Friday, August 1, 2008

The Who - Who's for Tennis? (1967-1968)

Rarities Compilation (single artist)

This companion to 1967's The Who Sell Out is actually my favorite Who CD of all time. It's the album I WISH Decca US would have released in leiu of the enjoyable but all over the map Magic Bus: The Who on Tour. The title here is taken directly from the words of Pete Townshend (or was it Kit Lambert?) who said in an interview that (paraphrased) "the next Who album will be called 'Who's for Tennis". All we know for sure about this mysterious proposed album was that "Glow Girl" was supposed to be the opener, and what an opening cut indeed!

What you've got here is the double album the Who would have released in 1968 if I had been running the show at their US record label. Utilizing basic math skills, we can determine that 24 total songs/ 4 = 6, which would be the number of songs per side on this fucker. I swear to you that if I ever get my hands on a vinyl pressing factory, the first thing I would do is press up 5,000 of these bad boys and give them away to anyone I knew who gave a crap about good music.

Anyway, this is pretty much the greatest Who album ever if you ask me. The familiar points of entry are "Pictures of Lily", "Magic Bus" and "Call Me Lightning", but after that it's a mind-blowing trip through obscure but beautiful b-sides, demos, alternate takes and RARITIES, baby. Download it, dig it. This is the Who at the top of their game. Anyway I'm getting restless writing this-- Who's for Tennis?


  1. Version 2.0 uploaded today-- different song selection, improved sources for some tracks and overall volume equalization.

  2. Although I already own most -if not all- of it in one form or another, this is an absolutely essential Who-collection. Just could not resist downloading it! If you ever come around to pressing this version of 'Who's For Tennis' on vinyl, count me in! Thanks!
    Franklin Delano,
    from the Netherlands

  3. Glad you're digging it all, Franklin. Keep exploring my little site here and sample all we have to offer.

    By the way, the sources on these Who comps are the best available for each track, by way of many import and out-of-print titles. So while you may have the songs themselves, perhaps some of these mixes might be new to you.

  4. This looks great fun, many thanks! Downloading now and can't wait to listen!

  5. If you ever press this to vinyl, I would love a copy as well to slot in with my official Who vinyls!

  6. Track listing and samples here:

  7. This is great what you have done. With all due respect I disagree with your song selections. There are enough tunes just from 1968 to make an album. As well as 2-3 more songs from 1968 that have never been booted. One song intended was Now I'm A Farmer, which was rerecorded in 1970. Possibly they would have used a a couple songs from 1967. But mostly the 67 songs are WHO SELL OUT SONGS> Who's for Tennis would have been a single album not a double. The songs actually done in 1968 that are available that could/would have been used might be..

    1 Magic Bus
    2 Glow Girl
    3 Dogs
    4 Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
    5 Can't Fight Lightning
    6 Faith in Something Bigger
    7 Little Billy
    8 Fortune Teller
    9 Melancholia

    10 Now I'm A Farmer ?

    And there are a few more, and maybe a couple not used for WHO SELL OUT "posibly" would have been considered. There is at least one more never booted that could have been used, and a second anti cancer song done when Little Billy was done, and maybe a few others we don't know about. Politician and Fishin are Townshend solo home recordings from 67 not 68. Sure it sounds nice to take every extra track from 67-68 and make an album, but its not necessary. Also there is a full album of songs done between
    WHO"S NEXT 71 and Quadrophenia 73, thats also a great album it might have gone something like this

    1 Join Together
    2 Relay
    3 Pure And Easy
    4 Let's See Action
    5 Put The Money Down
    6 Water
    7 Naked Eye
    8 When I was A Boy
    9 Too Much Of Anything
    10 Time Is Passing
    11 Long Live Rock

  8. I'd also like to point out, and I love the WHO and I love WHO"S FOR TENNIS Reconstructed. There are at least five extra "early Who" albums that could be, reason why ? The first three WHO albums, they cut between 25-35 songs each, for MY Generation album, A Quick One album and WHO SELL OUT ALbum.Most of those songs have come out on the deluxe editions as bonus tracks and or Odds and Sods or 30 years R&B, Also there was a bunch of pre Generation HIGH NUMBERS TRacks, four songs, plus about six instrumentals, and the Cant Explain single/ with Bald headed Woman on the B Side, all that was pre My Generation

    In addition to that there is roughly a dozen tracks available of 1968 songs, there was no 1968 album, but they cut enough, and there are a couple more never booted. The majority of those 68 songs would have probably been on WHOS FOR TENNIS.. They scrapped it for work on Tommy, but there is enough to compile all five of these early albums.. Also

    During the WHOS Next sessions Townshend had prepared say 30 songs, only nine songs were on WHOS NEXT, originally as most of you know it was the lifehouse project, and originally Join Together, Relay, Put The Money Down, Time Is Passing, Pure and Easy Long Live Rock, they recorded at least a dozen really good songs in 71-72,, again the WHO Scrapped that album in favor of starting work on Quad, but there are ample tracks to put together the Lost 72 album, all these albums are good, there is no reason to put Pictures of Lily onto the lost WHOS FOR TENNIS ALBUM< unknown to most casual fans, up through at least 1972 the WHO Cut a lot of extra songs, and once you do the research you can compile your own five extra albums

    ALso we now know there are at least 4-5 unused songs from ENDLESS WIRE< I don't know if there is enough for a whole album, but there are at least several songs, including some played by ZAk on drums, and there are various things on the Scoop series that enlarge the Townshend solo discography as well, more tracks from the Ronnie Lane period for example, and Psychoderelict has a few extra tracks and so does White City. and Iron Man.

    So there is a lot out there, there is a lot more that has never been booted, even the WHO SELL OUT reissue as recently as 2009 had stuff no one had ever heard that had never been booted, so stay on top of it I Love you guys for being interested in this subject

  9. Thanks for all the great Who compilations. Some great rarities are here and Who's For Tennis is excellent. Hope you do more of these. Maybe a Who's Left with tracks from mid 75 to now.

  10. Thank you for all the wonderful music you's much appreciated :)