The Who – Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere —-Powerpop Friday

This was The Who’s second single. It was the follow-up to I Can’t Explain. When this was sent to their American record label to distribute, they sent it back, assuming the feedback meant there was something wrong with it.

The Who’s early singles like Can’t Explain, The Kids Are Alright, Substitute, I’m A Boy, and A Legal Matter doesn’t get the airplay that their later music does. They were innovative at the time with feedback, distortion and Moon’s aggressive drumming.

This song was written by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. it was the only time they wrote together.

The song peaked at #10 in the UK in 1965.

 

From Songfacts

Townshend described this as “Anti-middle age, anti-boss class, and anti-young marrieds.”

This was a collaboration between Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey. It was one of the only times they worked together on a song. 

Nicky Hopkins played piano. A session man at the time, he would go on the work with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Townshend got the idea for this during a soundcheck.

This contains one of the first uses of feedback on a record. Roger Daltrey recalled to Uncut magazine October 2001: “We were doing this feedback stuff, even before that. We’d be doing blues songs and they’d turn into this freeform, feedback, jazzy noise. Pete was getting all these funny noises, banging his guitar against the speakers. Basically, the act that Hendrix is famous for came from Townshend, pre-‘I Can’t Explain.'”

“‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ was the first song when we attempted to get that noise onto a record and that was a good deal of time before Hendrix had even come to England,” Daltrey continued. “The American pressing plant sent it back thinking it was a mistake. We said, ‘No, this is the f—ing noise we want. CUT IT LOUD!'”

Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

I can go anyway, way I choose
I can live anyhow, win or lose
I can go anywhere, for something new
Anyway, anyhow, anywhere I choose

I can do anything, right or wrong
I can talk anyhow, and get along
Don’t care anyway, I never lose
Anyway, anyhow, anywhere I choose

Nothing gets in my way
Not even locked doors
Don’t follow the lines
That been laid before
I get along anyway I dare
Anyway, anyhow, anywhere

I can go anyway, way I choose
I can live anyhow, win or lose
I can do anything, for something new
Anyway, anyhow, anywhere I choose

(Oooh) anyway
(Oooh) Anyway I choose, yeah
(Oooh) Anyway I want to go
(Oooh) I want to go ‘n do it myself
Do it myself
Do it myself, yeah
Anyway, way I choose
Anyway I choose
Yeah, yeah
Ain’t never gonna lose the way I choose
The way I choose
The way I choose

The Who – Boris The Spider

This was Jimi Hendrix’s favorite song of The Who…which didn’t amuse Pete.

This was the first Who song written by bass player, John Entwistle. Pete Townshend asked him to write a song for their second album…A Quick One. A common story about the song is that “Boris the Spider” was written after John had been out drinking with Bill Wyman. They were making up funny names for animals when Entwistle came up with Boris the Spider.

The song became a huge concert favorite because it was so fun and offset many of their more serious songs. Also, the popularity of the song eventually wore off on Entwistle himself, and he began ritualistically wearing a spider medallion on stage.

Pete Townshend had this to say about the song: Politics or my own shaky vanity might be the reason, but ‘Boris The Spider’ was never released as a single and should have been a hit. It was the most-requested song we ever played on stage, and if this really means anything to you guitar players, it was Hendrix’s favorite Who song. Which rubbed me up well the wrong way, I can tell you. John introduced us to ‘Boris’ in much the same way as I introduced us to our ‘Generation;’ through a tape recorder. We assembled in John’s three by ten-foot bedroom and listened incredulously as the strange and haunting chords emerged. Laced with words about the slightly gruesome death of a spider, the song had enough charm to send me back to my pad writing hits furiously.”

From Songfacts

Entwistle was afraid of spiders as a kid. He wrote this about seeing a spider crawling from the ceiling and squishing it.

Entwistle wrote this as a joke, but it became a concert favorite. It is a fun song that offset many of the more serious Who songs.

This was the only song from the album that they continued to play live.

In the UK, the album was called A Quick One. It was changed to Happy Jack in the US to avoid being offensive.

After he wrote this, Entwistle started wearing a spider medallion at concerts.

