October 27, 2020

A Quick One, While He’s Away

From the “A Quick One” liner notes by Chris Charleworth with additions by Brian Cady.

Recorded at IBC Studios, Pye Studios and Regent Sound, London in early November 1966.

From the A Quick One liner notes by Chris Charleworth with additions by Brian Cady:

Recorded at IBC Studios, Pye Studios and Regent Sound, London in early November 1966.

Pete’s first rock opera contains six separate songs, ‘Her Man’s Gone,’ ‘Crying Town,’ ‘We Have A Remedy,’ ‘Ivor The Engine Driver,’ ‘Soon Be Home,’ and ‘You Are Forgiven.’ Along the way the unnamed heroine pines for her absent lover, selects Ivor as a substitute, regrets her folly when her man returns, confesses her indiscretion and is ultimately forgiven.

“We wanted to put ‘cellos on the track but Kit Lambert said we couldn’t afford it. That’s why we sing ‘cello, cello, cello, cello,’…where we thought they should be.”
–John Entwistle

Actually “I’m a Boy” had been part of an earlier uncompleted opera called “Quads.”

“A Quick One” became a staple of The Who’s live act from 1967-1970.

It may have had a direct influence on The Beatles’ “A Day In the Life” which was recorded the month after this LP’s release.

The stereo version was released in the U.S. and Europe

From the “Thirty Years of Maximum R&B” liner notes by Brian Cady.

Studio section recorded at IBC Studios, Pye Studios and Regent Sound, London in the autumn of 1966.
Live section recorded December 10, 1968 at Stonebridge House Studios, Wembley.

’00-’21 and 6’54-9’39 are from a live performance recorded for the television program The Rolling Stones’ Rock & Roll Circus. It’s an alternate take (probably take two) of the one that appears in the movie and soundtrack of The Kids Are Alright and on the video and CD of The Rolling Stones’ Rock & Roll Circus. ’21-6’54 is from the mono version of the studio cut recorded for the LP A Quick One.

From the Live at Leeds liner notes by Chris Charlesworth with additions by Brian Cady:

Pete’s first attempt at a rock opera [other than “I’m a Boy;” see above] was inspired, original and amusing, with a rousing climax that redeemed the rather gauche opening sections. It would never have been written had it not been for the peculiar circumstances surrounding the recording of their second album for which each member of the band was supposed to contribute at least two songs each. When the others came up short, Kit Lambert proposed as a solution that Pete write a mini-opera to fill up ten minutes at the end of Side Two. ‘A Quick One’ was the result. It was certainly complex, moving through six specific sections, all with different melodies of their own, ranging from camp country and western to lush harmonies and all out power pop, with a touch of English music hall in between. There is also a stimulating power chord climax with quite stunning vocal harmonies, especially John’s falsetto. By 1970 The Who had been playing ‘A Quick One’ on stage for at least three years and there’s a casual self-assurance to their playing on this version that cannot be found elsewhere. The six ‘Quick One’ songs are ‘Her Man’s Gone,’ ‘Crying Town,’ ‘We Have A Remedy,’ ‘Ivor The Engine Driver,’ ‘Soon Be Home’ and ‘You Are Forgiven.’ Along the way the unnamed heroine pines for her absent lover, selects Ivor as a substitute on the advice of her friends, regrets her folly when her man returns, confesses her indiscretion and is ultimately forgiven.

The original recording was produced by Kit Lambert at IBC Studios, London, in November 1966.

Pete’s introduction was cut for the 1996 version. The full-length introduction was restored for the Deluxe Edition.

A flaw in the original recording caused Roger to have to retrack his vocal on the “Ivor, the Engine Driver” part in 1994.

This song (or songs) was dropped from the live act shortly after Leeds.

Other live versions appear on the Monterey Pop boxset (1967), The Kids Are Alright (1968), the Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B video (1967) and The Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus (1968).

Track 9 on the 1995 and 2001 CD’s.