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* Compilation *

Recorded: 1965-1970

Released: Oct. 31, 1971

Rating: 4.626 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: classic rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. I Can’t Explain
  2. The Kids Are Alright
  3. Happy Jack
  4. I Can See for Miles
  5. Pictures of Lily
  6. My Generation
  7. The Seeker
  8. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
  9. Pinball Wizard
  10. A Legal Matter
  11. Boris the Spider
  12. Magic Bus
  13. Substitute
  14. I’m a Boy

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 1.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 1.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 11
peak on U.K. album chart 9

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • I Can’t Explain (1/15/65) #93 US, #8 UK
  • Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (5/21/65) #10 UK
  • My Generation (11/5/65) #74 US, #2 UK
  • Substitute (3/4/66) #5 UK
  • A Legal Matter (3/24/66) #32 UK
  • The Kids Are Alright (7/66) #41 UK
  • I’m a Boy (8/26/66) #2 UK
  • Happy Jack (12/3/66) #24 US, #3 UK
  • Pictures of Lily (4/22/67) #51 US, #4 UK
  • I Can See for Miles (10/14/67) #9 US, #10 UK
  • Magic Bus (8/10/68) #25 US, #26 UK
  • Pinball Wizard (3/7/69) #19 US, #4 UK
  • The Seeker (3/21/70) #44 US, #19 UK

Notes: “The original vinyl album featured a version of ‘Magic Bus’ extended to 4:33 in fake stereo which was not included on the original CD version, due to the fact that the true stereo or mono source could not be found for the long version of the song. However, on 25 July 2007, Universal Japan re-released the album in a mini LP sleeve that includes the extended version of ‘Magic Bus’ in fake stereo, as per the original LP.” WK



Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
The Who
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy has the distinction of being the first in a long line of Who compilations. It also has the distinction of being the best. Part of the reason why it is so successful is that it has an actual purpose. Meaty was designed as a collection of the group’s singles, many of which never appeared on albums. The Who recorded their share of great albums during the ‘60s, but condensing their highlights to just the singles is an electrifying experience. The Kids Are Alright follows I Can’t Explain, I Can See for Miles bleeds into Pictures of Lily and My Generation, Magic Bus gives way to Substitute and I’m a Boy – it’s an extraordinary lineup, and each song builds on its predecessor’s power.” STE

According to, the album was last released on CD in the U.S. in 1985 and was deleted when “MCA overhauled their entire back catalog & released the comprehensive [My Generation:] The Very Best of the Who.” AM A Legal Matter and “The Kids Are Alright” don’t make the cut for the newer compilation; eight post-Meaty songs from the Who flesh out the collection.

While it may be nice to have all the big hits in one place, Meaty proved a perfect stopgap between the Who’s earlier years and their classic rock years. The band’s “‘60s singles have a kinetic, frenzied power that the louder, harder AOR cuts simply couldn’t touch. Also, there is such a distinct change in sound with [1971’s] Who’s Next that the two eras don’t quite sound right on one greatest-hits collection…By concentrating on the early years – when the Who were fresh and Pete Townshend was developing his own songwriting identity – Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is musically unified and incredibly powerful. This is what the Who sounded like when they were a great band.” STE

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

previous studio album: Tommy (1969) The Who’s DMDB page next studio album: Who’s Next (1971)

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Last updated March 6, 2011.