The Real Me

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by hitman9696, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I was listening to “The Real Me” again lately (for the 10,000th time), and noticed a work of genius that I haven’t before. It’s the interaction between the bass (Entwistle) and the vocals (Daltrey). It’s like 2 vocalist singing melodies and counter-melodies together. Listen to it closely. It’s unbelievable what Entwistle does. I never heard anything quite like it. The bass actually sings! It talks!

    Maybe because I’m biased to the Who and specially John Entwistle, but this is one of the greatest performances by a bass player I have ever heard. Yes, I have listened to Jaco, Geddy Lee, Stu Hamm, Marcus Miller, etc.… Sure, it doesn’t feature outragious fretboard acrobatics and pyrotechnics! But never have I been “touched” by the bass quite like I have been by this performance. There are many masterpieces out there by great bass players. For me, John Entwistle literally spoke to me with this bass line. He talked, he sang, he screamed, he displayed all of his emotions, and all this with his bass. Really, no matter how much I listen to it, I never seem to get enough of it. It always takes me to a special place.

    It’ll be nice to read some of your views on this song.

    Thanks for your time.
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Quadrophenia is great on many levels. Talk about EMO, this is some heavy trip!

    I always thought Keith Moons' drumming at the end of 5:15 sounded like waves crashing.

    IMO it is as good a band performance as there is out there. Definately a high water mark for the Who. Few records have come out since in that vein, or level.
  3. You're right. The whole album is breathtaking. Quadrophenia has had a huge impact on my life. It really moved me. The lyrics and the bass lines are deeply emotional. It was the last Who album dealing with teenage frustrations. But the success of the album is that anyone can relate to it, young and old. Townshend’s writing changed afterwards. Though he still came up with great music, his focus was on other stuff, which was ok, really. If you notice, the bass is very well recorded for a Who album. Entwistle was mixed well in the backround on “Who’s Next”. Same thing on other albums.

    I talked about “The Real Me”, but the whole album is recommended for all bass players.
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Quadrophenia is my all-time favorite album (err...CD)! To me, it embodies rebellious rock, sophisticated melodies, complicated rythmic patterns, and yes...Entwistle! It's everything that a rock album should be, and much more!

    I had the opportunity to see The Who perform Quadrophenia twice in 1996, and was blown away! I even have a bootleg on CD, which sounds tremendous!

    The Real Me was the first song that jumped out of that compilation, and yes...I think Entwistle's playing was sheer genious. The funny thing that I heard about that, though, is that Entwistle said he was just "noodling around" while sitting on a stack of amps. He didn't actually realize he was being recorded until the engineer said, "That was brilliant John, that's a take!"
  5. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    RAM can you tell me how I could get a hold of that bootleg. I love Quadrophenia and have been dying to hear it performed all the way through live.

    I just bought the DVD of the movie a few days ago and must say that it is a very screwy film. I guess I'm not british enough (at all) to completely understand all the dialogue. I like the movie and I think the ending is great, but there's just something weird about the whole film.
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    ...seem to have the intensity of the record. It was decent enough. But was lacking something.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    C'mon, it's an album regardless of format!
    Not too long ago, some local DJ(putz) on the Classic Rock station was talking how The Beatles' White CD just doesn't cut it with him...dolt.
    I mean, back in the day, there were LPs, cassettes, 8-tracks, & reel-to-reels. Regardless, it was always the White Album!

    Anyway, yes...Quadrophenia is a great piece of work. ;)
    Got this album for Christmas way back when...I even have the songbook to it(still).
    I recall putting the record on & laying back to the Overture & then BAM! Daltry screams & Entwhistle enters the picture. I had only been playing bass for about a year or so...I was totally blown away by "The Real Me".
    The chromatic climb + the way Ox varies the parts between the different octaves...happenin', IMO.

    Later, I came to dig tunes like "The Godfather Vs. The Punk". There's some very Jamerson-esque playing on some of these songs.
    Great record! ;)

    Hey Hitman-
    I have a recent/remaster of Who's Next...mine sounds pretty damn good(i.e. bass is outfront).
  8. I know you can hear him well enough, but no other who record comes close to Quadrophenia is regards of the bass sound. Here, it's all in front. On "Who's Next", Entwistle complained that when they were recording, he set the treble on his amp on max, but the producers erased all of the top end, fearing a bad sound (???). It's still good, and you can really feel the bass, but there is something lacking in the sound. And you know Entwistle didn't want it that way. He is a treble freak.

    Live, they always record well. Bass panned left, guitar right, vocals and drums middle. Great sound setup, because everyone in the band plays leads on their instruments, so you hear them all.

