the main set for most subsequent Who concerts. Based on a clattering synth riff that locks the group into a tight rhythmic performance, 'Fooled Again' is classic mid-period Who at their very best. Pete's block chords firmly in place, John swooping up and down his bass, Roger singing his heart out and Keith an almighty presence - albeit one that is more disciplined than normal due to the inflexibility of the song

With lyrics that address the futility of revolution when the conqueror is likely to become as corrupt as the conquered, the song inspires many a clenched fist, especially when Roger came careering in at the end of the long instrumental passage declaiming the 'bosses' and inciting the kind of scenes that left The Bastille in ruins!

The scream before the final verse is one of the most volatile vocal eruptions ever recorded!

Pete:
"It's really a bit of a weird song. The first verse sounds like a revolution song and the second is like someone getting tired of it. It's an angry anti-establishment song. It's anti people who are negative. A song against the revolution because a revolution is only a revolution and a revolution is not going to change anything at all in the long run, and a lot of people are just going to get hurt."
Released as a single, the song was hideously edited with numerous, jarring cuts reducing the album track length of 8:33 to a pathetic 3.37, but at least the band appeared on 'Top Of The pops' to perform it


"We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
No, no!

I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
Though I know that the hypnotized never lie
Do ya?

There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss"
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  #267  
Old 27th October 2020, 11:16 AM
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In 2003, an expanded deluxe edition of 'Who's Next' was released

The first CD contained the original nine songs, and an additional six tracks which were new songs, alternate versions and outtakes:

Baby Don't You Do It was a cover of a song originally recorded by Marvin Gaye
An alternate version of Getting in Tune
Pure and Easy which really should have appeared on the original release album
An alternate electric version of Love Ain't for Keeping with vocals by Pete
An alternate version of Behind Blue Eyes
An alternate version of Won't Get Fooled Again with a different synth pattern and structure and missing *the* scream

The second disc contained a live concert from the the Young Vic Theatre recorded on April 26th, 1971 when the band were still rehearsing the 'Lifehouse' project

The track listing is:
Love Ain't for Keeping
Pure and Easy
Young Man Blues
Time Is Passing
Behind Blue Eyes
I Don't Even Know Myself
Too Much of Anything
Getting in Tune
Bargain
Water
My Generation
Road Runner
Naked Eye
Won't Get Fooled Again

The full show at the Young Vic contained the following setlist with the highlighted songs that were omitted from the CD:
  • Love Ain't for Keepin'
  • Pure and Easy
  • Young Man Blues
  • Time Is Passing
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • I Don't Even Know Myself
  • Too Much of Anything
  • Getting in Tune
  • Bargain
  • Pinball Wizard
  • See Me, Feel Me
  • Baby Don't You Do It
  • Water
  • My Generation
  • Road Runner
  • Naked Eye
  • Bony Moronie
  • Won't Get Fooled Again

Meanwhile, this is the standard setlist for the 'Who's Next Tour', as played at the Southampton Gaumont on October 18, 1971
  • I Can't Explain
  • Substitute
  • Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran cover)
  • My Wife
  • Baba O'Riley
  • Bargain
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Won't Get Fooled Again
  • Baby Don't You Do It (Marvin Gaye cover)
  • Magic Bus
  • Overture
  • Amazing Journey
  • Sparks
  • Pinball Wizard
  • See Me, Feel Me
  • My Generation
  • Naked Eye
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  #268  
Old 30th October 2020, 11:36 AM
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On October 30th, 1971 (49 years ago today), The Who released their second compilation album - 'Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy'

The album's original title was 'The Who Looks Back', and the front cover was meant to illustrate that. Of course the children are not The Who, but rather four kids rounded up in 1971 and dressed to look like the young Who. One of them is Who manager Bill Curbishley's brother Paul


The panoramic photograph which is featured on the inside cover of the original gatefold release is an exterior shot of the side of the Railway Hotel in north-west London. This music venue was run by Pete's friend Richard Barnes, and was a major Mod hangout. Starting on Tuesday Nights in June 1964, soon after Keith Moon joined the band, The Who became regulars there. Pete accidentally cracked his guitar neck on the low ceiling and in reaction to laughs from the crowd, smashed his guitar for the first time


The back cover mirrored the front cover


The first editions included a sheet of liner notes


The U.K. release was held up because The Who and Bill Curbishley had failed to clear it with manager Kit Lambert. He tried to have the order of tracks changed but failed because too many copies had been pressed. The LP reached #9 in the U.K. charts on December 3rd 1971. It was released in the U.S. on November 20th, 1971, and it would reach #11 on the Billboard charts.

Track listing:

Side one
  • I Can't Explain
  • The Kids Are Alright
  • Happy Jack
  • I Can See for Miles
  • Pictures of Lily
  • My Generation
  • The Seeker

Side two
  • Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
  • Pinball Wizard
  • A Legal Matter
  • Boris the Spider
  • Magic Bus (extended version)
  • Substitute
  • I'm a Boy (extended version)
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  #269  
Old 2nd November 2020, 11:08 AM
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Released as a single in October 1971, 'Lets See Action' is another call to arms, and an uncharacteristic song from the band. The song, which is overlong, has a folk music feel, and a trilling piano carries the slight and rather laborious melody to the end. However, the contrast between Roger's determined vocals and Pete's more introspective voice is both assured and reassuring

The song wasn't a hit - it only reached no. 16 in the UK chart - but the band hadn't lost their way. Pete was experimenting in order to avoid becoming stagnant


"Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's see freedom, let's see who cares,
Take me with you when you leave me
And my shell behind us there.

I have learned it, known who burned me,
Avatar has warmed my feet,
Take me with you, let me see you,
Time and life can meet.

