Who – A Legal Matter

The early Who singles were first heard in the UK much more than America. They were really exciting and raw and different from anyone else. I first heard this song on the great compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy. The album was made up of singles and many of them were not heard in America much at all when they were originally released.

It was released both as the B-side to “The Kids Are Alright” in the U.S., and as the A-side of a single that peaked at #32 in the UK in 1965. Both singles were released by Shel Talmy without the permission of the Who and were a result of a legal dispute between Talmy and the band at the time and an attempt to sabotage the release of the band’s chosen single “Substitute”.

This was the first song that Pete Townshend took the lead vocal on.

Pete Townshend on the song: “is about a guy on the run from a chick about to pin him down for breach of contract. What this song was screaming from behind lines like ‘It’s a legal matter, baby, marrying’s no fun/It’s a legal matter, baby, you got me on the run’ was, “I’m lonely, I’m hungry, the bed needs making.’ I wanted a maid, I suppose.”

A Legal Matter

I told you why I changed my mind
I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed
But I’ve freed my head from your garden rails

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

My mind’s lost in a household fog
Wedding gowns and catalogs
Kitchen furnishings and houses
Maternity clothes and baby’s trousers

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
Marryin’s no fun
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

I told you why I changed my mind
I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed
Well, I’ve freed my head from your garden rails

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

You ain’t the first and you ain’t the last
I gain and lose my women fast
I never want to make them cry
I just get bored, don’t ask me why

Just wanna keep doing all the dirty little things I do
And not work all day in an office just to bring my money back to you
Sorry, baby

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

28 thoughts on “Who – A Legal Matter”

    1. That many songs is a career to some bands…Some of those bands must have recorded a lot more than we think.
      The album is a great concept

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had the Who Hooligans compilation but when I got this one…out of ignorance I thought it was a studio album…I thought this must be one of the best albums ever! Then I started to read about it and realized…duh….but it is one my favorites also.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know some people who do…it depends on what the song calls for…for me. Lets take Won’t Get Fooled Again…Pete would sound good but not with the power that Daltry brought….but I love Goin’ Mobile and the others Pete would sing.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’be never really got into The Who. Just never really clicked with me. Certainly when it comes to albums. I always considered them more of a great singles band and I think Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy really confirmed that for me (I heard it for the first time a few years ago not knowing it was a compilation… a pal pointed out that’s probably why I liked it).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of those singles that were not really introduced in America at the time…the early ones are experimental with feedback and twidling knobs.
      As far as albums…I do like Who’s Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia, and The Who Sell Out. The odd thing is…they never had a number 1

      Like

      1. Agree. There’s no doubt Roger is the more powerful vocalist. Another tune that comes to my mind is “Love, Reign o’er Me.” There’s just no way Townshend could sing that. Still, it’s always nice to hear Pete on lead vocals every now and then!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yea…that is a great example. I do like to hear him sing some but the song is usually changed to fit his voice of course.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Led Zeppelin 4 and Who’s Next were released within a few months of each other…those two albums built classic radio almost.

        Liked by 1 person

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