From the Vault...


The Who
"Magic Bus"

© MCA Records

Year of Release: 1968

track listing
  • Disguises
  • Run Run Run
  • Dr. Jekyll And
    Mr. Hyde
  • I Can't Reach You
  • Our Love Was Is
  • Call Me Lightning
  • Magic Bus
  • Someone's Coming
  • Doctor Doctor
  • Bucket T
  • Pictures Of Lily

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    The Who
    "Magic Bus"

    The Who has returned this week, with their 1968 (compilation) release, Magic Bus. Yes, a compilation album, consisting of previously released material, specifically from their first second and third albums, along with unreleased tracks (singles and two tracks from an EP); which were unavailable in the US. It was not released in the UK, although it was released in Canada. In the uS, it reached at #39 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The title of the album was Magic Bus: The Who On Tour. An "on tour" album would consist of live recordings (assumption), but this is not the case. All 11 tracks are studio recordings.

    Starting the album is a track from the Ready Steady Who EP - "Disguises." The EP had 5 songs, and only two of them appear on the Magic Bus compilation. "Run Run Run" was from the band's second album, A Quick One. John Entwistle's "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde" was the UK B-side of "Magic Bus," where in the US, "Magic Bus" B-side was "Someone's Coming." From the band's third album, Sell Out are the next two tracks, "I Can't Reach You" and "Our Love Was, Is." The catchy "Call Me Lightning" was the B-side to "Dogs," another unreleased song. ("Dogs". would later be released on another future compilation, Two's Missing," released in 1987.

    Then there's the title track, a Classic Rock favorite. It was released as a single, where it did not appear on any of the band's albums original albums. As mentioned, "Someone's Coming" was the US B-side to "Magic Bus." In the UK, "Someone's Coming" was the B-side to another classic Who hit, "I Can See For Miles." "Someone's Coming" was written by John Entwistle. Entwistle also wrote the next track, "Doctor Doctor," as it was the b-Side to "Pictures Of Lily" (Another track on the Magic Bus compilation. (Doesn't this song, "Doctor Doctor" sound like a song that the Monkees could have done? Micky Dolenz on vocals.)

    "Bucket T" was from the Ready Steady Who EP. This track sounds more like a novelty track. An uncommon sounding song for the Who, it was co-written by Dean Torrence, who would be famous in the duo of Jan & Dean. And ending the compilation, is "Pictures Of Lily," an unreleased US single. All the songs o this compilation were written by Pete Townsend, except the John Entwistle tunes, and "Bucket T."

    Many of these tracks would surface on other future Who compilations, yet when listening to this Magic Bus compilation, all the songs fit, as if it was an actual original album released, like their previous albums A Quick One and Sell Out. From their debut album up to Magic Bus, this would be considered "the early Who," as the next year (1969) would follow with Tommy, and later in 1971, Who's Next. Both these albums would open a whole new chapter in sound for the Who, as many classic songs would emerge from both Tommy and Who's Next, marking these two albums as truly two of their finest. Other future albums would also follow, such as Quadrophenia (1973), Who By Numbers (1975) and the last album with drummer Keith Moon, Who Are You (1978). Of course, we would all learn of the death of Keith Moon, as it is shown on the cover of Who Are You where Moon is seated, "Not To Be Taken Away." Little did we know, that would happen to Keith in 1978, and in later years, another band member would also pass away, bassist John Entwistle, in 2002.

    But both original members guitarist Pete Townsend and vocalist Roger Daltrey are still keeping "The Who" together, with different drummers and bassists. New drummer Kenney Jones would become their drummer on the next two albums, Face Dances (1981) and It's Hard (1982). Kenney Jones remained the Who's drummer in the years 1983-1985, and would return in three different years - 1985, 1988, and 2014. Two more studio albums would later be released, Endless Wire in 2006, and their most recent, Who in 2019. Both Townsend and Daltrey appeared, being the only two surviving original members. Both Townsend and Daltrey have released solo albums, where Townsend would be the most popular. Currently (2022) Townsend and Daltrey are touring as The Who. Townsend is 77, Daltrey is 78.

    To many, the Who's Magic Bus sure sounds as if it was an original album, rather than a compilation. Especially the "Magic Bus" song itself, as it would be released on this compilation originally, back in 1968, when it was first heard. "Magic Bus" is truly one of the Who's most memorable and classic rock songs. The Who is also truly one of the best bands from the British invasion, along with the most famous, The Beatles. The Who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in 1990. The Who is a legendary band. They are also Classic. The Magic Bus compilation is a must to have. The early Who at their finest, and in later years, would become even greater and bigger - definitely making them one of the best rock bands to ever be part of what we call "Rock & Roll."

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