ARTIST: The Who
TITLE: A Quck One (Happy Jack in the US)
YEAR RELEASED: 1966
CHART ACTION: #51 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Happy Jack (US Version only) (#3 UK, #24 US, #13 US Cashbox)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: So Sad About Us, A Quick One While He’s Away, Boris the Spider
LINEUP: Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second Who record seems a bit scattered as the songwriting was distributed among the group, but it does contain some Who classics (especially the US version)
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: On advice of management (and possibly to help Pete Townshend recharge his batteries), the other members of the Who were encouraged to become songwriters. Entwistle already had some songs and was a prolific B-side writer, but Daltrey and Moon also penned tracks for this album.
The results were mixed. Daltrey’s song was decent enough, but Moon’s two were ‘interesting’ experiments to say the least. To my ears, they disturb the flow a bit.
However, take that with the classics listed above, and the fact that “Happy Jack” replaced a perfunctory cover of “Heat Wave” in the US, you have the makings of a good album. The highlight is “A Quick One”, a mini-opera of sorts with six movements that lets every member of the band stand out. It’s a bona fide rock-and-roll classic, even though it’s too long for radio.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Because they couldn’t afford strings, during the last part of “A Quick One”, the group sings ‘cello cello cello…’ to denote where the string section would have played.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, it’s the UK version with four tracks from the Ready Steady Who EP, three B-sides and a couple of unreleased tracks.
GRADE: B+: The flow is a bit interrupted by Moon’s stuff, and it would have been better had “Happy Jack” been on the album now available. Still the good stuff is fantastic.