Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy

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Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
The who meaty beaty big and bouncy.jpg
Compilation album by The Who
Released 30 October 1971 (1971-10-30)
Recorded 1964–1970
Genre Rock
Length 42:54
Label Track/Polydor
Producer Kit Lambert, Shel Talmy, The Who
The Who chronology
Who's Next
(1971)Who's Next1971
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A−[2]
MusicHound 5/5[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[4]

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is a compilation album of singles by British rock band The Who, released in 1971 as Track 2406 006 in the UK and as Decca DL 79184 in the US. It entered the US Billboard 200 chart on 20 November 1971, peaking at number 11,[5] and the UK chart on 3 December 1971, peaking at number 9.[6] In 1987, Rolling Stone ranked it number 99 on their list of the 100 best albums of the period 1967–1987.


Every track on the album with the exception of "Boris the Spider", the one song written by John Entwistle, had been released as a single in the UK, with all except "A Legal Matter", "Magic Bus", and "The Seeker" being top ten hits. "Happy Jack", "I Can See for Miles", "Magic Bus", and "Pinball Wizard" had also been Top 40 hits in the US. It was compiled by Pete Townshend over objection by manager Kit Lambert, who tried to have the track order changed but failed because too many copies had already been pressed. The UK release was held up because The Who and Bill Curbishley had failed to clear it with Lambert.

The album is named after the members of the band: "Meaty" is Daltrey, who was quite fit at the time; "Beaty" is Moon, for his drumming; "Big" is Entwistle, who was a large person, often referred to as "The Ox" (lending his nickname to the instrumental of the same name); and "Bouncy" was Townshend, who jumped about quite acrobatically during performances.

The original vinyl album featured a longer alternative studio take of "Magic Bus" in fake stereo which was not included on the original compact disc version, because the true stereo or mono source could not be found for the long version of the song. However, on 25 July 2007, Universal Japan re-released the album in a mini-LP sleeve that includes the long alternate version of "Magic Bus" in fake stereo, as with the original album.

Artwork and photographs[edit]

The album's original title was The Who Looks Back. On the front cover the Who are looking at four children, one of whom is Who manager Bill Curbishley's younger brother Paul.

The panoramic photograph on the album's inside cover is an exterior shot of the side of the Railway Hotel, a pub that was sited on the bridge next to Harrow & Wealdstone station in north-west London. The Railway Hotel was a popular hangout for Mods and soon after Keith Moon joined the band, the Who became a regular attraction there from June 1964, performing every Tuesday night. It was here that Kit Lambert, their manager, first saw the band,[7] and here that Pete Townshend accidentally cracked his guitar's neck on the low ceiling above the stage. In response to laughter from the crowd, he then smashed his guitar for the first time in public; a gimmick he maintained for many years when playing live.[8] The band were filmed at the venue on 11 August – a copy of the recording turning up in 2002.[7]

The Railway Hotel was destroyed by fire in March 2000, after becoming empty and vandalised.[9] The site is now occupied by two blocks of flats, named Moon House and Daltrey House after the band members.[10]

Song notes[edit]

Several songs on the album had previously been released on long-playing albums. The Who's debut My Generation included the title track, "A Legal Matter", and "The Kids Are Alright". A Quick One included "Boris the Spider" and in its American configuration "Happy Jack." "I Can See for Miles" appeared on The Who Sell Out, and "Pinball Wizard" on Tommy. "Pictures of Lily" and "Magic Bus" previously appeared on the US compilation album Magic Bus: The Who on Tour. That album features an alternate mix of the "I'm a Boy" single recording, which appeared later in abbreviated form on the Limited Edition bonus disc to the Ultimate Collection compilation. Most of the tracks on this album would also appear on many subsequent compilations of Who material.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Pete Townshend except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "I Can't Explain" 2:05
2. "The Kids Are Alright" 2:45
3. "Happy Jack" 2:12
4. "I Can See for Miles" 4:06
5. "Pictures of Lily" 2:43
6. "My Generation" 3:18
7. "The Seeker" 3:11
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" (Roger Daltrey, Townshend) 2:42
2. "Pinball Wizard" 2:59
3. "A Legal Matter" 2:48
4. "Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle) 2:28
5. "Magic Bus" (extended version) 4:33
6. "Substitute" 3:49
7. "I'm a Boy" (extended version) 3:41


Additional personnel[edit]


Weekly charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1971 Billboard Pop Albums 11
UK Chart Albums 9[6]

Sales certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. pp. 1225, 1227. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  4. ^ "The Who: Album Guide". Archived from the original on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b The Who at
  7. ^ a b Andy Neill, Matt Kent (26 Aug 2011). Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958-1978. Random House. p. 56. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "'Who I Am': Rock icon Pete Townshend tells his story". MSNBC. Retrieved 23 November 2012
  9. ^ Christian Duffin: "Fire destroys the home of rock legends" Archived 14 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Historic England. "THE RAILWAY HOTEL (1440043)". PastScape. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "American album certifications – The Who – Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]