Happy Jack (Pete Townshend) TRO-Essex Music, Inc. (ASCAP)

From the A Quick One liner notes by Chris Charleworth with additions by Brian Cady:

Recorded at IBC Studios, London early November 1966.

The electric version of 'Happy Jack' reached #3 in the U.K. charts in December 1966. The acoustic version is previously unreleased.

Pete plays cello. So why couldn't they get a cello for "A Quick One?"

The acoustic version sticks very closely to Pete's original demo, which makes sense, as it is an earlier version of the track.

"Happy Jack" was the first single to get into the U.S. Top Forty.

A different acoustic version appears on the 2002 bonus disc to The Who: The Ultimate Collection.

From the Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy liner notes by Brian Cady:

Produced by Kit Lambert at Regent Sound Studio, London Nov.8-10, 1966.

"It was meant to be based on the Isle Of Man, which is an island where I spent a good part of my childhood, between England and Ireland. It's got its own laws and everything. And my father, as a musician, used to play there a lot. And they have this peculiar beachcomber there, has an image sort of like Moondog, you know. And I spent a lot of time mocking him, and so did most of the kids, but he always seemed to be happy and he didn't mind. I don't even know what his name was. He used to try and come up and lead the donkeys that the kids rode on the beach. He used to try and come up and lead them, and then they'd chase him off. But he used to take everything kindly. Didn't matter. Once he was sleeping on the beach and they actually physically buried him, and he would be suffocating, but he just laughed at them. It taught me something."
--Pete Townshend

Pete also tells that the last words of the song came from an attempt to restrain Keith from singing on this track: "Kit had to make [Keith] promise to lay on the floor in the control room down behind the glass so nobody could see him. So he lay there on the ground all the way through the number. And just at the very last few bars, his little head comes up and goes down again. And I shouted out, 'I saw ya!'"

Released in the U.K. as Reaction 591010 on December 3, 1966 with B-side "I've Been Away." It reached #3 there.
Released in the U.S. as Decca 32114 March 18, 1967 with B-side "Whiskey Man." It reached #24 in Billboard and #13 in Cash Box making it The Who's first Top-Forty single in the U.S.

It was performed live 1967-1970 but rarely thereafter.

Track 7 on My Generation - The Very Best Of The Who. (2'11)

From the "Thirty Years of Maximum R&B" liner notes by Brian Cady.

An alternate version of the standard single version that features a different drum track. It originally appeared on the 1985 Who collection The Who: The Singles.

From the Live at Leeds liner notes by Chris Charlesworth with additions by Brian Cady:

The star of the show here is Keith, whose remarkable drum patterns carry not only a beat that explodes on the choruses, but in a startlingly original fashion, the melody as well. All The Who's Sixties trademarks are present and correct: high harmonies, quirky subject matter, fat bass, and drums that suspend belief.

The original recording was produced by Kit Lambert at CBS Studios, London on November 10, 1966. It was released as a single on December 3 and reached #3 in the U.K. charts. The following May it became the first Who record to make an impact on the American charts, finally reaching #24 in the Billboard Hot 100.

"Happy Jack" was the third single to hit the Billboard charts in the U.S. and the fourth on the Cash Box charts where it reached #13. It was released in the U.S. March 18, 1967. This track was previously released on The Kids Are Alright soundtrack.

Other live versions can be found on the Monterey Pop boxset (1967) and the Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B video (1969).

Track 7 on the 1995 and 2001 CD's.]

Happy Jack wasn't old, but he was a man
He lived in the sand at the Isle of Man
The kids would all sing, he would take the wrong key
So they rode on his head on their furry donkey

The kids couldn't hurt Jack
They tried and tried and tried
They dropped things on his back
And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied

But they couldn't stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn't prevent Jack from feeling happy

But they couldn't stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn't prevent Jack from feeling happy

The kids couldn't hurt Jack
They tried and tried and tried
They dropped things on his back
And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied

But they couldn't stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn't prevent Jack from feeling happy

(I saw ya!)

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