Whistle Rymes

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Whistle Rymes
Whistle Rymes.jpg
Studio album by
Released3 November 1972 (UK), 4 November 1972 (US)[1]
RecordedMay 1972
StudioIsland Studios, Notting Hill, London, England
  • John Entwistle
  • John Alcock
John Entwistle chronology
Smash Your Head Against the Wall
Whistle Rymes
Rigor Mortis Sets In
Singles from Whistle Rymes
  1. "I Wonder"
    Released: 1971

Whistle Rymes is the second solo studio album by English musician John Entwistle, released on 3 November 1972 by Track Records in the UK and on 4 November 1972 by Decca Records in the US. Entwistle co-produced the album with John Alcock, his first work with a producer after self-producing his debut album, Smash Your Head Against the Wall, and it was recorded at Island Studios in Notting Hill, a district of west London. The album features guitar contributions from both Peter Frampton and Jimmy McCulloch (who would later join Paul McCartney and Wings).

The album sold around 175,000 copies, and peaked at No. 138 on the US Billboard 200 but like his debut album it failed to chart in his home country.

The album was initially remastered and re-issued in 1996 by Repertoire Records, featuring no bonus content. The album was later remastered and re-issued again in 2005 by Sanctuary Records but this time featuring rare bonus content; the bonus content consists of two unreleased demos of songs that didn't make it onto the album (one of which is "Back on the Road" which would later be recorded by the John Entwistle Band for their sole album, Music from Van-Pires, which would also be the last album released during Entwistle's lifetime). This version of the album also has two demos of songs featured on the original album. However, all versions of the album remain out of print, and CD copies of this album are especially hard to come by.


The album's title pokes fun at a common misspelling of Entwistle's surname. Several of the tracks give a humorous look on domestic life, following the birth of Entwistle's son, Christopher, earlier that year.

"Ten Little Friends" was written on piano at Entwistle's Ealing home studio at the time and sprang from a bout of writer's block. The title comes from a set of troll figures given to him by the Who's drummer Keith Moon. The track features a guitar solo from Peter Frampton, who also played on other songs on the album. As well as his usual bass guitar, Entwistle also plays bass synthesizer.


Then Surrey-based artist Graham Lethbridge designed the album's gatefold cover artwork (at the suggestion of producer John Alcock). A watercolor painting, it depicts little scenes that were taken from themes expressed within the songs on the album. With a day and night theme, the front cover depicts nightime scenes, and the back is of daylight scenes. The time that it took to paint the artwork delayed the album's release.[2]


The original 1972 UK release of this album was on Track Records and distributed by Polydor. The first US issue of this album was by the silver Track/Decca label. A year later it was reissued in the US by MCA.

Critical reception[edit]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, critic Donald A. Guarisco wrote that the album combines "catchy, straightforward, pop-tinged rock with dark, often bitingly sarcastic lyrics."[3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars link
Christgau's Record GuideB[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by John Entwistle.

Side one
1."Ten Little Friends"4:03
2."Apron Strings"3:47
3."I Feel Better"4:46
4."Thinkin' It Over"3:12
5."Who Cares?"4:28
Side two
6."I Wonder"2:58
7."I Was Just Being Friendly"3:33
8."The Window Shopper"3:28
9."I Found Out"3:51
10."Nightmare (Please Wake Me Up)"6:16
2005 Bonus Tracks
4.Untitled (Demo) 
11."I Wonder" (Demo)2:52
12."All Dressed Up" (Demo)2:53
13."Back on the Road" (Demo)3:53
14."Countryside Boogie"4:28


Credits are adapted from the Whistle Rymes liner notes.[5]

Production and artwork

  • John Entwistle — producer
  • John Alcock — producer
  • Brian Humphries — engineer
  • Mike Weighell — engineer
  • Graham Lethbridge — cover design; drawing


Chart Peak
US Billboard 200[6] 138


  1. ^ Neill & Kent 2002, p. 296.
  2. ^ Whistle Rymes (CD booklet). John Entwistle. Sanctuary Records. 2005.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Donald A. Guarisco. "Whistle Rymes - John Entwistle - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: E". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 24, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  5. ^ Whistle Rymes (CD booklet). John Entwistle. Track Records. 1972.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "John Entwistle Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 March 2020.

External links[edit]