.

The Who

"The Seeker"

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
April 30, 1970

With "The Seeker" Pete Townshend and the Who take that proverbial one step backwards.

A subdued (for the Who) rock and roller that gives the impression of having slightly more muscle than it shows, "The Seeker" addresses itself to the futility of seeking The Answer (which, we are informed, neither Bobby Dylan, the Beatles, or even Timothy Leary has to bestow). Built around a rather familiar rock riff and employing a typically obvious change to hook in its chorus, it's highlighted instrumentally by sympathetic interplay between Townshend's guitar and Entwistle's bass, bombastic (and unusually well-recorded) Moon drumming, and a Chuckleberry-ish break by Townshend, who elsewhere amuses himself by brushing up on his "Sally Simpson" piano licks.

Well-performed and clever as it is, though, it's a trifle mundane compared to most everything from Tommy or the group's live act. Distinguished by neither the pulverizing fury of "I Can See For Miles" nor the perverse wit of "Pictures Of Lily" and "I'm A Boy," it is reminiscent of "Call Me Lightning," "Magic Bus," and other disappointing singles Townshend slipped us in between strokes of genius.

What's most disturbing about this single is its tone: After the success of Tommy, Townshend seemingly feels called upon to re-define his context, to reassure us that he's not off building a soapbox. Very somber, this. They should have given us Entwistle's exhilarating "Heaven and Hell" instead.

On the back is Daltrey's "Here For More," his second released attempt at songwriting. Unlike his earlier "See My Way," this one is even a little hummable, comprised of a catchy melody and nice bluegrassy guitar from Pete. Country-flavored in the typically charming English way, it demonstrates that Daltrey may yet surpass Ringo Starr.

Bring on the live album, he said for the millionth time.

prev
Song Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Madame George”

    Van Morrison | 1968

    One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com