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The Who - Happy Jack CD (album) cover

HAPPY JACK

The Who

Proto-Prog


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2 stars I bought this '7 at the local cancer benefit shop well over thirty years ago and just gave it a spin again on my USB driven record player. Which was a blast.

Happy Jack is a happy/sad/violent song about a donkey called Jack or perhaps Happy Jack which was spending his life on the beach in a British seaside resort, ferrying snotty, ungrateful kids on the beach. This for me goes under the label "animal cruelty" and I believe this has now been banned from the British sea side resorts...............

...........Anyway..............

The two minutes song has a decent, funny melody line delivered by Roger Daltrey with a very violent undertone delivered by the rest of the band. Which reminds us all that The Who was a part of the Mods culture.

The B side Whiskey Man is more a standard rock tune which does not impress me. But I really like Happy Jack though. Still, this '7 is collectors only due to both songs being available on studio albums and best off compilations. So a 2 stars is sufficient.

2 stars

Report this review (#351854)
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Happy Jack' - The Who (Single)

'Happy Jack' was one of the better-known tracks from The Who's early career. As one of the frontrunners in the British Invasion movement of pop during the 1960s, The Who had not yet begun to push the boundaries, but they were hinting at it. 'Happy Jack' is a song that is distinctly more sombre and dismal than most of the cheery, carefree singles that was coming out of the pop scene in Britain, and that may be part of the reason why it has aged so well.Despite being a very short song, it is greatly poetic and memorable, even if it may lack the same edge as the more rocking songs by The Who. The instruments here are fairly laid back, but the bass work here by John Entwhistle is notable. Entwhistle also sings here, which was one of the few times he would sing on a Townshend-penned track.

The other song here is written by Entwhistle himself, and was also among my favourites from the 'A Quick One' record. It is a quirky track, and while not nearly as memorable as 'Happy Jack', 'Whiskey Man' is a hell of a lot of fun; a song that manages to take a rather serious topic like mental illness and transform it into a fun tune that does well to showcase Entwhistle's wit. Regardless, a fine b-side to this memorable gem from The Who's early career, although this single remains dreadfully short.

Report this review (#463208)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Review Permalink

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