The Who's Greatest Misses: Songs They Reissued Only Once
The classic Who lineup mean-mugs for the camera.
Among all the reigning veteran British rock bands, The Who is the world champ of releasing greatest hits compilations. These days you can buy the studio version of "My Generation" on 12 officially sanctioned best-of-The Who albums and live versions across 10 concert albums.
Yet there are some songs even The Who organization has shown some restraint in reissuing, so maybe another compilation is due. Why should you own so many copies of "My Generation" but only one copy of "Shout and Shimmy," its UK B-side? We've done the work for Universal Music. All they have to do is go in to the vault once again. I'm sure they know the way.
Here are Who tracks that were intended to get only limited exposure as B-sides that turned up on only one U.S. vinyl album in the band's lifetime. (Well, when at least three members were still alive.) That would be either Who's Missing or the bottom-of-the-barrel-scraping Two's Missing, which were released as budget CDs before The Who reissued its entire catalog digitally. For some songs, the not-so-amazing journey ended there.
These first four landed on Two's Missing, Who's Missing, or the deluxe edition of My Generation.
Bald Headed Woman (1964)
A producer forcing an artist to record one of his songs? This conflict-of-interest Shel Talmy composition is of interest to no one not named Shel Talmy. This worldwide B-side of "Can't Explain" features Roger Daltrey singing like Dana Carvey's Grumpy Old Man until the key changes and his voice cracks. A month earlier, Talmy strong-armed the Kinks to record this on their first album as "I've Been Driving Up Bald Headed Mountain," which scarcely improved it.
"Anytime You Want Me" (1965)
The U.S. B-side to "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" was a limp ballad that sounded like a completely different band than the one playing on the savage A-side.
"Shout and Shimmy" (1965)
A cover of James Brown's rip-off of The Isley Brothers' "Shout." It also was performed as a warm-up song on The Who doc The Kids Are Alright.
"Instant Party" (1965)
Although it is listed as a track on their debut U.S. album, the song featured was actually an alternate version of "Circles." On the deluxe My Generation, we get the actual never-released "Instant Party," listed there as "Instant Party Mixture."
"Waltz for a Pig" (1966)
This never appeared on any Who album anywhere because it was not recorded by The Who! This instrumental, credited to The Who Orchestra, was actually The Graham Bond Organisation, throwing together an instrumental to appear on the flip on their 1966 single, "Substitute," which served the band as it broke its contract with -- you guessed it -- Shel Talmy.
"I've Been Away" (1967)
This whiny Entwhistle-penned UK B-side of "Happy Jack" wasn't even issued in the Who's Missing series to appease completists. It finally turned up stateside as a bonus cut on the CD release of A Quick One in 1995.
The next five are only found on their respective B-sides and the aforementioned dreadful Two's Missing.
"Under My Thumb" (1967)
When Mick Jagger and Keith Richard faced jail time for a 1967 drug bust, The Who - sans Entwhistle (who was on his honeymoon) rushed into the studio to record two Stones songs to show solidarity. While the A-side, "(This Could Be) The Last Time," turned up in The Who boxed set Thirty Years of Maximum R&B, this less effective B-side only made it to, you guessed it, Two's Missing.
"Dogs Part 2"(1969)
So annoying is this flipside of "Pinball Wizard" that it appears to be the only Who B-side not included on UK Rarities Part 1 & 2. Composer Keith Moon shared songwriting credit with Townshend and Entwhistle's pooches Towser and Jason, who yelp throughout this instrumental.
"Here For More "(1970)
A rare (and countrified) Daltrey composition (his second and last solo credit in The Who) was positioned on the flip of "The Seeker."
"When I Was a Boy" (1971)
This great Entwhistle B-side (supporting "Let's See Action") has avoided inclusion on any Lifehouse related reissues. And is one of the few reasons you might still consider owning Two's Missing.
Another Keith Moon instrumental B-side, this one found on the underside of the "Relay" single.
The Who only played "this song a total of 10 times on the 1982 tour, and has not played the song again ever since. And despite being the group's last Top 40 hit, it has escaped all nine greatest hits collection released from 1985 to 2009. Only the UK version of The Ultimate Collection in 2002 saw fit to include it. Just to be different . . .
The Who is scheduled to perform Wednesday, February 6, at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
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