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The Who | A Quick One - Page 2:

Album: A Quick One (aka Happy Jack)

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: "A Quick One" [Reaction-mono (UK), Polydor-mono (France), Polydor-<simulated>stereo (Holland), Polydor-stereo/mono (Japan-reissue), Polydor-stereo (Germany), Polydor-stereo (Italy), Polydor-mono (Australia), Polydor-stereo180 Gram stereo (Germany), Polydor-stereo reissue (Germany)] "Happy Jack" [Decca-mono (USA), Decca-stereo (USA), MCA-stereo (USA), MCA-stereo (USA-reissue)] "The Who" [Polydor-stereo (Germany-mostly tracks from "A Quick One")], SAS-stereo (Malaysia), "The Who" ("A Quick One") [Karussell-simulated stereo (Mexico)]

CDs (original mix) Sampled: "A Quick One" [Polydor-mono (Germany), Polydor-mono (Japan)] "Happy Jack" [MCA-stereo (USA)].

CDs (remix) Sampled: "A Quick One" [Polydor-mono (Germany), Polydor-mono (Japan), Polydor-mono (Russia), MCA-mono (USA)

CDs (2nd remix) Sampled: "A Quick One" [MCA stereo (USA)], "A Quick One" [Polydor stereo (UK) Promo], "A Quick One" [Polydor (UK)], "A Quick One" [Polydor stereo (Japan - 2006)]

CDs (2nd remix, 2008 remaster) Sampled:  n/a

LP Comments: The German version (most commonly found in the 1981 "Phases" box set) sounds beautifully and has the best overall sound quality. It features true stereo on all of the tracks, except "See My Way" (never released in stereo) and "So Sad About Us", which are both in simulated (the reverb/echo variety). The Italy & Malaysia versions seems to come from the same source material, but the vinyl quality is not as good, causing unwanted track noise (more so on the Malaysia version than the Italy). The Japanese version, while having mostly true stereo tracks as above ("A Quick One While He's Away" is in mono), has rather dull sound in comparison to the German version. The Holland & Mexico (Karussell label) versions are basically mono, with the echo/reverb effect to "simulate" stereo. The original stereo Decca (USA) pressings have some tracks in true stereo, mono and simulated stereo, most notably in true stereo is "So Sad About Us", which can only be found on this LP (and its lesser MCA reissues - which all sound pretty bad) as well as "The Best Of The Who Volume 2 (France). If you prefer mono version, the original Reaction (UK) sounds very good.

CD (original mix) comments: The MCA "Happy Jack" CD features the same configuration of stereo/mono/simulated stereo as its vinyl equivalent. However, it's derived from inferior copy tapes, so the sound quality suffers somewhat. The Polydor (Germany) is breathtakingly clean, but unfortunately 100% mono. The Polydor (Japan) adds an additional touch of bass (in comparison to the German version), that's unwarranted (unless that's your personal preference).

CD (remix) comments: The Polydor (Germany) and MCA (USA) are identical in terms of sound quality and the Polydor (Japan) adds that "value added" bass to the above (as do most of the Japanese Who CDs). All of these versions are a combination of <mostly> mono, true stereo (only on "Run, Run, Run" and a few of the bonus tracks) and a few simulated stereo (reverb/echo variety) tracks as well.

CD (2nd remix) comments: The new stereo mixes of: Run, Run, Run, Boris The Spider, I Need You, Cobwebs And Strange, Heatwave, So Sad About Us, Bucket T and Barbara Ann are great! The rest of the "A Quick One" stereo tracks seem to be taken from the mix-down tapes used for the great sounding German <stereo> Polydor LP and blend very well with the new mixes. "See My Way" is the simulated stereo version, perhaps with a bit more "reverb", but very clean. "Disguises", which was in mono on the 1st remix version, has been swapped with the stereo mix. "Doctor Doctor" is the simulated stereo version and "Happy Jack" is still in mono...

Of the remixed tracks, "Run, Run, Run" *runs* about 10 seconds longer, while the rest of them seem to be about the same as the previous releases.

Unfortunately, the CD's mastering is way too loud! (This is more noticeable on the MCA version than on the UK Polydor promo - which I found "easier" to listen to.) All the softer passages are turned way up, which makes it not so easy to listen to. Music is *supposed* to have both loud and soft passages, but this just has loud ones. "Batman" is actually even louder than the track preceding it ("A Quick One While He's Away"), so you need to turn the volume down!

Comparing the three different releases - the Polydor (UK) promo sounds slightly warmer than the standard Polydor (UK), which sounds about identical to the MCA (USA).

