Oct 8, 2009
JOHN ENTWISTLE - SMASH YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL (TRACK 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 9 bonus
Smash Your Head Against the Wall is the debut solo album by John Entwistle of The Who, released on Track Records. Its bizarre cover strangely resembles an Egyptian sarcophagus - but it is in fact Entwistle wearing a death mask while looking through the chest X-ray of a lung cancer patient, a parody of anti-smoking advertisements of the era.
The album itself offers a more downbeat and aggressive view of life than even the Who had to offer at their most pessimistic, as witnessed in the title track (aka "My Size"), and the closing track, "I Believe In Everything", which ends with a seemingly impromptu chorus of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", to end a sometimes uncompromising album on an unexpectedly happy note. The album also features a remake of Entwistle's Who classic "Heaven and Hell" with Who roadie Cyrano Langston providing some acid-drenched guitar. Who bandmate Pete Townshend once said about the album, "We learned more about John from him making an album than we did in all the years he'd ever played bass with us", a reference to both his quiet demeanor and his then-mostly unknown capabilities as a songwriter.
As many longtime fans of the Who know, the band was truly a vehicle for the songwriting of guitarist Pete Townshend. Despite the strength of the band as a 'unit' and the importance of each of the original member's personalities and quirkiness added to the mix, it was Townshend who wrote the majority of the quartet's songs since the very beginning. With Townshend knee-deep in his 'rock opera' phase (TOMMY, the aborted LIFEHOUSE, and QUADROPHENIA), there was little room for the songwriting talents of the other members.
As history has thus far indicated, bassist John Entwistle was the only other member with even average songwriting skills. With an armful of tunes piling up on the backburner, he assembled his first true solo album in 1971, SMASH YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL. It's a dark feast of gallows imagery and grim rockers. Featured is the perrenial "Heaven and Hell" (a track the Who had been performing in concert for some time), as well as a cover of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl," and the album opener "My Size."