Q (9/95, p.140) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "Following the good work done with the LIVE AT LEEDS reissue...with an excellent, acoustic 'Happy Jack,' and five others, bringing the whole affair to just under an hour..."
The Who: Pete Townshend (vocals, guitar, cello, penny whistle); John Entwistle (vocals, trumpet, bass); Roger Daltrey (vocals, trombone); Keith Moon (drums).
Producer: Kit Lambert.
Reissue producer: Jon Astley.
Principally recorded at IBC Studios, Pye Studios and Regent Sound, London, England in 1966. Tracks 1-10 originally released in the U.K. in 1966 as A QUICK ONE on Reaction (593002). Tracks 11-14 originally released in the U.K. in 1966 on the EP READY STEADY WHO! on Reaction (592001). Includes liner notes by Chris Stamp, the original release liner notes from READY STEADY WHO! by Francis Hitching and the original release liner notes from the U.S. album HAPPY JACK by Nick Jones.
This 1995 reissue of A QUICK ONE includes the original British album along with four songs from the EP READY STEADY WHO!, three B-sides ("Doctor, Doctor," "I've Been Away" and "In The City") and three previously unreleased tracks. A QUICK ONE was first released in the U.S. in 1967 under the title HAPPY JACK, with the single "Happy Jack" replacing the British album track "Heatwave."
A pivotal album in the early career of The Who, A QUICK ONE is the bridge between the band's original incarnation as a hard rockin' mod pop group and its subsequent, more ambitious, experimental phase. The album is also notable because it's centerpiece, "A Quick One, While He's Away," represents Pete Townshend's first attempt at "rock opera," a form which he and The Who would later perfect on TOMMY and QUADROPHENIA. The ten-minute track contains all the elements of the trademark Who style--complex arrangements and vocal harmonies, alternating heavy electric and light acoustic passages and a preoccupation with issues of morality and sexuality.
Also interesting is the fact that A QUICK ONE includes, in addition to several Townshend masterpieces, one Roger Daltrey tune and two excellent songs each from both John Entwistle and Keith Moon. The Entwistle-penned tracks ("Whiskey Man" and "Boris the Spider") are among his best and introduced fans for the first time to the virtuoso bassist's dark, twisted sense of humor. Although prior to A QUICK ONE's release The Who had several hit singles, it was this album that put the music world on notice that Townshend and crew were far more than simply a high energy rock & roll band.