Friday, December 10, 2004

The way she talks when she's spoken to

Download: THE WHO "Under My Thumb"

In 1967, the Who recorded "Under My Thumb" and "Last Time" with Shel Talmy. I have these on the classic 2LP boot on Trademark of Quality, Who's Zoo (one of my favorite Who albums, actually, along with another TMOQ bootleg recorded live at Fillmore East in '68). The covers were originally released on a sought-after French-only single, pictured here.

The songs sound as if they were recorded quickly, and are kinda wimpy -- they don't try to upstage the original versions at all or tear into 'em in order to own them [the way, for instance, Fleurs des Lys' take on "Instant Party (Circles)" was total kill-your-idols intensity and even better than the original--which is, you know, near impossible.]

But that makes sense when you consider the context, as, according to a Stones fansite, these songs were recorded "as a show of support when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were being held in England on drug charges. After police raided Richards' home in Sussex, he and Jagger were charged with drug possession when they found some marijuana and amphetamines. Jagger and Richards were found guilty and each spent a night in jail before they were released on bail. The raid was done mostly for publicity and backfired on British lawmakers when it became clear the police staged a massive raid to uncover a small amount of drugs. Charges against Richards were dropped and Jagger's sentence was reduced to a conditional discharge."

Keith sounds like he's barely awake, and Pete's initial backing vocals are pretty lame, but that cool descending thing he does on the chorus is kinda cool, plus the one-handed guitar solo is so crude, I like it a lot. There you have it. File under classicke rocke rarity.