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'So Who’s The Bass Player - The Ox Anthology'

Sanctuary SMEDD138 (2005)

John Entwistle

Loud and complex, The Ox was a very influential bassist and now sadly missed. Off stage, Entwistle was perhaps the quietest member of The Who, so many will be surprised he released several solo albums.

John was perhaps the most talented member of The Who, and on his solo work he handles a good chunk of the keyboards and brass most of the vocals on top of his unique bass playing. His style of bass became loud and complex to make up the loss of Daltrey’s rhythm guitar when Roger decided to concentrate on vocals in early days.

This well packaged double disc covers John’s solo work from his 1971 debut Smash Your Head Against The Wall. Opening with the Zepplin-esque ‘My Size’, we get a lot of rock numbers with a Who influence, albeit a bigger sound with the keyboards and horns, and some more acoustic numbers too.

The horns add more funk than soul, and elements of ‘I Wonder’ could come from a heavy blaxploitation soundtrack. ‘I Was Just Being Friendly’ has a touch of AOR - there really is a mix here but it all comes off. Very well too.

John’s vocals do work well in their own setting, but don’t fall into the trap of comparing them with Daltrey, there really is no comparison. Even so, the live material here shows how good he really was.

With various live tracks from a King Biscuit Flower Hour recording, and appearances from Peter Frampton, Tony Ashton and Zak Starkey among others, and a booklet that tells you who where when etc (some don’t and it’s sooo annoying), it’s a package well worth having and a good introduction too.


Review by Joe Geesin

Related>> Roger Daltrey

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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