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The Who - Odds & Sods CD (album) cover

ODDS & SODS

The Who

Proto-Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

As its title indicates, this is a bit of bottom-of-drawers release, one that was thrown together when Daltrey was busy playing in Tommy (the movie), when Townsend and Entwistle toyed around the studios for the group or their solo career (I seem to remember both putting out a solo albums around this year), but unfortunately where Moon was left on its own and went on lengthy binges that would eventually destroy him four years later. Presented with an ugly shot of the group sporting American Football helmets, this collection was assembled from tracks that were leftover from 68 & 69 and others remaining from their monstrous project: Lifehouse and Quadrophenia or unrelated but still written in those years.

Opening on the brass-laden (courtesy of Entwistle) Postcard, while Farmer is an outstanding track with amazing Moon drumming, both from the 60's, O&S is an entertaining album that proposes over half of its tracks from that decade. Indeed Little Billy seems like it could've been another hit (read the story in the booklet) and Glow Girl (a cousin to Glittering Girl) then Faith In Something Bigger are intermediate track from the two years of silence between Sell Out and Tommy. A real surprise is the '64 cover of I'm The Face, which could be a Stone track of the times: while it sticks out a bit, it's lovely to hear it once in a while.

The 70's track include the interesting Put The Money Down (Daltrey lays some classic yells), while Pete yells out to Moonie that Too Much Of Anything , like Pure And Easy (probably the most Lynyrd-ish Who track in its middle section) , both originally for the Lifehouse and left away from Who's Next make a big positive argument for the album. Also from the 60's, but really sounding like Tommy ('69, thus sounding much more 70's >> hence why I discuss it in this paragraph) is the excellent Naked Eye, probably the best track (and proggiest) of the present album. The closing Long Live Rock is linked to Quadrophenia, which in itself is a compliment.

After the other compilation of MBB&B (regrouping for the first time many hits that had not been available other than in singles), in some ways this recognized "unreleased track compilation" will resemble much the official following studio release the tedious By Numbers and in some ways the excellent Who Are You, by mixing songs from years gone by. Personally (and since I tend to treat this compilation as a real album) I prefer O&S to BN, because the choice of tracks is simply superior to the next release

Report this review (#239474)
Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I had this album back in 1975, a friend dropped it at my house with Carly Simon┤s Hotcakes and Supertramp┤s Crime Of The Century. For a pennyless teenage student it was pure gold! I heard those Lps so much I must have wore tham out! The Who┤s Odds & Sodds was not a compilation album as much, but really a collection of unrelased songs they recorded over the years before. And I must say I was astonished by the level of quality those otherwise "rejected" songs had. It┤s ok that the track order was not one of the best since John Entwistle┤s Postcard and Townshend┤s Now I┤m A Farmer are probably the weakest tunes here and certainly not the ones I┤d choose for opening the CD. However, they are not bad songs at all. In fact, I like them both. But they are inferior to the remaining sutff.

And, boy, do they have strong ones here! Pure And Easy is the highlight of Odds & Sods: probably one of The Who┤s best tracks ever, it is a crime that they had drop it from the Who┤s Next LP (it seems that the new remastered edition corrected this fault by including it as a bonus track). With a beautiful melody line and lyrics, one of Townshend┤s most emotional solos and a stunning perfomance by the other members, this is probably the most underrated song this legendary group has ever recorded. Little Billy is another great tune that could have been a huge hit if it was released as a single (oddly, it was said to be music for an ad against students smoking in school). The late Keith Moon did a great job on this one.

Naked Eye, Long Live Rock and Too Much Of Anything are other fine rock tracks, while Glow Girl was a song that originated the whole Tommy idea (just listen to the final lines: It┤s a girl, mrs. Walker... it┤s a girl...). The only real odd number here is the group┤s first ever single (when they were known - or rather unkown - as The High Numbers) I┤m the Face. It┤s a bit out of place here and if they wanted to included it as a collector┤s item, then they should have also put its flip side, Zoot Suit, as well.

Odds & Sods reflects a time when the band was at its peak. So don┤t be fooled by the ugly cover. If you┤re a fan of the band, this is a must have. I really wish that other bands would have such quality material among they ┤rejected┤ tracks!

Report this review (#458595)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2011 | Review Permalink

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