The 2006 Polydor (Japan) CD is a hybrid of true stereo original mix tracks from the 2006 reissued I'm A Boy CD and the above stereo remixed tracks with the "LOUD" mastering. The results are mixed, with the normal mastered tracks significantly outshining the loud mastered tracks. Tracks from: "Run, Run, Run" to "Don't Look Away" are with "normal" mastering, then tracks: "See My Way" to "Doctor, Doctor" are loud mastering, then the rest of the album switches back to "normal" mastering. I'm assuming the Japanese compilers preferred the normal mastered tracks and used the "loud mastered tracks" where they didn't have true stereo tracks available. (They could have used additional true stereo <normal mastered> bonus tracks which were available from the 1995 release, but probably wanted to maintain a consistent sound for a group of songs, vs. bouncing back and forth between songs.)

Please note that the initial pressings,  the packaging is *identical* to the previously released (1995)  MCA CD. The dates, the run times, *everything* is the same. MCA corrected this with a new sticker (see previous page). So, if you are looking for this version - make sure it has the right sticker on it.

The Polydor version has been issued a new catalog # for Europe - Polydor 589800-2 (no word on a Japan release at this time).

CDs (2nd remix, 2008 remaster) comments:

This version combines the original mono mixes on one CD and the 2002 stereo mixes on the other, adding bonus tracks to each, respectively.

Compare for yourself!

Below are 30 second WAV samples of "Run Run Run" from the various pressings of "A Quick One" as described above.

1966 UK Multitrack Tape (Stereo)
   1966 UK Master Tape (Stereo)   1966 UK Master Tape (Mono)   1966 USA Master Tape (Stereo)   1966 USA LP (Stereo)   1981 Germany LP (Stereo)   1988 USA CD (Stereo)   1988 Germany CD (Mono)   1988 Japan CD Mono   1995 USA CD (Stereo)   1997 Japan CD (Stereo)   2003 UK CD (Stereo)   2005 USA DAT Master (Mono)   2009 USA/Japan Master Tape (Stereo)   2012 Japan CD (Mono)   2012 Japan CD (Stereo)   2015 UK HD Download (Stereo)


Select samples of "So Sad About Us"...

1966 UK Multitrack Tape (Stereo)
  1966 USA LP (Stereo)   1988 USA CD (Stereo)   1988 Germany CD (Mono)   1995 USA CD (Fake Stereo)    2003 UK CD (Stereo)   2012 Japan CD (Mono)   2012 Japan CD (Stereo)

Note: Sound comparisons are only as good as your ears and the equipment you are listening to the music with.


Summary: This is a great album when listened to in true stereo.

If you try to "piece" a stereo version together from LPs, you will need a combination of sources. By using the Polydor (Germany) vinyl for the majority and the Decca-stereo (USA) for "So Sad About Us", you combine the most and best sounding LP true stereo tracks.

The 1st remix CD is problematic as most of the songs used, were not remixed, just remastered. However, the bonus tracks sound good

If you like the mono version, find the original Polydor (Germany) CD copy.

Other Comments: Oddly enough, Polydor reissued this LP in Germany for a 180-Gram (audiophile) pressing and a regular vinyl issue of the same. However, both of these use the original Decca/MCA "Happy Jack" tapes, not the great sounding German Polydor tapes. They also have a "hidden", uncredited bonus track of "Happy Jack" stuck at the end.

Most notably, the vocals on the mono mix of "Run, Run, Run" is significantly different than the stereo mix of the same.

It was also recently discovered that Keith Moon did not write, "Cobwebs and Strange". The original <Tony Crombie> song can be found on 1960, "Man From Interpol" soundtrack (see "Related" section) as the track, "Eastern Journey".

