Review Summary: A Quick One is like one of those water spraying fans you find at a flea market; it is entertaining, but when you take a close look, there's really not that much to it.
A Quick One is like one of those water spraying fans you find at a flea market; it is entertaining, but when you take a close look, there's really not that much to it. In one of The Who's early efforts, Pete Townsend, Roger Daultry, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon all give their shot at song-writing. Some end up fantastic, and others not so much. It is however, one of the most fun records they ever recorded.
The songs range from innovative to boring, and the bands ideas seem a little mixed up. In song's like Boris The Spider, The Who perform a fun creative effort. It is dark, but strangely bouncy. In fact, John Enstwistle's songs are some of the highlights of the album. In his piece Whiskey man, he brings the group to a new level of Psychedelic rock they had not previously achieved. Having trouble with "R"s, Entwistle overdubbed his vocal track saying "fliend", and "fwiend", hoping an "R" sound would be the result. It gives the vocals a very cool feel. Another interesting feel to the album comes from the instrumentation. Several tracks have some sort of brass instrument on them. Trombone, Tuba, and of course John Entwisltes French Horn, are all featured somewhere. When reading into it, John Entwistles contributions to the album had a much more positive affect than say... Keith Moon's.
Don't get me wrong, "Moon the Loon" is one of my favorite drummers. Drummers, not song-writers. His contributions of I Need You and Cobwebs and Strange are among the records worst tracks.I Need You is predictable, and the latter song is really just a mess of noise recorded for 2 and 1/2 minutes. It does keep the album from getting repetitive, but it also keeps it from being great. Roger's effort of See My Way is not much better, but it does feature a pretty decent chorus.
Pete's songwriting, as always, is really the highlight here. The album's two closing tracks are the strongest. So Sad About Us is one of the catchiest tracks save Happy Jack, and the title track is among one of The Who's all-time best. It is their first attempt at a "rock-opera", and the 9 minute epic of infidelity is pure entertainment from beginning to end. Each sequence is specifically written for the emotion that is trying to be portrayed. Pete shows for the first time that he is capable of more than just a single, and it is definitely our first preview of Tommy to come. My personal favorite part of the album comes when the band chants "Cello, Cello, Cello, Cello" at the end of the song. the story goes that the band wanted an actual Cello recorded there, but could not afford one. Instead, they did the part vocally, and it may have been the right way to go.
Overall, the album has extremely high and low points. A Quick One gave us two important things to remember, 1) The band has limitless potential when it comes to "rock-opera's", and 2) Pete Townsend and John Entwistle should be the only people allowed to write songs. In it's up's, the album is thought-out, and inventive. In it's down's it is to simplistic, and often times amateur, to be taken seriously. The Who's most inconsistent effort, but the album is worth a listen, and maybe even a buy.