It’s well known that one of the few achievements missing from the epic career of The Who is a UK No. 1 single. But there is a chart-topping release in their history that some of their fans might not know about. On December 17, 1966, the band climbed to the top of the EP chart in their home country with the five-track ‘Ready Steady Who’ disc.
Released in November, the EP was a forerunner of their second album ‘A Quick One’ and the new single ‘Happy Jack,’ which came out at the same time as that LP, but wasn’t included on it. ‘Ready Steady Go’ was issued by Reaction Records to maximize the publicity from The Who’s recent appearance on the hit pop TV series ‘Ready Steady Go!’, although it didn't actually feature those performances.
EP releases often gave bands the chance to experiment and have fun, beyond the discipline of their singles and album commitments, and that was certainly the case on a record that had The Who covering ‘Batman’ songs and even the Beach Boys.
The A-side featured two new Pete Townshend songs, ‘Disguises’ and ‘Circles,’ while the flip had the band covering Neal Hefti’s theme tune from the popular American ‘Batman’ series of the time. They also did Jan & Dean’s ‘Bucket T’ and ‘Barbara Ann,’ first done by the Regents but known to The Who and to their British fans in its version by the Beach Boys.
The disc entered the EP charts — a top ten — at No. 7 at the end of November, ironically with the Beach Boys not only at No. 1 with ‘Hits,’ but also No. 3 with ‘God Only Knows.’ The Who release climbed to No. 3, then 2, and made the top 48 years ago today, on a chart with some other interesting releases.
They included country legend Jim Reeves’ posthumous ‘A Christmas Card From Jim,’ novelty act the Singing Postman’s ‘First Delivery’ and British instrumental greats the Shadows’ EP ‘Thunderbirds Are Go,’ inspired by the appearance of the marionette versions of the group in the feature film from Gerry Anderson’s puppet adventure series ‘Thunderbirds.’
Four of the five songs from the deleted 'Ready Steady Who' EP are on the remastered version of 'A Quick One,' which you can listen to here on Spotify
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