About: A Quick One

"A Quick One" is my favorite Who album ("Quadrophenia" is a close 2nd)...
What makes this album special to me is it was the first attempt of The Who being The Who for the first time. "My Generation" was more of a band transition between R&B music to Pete Townshend songs, with a style more of the times, than a style that would ultimately begin to define the band. This album has good writing, a sense of humor and great performances.
While "My Generation" consisted of Pete tunes with a few covers, this was to be a "band album" in which Kit Lambert asked each of them to supply 2 songs (Roger only delivered "See My Way").
"Boris The Spider" was played until John's untimely death.
"A Quick One While He's Away" was Pete's first attempt at creating a "rock opera"
"So Sad About Us" - just a really fantastic song. Lots of deep feelings associated with this one..
Unfortunately, the album was rushed in the making and ended up in various "parts and pieces" around the globe.
In the UK and France - a mono only release.
In the USA and Canada - retitled as "Happy Jack" because of the success of the single. Issued in mono and stereo - the stereo version featured true stereo tracks and simulated stereo tracks (go figure).
In several other countries, the album was released as "The Who" - mostly the same tracks, but with some substitutions (i.e. "A Quick One While He's Away" and
"So Sad About Us", swapped with "Circles" and "I'm A Boy", etc...). Depending on which country, the album was released in
true stereo, mono or simulated stereo. (Confused yet?)
In 1970, a mostly true stereo version <"So Sad About Us" and "See My Way" were in simulated stereo> of the album was released in Germany with great sound quality. This version was used in the 1981 "Phases" box set...
My first "A Quick One" was the "Phases" version - so from my perspective - I thought the album was always in stereo (what did I know?) Later on, I found out that the USA "Happy Jack" had a true stereo "So Sad About Us", and I ended up combining these 2 LPs when recording to tape, and then later CDr to listen to...
After collecting for several years, I came across the mono versions of the album - and I never liked them. In mono, I found it to be a darker, depressing album - but in stereo it was a day and night experience (go
When the "remixed/remastered" CD came out in 1995, I assumed it would be in true stereo. I recall when the first CD version was released, they had debated which version to use, and the mono version won out.
Unfortunately, the 1995 version was neither. It was a hodge-podge of various stereo, mono and simulated stereo tracks. I was pissed!
Shortly thereafter, the 1995 Who Convention was held. When I found out that the parties responsible for this CD were going to be there, I made sure I spoke to them about "fixing this"... What was explained to me is that they never knew the album was previously released in stereo and that if I "could find the master tapes" - they would re-release it in true stereo...
For 7 long years, I made various attempts to locate the tapes and convince them to rerelease this album "properly". After much ado and with the help of a friend at Polydor, Holland, tapes were located and my friend reached out to Pete - who gave the go ahead to remix and rerelease the album!
Unfortunately the true stereo version which was released in 2002, had heavy compression in the mastering, which adversely affected the new mixes. So close, yet so far...
Fast forward to 2012...
The album was released again in Japan - this time using the original, 1966 stereo mixes (from the German tapes) and the mastering is just right! Unfortunately the album is a bit of a hybrid - the "A Quick One" portion sounds great - but the bonus tracks are from the 2002, heavy compression mastering.
So, we've gotten closer, but not 100%...
Favorite tracks - ALL of them!
Some additional comments...
Keith's track, "I Need You" is actually quite a bit longer than the released version. It has a bit of a carnival ending with some additional dialog. Not sure why it was never released this way, but it sounds much better unedited!
Speaking of Keith - "Cobwebs & Strange" was not written by Keith - but rather another British drummer, named Tony Crombie. It was released on the 1960 soundtrack LP,
Man From Interpol.
Did Keith have this tune in his head from a TV show? Was he friends with Tony Crombie? Good questions.

Track Listing: UK (Original): Run, Run, Run, Boris The Spider, I Need You, Whiskey Man, Heatwave, Cobwebs and Strange, Don't Look Away, See My Way, So Sad About Us, A Quick One While He's Away.

USA (Original): Run, Run, Run, Boris The Spider, I Need You, Whiskey Man, Cobwebs and Strange, Happy Jack, Don't Look Away, See My Way, So Sad About Us, A Quick One While He's Away.

1st Remix: Run, Run, Run (stereo), Boris The Spider (simulated stereo), I Need You (mono), Whiskey Man (simulated stereo), Heatwave (mono), Cobwebs and Strange (mono), Don't Look Away (mono), See My Way (mono), So Sad About Us (mono), A Quick One While He's Away (mono), Batman (stereo) , Bucket T (mono), Barbara Ann (mono), Disguises (mono), Doctor, Doctor (mono), I've Been Away (stereo), In The City (stereo), Happy Jack (acoustic version - mono), Man With Money (stereo), My Generation/Land of Hope and Glory (stereo).

2nd Remix: Run, Run, Run (stereo + ~10 seconds longer), Boris The Spider (stereo), I Need You (stereo), Whiskey Man (stereo), Heatwave (stereo), Cobwebs and Strange (stereo), Don't Look Away (stereo), See My Way (simulated stereo), So Sad About Us (stereo), A Quick One While He's Away (stereo), Batman (stereo) , Bucket T (stereo), Barbara Ann (stereo), Disguises (stereo), Doctor, Doctor (mono), I've Been Away (stereo), In The City (stereo), Happy Jack (acoustic version - mono), Man With Money (stereo), My Generation/Land of Hope and Glory (stereo).

2nd Remix, 2008 Remaster:
Disc 1 (Mono): Run, Run, Run, Boris The Spider, I Need You, Whiskey Man, Heatwave, Cobwebs and Strange, Don't Look Away, See My Way, So Sad About Us, A Quick One While He's Away, Substitute, Circles, I'm A Boy, In The City, Batman, Bucket "T", Barbara Ann, Disguises, Happy Jack, I've Been Away, Substitute (alternate lyric version), I'm A Boy (alternate version), Batman (Instrumental), Happy Jack (alternate version), Happy Jack (alternate mix)
Disc 2 (Stereo): Run, Run, Run, Boris The Spider, I Need You, Whiskey Man, Heatwave, Cobwebs and Strange, Don't Look Away, See My Way, So Sad About Us, A Quick One While He's Away, I'm A Boy, In The City, Batman, Bucket "T", Barbara Ann, Disguises, I've Been Away, Man With Money, My Generation - Land Of Hope And Glory, I'm A Boy (alternate version)



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