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A Quick One CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 April 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Polydor Group
  • ASIN: B00008PRR9
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,221 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Run Run Run
  2. Boris The Spider
  3. I Need You
  4. Whiskey Man
  5. Heat Wave
  6. Cobwebs And Strange
  7. Don't Look Away
  8. See My Way
  9. So Sad About Us
  10. A Quick One, While He's Away
  11. Batman
  12. Bucket T
  13. Barbara Ann
  14. Disguises
  15. Doctor, Doctor
  16. I've Been Away
  17. In The City
  18. Happy Jack
  19. Man With Money
  20. My Generation / Land Of Hope And Glory

Product Description

Product Description


BBC Review

As an albums band, the Who didn't peak until the early Seventies. Their mid-Sixties offerings, A Quick One and Sell Out, are both charming examples of a band shaking off their Mod image.

Before the band began recording A Quick One, their co-manager, Chris Stamp, negotiated a deal providing each member with an advance of £500, on condition they all contributed songs to the album (in 1966 this was a small fortune for any 21-year-old: Roger Daltrey splashed out on a Saint-style Volvo). And so this variety showcase includes Keith Moon's humorous ''Cobwebs and Strange'', a wonky marching tune complete with orchestral cymbals, trumpets and sousaphone, and ''I Need You'', during which Moon lapses into a John Lennon impersonation. Daltrey pays tribute to Buddy Holly on the forgettable ''See My Way''. John Entwistle throws in a couple of songs about whisky and spiders. His creepy ditty ''Boris the Spider'' remained an audience favourite for years.

The highlight on this album, however, is Pete Townshends sprawling title track, originally the albums closing number. Its almost ten minutes long: extraordinary, in the days of three-minute throwaways. Not even the Beatles had recorded anything as long. The reason for this is less artistic bravado than plain pragmatism. After the band had cut the available tracks for the album, Townshend, always the primary composer within the group, was requested to fill the remaining minutes to push the running time over half an hour. ''A Quick One While He's Away'' is Townshend's first attempt at a rock opera, perhaps the first in pop music. It's a suite of six episodes, comprising a simple tale of an unfaithful wife who has a quick leg-over with a lover called Ivor and is happily absolved by her husband. Each is a self-contained song, the whole spliced together in much the same way as Abbey Road's long medley would be, three years later. This was an audacious concept in 1966 and, although the track now sounds clunky and awkward, its fascinating to hear Townshend setting out on the path that would eventually lead to Tommy and Quadrophenia.

There are no hit singles here, although included on this reissue is a terrific acoustic version of ''Happy Jack'', their hit from late 1966. The other bonus tracks pick up songs originally found on the Ready Steady Who! EP: a rollicking version of the Batman theme and a couple of ill-advised surfing throwbacks, Jan and Dean's "Bucket T" and a harmonious version of the Regents' 1961 hit "Barbara Ann". A Quick One is the sound of four young lads having fun: slipping into boutique clothes to see what fits and what looks sharp. Above all, this is a fascinating glimpse into a time when pop bands were given free reign to try virtually anything. --Rob Webb

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In 1995, the Who's 1st LP for the Reaction label, A Quick One, from 1966, was remastered, remixed in analogue and re-issued in the UK by Polydor (527 758-2), complete with 10 extra tracks and a colour booklet with extensive notes.

A Quick One, featuring a cover by the very fashionable Pop Art graphic artist Alan Aldridge, showed that the Who had developed a unique sound and style of their own. Gone was the profusion of cover versions as found on My Generation, their first album, with all members of the band contributing to the composer credits. Only one cover, Martha and the Vandellas' Heatwave, in an arrangement from an Everly Brothers album, made the final tracklisting (an earlier version had been dropped from the My Generation album, and in America even this new version was replaced by the hit single Happy Jack).

