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The Who - John Entwistle Albums - 3:

Anthology - Germany - 1996 Repertoire CD

Remixed "Best Of"

Anthology - Japan - 1996 Repertoire CD

Pressed in Germany, but includes Japanese lyric sheet and cover sticker

Thunderfingers - USA - 1996 Rhino CD

"Best of" compilation

Thunderfingers - USA - 1996 Rhino Cassette (Promo)

The King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents John Entwistle - USA - 1997 KBFH/BMG CD

John Entwistle Live On The King Biscuit Flower Hour - UK - 1998 KBFH CD

The King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents John Entwistle - Japan - 1998 KBFH/Sony CD

Boris The Spider - Holland - 2001 Disky CD

Same as the King Biscuit (KBFH) CDs, different track order, no interview

Van Pires - USA - 1998 MSH Promo CD

2nd version of album - Unreleased

Music From Van Pires - USA - 2000 Pulsar CD

3rd version of the album

Music From Van Pires - USA - 2000 Pulsar CD (Autographed by the band)

Left For Live - USA - 1999 J-Bird CD

Left For Live - UK - 2002 Dead Ringer CD (Promo)

CD never released on this label - Press Kit and acetate <above> only

Left For Live - UK - 2002 EastWorld CD

Left For Live Deluxe - USA - 2002 Koch Records CD

Digital Press Kit - 2001 CD (Promo)

Contains various video and audio tracks to promote the John Entwistle Band

Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle & Keith Moon - Russia - 2001 Delta MM CD

MP3 albums of: Smash Your Head Against The Wall, Whistle Rymes, Rigor Mortis Sets In, Mad Dog, Too Late The Hero, The Rock. Roger Daltrey: Daltrey, Ride A Rock Horse, One Of The Boys, McVicar, Parting Should Be Painless, Under A Raging Moon, Can't Wait To See The Movie, Rocks In The Head. Keith Moon: Two Sides Of The Moon

Greatest Hits Live - USA - 2003 KBFH CD

Reissue of "The King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents John Entwistle" - USA - 1997 KBFH/BMG CD

From The Front Row... Live! - USA - 2004 Silverline DVD Audio 5.1

So Who's The Bass Player? - UK - 2005 Sanctuary CD

So Who's The Bass Player? - USA - 2005 Sanctuary CD

So Who's The Bass Player? - UK - 2005 Sanctuary CD (Promo)

Disc 1

So Who's The Bass Player? - UK - 2005 Sanctuary CD (Promo)

Disc 2

So Who's The Bass Player? - USA - 2005 Sanctuary CD (Promo)


Album: Anthology

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Not released on LP

CDs Sampled: Repertoire (Germany) (Only known CD release)

Non-album Tracks: None

LP Comments: n/a

CD Comments: A great sounding CD!

Summary: n/a

Other Comments: This album was John Entwistle's first CD release of songs from his original LPs. Most of these tracks have been remixed from the original versions and some of the changes are pretty cool!

About: Anthology

This CD was the first CD that John issued of previously released material ("The Rock" was his first CD).
Sort of a chronological "best of" (of sorts) from his first 5 albums, but with some interesting and unique mixes thrown in for good measure on the "Whistle Rymes" and "Rigor Mortis Sets In" tracks. For example...
"Ten Little Friends" is extended, "I Wonder" has some interesting brass going on and "Made In Japan" uses the "Boris" voice as a backing vocal, etc.
Some other odd things going on too - the "Whistle Rymes" and "Mad Dog" tracks have too much reverb applied to their mastering (which is not the case for the other tracks on the CD) - so the production qualities are not exactly consistent throughout.
Shortly after its release, in 1997 - John began to release his back catalog on CD. 

