It has been brought to my attention that, astonishingly, a cutting from Melody Maker dated December 4, 1971, specifically my review of The Who’s album Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy, is being offered for sale on ebay, priced at £2.
Here it is:
It’s not surprising that I gave the album an excellent review. It was, after all, the first decent compilation of Who hit singles. The first, Magic Bus The Who On Tour, released in the US September, 1968, was compromised by MCA’s choice of material and ill-disguised attempt to imply it was a live recording, while the second, The Who: Direct Hits, released by Track in the UK a month later, was flawed because Kit Lambert insisted that no Shel Talmy productions be included.
I shall draw a veil over my feelings about the surfeit of subsequent Who hits albums, but I seem to have been unusually prescient by commenting that The Who ‘are making the most of their history in re-issues’.
I still have my original copy of MBBB, on the Decca label, given to me by Who tour manager Peter Rudge in Charlotte, North Carolina, on November 20 in the Holiday Inn where The Who were staying before their gig at the Charlotte Coliseum. He’d just received a box of them, couriered by MCA from Los Angeles, for the group, and we all gathered in his room to admire them. It occurs to me now that I was in the ideal position to ask Pete, Roger, John and Keith to autograph one for me but I didn’t. It simply wasn’t cool for music writers to collect autographs, more’s the pity.
This was my first visit to America, though it wasn’t paid for by The Who or their record label. In fact, I’d flown to New York at the expense of The Kinks to attend a party thrown to celebrate their signing to RCA. At the same party were John and Keith from The Who and I wound up partying with them until the early hours at Nobody’s, a then notorious R&R bar in Greenwich Village, and discovering along the way that they were about to open a tour down America’s East Coast in two day’s time. Unable for reasons of managerial incompetence to interview The Kinks, I opted instead to join The Who in Charlotte, NC, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
When I got back to London I wrote about both The Kinks and The Who for MM, including the review now offered on ebay. Here’s the link: