on March 3, 2004
Alot of people have had problems finding "A Quick One" in stereo. Here's the deal, your best bet is to buy the Polydor UK version of the CD. The artwork on the US MCA version is unchanged so it's impossible to know if it's the correct CD without taking the shrinkwrap off. Once you do that, you can't return it if it is the incorrect CD. With the Polydor import, all of the artwork on the package is the same (including the 1995 copyright date) EXCEPT for the catalog number on the binding. This will allow you to see if you have indeed received the correct CD without tearing the shrinkwrap off.
Here are the different catalog numbers:
* Polydor 527758-2 - maily mono
* Polydor 589800-2 - mainly stereo
I hope this helps everybody!
on January 18, 2006
Like so many mid-60's UK groups the Who saved their best songs for their singles. The group's first two albums are a varying inconsistent mix of great-to-weak originals and cover versions. Despite those drawbacks, "A Quick One" is a legendary British Pop album, and a necessary listen for Who fans to find out how this band quickly evolved to create their later masterpieces. Get around the weaker tracks and you'll discover the amazing title track (foreshadowing "Tommy" by 2 years) and the Power Pop classic "So Sad About Us" which was later covered by The Jam.
This CD has come out in the USA in 3 Versions - all from MCA.
1) The original "A Quick One (Happy Jack)" CD from the late 80's - with a "Compact Disc-Compact Price" ad on the insert and a generic green design back with a simple track listing. The sound quality ranges from tinny to muddy due to MCA's using of the old LP master tape (and some tracks appear in simulated stereo just like they did on the original Decca/MCA album). No bonus cuts, but it does have the original version of "Happy Jack" which SHOULD have been included in the remastered version to keep us American fans happy. If you're curious about this album you can pick this CD up dirt cheap...but I recommend the later versions.
2) The remastered CD with notes and bonus cuts from 1995. But most of this CD used the mono mixes instead, along with some cuts in stereo and simulated stereo. Producer Jon Astley told ICE magazine that he used the mono mixes because he thought they sounded better. The original master tapes were stored at former Who manager Kit Lambert's house in France and were possibly destroyed in a flood decades ago, so Astley couldn't remix them.
3) The remastered album with the same number and packaging, but now back in Stereo. My copy had a sticker that said "CLASSIC WHO remixed & remastered in STEREO for the first time". If it doesn't have that sticker don't buy it. Since 1995 copies of the master tapes have been discovered and the entire album has been remixed almost in true stereo (Almost because "See My Way" appears once again in fake stereo). The rest of the album has never sounded better. Tracks like "Heatwave" and "Don't Look Away" that were originally in distorted fake stereo now jump out of the speakers with a powerful true stereo presence. This is the version of "A Quick One" you should buy.
on March 4, 2003
If you like the Who's later work-- the guitar-smashing stuff-- you probably won't like this album. That said, A Quick One is my all-time favorite Who record. The songs are weird and funny and a blast to sing along with. Even though, as others have mentioned, the songs were written by various members of the band, the album has a distinct flavor of its own.
Unfortunately, when the record folks put together the CD, they BUTCHERED the album. The original recording of 'Happy Jack' was not included at all (!!), and a whole bunch of irrelevant tracks were thrown in which completely shattered the mood and sound of the original album. They did pitch in an acoustic version of 'Happy Jack' as if to make up for dropping the original track, but the extras should have been saved for a separate CD. It is jarring to hear the Who singing the Batman theme on the same CD with 'Whiskey Man.'
I love this album and you should hear it and love it too-- so crank up your record player and go find the LP.
on March 10, 2005
In 1995, the Who's 1st LP for the Reaction label, A Quick One, from 1966, was remastered, remixed in analogue and re-issued in the UK by Polydor (527 758-2), complete with 10 extra tracks and a colour booklet with extensive notes.
A Quick One, featuring a cover by the very fashionable Pop Art graphic artist Alan Aldridge, showed that the Who had developed a unique sound and style of their own. Gone was the profusion of cover versions as found on My Generation, their first album, with all members of the band contributing to the composer credits. Only one cover, Martha and the Vandellas' Heatwave, in an arrangement from an Everly Brothers album, made the final tracklisting (an earlier version had been dropped from the My Generation album, and in America even this new version was replaced by the hit single Happy Jack).
A Quick One lacked the wild savagery soundwise of the first album, but still had all the elements of it including Keith Moon's powerhouse drumming and chaotic creative energy, as showcased on the well-named instrumental Cobwebs And Strange. The songs were in the main light-hearted and enjoyably immature, John Entwistle's Boris The Spider and Whiskey Man in particular showed a unique humour. Pete Townshend's songwriting talents continued to develop. The album opened with his thunderous Run, Run Run, a song that had earlier been given to The Cat to record on a single produced by Pete Townshend. Along the way came So Sad About Us, later to be covered by the Breeders and the Jam (who also revived the Who's version of Heatwave). The album finale was the ten-minute mini-opera A Quick One (While He's Away), which set in motion a whole new direction for his talents, and led, of course, to Tommy.