Boris The Spider

Look, he’s crawling up my wall
Black and hairy, very small
Now he’s up above my head
Hanging by a little thread

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

Now he’s dropped on to the floor
Heading for the bedroom door
Maybe he’s as scared as me
Where’s he gone now, I can’t see

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

Creepy, crawly
Creepy, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly

There he is wrapped in a ball
Doesn’t seem to move at all
Perhaps he’s dead, I’ll just make sure
Pick this book up off the floor

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

Creepy, crawly
Creepy, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly

He’s come to a sticky end
Don’t think he will ever mend
Never more will he crawl ’round
He’s embedded in the ground

Boris the spider
Boris the spider

My Top 10 Favorite Live Albums

I’m more of a studio guy when it comes to listening to bands but there are a few live albums I really like. This is my top 10 and a few honorable mentions at the bottom. Very few artists can improve on the studio version but sometimes some manage to pull it off.

10. Led Zeppelin –  How the West Was Won – After the disappointing live album The Song Remains The Same, this album released in 2003 contained Led Zeppelin live in 1972 from two shows in top form.

How the West Was Won (Live) (3-CD)

9: Simon And Garfunkel – The Concert In Central Park – This was big for me when it was released. I had by this time worn a groove out in their greatest hits. The band was great and their harmonies were as good as ever.

Image result for Simon And Garfunkel – The Concert In Central Park

8: George Harrison – The Concert For Bangladesh – Fun to listen to George freed from the Beatles and he sounds great with Dylan, Billy Preston, Ringo, and other friends.

Image result for George Harrison – The Concert For Bangladesh

 

7: The Band: The Last Waltz – One of the best live albums ever. The Band’s last concert with Robbie with a host of talented famous friends. I still don’t get the Neil Diamond selection…nothing against Neil…he didn’t fit in with this atmosphere.

Image result for The Band: The Last Waltz album

6: The Allman Brothers Band “At Fillmore East” – This album floats up and down this list depending on my mood. It was at number 2 when I first made this list a couple of weeks ago. This band was probably one of the most talented bands in the seventies. I didn’t start heavily listening to them until around 5-10 years ago. They are better live than in the studio. There was not a weak link in this 6 piece band…especially in the Duane version but later incarnations were almost as strong.

At The Fillmore East (2LPs - 180GV)

5: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, ‘Live/1975-85’ – I listened to this so much in the 80s that I knew the stories Bruce would tell by heart. Later when listening to the studio version of a song I would expect the story that went with it.

Image result for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, ‘Live/1975-85’

4: Paul McCartney  Wings Over America – This triple album set was a live greatest hits. The songs had some edge to them thanks to Jimmy McCulloch the young prodigy guitar player.  Paul even broke his silence on the Beatles and included five Beatle songs. Blackbird, I’ve Just Seen a Face, Yesterday, The Long and Winding Road, and Lady Madonna. Unlike the other 3 albums ahead of this on in the list, Paul didn’t mess with the songs too much from the original studio recordings.

Wings over America

3: The Rolling Stones – ‘”Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” – This tour and the 1972  tour were the Stones at their live peak.

Image result for the rolling stones get yer ya-ya's out

2: Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert – I have seen Dylan 8 times but if I could pick a tour to see him on…I would go back and this would be the one. With The Band backing him up…minus Levon Helm but Mickey Jones on drums is very powerful.

Image result for bob dylan 1966 royal albert hall concert

1: The Who – ‘Live at Leeds’ This album highlights The Who at their best. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a rock band so tight. The power of the performance is huge. Pete Townshend told his soundman Bob Pridden to erase all other shows on this tour at the time…Bob did… much to Pete’s regret later on.

The Who - Live at Leeds By The Who

 

 

Honorable Mentions

Beatles Live At The Star-Club in Hamburg Germany – The quality of the recording is pretty bad but it’s exciting to hear the punkish Beatles before Beatlemania hit.

The Kinks – One For The Road

Neil Young & Crazy Horse –  Live Rust

Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison

The Band – Rock of Ages

Cheap Trick – At Budokan

Elvis (68 Comeback Special)

 

The Who – I Can See For Miles

The sound of this song is amazing…from the drums to the guitar. It was very different than their other singles to this point.

