Album Review - John Entwistle - So Who's the Bass Player

L. Bird pkeets at
Sun Apr 24 19:04:25 CDT 2005

>From  I thought VANPIRES was first rate, too.

>Album Review - John Entwistle - So Who's the Bass Player: The Ox Anthology

Given that The Who was largely a vehicle for Pete Townshend's
compositions, there were inherent limitations on how many songs John
Entwistle could contribute to each outing that the group produced. As a
result, he initially embarked upon a solo career as a means of
utilizing his excess material. Not surprisingly, the selections on the
2-disc, 38-track retrospective So Who's the Bass Player: The Ox
Anthology that were culled from these initial forays hold a
distinctive, Who-inflected hue. In fact, many of these tunes - My
Size, Ten Little Friends, and Who Cares?, among them - would have fit
quite comfortably within the repertoire of Entwistle's primary

As his work outside The Who continued, however, the quality of
Entwistle's recordings began to decline, and because So Who's the
Bass Player: The Ox Anthology offers such a comprehensive overview of
the enigmatic bass player's varied side projects, it, too, suffers
considerably as it trudges through the years. The bulk of the material
that was re-worked from The Who's canon offers little in the way of
new insight; only Heaven and Hell is given a different arrangement, and
it's an inferior one, at that. Even worse, as his attention shifted
from twisted '50s parodies like Do the Dangle and Roller Skate Kate
to the Phil Spector-ish pop of Mad Dog to the bland monotony of Life
After Love, the compilation understandably follows the trajectory,
becoming increasingly tedious in the process. Nevertheless, the final
four tunes, all of which were plucked from Entwistle's final studio
effort Music from Van-Pires, are an utter resurgence, and as a result,
they provide a bittersweet glimmer of the hope that was cut short by
his untimely death just a few months shy of his 58th birthday.

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