3/4/16 – The Who – Substitute – 1966

Video Of The Day

Song Of The Day

The Who Substitute 7 inch single cover 1966As The Who were the source for the announcement of Andy Newman’s death, it seemed like we should have some classic videos of the band performing (or miming) some of their timeless classics.

Substitute was released as a single in March 1966 and reached No.5 on the UK chart. A trademark Power Pop with guts, knocks you off your feet whilst melting you with the melody and a thoughtful lyric that might have dealt with Townshend’s self-confidence at the time. It was released less than a month after it was recorded and was the follow up single to My Generation.

I love that high chord guitar riff at the beginning and into the verse with the impudent Roger Daltrey singing that  memorable first line “You think we look pretty good together”. Lyrically there’s some controversy. In America the line “I look all white, but my dad was black” was replaced with “I try walking forward but my feet walk back.” Also the second verse and chorus were edited out.

The song is allegedly inspired by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ 1965 hit, The Tracks Of My Tears and the line  “Although she may be cute/She’s just a substitute.” The Ramones, Sex Pistols and Blur have covered the song.

In this clip John Entwistle’s medals, hang from his shirt over the body of his guitar, this was probably controversial at the time with old soldiers possibly finding it hard to relate to a bunch of urchins smashing up their equipment, throwing away money and complaining about a society that they had sacrificed their lives to create. Now of course The Who are heroes to a generation of a similar age, to younger people, to Punks and Rock fans everywhere. Four quite exceptional human beings – Pete Townshend’s fantastic songs and explosive guitar playing, Keith Moon’s atomic drumming, John Entwistle’s thunderous bass playing and Roger Daltrey’s impertinence and in this clip, striking shirt.

Below are links to posts on the archive about The Who. I’ve also included an article from The Guardian about Entwistle’s death in a Las Vegas hotel room on June 27th 2002 on the eve of a US tour. Controversially the band played four days later at The Hollywood Bowl on July 1st. Entwistle was 57 years old – same age as me.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/dec/12/arts.artsnews

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Who

You think we look pretty good together
You think my shoes are made of leather

But I’m a substitute for another guy
I look pretty tall but my heels are high
The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young, but I’m just back-dated, yeah

Substitute your lies for fact
I can see right through your plastic mac
I look all white, but my dad was black
My fine-looking suit is really made out of sack

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth
The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south
And now you dare to look me in the eye
Those crocodile tears are what you cry
It’s a genuine problem, you won’t try
To work it out at all you just pass it by, pass it by

Substitute me for him
Substitute my coke for gin
Substitute you for my mum
At least I’ll get my washing done

But I’m a substitute for another guy
I look pretty tall but my heels are high
The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young, but I’m just backdated, yeah

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth
The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south
And now you dare to look me in the eye
Those crocodile tears are what you cry
It’s a genuine problem, you won’t try
To work it out at all you just pass it by, pass it by

Substitute me for him
Substitute my coke for gin
Substitute you for my mum
At least I’ll get my washing done

Substitute your lies for fact
I can see right through your plastic mac
I look all white, but my dad was black
My fine-looking suit is really made out of sack

 

17/9/15 – Tommy – The Movie – The Who – 1975/ Tommy – The Album – The Who – 1969

17/9/15 – Tommy – The Movie – The Who – 1975/ Tommy – The Album – The Who – 1969

17/9/15 – Tommy – The Movie – The Who – 1975/ Tommy – The Album – The Who – 1969

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One Response to “3/4/16 – The Who – Substitute – 1966”

  1. jedmatthew April 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    Dig Townshend’s rock star moves in the Substitute video!

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