Track Listing: My Size, What Are We Doing Here?, I Believe In Everything, Ten Little Friends, Apron Strings, I Feel Better, I Wonder, The Window Shopper, My Wife, Roller Skate Kate, Peg Leg Peggy, Made In Japan, Drowning, Mad Dog, Fallen Angel, Dancing Master, Too Late The Hero, Red Red Robin


Album: King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents, (Boris The Spider in Holland)

CDs Sampled: King Biscuit Entertainment (USA), King Biscuit Entertainment (UK), Disky (NL)

CD Comments: This is a great CD! All of these versions sound about the same.

Other Comments: This CD was remixed by Andy Macpherson, who also mixed "Live At Leeds". As a result, this CD sounds like, "John Entwistle: Live At Leeds". A very powerful performance and a great recording.

About: The King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents John Entwistle
This is a really cool CD...
For years fans were discussing the "lost" JAE concert which was recorded by the KBFH in 1975 and buried in their vaults.
With all the Who activity between 1996 and 1997, the KBFH folks decided to "cash in". The tapes were sent to Revolution Studios in England to be mixed for CD release.
I recall playing this CD for the first time. It is mixed just like Live At Leeds, which coincidentally, Revolution also remixed.
I often refer to this CD as "John Entwistle Live At Leeds".
A friend recently mentioned that John was responsible for most of The Who's live sound with his loud lead bass playing. This is very evident throughout the CD. Great performances of John's songs with "Not Fade Away" thrown in for good measure.
The album opens with "Heaven & Hell" and keeps on going from there! Wow!
I was never a real big fan of John's "Mad Dog" album, until I heard (and finally understood) "Cell Number 7" (a true story how The Who were locked in jail in Montreal when they were supposed to be flying to Boston to perform a concert. Apparently a hotel manager didn't like the way they left their rooms...) great song - great performance.
If you are a fan of Live At Leeds and John's music and don't have this CD - what are you waiting for???

Track Listing:

KBFH: Heaven And Hell, Whiskey Man, My Size, Boris The Spider, Not Fade Away, Cell Number Seven, Who Cares?, Give Me That Rock And Roll, My Wife, Interview

Boris The Spider: Boris The Spider, My Size, Whiskey Man, Who Cares, Give Me That Rock 'n' Roll, Cell Number Seven, Not Fade Away, My Wife, Heaven And Hell


Album: Left For Live & Left For Live Deluxe

CDs Sampled: J-Bird (USA), EastWorld (UK), Koch Records [Deluxe version] (USA)  

CD Comments: This is one of the worst sounding CDs I've ever heard (all versions). The J-Bird (USA) was released in 1999 and the mastering was so "thin" that it just sounded horrible. To compensate for this problem, the EastWorld (UK) CD is "overmastered" to tone down the high end. Unfortunately, the result of the frequencies shifting causes the vocals to become muffled. Even with the high end is toned down, the high end peaks too loud, including a terrible digital distortion in "The Darker Side Of Night" which could potentially damage the tweeters in your speakers. The Koch Records [Deluxe] version suffers from shrill top end on many of the songs and the mastering seems to differ from song to song (The newly added songs seem to sound slightly better than the previously released songs).

Other Comments: Sadly, there are some great performances buried under one of the worst recorded and produced albums I've ever heard. There is so much distortion, dropouts and loud cymbals in this recording that ruin this CD (a result of poor recording, bad mixing and bad mastering). The drums are recorded as if someone is banging drum sticks against a bottle (which is ironic since the "producer" is the band's drummer).

Before its release, the band went back to the studio to "fix" some of these songs. However, you can hear the overdubs as if they were "layered" over the existing recording. This is especially evident on the vocals of "905" and the harmony vocals of "Cousin Kevin" (Deluxe version).

Compare this album to the 1975 King Biscuit release for what a live John Entwistle CD should sound like.  

Summary: If you had to make a choice between these 3 releases, I would recommend the "Deluxe" version since it has extra tracks, which oddly enough sound a little better than the previously released tracks.