Nothing is everything, everything is, nothing is,
Please the people, audiences,
Break the fences,
Nothing is.

Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's see freedom up in the air,
Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's be free, let's see who cares.

Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's see freedom up in the air,
Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's be free, let's see who cares.

Give me a drink boy, wash my feet,
I'm so tired of running from my own heat,
Take this package and here's what you do,
Gonna get this information through.

I don't know where I'm going,
I don't know what I need,
But I'll get to where I'm gonna end up,
And that's alright by me.

Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's see freedom up the air,
Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's be free, let's see who cares.

Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's see freedom in the air,
Let's see action, let's see people,
Let's be free, let's see who cares.

Nothing is everything, everything is nothing."


The B-side to the single was 'When I Was a Boy', which was written and sung by John. A tastefully arranged brass band sets the scene for this nostalgic song about growing old and disillusioned. More sincere than usual for The Ox, the song was originally intended for inclusion on the 'Lifehouse' project. Definitely one of John's better tracks, but the production here could have been better


"When I was a baby I hadn't a care in the world,
But now I'm a man, my troubles fill my head,
When I was five it was good to be alive,
But now I'm a man, I wish that I were dead.

My how time rushes by,
The moment you're born you start to die,
Time waits for no man,
And your life's spent, it's over before you begin.

As I sit here at my window,
My life comes back to me,
It's been so long since the good days,
It's been so long.

And I count up all the wasted years,
The hopes and the fears,
The laughs and the tears,
And I wonder, I wonder, I wonder what went wrong.

When I was a boy I had the mind of a boy,
But now I'm a man, ain't got no mind at all,
When I was in my teens I had my share of dreams,
But now I'm a man, ain't got no dreams at all.

My how time rushes by,
The moment you're born you start to die,
Time waits for no man,
And your life's spent, it's over before you begin.

As I sit here at my window,
My life comes back to me,
It's been so long since the good days,
It's been so long.

And I count up all the wasted years,
The hopes and the fears,
The laughs and the tears,
And I wonder, I wonder, I wonder what went wrong."
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Last edited by Susan Foreman; 2nd November 2020 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 4th November 2020, 04:32 PM
Susan Foreman's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Basil Fawlty country: The English Riviera
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Opening with Roger on the Jews harp and harmonica (or possibly Pete on the synthesizer producing the sound of the Jews harp), 'Join Together' was a key song in the 'Lifehouse' project, expressing Pete's ultimate fantasy of band and audience becoming one

Although - like the companion song 'Let's See Action' - it's rhythms bear little relation to the power chord-style normally projected by The Who, the band play it quite superbly, jostling together with effortless syncopation

The song was released as a single in 1972 and reached no. 9 in the UK chart. When played live, the song was often included in a medley that consisted of 'Join Together / Roadrunner / My Generation Blues'


"When you here this sound a-comin',
Hear the drummers drumming,
I want you to join together with the band,
We don't move in any 'ticular direction,
And we don't make no collections,
I want you to join together with the band.

Do you really think I care,
What you read or what you wear,
I want you to join together with the band,
There's a million ways to laugh,
And every one's a path,
Come on and join together with the band.

Everybody join together, I want you to join together,
Come on and join together with the band,
We need you to join together, come on and join together,
Come on and join together with the band.

You don't have to play,
You can follow or lead the way,
I want you to join together with the band,
We don't know where we're going,
But the season's right for knowing,
I want you to join together with the band.

It's the singer not the song,
That makes the music move along,
I want you to join together with the band,
This is the biggest band you'll find,
It's as deep as it is wide,
Come on and join together with the band,
Hey hey hey hey hey hey, well everybody come on.

Come on and join, join together with the band,
We need you to join together, everybody come on,
Hey hey hey, join together with the band."


The B-side of the single was a live cover of 'Baby, Don't You Do It', originally covered by Marvin Gaye in 1964. The version by The Who was probably recorded in San Fransisco in December 1971 and it's a fierce workout, highlighted by Keith's energetic drumming, Roger's strident vocals and The Who's ability to turn soul into furious rock and roll at the drop of a hat. With the band on the same form that they were on when they recorded the 'Live At Leeds' LP, this cut presents The Who at their live best, playing off each other like no other band at the time did. There's some lovely bass work, and Pete's buzz-saw guitar towards the end is terrific.

During the furious 'head-for-home' climax, Pete, John and Keith play their hears out, with Roger hollering to be heard over the din! Then, just to stress the point, there is a false ending before the band rev it up again!


"Baby don't you do it, don't do it babe
Don't break my heart, don't do it babe
Don't break my heart, please don't do it babe
Don't you break my heart
'Cause I sacrifice to make you happy
Get nothin' for myself
Now you wanna leave me
For the love of someone else
My pride is all gone, whether right or wrong
I believe, baby, you'd better keep on keepin' on
Girl, I try to do my best
Girl, I try to do my best, don't do it babe
Don't break my heart, oh don't do it baby
Don't break my heart

My biggest mistake was lovin' you too much
And lettin' you know
'Cause now you've got me where you want me
And you're gonna let me go
My heart was made glad when you strolled, you see
Heartaches and misery you've been causin' me
Girl, I try to do my best
Girl, I try to do my best
Don't you do it, don't break my heart

Go down to the river and there I'll be
I'm gonna jump in, baby, if you don't see by me
Open up your eyes; can't you see I love you?
Open up your heart; can't you see I need you?
I'm no good without you, can't go on without you
Life's no good without you, what'm I gonna do without you?
Baby don't do it, don't you break my heart
Don't you do it, baby, don't you break my heart
What'm I gonna do without you?
Got to go on, baby
Baby don't you do it"
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