It’s hard to believe that I Can See For Miles was The Who’s only top 10 hit in the Billboard 100. It peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #10 in the UK in 1967. The song was recorded for the band’s 1967 album, The Who Sell Out.[3] It was the only song from the album to be released as a single. The album peaked at #48 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1968.

Pete Townshend considered this some of his best songwriting, calling it “a remarkable song.” He thought it would be a huge hit and was disappointed when it wasn’t.

Pete Townshend talking about this song: “I swoon when I hear the sound,” “The words, which aging senators have called ‘drug oriented,’ are about a jealous man with exceptionally good eyesight. Honest.”

The song is ranked #40 on Dave Marsh’s The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made

 

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend wrote this shortly after meeting his future wife Karen. It was a reminder that even though he was on the road, he could still keep an eye on her from miles away.

The song was inspired by the jealousy and suspicion that would well up inside him when he left to tour, but the song is written in character as a vindictive type who wants to get back at a girl. It’s a little creepy:

Well, here’s a poke at you
You’re gonna choke on it too
You’re gonna lose that smile
Because all the while
I can see for miles and miles

He’s warning her that she can’t get out of his sight.

In real life, Townshend married Karen Astley in 1968. They were together until their divorce in 2009.

Townshend’s guitar was overdubbed in the studio. They rarely played this live because it was impossible to recreate the sound with one guitar.

The Who Sell Out is a concept album that makes fun of radio commercials. Fake ads were inserted between songs on the first side of the album.

The word “Miles” is said 57 times in the song. 

This was covered in a lighter, easygoing, and rather corny manner by Vegas lounge lizard Frankie Randall (who sang the lyric “There’s magic in my eyes” as “There’s magic in your eyes”, thus rather confusing the song’s meaning). It is included on the Golden Throats CD. 

Townshend’s played a one-note guitar solo on this song. According to an interview he conducted with his mate Richard Barnes for the book The Story of Tommy, Townshend did this because he “couldn’t be bothered.” He later admitted that he felt very intimidated at the arrival of Hendrix on the London scene during that time and that he couldn’t ever compete in the guitar solo stakes. 

Paul McCartney set out to write “Helter Skelter” shortly after reading a Pete Townshend interview, which described this track as, “The most raucous rock ‘n’ roll, the dirtiest thing they’d ever done.”

This is the theme song for the TV series CSI: Cyber, which debuted in 2015. It’s the fourth in the CSI franchise, with each series using a Who song as its theme. The song has some relevance to the show content, as the detectives use technology to investigate crimes that could be many miles away.

I Can See For Miles

I know you’ve deceived me, now here’s a surprise
I know that you have ’cause there’s magic in my eyes

I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah

If you think that I don’t know about the little tricks you’ve played
And never see you when deliberately you put things in my way

Well, here’s a poke at you
You’re gonna choke on it too
You’re gonna lose that smile
Because all the while

I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah

You took advantage of my trust in you when I was so far away
I saw you holding lots of other guys and now you’ve got the nerve to say

That you still want me
Well, that’s as may be
But you gotta stand trial
Because all the while

I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah

I know you’ve deceived me, now here’s a surprise
I know that you have ’cause there’s magic in my eyes

I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah

The Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal are mine to see on clear days
You thought that I would need a crystal ball to see right through the haze

Well, here’s a poke at you
You’re gonna choke on it too
You’re gonna lose that smile
Because all the while

I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
And miles and miles and miles

I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles

The Who – So Sad About Us —Powerpop Friday

So Sad About Us could be the definition of powerpop.

This song was not a hit…in fact, it was never released as a single. The Who recorded this song in 1966, though it was originally written for the Merseys, a band that shared the Who’s manager and had a hit with a Townshend-produced version of the song that same year. It is one of the most covered songs by the Who. I remember the version by the Jam.

The song was on the album A Quick One. The album didn’t chart in America but it did peak at #4 in the UK in 1966.