About: Left For Live Deluxe
I was reluctant to pull this off of the shelf...
As much as I loved the John Entwistle Band and its performances, this is not a good CD...
And as John wrote in "Success Story"...
"Ooh, and my ears are still ringing..."
What always bothers me about certain CDs, is that they come really close to success, and then fail for one reason or another. (This is one of those CDs...)
OK, let's get into the "why?"
Apparently the drummer received some free/loaned recording equipment and proceeded to record some/all
the 1998/99 tour...
Ironically, he didn't mic the drums properly at all, so what you hear mostly throughout this CD is a "tin can" (the drums sound like a wooden spoon hitting a milk bottle) and a "cymbal" in place of a full drum kit. The cymbal is so prominent in the mix, that it "crashes" right through your ears, causing some pain, even at low volume levels.
A few of the previous attempts at releasing this CD attempted to adjust for this (via the mastering), but were unsuccessful.
The 2nd irony is that there are many overdubs on this CD (some of which you can actually hear the layer of tape in the mix) as the USA members of the band flew to John's house to overdub and mix the album. To "fix" this album properly, what they should have done was re-record the drums in John's studio and there could have been a great "live" album here. The rest of the instruments, vocals, etc. were recorded just fine. Oh well...
My favorite track on the album is "905".
As much as I've stated (over and over again) how much I hate compression, this might be a good candidate with to experiment in order to "fix" the sound problems (and perhaps create other ones). A conversion of CD to MP3 might be in order, which will compress/suppress the extreme high frequencies generated by the cymbals. In "theory" this might work, but it will also most likely take away some of the frequencies which make John's bass playing sound "unique". (And of course then we're still left with the little "tin can" sound in place of the full drum kit, but...)

Track Listing(s):

Left For Live: Horror Rock, The Real Me, Darker Side Of Night, Success Story, 905, I'll Try Again Today, Under A Raging Moon, Endless Vacation, Too Late The Hero, Had Enough, Shakin' All Over, Young Man Blues

Left For Live Deluxe: Bogey Man, Horror Rock, The Real Me, Sometimes, My Size, You, Darker Side Of Night, Love Is A Heart Attack, Success Story, Trick Of The Light, Cousin Kevin, Under A Raging Moon, Boris The Spider, 905, Had Enough, Endless Vacation, I'll Try Again Today, Whiskey Man, Too Late The Hero, Young Man Blues, Shakin' All Over, Heaven & Hell, Summertime Blues, My Wife

Note: "Bogey Man" is not a live version, but rather an audience recording of the ending of the studio version (from "Van Pires") played through the PA. "Horror Rock" is also credited incorrectly (on the Deluxe version) as "Horror Rock (Nightmare)". This is misleading as "Nightmare" is the last song on "Whistle Rymes" and "Horror Rock" is the first song on "Van Pires" (i.e. two completely different songs).


Album: Music From Van Pires

CDs Sampled: Pulsar (USA) [Version #3], MSH (USA-Promo only) [Version #2]

Non-album Tracks: There is a limited edition CD single of "When The Sun Comes Up" and "Horror Rock", which features the versions of the songs from Versions #1 & #2.

CD Comments: This CD sounds great!

Other Comments: This is another CD with a "long story" associated with it. The original concept behind it was a soundtrack to a kid's TV show. However, after several years of delays, the TV show was long forgotten and the album finally got released.

The first recording sessions produced some great songs, which ultimately got rejected by the TV show because they were a little too "strong" for a kid's show. "I Wouldn't Sleep With You" was one of those songs as it featured John's "sick humor" lyrics at their finest. Another track, "Left For Dead" was re-recorded with different (toned-down) lyrics.

One of the more interesting aspects of this album is that it features Keith Moon's drums on the track, "Bogey Man". Apparently this track was intended for the "Who Are You" album, but rejected. The 1978 unfinished track had vocals, bass, horns and drums. For "Van Pires", the John Entwistle Band added guitar, keyboards and backing vocals to complete it.

The album has basically gone through 3 revisions. Versions #1 & #2 featured a different song order as well as the following changes:

Version #1: "When The Sun Comes Up" features Alan St. Jon on lead vocals and a different mix than Version #3, "Horror Rock" has backing vocals, which were removed from version #3, "Don't Be A Sucker" features Steve Luongo on lead vocals, "Face The Fear" features a different, more grittier lead vocal than version #3.

