Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes simple is best, 2 Nov. 2006
This review is from: A Quick One (Audio CD)
Like all the bands who survived from the mid-1960s into the 1970s, The Who's output roughly divides into two eras, one of exciting R&B, the other of the more sophisticated and ambitious rock. Though they were always ambitious musically, it's their latter era work that tends to gain most of the plaudits. The Who, though, are at their best when they simply throw off the shackles and go for it. Hence, 'A Quick One', their last work before they began to 'grow up', is both vibrant and ingenious.

This album is full of catchy tunes and adrenalin, yet it still unleashes a few surprises. The hard-driving 'Run Run Run' sets the standard, complete with winning harmonies. 'Boris The Spider', which contains the wonderful punchline, 'He's embedded in the ground', is unforgettable. 'Cobwebs And Strange' is a nutty, anarchic, brassy mixture from the mind of Keith Moon. Of the other short songs, 'Don't Look Away' and 'So Sad About Us' are probably the best. The nine-minute title track is the genesis of Pete Townshend's rock opera ambitions. Though it comes across as a medley rather than a seamless whole, I find this much more enjoyable than the 'Rael' opus from the following album. The bonuses are mostly worthwhile and some feature Moon's surf influence.

'A Quick One', far from being a makeweight in the Who catalogue, is one of their best albums. My only preferred Who album is 'Who's Next', another work that is basically just a song collection. In 1966, many artists took a leap forward and used their own imaginations rather than continue to rely on outside material. 'A Quick One' is an essential part of that.
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