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The High Numbers

For just a few months in 1964 (approximately July to October), the Who changed their name to the High Numbers, releasing one single under that billing before reverting to the more inventive and appropriate "the Who." The name change resulted from their association with Pete Meaden, a mod who briefly managed them in mid-1964 (Helmut Gorden was also involved in their management with Meaden for much of that time). Meaden was instrumental in getting the band to gear their music and image more toward the mod movement, and this was reflected in his choice of the name "the High Numbers," which arose from mod slang.

The High Numbers did a single for Fontana in July, "I'm the Face"/"Zoot Suit." Both sides of the 45 were written by Meaden, the A-side loosely adapted from Slim Harpo's "Got Love If You Want It," a popular cover choice among British bands of the time (including the Kinks and the Yardbirds). The flipside is often said to be similarly based on "Country Fool," an obscure New Orleans R&B number by the Showmen, although the resemblance to a previous song is not as blatant as it is with "I'm the Face." The lyrics, too, were rather blunt pastiches of mod jargon and sloganeering. Relatively little of the Who's personality came through on the disc. Pete Townshend's guitar in particular bore little resemblance to his power chords and searing feedback on the Who's 1965 singles; the leads on the single were so jazzy and thin that one wonders if they were, in fact, the work of a session musician. In fact, "Zoot Suit" rather overshadows the routine R&B of the A-side, with its unusual minor-key tune and rushed tempo. In any case, the single went virtually unnoticed upon initial release. The group did record two R&B-soul covers at the same session, Bo Diddley's "Here 'Tis" and Eddie Holland's "Leaving Here," that showed them to better advantage, if still a long way off from their great 1965 power pop recordings. Both of those songs eventually found official release on archival Who compilations.

The High Numbers wisely changed their name back to the Who by November 1964, by which time they had also changed management, replacing Meaden with Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Whether this was intentional or not, it also erased any stigma that might have been attached to them as the result of the High Numbers' flop 45, and allowed them to present their first 1965 single, "I Can't Explain," as the debut of a brand-new band, the Who. Very rare for a decade, "I'm the Face" and 'Zoot Suit" appeared on Who compilation albums in the '70s, and later on CD. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Who Hits 50 (Deluxe Edition) Disc 2

Disc 1

1. Zoot Suit

2. I Can't Explain (Mono Version)

4. My Generation (Mono Version)

5. Substitute (Single Version)

6. The Kids Are Alright (Mono Version)

8. Happy Jack (Single Version)

10. Pictures Of Lilly

11. The Last Time

12. I Can See For Miles

13. Call Me Lightning

14. Dogs

16. Pinball Wizard

17. I'm Free

20. See Me, Feel Me (Single Version)

22. Let's See Action

23. Bargain

24. Behind Blue Eyes

Disc 2

1. Baba O'Riley

2. Join Together

3. Relay

6. Postcard

7. Squeeze Box

8. Slip Kid

9. Who Are You (Single Edit)

10. Trick Of The Light

11. You Better You Bet

12. Don't Let Go The Coat

13. Athena

14. Eminence Front

15. It's Hard

17. It's Not Enough

18. Be Lucky

x

Track List: The In Crowd

Disc 1

1. The In Crowd

2. Can I Get A Witness

4. Cool Jerk

5. I Can't Stand It

6. See Saw

7. Rescue Me

8. 1-2-3

9. Too Many Fish In The Sea

10. Whatcha Gonna Do About It

11. Get Out Of My Life Woman

12. Put Yourself In My Place

13. Devil With The Blue Dress

14. Piece Of My Heart

15. Cry Baby

16. Don't Fight It

18. I'm The Face

19. Air Travel

20. Going To A Go-Go

21. When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

22. Woman's Got Soul

23. Finger Poppin

24. Think

25. Green Onions

Disc 2

1. That Driving Beat

3. Helpless

5. Tell Mama

6. Twist And Shout

7. I Got Love If You Want It

8. Money (That's What I Want)

9. Boom Boom

10. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

11. Leaving Here

12. The Twist

14. Penny Reel

15. King Of Kings

16. A Certain Girl

17. Wade In The Water

18. I Do Love You

19. My Girl

20. It's All Right

21. Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)

22. Love Has Gone

23. It Will Stand

24. The Entertainer

25. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

Disc 3

1. Harlem Shuffle

2. I Can't Turn You Loose

3. Watcha Gonna Do About It?

4. Sitting In The Park

5. Yeh Yeh

6. The Monkey Time

7. Mickey's Monkey

8. Walkin' Up A One-Way Street

9. Sock It To 'em J.B.

10. Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S.)