Version #2: Has the same versions of "When The Sun Comes Up" and "Horror Rock" as version #1, "Rebel Without A Car" features lead vocals from Billy Squire. The mastering has less bass than Versions #1 or #3. "Face The Fear" is the same version as #3.

About: Music From Van Pires
This album has quite an interesting history...
A close friend of mine hooked up the John Entwistle Band with a new (~1998) television show ("Van Pires"), for which they recorded a new song per episode. A contract was signed for a CD release. For whatever reason, the record company didn't want to release the CD <at that time> and from what I understand the band's business manager agreed to the deal without an "out clause" (i.e. you don't release the album within "X" time period, you are out of the contract), so the album's status was in limbo...
While on tour in California, several fans looking to see John - found his tour bus. They met up with the business manager. Frustrated that the album wasn't released, the business manager was like "Hey man, want to hear our new album!" A cassette copy was given to the 3 fans and the business manager asked them to promise not to copy it... (not really a good idea)
Shortly thereafter, the one fan (who didn't have possession of the tape), asked the fan (who had possession and actually wanted to "honor the promise") to come over his house so he could hear the tape on his stereo system. Unknowingly
the other fan had hooked up his cassette player to another recorder, so that he could secretly record the album without the other fan's knowledge...
Within about 24 hours, pirated
copies of "Van Pires" were out. I had a copy within days. It was amazing how quickly "word traveled".
So I called the business manager on the phone and started making some recommendations to the mixes/performances and he was like, "Where did you get this???"
"Dummy, ***you*** let it get bootlegged!"
(Prior to all of this and shortly after the album was initially recorded, the business manager played parts of it over the phone for me. At the time, I asked him for a copy and his response was "I can't give this to anyone!" - but he had no problem giving a copy to 3 total strangers - one of which bootlegged it!)
This of course led to flared tempers (it's always good to "shoot the messenger", isn't it?). After he calmed down, I recommended some changes to the album (i.e. Billy Squire's lead vocals were on John's song, "Rebel Without A Car" - what Who/John fan would prefer to hear Billy Squire's instead of John's vocals???)
Fast forward to the year 2000...
After much ado, the record company finally gave the OK - because The Who were touring and it was an opportunity to "piggy back" CD sales on The Who. The Who's management agreed to allow it to be sold at concerts. Good news? Well...
After all of the above, the business manager apparently never had any artwork designed for the album. So, when the record company gave their "green light", there was a scramble to create artwork, further delaying the release of the CD (it missed the 1st leg of The Who tour - lost opportunities to sell more CDs). The 2nd mistake was the artwork itself. Only a handful of hardcore fans of John knew about "Van Pires". The cover art reflected the TV show (at this time long off the air and not remembered by anyone). A much more appropriate cover would have been a picture of John & the band - which would be immediately recognized... Another lost opportunity...
I felt bad for John. John was too nice and was loyal to some people who may have been in roles may not have been fully aligned to their skill sets...
The album itself has some great music on it!
Horror Rock, Darker Side Of Night, Bogey Man, Good & Evil, Back On The Road, Left For Dead, When The Sun Comes Up, Endless Vacation, Face The Fear (all great tracks)
As some of you might know, "Bogey Man" was an unfinished song originally intended for "Who Are You". However, as the story goes, Pete laughed his ass off when he heard it. John was apparently insulted and the song remained buried for 20 years. Keith Moon had laid down the drum track
and the John Entwistle band finished the song. This song originally began as a song called "She's A Witch" (same music, different performance, completely different lyrics). This is a GREAT song - one of my favorite John Entwistle songs - right up there with "Heaven & Hell"...
"Back On The Road" was another time warp leftover. Originally recorded for intended use for "Too Late The Hero" in 1979 (that version not used) and then again, with Kenney Jones on drums for intended
use on Face Dances. A cool, very typical JAE song...
"Left For Dead" features each band member singing their respective "part of the story" - the original lyrics featured John getting poisoned by his wife - hence the "My Wife" music which follows it - but that seemed a bit "too much" for a kid's TV show and the lyrics were softened up...
"When The Sun Comes Up" was to be the single for the album and a bunch of promo copies were pressed. The original vocal was sung by former keyboard player/vocalist,
Alan St. Jon (an extremely talented and very nice guy). Because he left the band, his vocals were removed from the album and overdubbed by the "business man's" - which really didn't "help" the song.
"Face The Fear" was written and sung by New York area legend, guitarist and lead vocalist for the band -
Godfrey Townsend. Great song! The original version of the CD had a grittier version of the song - (I like both versions equally...)
Recorded for the album, but not released (still unreleased to this date) is another John Entwistle "classic" - "I Wouldn't Sleep With You". Way too "heavy" for a kid's TV show, but "just right" for John and his band...

