On this day in music history: October 13, 1965…

On this day in music history: October 13, 1965 – “My Generation”, the third single by The Who is recorded. Written by Pete Townshend, it second UK hit single for the legendary rock band. Townshend take inspiration from singer Mose Allison’s song “Young Man Blues”. The songs crowning touch is provided by singer Roger Daltrey stuttering like a one of the bands mod fans on speed. Produced by Shel Talmy, the band records the song at IBC Studios in London. Recorded on three track tape, the final mono master features a second guitar part overdubbed by Townshend (direct to tape while being mixed) that features the songs trademark feedback. Recording the song’s now iconic bass solo proves to be problematic for John Entwistle. He originally records his bass part using a Danelectro longhorn bass, which come strung with very light gauge strings. Unfortunately for Entwistle, he ends up breaking the strings on the bass, when he attempts to play the solo. Having bought the budget priced instrument at a shop in London, it is impossible for the musician to find replacement strings for the American made bass. Instead, he goes back the shop and purchases another Danelectro bass to try it again. He breaks the strings a second time, and purchases a third bass, only to have the same thing happen yet again. The final bass part on “My Generation” is recorded by Entwistle, using a Fender Jazz Bass with tapewound strings. Released in the UK on November 5, 1965 (US release date is November 20, 1965), the song is an instant smash in their home country peaking at #2. Though it only peaks at #74 in the US, it goes on to be one of the most influential rock singles of all time. “My Generation” it is now part of the “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll”, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999. In 2002, “My Generation” is remixed into true stereo for the first time from the original three track multi-track tape, which has been the possession of Shel Talmy, and appears on the Deluxe Edition of The Who’s “My Generation” album.

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