The extra tracks began with most of the contemporaneous Ready Steady Who! EP: Batman, Bucket T and Barbara Ann, the three surf music covers from side 1, and Disguises from side 2 (Peculiarly, Circles is not included on this or, it seems, any other Who CD except in an earlier recording). The surfer sides were the influence of Keith Moon, who had played in a surf combo called the Beachcombers in the surfing paradise of Wembley, London.
The B-sides of Happy Jack (I've Been Away), Pictures Of Lily (Doctor, Doctor) and I'm A Boy (In The City) follow, all written or co-written by John Entwistle, and three previously unreleased tracks complete the package. These are an acoustic version of Happy Jack, a great cover of the Everly Brothers' Man With Money and an anarchic version of My Generation which appears to begin in mono and segues gloriously into a stereo feedback-drenched rendition of Land Of Hope And Glory. This was originally intended for the Ready Steady Who! EP, released to tie-in with their appearance on the famous TV show, but was not music from the show itself.
A Quick One was originally released in mono in the UK, and according to the booklet in both mono and stereo versions in the US, although the 1995 re-issue CD appears not to have had access to the stereo masters if such they were (they may just have been electronically re-channeled fake stereo). Run, Run, Run appeared in a stereo version previously available on the vinyl Backtrack 3 compilation sampler, but, apart from Whiskey Man the rest of the original album was monaural, with 5 of the bonus tracks in stereo, including the Batman theme, which may have come from the same Backtrack series.
This release of this stereo edition of the album has nothing on the CD itself to differentiate it from the 1995 edition which appeared alongside it on the record shop shelves and which had a sticker saying it was newly remastered and remixed. The publication date on both sleeve and disc is still given as 1995, and the booklet is an exact reprint of the 1995 edition. There is not even a sticker with additional information on the cover of the case of the British re-issue.
This poor and rather wasteful promotion and lack of demarcation is a shame because when I finally tracked down the correct copy it more than lived up to expectations. The whole of A Quick One is in full stereo. Run, Run, Run is in a new and slightly longer mix, and all the bonus tracks are stereo too, with the sole exception of the acoustic Happy Jack. This gives a bigger, clearer sound allowing many of the production subtleties to be fully appreciated for the first time thanks to the separation, especially for headphone listening, and particularly enhances the vocal harmonies.
The absence of a revised booklet means one unfortunately cannot tell whether these mixes are derived from 1966 stereo masters or were newly created from multi-track tapes for this release.
on August 21, 2012
The Who capped off a successful second year as recording artists with LP number two in Dec. 1966. `A Quick One' is unique in that it is the only Who record in which all four band members contribute songs. It also showed the very beginnings of what would be a well known staple of Pete Townshend's writing - the long concept, or "rock opera"- which shows up here in the mini-suite title track. John Entwistle`s strange and often hilarious sense of humor comes to the fore in his notable contributions including the classic "Boris the Spider" and "Whiskey Man". Keith Moon contributes a wild instrumental in which all Who members play some kind of horn instrument in "Cobwebs and Strange". "Run Run Run" is a great hard rocker and serves as pulverizing opener. `A Quick One' does what a 2nd album is supposed to do by showing some musical growth while at the same time it builds on the core of the band's sound. As a bonus, the extended version of the CD includes the `Ready Steady Who' EP and some great b-sides such as "Doctor, Doctor" and "I've Been Away" (both Entwistle gems). My only complaint with this current collection (CD extended version) - no "Substitute", "Happy Jack" (single version) or "I'm a Boy". Great early stuff from one of rock's all time greats and an essential part of any Who collection, `A Quick One' didn't make the quartet superstars but it did pave the way for future greatness.
on October 4, 2011
As an American, I knew this album as "Happy Jack," and enjoyed the "title song". However, this digital version has all kinds of strange stuff. And the "title song" (from my youth) is missing. An accoustical version (very nice in itself) is added in the after-thought section. But I wanted my memories back. So I bought the single of "Happy Jack" (the "I saw ya" version), and twiddle with iTunes to insert it in the original queue.
A couple of years ago, when I looked up the lyrics to these songs, I was amazed. I had memorized all the words, and what was published didn't quite fit my memory. However, now that I hear the music in its pure, digital form, the lyrics come through crisp and clear. In effect, I am encountering The Who again for the first time!
on May 17, 2001
Coming after the fierce "maximum R&B" adrenaline of "My Generation," "A Quick One" sounds a little pale. This is largely due to a business deal negotiated before the album's sessions had begun by the band's managers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert. Even though Pete Townshend was the only member of the group that had done a serious amount of songwriting up to that point, Stamp and Lambert negotiated a cash advance against the publishing royalties for Keith Moon, John Entwistle and Roger Daltry. Each of the latter three members were to contribute two songs to the band's upcoming album. Apparently the cash advance was a pretty nice sum because Roger bought a Volvo with his share.
