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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

John Entwistle - Whistle Rymes

Name: John Entwhistle
Album: Whistle Rymes
Year: 1972
Style: Classic Rock
Similar Bands: The Who, CCR, Journey, Supertramp, J Geils, Genesis
"One-Word" Review: proggy-stoner-rock
Based Out Of: Chiswick, Britain
Label: Track Records, Decca, MCA
Whistle Rymes - Cover & Back
Whistle Rymes - Inside Notes
Whistle Rymes - Record

Whistle Rymes (1972)
  1. Ten Little Fingers 3:56
  2. Apron Strings 3:42
  3. I Feel Better 4:42
  4. Thinkin' It Over 3:06
  5. Who Cares? 4:30 /
  6. I Wonder 2:54
  7. I Was Just being Friendly 3:31
  8. The Window Shopper 3:23
  9. I Found Out 3:45
  10. Nightmare (Please Wake Me Up) 6:08
Album Rating (1-10): 6.5

Members & Other Bands:John Entwhistle - Vox, Bass, Piano, Trumpet, French Horn, Producer, Album Cover Idea (The Who, The Confederates, The Detours, High Numbers)
John Alcock -Producer
Brian Humphreys - Engineer
Mike Weighell - Engineer
Alan Ross - Guitar, Vox, Tambourine
Jimmy McCulloch - Guitar
Neil Sheppard - Piano
Rod Coombes - Drums
Gordon Barton - Drums
Peter Frampton - Guitar
Johnny Weider - Violin
John Lethbridge - Design & Artwork
Graham Lethbridge - Design & Artwork
Bryan Williams - Trombone, Organ

Unknown-ness: I am a fan of the Who, but I was unaware that this was a John Entwhistle album when I bought it or that Entwhistle was the bass player in the Who. Yes, I feel somewhat ashamed of that fact, but now I know. I got the record because of the spectacular art work on the fold out album cover. It looks so mysterious, childlike and somehow evil that I could not pass up finding out what the music inside was like.

Album Review: The album starts off with “Ten Little Friends,” a bouncy classic rock piano number, heavy on the lead electric guitar in the second half of the song. “Apron Strings” follows as a quieter, slower piano number, almost feeling like Elton John. But it builds up with progressive elements, especially Entwhistle’s bass. There is a guitar solo toward the end, which stays around for the remainder of the song. “I Feel Better” is a piano & bass heavy prog song with head nodding, cigarette lighter pacing. “Thinkin’ It Over” continues with the same structure and pace, with a bit more of a sway, drinking song, sea shanty style. “Who Cares?” starts off with some great start stop drums, piano and bass. It is the catchiest song so far with a great verse that sets up the catchy chorus. Horns and guitar come in as you think the song is about to end, but they carry us through another minute and a half of instrumental fun.

“I Wonder” is a very theatrical quick paced song. It sounds a bit like CCR’s “Down on the Corner” when it gets to the chorus. The brass in the song sounds like it is perfect for a 70’s cop TV show theme. “I Was Just Being Friendly” feels a bit like Journey meets Supertramp. It builds well as the chord changes tone higher, but there is no great follow thorugh. “The Window Shopper” feels like a Celtic march as it begins. But it has the same Genesis feel as most of the rest of the album: a self-assured, head nodding vibe. “I Found Out” starts with a piano only until; the bass and vocals kick in. There is hesitancy in the vocals, like he is singing in a house where people are still asleep. It follows stories where the singer is the protagonist, and discovers the truth about things in his life. “Nightmares” ends the album and begins as a quiet ballad, assuming the character in the story is falling asleep, about a minute and a half, an evil carnival bass line and electronic effects in the background begin to take the listener along on this changed pace rollercoaster “nightmare” with the main character. The bass rocks hard…one part James Bond, one part Jaws. Off-key “Chopsticks” is played overtop the ever increasing and chaotic sound-scape created by this audio-nightmare to give that childhood innocents lost. The song becomes very carnival-esq at the very end as the record fades out.

Who Cares, I Wonder and Nightmare are the stand out tracks here. They seem the most original and catchy of the lot.

Stand Out Track: I Wonder

Links:
Entwhistle - Wikipedia
Entwhistle - Allmusic
Entwhistle - website
Entwhistle - Memorial Page
Entwhistle - Foundation
Entwhistle - Live in Philly 3/75

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