WCSX Classic Cuts
The Who: “I Can’t Explain”
The Hook: Roger Daltrey says it would’ve been even better if they’d spent another 10 minutes on it.
Album: First appeared on the 1971 compilation Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy.
Year: Single released in 1965.
Writer: Pete Townshend
Stats: A Top 10 (number-eight) single in the U.K., it only reached number-93 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Background: The Who recorded their first single under that name in 1965, after having done one the year before as The High Numbers. Singer Roger Daltrey recalls that the recording of “I Can’t Explain” was a far cry from the way things would be done just a few years later.
Roger Daltrey of The Who on recording The Who’s first single, “I Can’t Explain.” OC:…lead guitar. :18
“‘[I] Can’t Explain’ was recorded in about 10 minutes on an afternoon, and they wouldn’t let us do our own backing vocals. They wouldn’t let Pete play lead guitar, Jimmy Page played lead guitar on it, and like I say, it took 10 minutes to record. It would’ve been better if it took 20 minutes to record and Pete had played the lead guitar.”