Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Entwistle: Tale of the Ox

Compilation (single artist)

If any of you had a chance to check out my recent post on Alan Wilson, you'll see where I described him as the quintessential musical "X-Factor". This is something that I've been thinking about more and more as this humble blog develops. I must have never realized it, but I seem to have quite an affinity for musicians who fit into this category-- guys who may not have sung lead on every track or written every song, but who came through with clutch musical contributions that helped to elevate their bands from "very good" to "classic" status. So here, in no particular order, are My Top 12 musical "X-Factors":
  1. Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys)
  2. Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones)
  3. Richie Furay (The Buffalo Springfield)
  4. Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (Canned Heat)
  5. John Entwistle (The Who)
  6. George Harrison (The Beatles)
  7. Gene Clark (The Byrds)
  8. Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane)
  9. Mike Pinder (The Moody Blues)
  10. Russ Giguere (The Association)
  11. Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (The Grateful Dead)
  12. Peter Tork (The Monkees)
Someday I would love to write a book about these twelve amazing musicians, and the vital contributions they brought forth to their respective bands. Until then, this blog will have to suffice. And in time, they will all get their due, but for now let's focus on "The Ox"... John Entwistle.

There's not too much I can say about John that hasn't been said before. He's probably the best rock bassist of all time, as well as an underrated composer who was able to place his songs comfortably alongside one of the undisputed greatest songwriters of his generation. The Ox was also a man possessed with a brilliantly morbid sense of humor, which was never not reflected in the lyrics he penned both for his solo albums and his work with the Who. Perhaps somewhat strangely, a compilation of all the songs John recorded with The Who has never appeared-- until now that is. Here is hoping you listen to, and enjoy the Tale of the Ox.


  1. I know that no one would really count Mike Nesmith of the Monkees as an X-Factor (considering his voice isn't on any of their hits and he didn't write many of their big tracks), but I consider him the absolute best musician/songwriter of the band. Not counting his solo material (the "First National Band" albums, in particular) which has some great moments, his Monkees material is sublime. (Tork, I agree, is also an important element to the group. The band changed dramatically in sound and content when Tork left, and was basically dead after Nesmith left ("Changes" and "Pool It!" not withstanding).

  2. I agree with you completely about Mike and his musicianship and writing, but he was such a force back then that rightly or wrongly I'm tempted to view the Monkees as *his* band, even though that probably wasn't always the case.

    Tork fits the "x-factor" role to a tee with his spot-on musicianship, occasionally great song contribution and team-player attitude. He was the only one in the group who wanted them to continue on as a self-contained unit, and if his excellent keyboard contributions on Headquarters and Pisces is any indication, that may have been the way for them to go in retrospect.

  3. When I clicked the kink it said "not available".
    Anytime in the near future? I'm curious.
    Loved the previous 5 cd sets...

  4. Links are being updated tonight. Thanks for your patience!

  5. Link fixed, sorry for your confusion!

  6. Thank You Very Much. Nice comp!:)

  7. Any chance of re-upping this yet again? Your other Who albums are on constant rotation!!

  8. Glad you dig, Tim. As soon as I am back to being gainfully employed, I will re-up my sendspace account and get the rest of this stuff re-posted for you guys. Cheers! ~JP~

  9. Hi, could you upload this one again?
    I really enjoy your compilations, great work!