Sure, it sounded like a great idea at the time, but the actual execution didn't quite go as smoothly. Entwistle had a natural gift for writing and, unsurprisingly, turned in two better-than-average tunes, "Boris the Spider" and "Whiskey Man." Keith Moon's two contributions are about as insane as his personality. "I Need You" is a nice enough song even though the drums are pushed WAY TOO HIGH up in the mix during the choruses. And "Cobwebs and Strange" sounds like a high school marching band on acid. However, it does feature a fierce drum break from Keith that is one of his most impressive showcases. Roger couldn't even muster up two songs and the one he came up with, "See My Way," is very forgettable. Throw in a bland remake of "Heatwave" and four decent contributions from Pete, including his first ever stab at an extended, suite-like rock piece, "A Quick One, While He's Away," and you've got yourself a very short, uneven album from The Who.
But the original album only takes up about half of the CD's running time. The other 10 tracks consist of the "Ready Steady Who" EP, some various B-sides and a few unreleased songs. These tracks range from novelty ("Batman," "Barbara Ann," "Bucket T") to dark humor ("Doctor, Doctor") to throwaways ("In the City," "I've Been Away) with a few classics ("Disguises," "Man With the Money.")
Far from an essential Who album, "A Quick One" does have some very good moments, but also contains some of the band's least insprired moments on record.
on October 13, 2000
A different album from its predecessor "My Generation" but equally as good, "A Quick One" finds The Who taking its first steps into more advanced lyrical territory and song construction, without sacrificing its basic powerhouse sound. Each member of the group is allowed two songs (actually, Daltrey could only muster one), which gives the album greater variety, and Entwistle establishes himself as a second important songwriter within the band. His two songs "Boris The Spider" and "Whiskey Man" are among the album's highlights, and feature his trademark wit, landmark bass playing and snaky horn work. Townshend contributes one of his finest early rockers "Run Run Run" (with its bone-crunching riff and masterful guitar break), the catchy pop of "So Sad About Us" and the ambitious multi-part mock rock-opera "A Quick One", which closes the album on the adrenaline rush of "You Are Forgiven". Even Moon doesn't do so bad with his two tracks; I Need You" is a humorous tale of club-hopping studded with Beatle-esque touches of harpischord and sound effects, while "Cobwebs and Strange" is a fun novelty instrumental that showcases his stellar drum work. However, several weak points continue to crop up--the production mix is inexcusably muddy (the rare German stereo version is supposed to be an improvement), the cover of "Heatwave" is a bomb and "Don't Look Away" is forgettable country-esque filler (albeit well-performed). Had the album included the experimental pop-art song "Disguises" and the current singles "I'm A Boy" and/or "Happy Jack" in place of these numbers, it would have been perfected. As it stands, "A Quick One" is still a worthy effort that remains underrated by most Who fans; although it lacks the conceptual continuity of a "Tommy" or "Quadrophenia", the classic elements of the Who's power-pop blend are still strongly in evidence, and aided by the use of a wider array of instrumentation, sound effects and song structure that was characteristic of the increased experimentation among Swinging London's top groups in 1966 (see also "Aftermath", "Revolver", "Face To Face", Roger The Engineer", "Sunshine Superman" and "Between The Buttons"). As a snapshot of The Who in transition from the raw mod power of "My Generation" to the sophisticated sound of "Sell Out", it is invaluable. The CD re-master of the album contains ten bonus tracks conisisting of B-sides, EP cuts and outtakes of varying quality; while some of these ("Batman", "Barbara Ann", "Bucket T.", "In The City") are among the most forgettable the group ever recorded, there are now tracks like "Disguises", the hilarious "Doctor, Doctor" and a marvelous acoustic rendition of "Happy Jack" as well (and yes, there was enough room for the single version on the remaster, but oh well); with the right track selection one can now program their CD player to play the ultimate version of "A Quick One".
on September 19, 2011
This is their best album in opinion. I love the fact that all four members wrote songs for it so you can really get a feel for each separate personality. I like the laid back feel of Keith's and Roger's songs. But my favorites are John's-----his songs are hilarious!!
Here you'll find one of my favorite groups still testing the waters with their own compositions (and others not by them) after their debut 'My Generation'. Unfortunately 'Batman' or 'Heatwave' are not even remotely good for The Who style that we all know. Also some experimentations (like an instrumental with tubas, etc.) sound silly nowadays. Yet, there is still a good bunch of songs (Boris the spider, a quick one, etc.) to make this a worthwhile purchase, specially if you are a die-hard fan. Others, stay away until you are one.