December 1, 2021

The Who By Numbers


Roger Daltrey Vocals
John Entwistle Bass Guitar & Vocals
Keith Moon Drums
Pete Townshend Guitar, Keyboards [except where listed] & Vocals

Liner notes by Chris Charlesworth [with additions in brackets by Brian Cady]

Produced by Glyn Johns [the first Who recording produced solely by Johns; previously he had only been listed as "associate producer" to The Who] at the Shepperton Sound Stage on Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio. [the original album says it was produced at Ramport Studios, Island Mobile and Eel Pie Studios, mixed at Island Studios and Sunset Sound and mastered by Doug Sachs at the Mastering Lab, Los Angeles]

Cover Drawing by John Entwistle. [John: "The cover only took me an hour, but the dots took about three hours. I took it down to the studio while we were mixing and got the worst artist in the room to fill it in. Discovered I’d left two inside legs out."]

All the tracks on The Who By Numbers were recorded at the Shepperton Sound Stage on Ronnie Lane’s mobile studio during April and May of 1975. Recording began with a jam session on April 4, continued throughout May and overdubs were done in June. Mixing was done at Island Records’ Basing Street Studios in London’s Notting Hill during July and August.

Released as Polydor 2490 129 [as part of their break with Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp’s management, The Who refused to release this record on their own Track label] on October 18, 1975. It reached #7 in the U.K. It hit the U.S. charts as MCA 2161 on October 25, 1975 and reached #8. [The RIAA gave the record "gold" status for 500,000 in U.S. sales on December 10, 1975. It was upgraded to "platinum," 1 million in sales, in 1993.]

The first vinyl pressings in the U.K. were individually numbered on the back cover. [Pete, who was suffering from writer’s block during much of the period he wrote this album, later said The Who recorded practically every song he had written for The Who By Numbers. Other songs written around this time were "To Barney Kessell," a jazz guitar instrumental released on Pete’s Scoop album and "Girl In A Suitcase" which was submitted to The Who and rejected. It later appeared on Pete’s Another Scoop album.]