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The Who Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy album cover
3.43 | 43 ratings | 5 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Can't Explain (2:05)
2. The Kids Are Alright (2:45)
3. Happy Jack (2:12)
4. I Can See For Miles (4:06)
5. Pictures of Lily (2:43)
6. My Generation (3:18)
7. The Seeker (3:11)
8. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (2:42)
9. Pinball Wizard (2:59)
10. A Legal Matter (2:48)
11. Boris the Spider (2:28)
12. Magic Bus (3:21)*
13. Substitute (3:49)
14. I'm A Boy (Extended Version) (3:41)

Total Time 42:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Daltrey / lead vocals
- Pete Townshend / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- John Entwistle / bass guitar, brass, vocals
- Keith Moon / drums, percussion
- Nicky Hopkins / keyboards

Releases information

Track, Polydor (UK)
Decca, MCA (US)
Reissued in Japan in 2007 by Universal Japan
Japanese version includes 4:33 version of *
Japanese version is 44:06 in length

Thanks to burtonrulez for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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THE WHO Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy ratings distribution

(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE WHO Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This is a collection of early Who singles, as well as a few of their other early songs. I think most people are pretty familiar with most of these songs by now. Unfortunately many of these singles have been played to death over the years by classic rock radio stations, as well as various advertisers. Despite being overexposed, these tracks still represent some of the best British pop-rock to come out in the late 60s.

Although many of these songs are straight-up 60s British RnB/rockers, other songs such as Happy Jack, The Seeker, I Can See for Miles and Pinball Wizard show the group moving in a more progressive direction. The early Who are often compared to The Kinks and The Small Faces, but there are also some similarities in their music to Syd Barret's quirky pop, some of the punky songs The Nice did when O'List was in the band and even some of the early Moody Blues' more rocking numbers.

If you buy the version of this CD that was released in 2007, or the original vinyl, you get a longer version of Magic Bus complete with re-channeled stereo effects. The song sounds much better in its longer more psychedelic version.

It is unfortunate that these songs have been so over-played because they used to be some of the most exciting music you could hear on an AM radio.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars The first compilation of non-album Who songs released in the USA was Decca's ill-planned "Magic Bus - The Who on Tour," meant to greedily capitalize on the band's extensive and fan-winning concert appearances across the states. That poor 1968 album's title gave the false impression that it was recorded live, the tracks were mastered horribly and the cover art was atrocious. It included various B sides and studio cuts not good enough to be put on their official albums and was nothing more than a hastily packaged rip off created by their record label. Plus it was assembled without the group's knowledge or permission, making their justifiable mistrust of the cigar-chomping company big wigs grow even larger.

But, at last, in 1971 we avid followers of all things Who-related were pleased to see "Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy" hit the shelves. Not only was the enticing photo on the sleeve clever and witty in typical Who fashion, but finally we Americans could freely indulge in some of the hard-to-find British singles that we had only heard about. Pete Townsend even called it (at the time) the "best Who album ever" and, in many ways, he wasn't far off the mark. The LP was never far from my turntable for years on end. And for decades, until 1996 when MCA put out the excellent, 20-song "My Generation - The very best of the Who," this was the finest collection of their early material to be found. However, the latter CD is by far more comprehensive and complete (not to mention chronologically correct) so, for the proto-prog newbie that is just discovering the wonders of the Who, I recommend getting that one instead of "Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy" (unless one wants to spring for the box set of "30 years of Maximum R&B").

The only songs on here that aren't on the '96 MCA release are "The Kids are Alright" and "A Legal Matter" (both respectable ditties) but the inclusion of much of the band's stronger material from "Who's Next," "Quadrophenia" and their later albums more than makes up for their being left off.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy' - The Who (Compilation)

'Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy' was the first Who record I ever purchased. I was already a fan of the band's music, having listened to alot of their songs on the radio. Being that I was a relatively new fan to The Who when I got this, my appreciation for this compilation might be a good bit greater then others who are more into 'The Who.'

Being that this is the band's early British Invasion-styled rock, there is no prog to be had here, but in this case, that's okay. Some of the best music that came out of the British Invasion can be found on this disc, and alot of Who classics.

This is a CD I listened to a great deal when I first got it, but less and less when I started getting actual Who records. The compilation started to be stripped of it's purpose. Now that I've become a fan and own the material on this record, on other CDs and in their proper context, 'Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy' can consider itself obsolete. However, it's a great selection of songs from the band's earlier period, and besides, I have to give the CD credit if it was strong enough to convince me to buy the other CDs, right?

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars This was a much needed compilation for Who fans that hadn't been around in the 60's to buy all of these non-album singles and had no way of having these tracks (since 45RPM singles were rarely reprinted) at home, even if this compilation also contained the singles "taken from the albums" as well. Nevertheless this made an excellent "60's greatest hits of The Who" and one that many fans played it through until the disc became transparent.

As such, for progheads, this album has no real interest in terms or "progyness", but it still remained for a while a very important Who album containing a few pearls like Substitute, Can't Explain, Happy Jack , the excellent Diddley-derived Magic Bus (which was a concert favourite for years). Unfortunately, MCA chose to go cheap on this compilation, probably not remastering the original recordings to fit 33RPM vinyls and the sound quality is not extra, either. I can't remember for sure whether this compilation was approved by the group itself or whether this was a management and record company stunt, but I think the group only moderately appreciated MBB&B, but it was surely something that most fans worldwide needed so despite the botched-up job, this compilation was one point for the industry and the fans.

Although I've seen this compilation in Cd format, this compilation lost probably most of its interest to the many other more recent Cd compilations or boxsets of the group, so most likely the utility of this album (besides a solid dose of nostalgia and it's relatively cool gatefold artwork) has been next to zero of late,

Latest members reviews

3 stars Basically, a collection of early Who singles, some great, some not so much. It is a mixed bag of great rock anthems, and psychedlic-tinged pop songs. My favourites on here include mainly the classics such as My Generation, Pinball Wizzard, The Seeker and the very hilarious Substitute. I own k ... (read more)

Report this review (#170954) | Posted by burtonrulez | Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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