1 in stock


The Who – I’m A Boy / In The City
(Reaction Records  1966  591004)

Vinyl in Excellent+ condition
(there are some surface marks visible on the vinyl when held up to the light but they don’t affect the sound quality apart from some light pops/crackles)

Plain white sleeve

The Who are an English rock band that formed in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and holding a reputation for their live shows and studio work.

The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, and established themselves as part of the pop art and mod movements, featuring auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums on stage. Their first single as the Who, “I Can’t Explain”, reached the UK top ten, followed by a string of singles including “My Generation”, “Substitute” and “Happy Jack”. In 1967, they performed at the Monterey Pop Festival and released the US top ten single “I Can See for Miles”, while touring extensively. The group’s fourth album, 1969’s rock opera Tommy, included the single “Pinball Wizard” and was a critical and commercial success. Live appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival, along with the live album Live at Leeds, cemented their reputation as a respected rock act. With their success came increased pressure on lead songwriter and visionary Townshend, and the follow-up to Tommy, Lifehouse, was abandoned. Songs from the project made up 1971’s Who’s Next, which included the hit “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. The group released the album Quadrophenia in 1973 as a celebration of their mod roots, and oversaw the film adaptation of Tommy in 1975. They continued to tour to large audiences before semi-retiring from live performances at the end of 1976. The release of Who Are You in 1978 was overshadowed by the death of Moon shortly after.

Kenney Jones replaced Moon and the group resumed activity, releasing a film adaptation of Quadrophenia and the retrospective documentary The Kids Are Alright. After Townshend became weary of touring, the group split in 1982. The Who occasionally re-formed for live appearances such as Live Aid in 1985, a 25th anniversary tour in 1989 and a tour of Quadrophenia in 1996–1997. They resumed regular touring in 1999, with drummer Zak Starkey. After Entwistle’s death in 2002, plans for a new album were delayed. Townshend and Daltrey continued as the Who, releasing Endless Wire in 2006, and continued to play live regularly.

The Who’s major contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall stack, large PA systems, use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon’s lead playing styles, Townshend’s feedback and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera. They are cited as an influence by hard rock, punk rock and mod bands, and their songs still receive regular exposure.

I’m a Boy” is a 1966 rock song written by Pete Townshend for The Who. The song, like other early recordings by the band, such as “I Can’t Explain”, “The Kids Are Alright” and “Happy Jack”, centers on 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 sex of their children. The idea was later scrapped, but this song survived and was later released as a single.

The song is about a family who “order” four girls, but a mistake is made and three girls and one boy are delivered instead. The boy dreams of partaking in sports and other boy-type activities, but his mother forces him to act like his sisters and refuses to believe the truth (“I’m a boy, I’m a boy, but my Ma won’t admit it”). The track was produced by Kit Lambert at IBC Studios around 31 July – 1 August 1966 and released just over three weeks later on 26 August 1966 with “In the City” as the B-side. The single was successful in the British Isles, reaching number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and Number 7 in Ireland. It failed to repeat that success in the US.

The original recording (released as a single) which features John Entwistle’s French horn arrangement prominently in the mix is available on the album Who’s Missing. The version included on most compilations, since the 1966 release, is exactly the same recording, with French horns removed.

A different, slower version was recorded in London in the week of 3 October 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:

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.


A I’m A Boy

Written-By – Townshend*

B In The City

Written-By – Entwhistle*, Moon*


Weight 1.00000000 kg


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