Easy-Listening, Happy, Old School
"In this "A Quick One", The Who concentrate on simple and direct rock with a sometimes ferocious, sometimes crazy humor."
CORTO1809 (25.08.2011)  
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If "My Generation" lacked coherence with a band that seemed to be torn between pop, rock and rhythm'n'blues, and maybe still too young to have enough lucidity to take a step back, "A Quick One" shows how much The Who took advantage of the year that separates these two productions to refine a style that suits them.

From now on, The Who concentrate on simple and direct rock, short, even very short songs (almost all the tracks are less than three minutes long), with a verse/chorus/musical break structure. Few tracks on the album, including bonus tracks, deviate from these rules. First 'Cobwebs & Strange', a gag track as euphoric as Syd Barrett's 'An Effervescing Elephant' will be, where a high-pitched flute, a bass drum, a harmony trumpet and a discreet trombone play a derisory ritornello faster and faster, interspersed between each acceleration of drum soli worthy of The Muppets Show, then 'A Quick One While He's Away', the long suite that gives its title to the album, on which we will come back and the dispensable medley 'My Generation/Land Of Hope And Glory' that links the beginning of the famous title of The Who to a classic interpreted in a caricatural way.

Nevertheless, these exceptions have in common with the other titles a humor, sometimes ferocious, sometimes crazy, which manifests itself through burlesque texts, choruses forcing in the high notes ('Heatwave', 'Don't Look Away', 'See My Way', 'Bucket T') when it is not the song itself ('Doctor, Doctor', 'In The City'), of badabada, lalalalala and other whouhouhou sprinkling the songs ('See My Way', 'So Sad About Us', 'A Quick One While He's Away', 'Happy Jack'), of Tyrolean yodeling ('Boris The Spider') or of voice from beyond the grave (the same 'Boris The Spider', irresistible).

The irony of the band is palpable: while giving the air to have fun, it produces however a rich, reflected music, mixing good mood and gravity. The effect is immediate: you start humming, tapping your foot or your hands, taking a dance step, with a smile on your face but a slight twinge in your soul.

All these elements are found in the nine minutes of 'A Quick One While He's Away' which gives its name to the album. The title alone is a mockery of the establishment, so much so that the prudes of the United States in the 1960s renamed it "Happy Jack". Another hilarious facetiousness is the "cello cello cello" sung in chorus at the end of the title to replace the real cellos that Townshend wanted but that the producer did not want to finance.

The suite is made of six short pieces musically different, but linked to each other and telling the same story, a process that the Beatles will use again on "Abbey Road". Mini-opera before its time, telling the story of a beautiful woman who temporarily consoles herself for the absence of her lover in the arms of a complacent trucker before the return of her lover, each member takes turns on the vocals, Daltrey taking on the role of the storyteller, Entwistle the one of the trucker and Townshend the one of the lover, the beginnings of a certain "Tommy.

If the original record was relatively short (32 minutes), the CD version is lengthened with bonuses made up of B-sides or singles which, for once, do not distort the original work but on the contrary prolong a pleasure of which you would be very wrong to deprive yourself.
- Official website

01. Run Run Run - 02:42
02. Boris The Spider - 02:28
03. I Need You - 02:24
04. Whiskey Man - 02:57
05. Heatwave - 01:54
06. Cobwebs And Strange - 02:29
07. Don't Look Away - 02:51
08. See My Way - 01:52
09. So Sad About Us - 03:01
10. A Quick One, While He's Away - 09:10
11. Batman (bonus) - 01:34
12. Bucket T (bonus) - 02:07
13. Barbara Ann (bonus) - 01:59
14. Disguises (bonus) - 03:10
15. Doctor, Doctor (bonus) - 02:59
16. I've Been Away (bonus) - 02:07
17. In The City (bonus) - 02:21
18. Happy Jack (bonus Version Acoustique) - 02:51
19. Man With The Money (bonus) - 02:45
20. My Generation/land Of Hope And Glory (bonus) - 02:03

John Entwistle: Chant / Basse / Claviers / Choeurs, Cor, Clavecin (3), Trompette (6)
Keith Moon: Batterie / Percussions, Choeurs
Pete Townshend: Chant / Guitares / Choeurs, Flûte irlandaise (6), Violoncelle (18)
Roger Daltrey: Chant / Choeurs, Trombone (6)
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