A Quick One lacked the wild savagery soundwise of the first album, but still had all the elements of it including Keith Moon's powerhouse drumming and chaotic creative energy, as showcased on the well-named instrumental Cobwebs And Strange. The songs were in the main light-hearted and enjoyably immature, John Entwistle's Boris The Spider and Whiskey Man in particular showed a unique humour. Pete Townshend's songwriting talents continued to develop. The album opened with his thunderous Run, Run Run, a song that had earlier been given to The Cat to record on a single produced by Pete Townshend. Along the way came So Sad About Us, later to be covered by the Breeders and the Jam (who also revived the Who's version of Heatwave). The album finale was the ten-minute mini-opera A Quick One (While He's Away), which set in motion a whole new direction for his talents, and led, of course, to Tommy.
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Format: Audio CD
It's a shame that when a band produces a number of great albums that some of their lesser known albums fall by the wayside. This is certainly one of those. It's not that this is their best (but by no means their worst), but it deserves more exposure than it gets.
John Entwistle's greatest song is here for a start, the arachnophobic 'Boris the Spider'. He was apparently stuck for material to write about, and noticed a spider...the rest is history! There is also the best song that Keith Moon's name was put to - the insanely twisted 'Cobwebs and Strange' that could only have come from the head of someone like Keith Moon. It feels like Pete Townsend took a backseat in the songwriting department here, as there's also a rare contribution from Roger Daltrey, and the bonus tracks are covers versions that appeared on the b-sides of singles.
Pete Townsend's outstanding contribution here though is 'A Quick One While He's Away'. It's the first of his 'rock operas', but it stands in the shadows of the overrated 'Tommy' and the excellent 'Quadrophenia'.
This album sits well alongside the classics 'The Who Sell Out', 'Tommy', 'Live at Leeds', 'Who's Next' and 'Quadrophenia', and is certainly better than any of the albums not mentioned above.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This review is specifically for the 1995 MCA CD release. The songs themselves are a mixed bag. The title track is their first stab at an extended, ahem, "rock opera" and doesn't quite click performance-wise or production-wise (the definitive version was captured in late 1968 at the Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus) but is still of immense interest and naive charm. Other material ranges from the mod pop of "So Sad About Us" to the macabre musings of John Entwistle - "Boris the Spider" & "Whiskey Man" - to Keith Moon's loon-about "Cobwebs and Strange". Definitely not The Who's best album ("Sell Out" for this reviewer) but a worthy and entertaining disc, which the bonus material emphasizes.

However, this 1995 version is baffling aurally. The mixes are both mono and stereo with no apparent rhyme or reason in the running order. The mastering itself is adequate except in the case of "I Need You", which finds the cymbals running amok sonically. They're loud and tinny. I am always skipping this track, which I do not have to do on earlier versions of this CD (both the 1988 Polydor and MCA versions for example).
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Format: Audio CD
This is probably the least well known of their 60s output but its by no means a mediocre or filler album by any stretch. Theres some killer Who cuts here such as Run Run Run, So Sad About Us and the ambitious title track itself. Elsewhere, the Who's eccentric side comes to the fore with two John Entwistle numbers Whiskey Man & Boris the Spider. Even Keith Moon gets on the writing credits with I Need You and Cobwebs & Strange. Roger Daltrey contributes with a Buddy Holly style track See My Way and Townshend's knack for a catchy pop song in Don't Look Away make this a very enjoyable set. My only gripe with this re-issue is with the bonus material. The compilers didn't include the full Ready Steady Who EP and missed out the best track from it, Circles. However, I'm not sure whether that was down to a space issue on the cd itself or a possible license problem with the ownership of the track - it was at the centre of a row between the Who and their original producer Shel Talmy back in the early months of 1966. Its definitely worth buying but personally, I would love to see this album given the deluxe treatment the other two early Who albums received recently. They could issue a second disc of the original mono album mix and this time include Circles as well along with the alternate version of I'm A Boy first heard on Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy plus any other off-cuts, alternate takes, demos etc. In fact see The Who Sell Out's deluxe edition for a great example!
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