Track Listing: Horror Rock, Darker Side Of Night, Sometimes, Bogey Man, Good & Evil, When You See The Light, Back On The Road, Left For Dead, When The Sun Comes Up, Rebel Without A Car, Don't Be A Sucker, Endless Vacation, I'll Try Again Today, Face The Fear


Album: From The Front Row... Live!

DVD-A Sampled: Silverline (USA)

DVD-A Comments: Same concert (and tracks) as "King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents" with yet another variation of the track list order.

Other Comments: While the 5.1 mix offers the opportunity for greater separation of instruments (and some of that is noticeable), unfortunately, the mix on this DVD-A is inferior to the 2-channel "King Biscuit" CDs. Especially notable are the drums which are mixed more like "tin cans" than the great drum sound on the CD versions. Another oddity about the 5.1 mix is that it is balanced poorly. The center channel is about 16db louder than the front and rear speakers, and has to be turned down in order to make the DVD-A sound "normal".

The DVD-A also features photos of John Entwistle for each of the tracks (if you play the disc with a TV monitor connected).

Track Listing: Cell Number Seven, My Size, Give Me That Rock And Roll, Heaven And Hell, Whiskey Man, Not Fade Away, My Wife, Who Cares?, Boris The Spider


Album: So Who's The Bass Player? - The Ox Anthology

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Not released on LP

CDs Sampled: Sanctuary (UK), Sanctuary (USA - Promo)

Non-album Tracks: None

LP Comments: n/a

CD Comments: The studio and live King Biscuit tracks are clean, but suffer from too much compression - which is not present on the original source CDs (or LPs where relevant). Whereas this additional compression makes the sound quality suffer on these tracks, it actually helps on the tracks taken from "Left For Live" whereas the original source CDs there were virtually unlistenable.

Note: Both UK and USA (Promo) copies have identical sound quality.

Summary: A nice compilation, but most of the songs sound much better from their original source(s).

Other Comments: A fairly comprehensive track listing, spanning entire John's solo output. "Made In Japan" is missing the "Dinner Is Served Sir" ending. Unfortunately, some of the artwork used in this CD was taken from this website without permission or credit.

Track Listing: My Size, Pick Me Up Big Chicken?, What Are We Doing Here?, Heaven And Hell, Ted End, Ten Little Friends, Apron Strings, Thinking It Over, Who Cares?, I Wonder, I Was Just Being Friendly, Do The Dangle, Made In Japan, Roller Skate Kate, Peg Leg Peggy, Lady Killer, Mad Dog, Cell Number 7 (Live), Whiskey Man (Live), Boris The Spider (Live), My Wife (Live), I'm Flash, Space Pirates, To The Chop, Blast Off, Try Me, Talk Dirty, Too Late The Hero, Love Doesn't Last, Life After Love, The Real Me (Live), Success Story (Live), 905 (Live), Had Enough (Live), Bogeyman, Back On The Road, When The Sun Comes Up, Don't Be A Sucker



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