11. You Beat Me To The Punch

12. Try It Baby

13. Dancing In The Street

14. Come On And See Me

15. Tune Up

16. Can You Jerk Like Me

17. Every Little Bit Hurts

18. All For You

19. Hi Heel Sneakers

20. My Babe

21. Kansas City

22. Shame, Shame, Shame

24. If Somebody Told You

25. Image

Disc 4

1. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

2. Biff Bang Pow

4. Leaving Here

5. Almost Grown

6. I Got You (I Feel Good)

7. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

9. Lonely, Lonely Girl Am I

10. Love's Gone Bad

12. Little Girl

15. Bert's Apple Crumble

16. In The Meantime

17. Got My Mojo Workin'

19. All Or Nothing

20. I'm A Man

21. Hitch Hike

22. Time Is On My Side

23. That's The Way It's Got To Be

24. First I Look At The Purse

25. The In Crowd

x

Track List: My Generation (50th Anniversary / Super Deluxe)

Disc 1

1. Out In The Street

2. I Don't Mind

3. The Good's Gone

4. La-La-La-Lies

5. Much Too Much

6. My Generation

7. The Kids Are Alright

8. Please Please Please

9. It's Not True

10. I'm A Man

11. A Legal Matter

12. The Ox

Disc 2

1. Out In The Street (2014 Stereo Mix)

2. I Don't Mind (2014 Stereo Mix)

3. The Good's Gone (2014 Stereo Mix)

4. La-La-La Lies (2014 Stereo Mix)

5. Much Too Much (2014 Stereo Mix)

6. My Generation (2014 Stereo Mix)

7. The Kids Are Alright (2014 Stereo Mix)

8. Please, Please, Please (2014 Stereo Mix)

9. It's Not True (2014 Stereo Mix)

10. I'm A Man (2014 Stereo Mix)

11. A Legal Matter (2014 Stereo Mix)

12. The Ox (2014 Stereo Mix)

Disc 3

1. I Can't Explain (Mono Version)

2. Bald Headed Woman (Mono Version)

3. Daddy Rolling Stone (Mono Version)

4. Leaving Here (Mono Version)

5. Lubie (Come Back Home) (Mono Version)

6. Shout And Shimmy (Mono Version)

7. (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave (Mono Version)

8. Motoring (Mono Version)

9. Anytime You Want Me (Mono Version)

10. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (Mono Version)

11. Instant Party Mixture (Mono Version)

12. Circles (Revised Mono Version)

13. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (French EP Version)

14. Out In The Street (Alternative Guitar Break Version / 2000 Remix)

15. Out In The Street (Alternative Early Vocal Version / 2000 Remix)

16. I Don't Mind (Full Length Version / 2000 Remix)

17. The Good's Gone (Full Length Version / 2000 Remix)

18. My Generation (Alternative Version / 2000 Remix)

19. I'm A Man (Version 2 / Early Vocal Version / 2000 Remix)

20. Daddy Rolling Stone (Alternative Take / 2000 Remix)

21. Lubie (Come Back Home) (Alternative Mix / 2000 Remix)

22. Shout And Shimmy (Alternative Mix / 2000 Remix)

23. Circles (Alternative Mix / 2000 Remix)

Disc 4

1. Out In The Street (Alternate Take 1)

2. I Don't Mind (Full Length Version)

3. The Good's Gone (Full Length Version)

4. My Generation (Instrumental Version)

5. The Kids Are Alright (Alternate Take 1)

6. I Can't Explain

7. Bald Headed Woman

8. Daddy Rolling Stone

9. Daddy Rolling Stone (Alternate Version)

10. Leaving Here

11. Lubie (Come Back Home)

12. Shout And Shimmy

13. (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave

14. Motoring

15. Anytime You Want Me

16. Instant Party Mixture

17. Anyway Anyhow Anywhere

18. Circles

19. Daddy Rolling Stone (Alternate Take B. / New Mix)

20. Out In The Street (Alternate Take 2 / New Mix)

21. I'm A Man (Alternate Version / New Mix)

Disc 5

1. My Generation (Version 3 Demo / 2016 Mix)

2. My Generation (Version 2 Demo / Fragment / 2016 Mix)

3. The Girls I Could've Had (Demo / 2016 Mix)

4. It’s Not True

5. As Children We Grew

6. A Legal Matter (Demo / 2016 Mix)

7. Sunrise (Version 1 Demo / 2016 Mix)

8. Much Too Much (Demo / 2016 Mix)

9. My Own Love

10. La-La-La- Lies

11. The Good’s Gone

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