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Album Review

As evidenced by the songs John Entwistle wrote for the Who ("Boris the Spider," "My Wife," "Success Story," etc.), the group's bassist had a knack for penning straight-ahead hard rockers. But those expecting Entwistle to stick with hard rock on his subsequent solo outings were in for a surprise, as evidenced by the double-disc collection So Who's the Bass Player: The Ox Anthology. Covering his entire solo career (1971's Smash Your Head Against the Wall through 2000's Music from Van-Pires), The Ox Anthology is a fine overview of Entwistle's unpredictable work outside the Who. Kicking things off with unquestionably the finest Entwistle solo track of them all, "My Size" (which really deserved to have found its way onto a Who album), the collection soon presents the many musical faces of the Ox. Included are such unexpected styles as laid-back acoustic-based tunes ("What Are We Doing Here?"), tributes to Entwistle's '50s rock & roll roots ("Do the Dangle," "Roller Skate Kate"), Broadway-like tunes ("I'm Flash" and "Space Pirates," both of which feature vocals by Alice Cooper), and synth ballads ("Too Late the Hero"). Also featured are quite a few live renditions of Entwistle/Who favorites — "905," plus the aforementioned tracks "Boris the Spider," "My Wife," and "Success Story" — and a surprisingly sedate reading of "Heaven and Hell" (which was a barnstorming rocker in the hands of the Who, as evidenced on Live at Leeds). Since his solo albums weren't always consistent and some titles are becoming difficult to locate on CD, So Who's the Bass Player: The Ox Anthology is all the solo Ox most Who fans will need in their collections.


Born: 09 October 1944 in Chiswick, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

John Alec Entwistle (b. October 9, 1944, d. June 27, 2002) is probably the most influential bassist in rock music. Before Entwistle came along as a member of the Who, bassists seldom stood out for their playing and few casual listeners knew or cared what purpose the four-stringed instrument served -- after he came along, everyone knew. Born in Chiswick, Entwistle was a member of the Confederates with Pete Townshend while still in grammar school in 1959. Trained in both the piano and the French horn,...
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So Who's the Bass Player?: The Ox Anthology, John Entwistle
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Hard Rock
  • Released: 21 February 2005

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