    Quadrophenia is my favorite album of all time. It has everything in it, and it's so deep and powerful that I just can't get enough of it.
  9. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    Hearing "the real me" first in 1974 or so really inspired me to keep playing the bass. saw the who live in '75 and '76 with Moonie--dynamite--I thought the who never recovered from losing moon until I saw Zak Starkey on the "Live at albert hall" dvd--seemed like he really enrgized the boys!

    I got a remastering of quadrophenia a couple of years ago and I felt they had altered the bass tone from the original, and i didn't care for it--anyone else notice this?
  10. What a performance at the Albert!!! Wow... That's why Entwistle's loss was so heartbreaking. He and the Who were really at the top of their game.

    I think the problem with remasters is that the bottom end turns a little pale. If you compare originals and remasters, the bottom end is never the same from one to the other. The digital processing erases some layers and the bass suffers. I think this is the case. I know this from the recent “Who” collections. The sound is great, but the bass and bass drum become more transparent. Sounds like they lose some growl. Don't get me wrong. It's there. You can hear it. It's punchy once you play it on your home stereo system. But, compared to the original, it's not the same. It's cleaner, nicer, but doesn’t have the same power. Doesn’t cut through like it should.

    Again, my knowledge is kinda limited in the remastering technology, but I think this is the case. If anyone knows about it, please feel free to comment.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Sometimes "re-mastered versions" are a dissapointment. You're used to a recording, and some 20 years later some rook, or newbie thinks they oughtta clean it up for digital.

    I'll buy a re-issue on CD because my vinyl is scratched, but don't &%$# with the mix.

    It's like altering brush strokes on a Van Gogh or something!

    The grit in (alot of cases) makes the "ROCK!"
  12. You couldn't be more right!

    When they try to soften up rock recordings, that's when it stops being a rock record.

    Don't get me wrong, most remasters are great. But sometimes, they really over do it. They should not forget to keep the essence of the sound.
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    A friend of mine loaned me "England's Newest Hitmakers!' The Rolling Stones.
    Re-mastered and cleaned up for CD. It was too clean. A "record" like that needs to stay gritty.

    Yeah, you can clean up a "Wish You Were Here", or a "Ziggy Stardust". But trying to rescue poorly recorded (or just plain "OLD") rock records, they're doing more harm than good.

    Just slap 'em on the stinkin' CD and don't overcharge me. The kids these days don't buy them anyway.

    The cleanliness just makes some aspects of old "records" all the more irritating.
  14. Talking about a great bass song like "The Real Me", if any of you are interseted in hearing another spectacular performance by The Ox, well you should check his song "Who Cares". He plays are 2 minute outro solo, and WOW... I can't say more...
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Moon played very complimentary to the vocals also.

    As for the remasters, the audiophile Who fans for the most part hate them. They went all the way back to the Master Tapes and remixed all the records. There was nothing wrong with the original mixes. They put lots of noise reduction on them, killing the high end in the name of reducing hiss, they compressed the sound too much. It's a shame. I have the original "Who's Next" CD that Steve Hoffman mastered from the original tape and it sounds fine.

    This really belongs in "Recordings".

    Quadrophenia is a great bass album. I read somewhere that Pete Townshend wrote most of the bass line for "The Real Me". Entwistle worked with Townshend's suggestions on that track. Not sure where that came from though, so take with a grain of salt.
  16. Which version did you pick up? There's two - the original album, and the soundtrack which is most of the album remixed by Entwistle. I'm presuming you picked up the original from your comments but I just wanted to clarify.
  17. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    i'm referring to the original. I had the soundtrack on vinyl years ago and always thought that sounded terrible!
  18. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Ahh...the movie is pretty screwy! The first 3 times I saw it, I had a hard time with the dialog(ue) seems I'm not British enough (sorry British bassists;)).

    Anyway, the CD came about in 1997 when I was strolling through a record (err...CD;)LOL) store in suburban Chicago that has a lot of "live imports" (err...bootlegs). It was $60, but being the huge fan I was, I had to indulge! It's a bit digital sounding, kinda harsh, but very clear...clear as if it was recorded digitally from the mixing board!

    Interestingly, it also has a few demo outtakes, such as Pete's demo version of The Real Me, performed in its entirety by him. Listening to it one can definitely hear where Entwistle got his influence for the song...not to take anything away from the Ox, but it's pretty clear.
  19. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Ever hear the live version of "Dreamin' From the Waist?":D
  20. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The studio version is no slouch either. :)