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"I'm a Boy"
Single by The Who
B-side "In the City"
Released August 26, 1966 (UK)
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded July 31-August 1, 1966 at IBC Studios, London, UK
Genre Pop, rock
Length 2:34
Label Reaction 591 004 (UK) Decca (US)
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer Kit Lambert
The Who singles chronology
"The Kids Are Alright'"
1966
"I'm a Boy"
1966
"La-La-La-Lies"
1966

"I'm a Boy" is a 1966 rock song written by Pete Townshend for his band The Who. The song was originally intended to be a part of a rock opera called 'Quads' which was to be set in the future where parents can choose the gender of their children. The idea was later scrapped, but this song survived and was later released as a single.

The family in the story asked for four girls, but instead got three girls and one boy. This song is the boy's lament at the mistake. The song is often regarded as an early precursor to Townshend's epic rock operas later on in The Who's career, especially Tommy. The track was produced by Kit Lambert at IBC Studios around July 31-August 1, 1966, and released just over three weeks later on August 26, 1966 with "In the City" as the B-side. The single was successful, reaching number two on the UK singles chart. It failed to repeat that success in the USA.

The original recording (as released as a single), which featured John Entwistle's French horn arrangement prominently in the mix, is available on the album Who's Missing. The version that has been included on most compilations since is exactly the same recording but with the French horns removed.

A different, slower version was recorded in London in the week of October 3, 1966 and was intended for an early version of A Quick One titled Jigsaw Puzzle but was later released on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971. Another similar version was released on a bonus disc of The Ultimate Collection in 2002 and is unique to that album.

The song was performed at The Who's legendary concert at Leeds, released in album format as Live at Leeds. On the Live at Leeds album, Pete Townshend comments on the song by saying:

We'd like to play three selected hit singles--three easiest...and "I'm a Boy" which according to the, (crowd cheers) thank you, according to the Melody Maker was our first number one in England I think for about a half an hour (crowd laughs).

The single's B-side, "In the City", inspired The Jam's song of the same name. The latter borrows its chord progression and a part of its lyrics from the Who song.

References

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"I'm a Boy"
File:I'm a Boy
Single by The Who
B-side "In the City"
Released August 26, 1966 (UK)
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded July 31-August 1, 1966 by Paul Clay at IBC Studios, London, UK
Genre Pop, rock
Length 2:34
Label Reaction 591 004 (UK) Decca (US)
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer Kit Lambert
The Who singles chronology

"The Kids Are Alright'"
1966
"I'm a Boy"
1966
"La-La-La-Lies"
1966

"I'm a Boy" is a 1966 rock song written by Pete Townshend for his band The Who. The song, like other early recordings by the band, such "I Can't Explain", "The Kids Are Alright" and "Happy Jack", centers around the early power pop genre. The song was originally intended to be a part of a rock opera called 'Quads' which was to be set in the future where parents can choose the gender of their children. The idea was later scrapped, but this song survived and was later released as a single.

The family in the story asked for four girls, but instead got three girls and one boy. This song is the boy's lament at the mistake. The song is often regarded as an early precursor to Townshend's epic rock operas later on in The Who's career, especially Tommy. The track was produced by Kit Lambert at IBC Studios around July 31-August 1, 1966, and released just over three weeks later on August 26, 1966 with "In the City" as the B-side. The single was successful, reaching number two on the UK singles chart. It failed to repeat that success in the USA.

The original recording (as released as a single), which featured John Entwistle's French horn arrangement prominently in the mix, is available on the album Who's Missing.[citation needed] The version that has been included on most compilations since is exactly the same recording but with the French horns removed.

A different, slower version was recorded in London in the week of October 3, 1966 and was intended for an early version of A Quick One titled Jigsaw Puzzle but was later released on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971. Another similar version was released on a bonus disc of The Ultimate Collection in 2002 and is unique to that album.

The song was performed at The Who's legendary concert at Leeds, released in album format as Live at Leeds. On the Live at Leeds album, Pete Townshend comments on the song by saying:

We'd like to play three selected hit singles--three easiest...and "I'm a Boy" which according to the, (crowd cheers) thank you, according to the Melody Maker was our first number one in England I think for about a half an hour (crowd laughs).

The single's B-side, "In the City", inspired The Jam's song of the same name. The latter borrows its chord progression and a part of its lyrics from the Who song.

References


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