 

So Sad About Us

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la

So sad about us
So sad about us
Sad that the news is out now
Sad, suppose we can’t turn back now
Sad about us

So bad about us
So bad about us
Bad, never meant to break up
Bad, suppose we’ll never make up
Bad about us

Apologies mean nothing
When the damage is done
But I can’t switch off my loving
Like you can’t switch off the sun

 

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la
So sad about us
So sad about us
Sad, never meant to break up
Sad, suppose we’ll never make up
Sad about us

 

The Who – The Kids Are Alright

This song was released in 1966 and it appears on The Who’s debut album My Generation. The song peaked at #41 in the UK but didn’t make it into the top 100 in the US. This song, along with My Generation, became anthems for The Who, as well as for the Mod movement in England.

Pete Townshend said this about it in 2000: When I wrote this song I was nothing but a kid, trying to work out right and wrong through all the things I did. I was kind of practicing with my life. I was kind of taking chances in a marriage with my wife. I took some stuff and I drank some booze. There was almost nothing that I didn’t try to use. And somehow I’m alright

I first heard this on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy a compilation album of the band’s singles… In the UK it was more of a greatest hits LP…in America, while a few were known…most never charted.

One of my favorite albums by the Who.

From Songfacts

 The song was written by Pete Townshend as a tribute to the Mods, who were trendy and often rebellious British youth.

Check out Keith Moon’s drumming on this song – he used his cymbals and toms to emphasize the vocal lines, crashing down at the end of lyrical lines. This was one of his innovations with The Who.

A 1979 rockumentary concerning the Who shares the same title.

This song has been covered by both Goldfinger and Green Day. 

The Offspring song The Kids Aren’t Alright is a reference to this

The Kids Are Alright

I don’t mind other guys dancing with my girl
That’s fine, I know them all pretty well
But I know sometimes I must get out in the light
Better leave her behind with the kids, they’re alright
The kids are alright

Sometimes, I feel I gotta get away
Bells chime, I know I gotta get away
And I know if I don’t, I’ll go out of my mind
Better leave her behind with the kids, they’re alright
The kids are alright

I know if I go, things would be a lot better for her
I had things planned, but her folks wouldn’t let her

I don’t mind other guys dancing with my girl
That’s fine, I know them all pretty well
But I know sometimes I must get out in the light
Better leave her behind with the kids, they’re alright
The kids are alright

Sometimes, I feel I gotta get away
Bells chime, I know I gotta get away
And I know if I don’t, I’ll go out of my mind
Better leave her behind with the kids, they’re alright
The kids are alright, the kids are alright, the kids are alright

The Who – Going Mobile

There is probably not a song on Who’s Next that hasn’t been played to death…but I dont’ hear this one as much as some of the others.

One of my favorite Keith Moon drum tracks… It’s not the most noticeable part he played but no other drummer would have played it this way. I included an isolated drum track of this song at the bottom.

Pete Townshend wrote this and sang it… it was part of his “Lifehouse” project, which was a film script featuring The Who in a future world where rock ‘n’ roll saves the masses. The Who scrapped plans for the concept double album and released most of the songs on Who’s Next…pretty much agreed their best album and one of the best in rock.

The song was the B side to Behind Blue Eyes in 1971.

From Songfacts

This is about taking a vacation by riding around in a car with no particular destination. It was something Pete Townshend liked to do.

 This was much lighter and more simplified than the other songs on the album.

For the solo, Townshend ran his guitar through a device called an Envelope Follower. It was a type of synthesizer distortion that made it sound like he was playing under water.

Keith Moon’s isolated drums on Going Mobile

Going Mobile

I’m going home
And when I want to go home, I’m going mobile
Well I’m gonna find a home on wheels, see how it feels,
Goin’ mobile
Keep me moving

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 moving, mmm

Out in the woods
Or in the city
It’s all the same to me
When I’m driving free
The world’s my home
When I’m mobile, ey woo, 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 moving

Keep me moving
Over fifty
Keep me groovin’
Just a hippie gypsy
Come on move now
Movin’
Keep me movin’ yeah

Keep me movin’, movin’, movin’, yeah
Movin’ yeah
Mobile, mobile, mobile, 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 taxman miss me!
I’m mobile! Oh yeah he he
Mobile, mobile, mobile, yeah