It’s 10:15 Saturday night, and time for a quick song (or two) from the vaults of the Analog Kid. I’ll only interrupt your drinking/lovemaking/bootyshaking for a moment, I promise. And no, the songs are not always going to have “Saturday” in the title because even my vast back catalog would eventually run out of tunes!
The Who released the album Endless Wire in October 2006, their first album of new material since 1982’s It’s Hard. During that 24 years, The Who toured multiple times and released remastered versions of their albums that were packed with rarities and alternate takes. The one thing they rarely did was release new music.
One of the few brand-new songs released by The Who during that time span appeared on the 1991 Elton John/Bernie Taupin album Two Rooms. They chose to cover “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” Elton’s #12 single from 1973. While The Who’s take is by no means spectacular, it certainly has its moments– my favorite is the middle break in which they incorporate Elton’s “Take Me To The Pilot.” This clever bit served two purposes:
1) Pete Townshend sang the “Take Me To The Pilot” part, echoing a familiar refrain from the middle of so many classic Who songs.
2) It paid tribute to Elton’s classic version of “Pinball Wizard,” in which he segued into a bit of “I Can’t Explain.”
Sadly, this version of “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” was John Entwistle’s last studio recording with the band he helped form way back in 1961.
The Who: “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
From the tribute album Two Rooms
Polydor Records, 1991
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Elton John: “Take Me To The Pilot” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
From the album Elton John
Uni Records, 1970
Elton John: “Pinball Wizard” (Pete Townshend)
From the original soundtrack recording Tommy
Polydor Records, 1974
The Who: “I Can’t Explain” (Pete Townshend)
Decca Records, 1965
Elton John: “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
From the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
MCA Records, 1973