Monday, July 15, 2019

Who's Hexed

Kenney Jones should have never been asked to do Keith Moon. Both he and The Who are still paying for that decision. BUT...Keith Moon could NEVER do Kenney Jones.

The two songs here are both from the Faces classic "A Nod Is As Good As A Wink," and both exemplify Kenney Jones doing what he does best. His playing is perfectly imperfect. You can dance to the music and still drive a car through the space left in his groove. At times, you can feel the band speed up and at times, slow down. While that may sound wrong, it instead creates a pocket and a vibe that feels authentic, as if the band pulled this off in one live take. The Faces were professionally ragtag and that is not an easy task. Few bands could pull that off, and a lot of the credit should go to the rhythm section of Ronnie Lane & Kenney Jones.

With The Who, Jones was a metronome. The blame could be placed on Pete Townshend, who often wished that Keith Moon would just stop playing so much. But even live, The Who with Kenney Jones is a flat, Who tribute band. Even Zak Starkey, who was famously tutored on the drums by Keith Moon, injects life and excitement into the current Who live shows. 

Are there other musicians who shined in their original element but failed in a new setting?


Bill said...

When I listen to the Faces and Small Faces records, I never consider Jones to be metronomically playing, but that's sure what he did with the Who. I agree, I think it was more Townshend's direction. In his autobiography, he says that the shows the Who did in 79 and 80 were some of the best Who shows, because he felt that the band was finally playing in support of him. But that's not what made the Who so powerful--it was the chaotic combination.

The bass and drums on these tracks are fantastic and quite right for the music. It always surprises me when I concentrate on Lane's bass playing here, because it's very muscular and driving. It's so different from the music he'd end up making in his solo career.

Anonymous said...

Lennon inviting Clapton?

Anonymous said...

don't have to look far - Ronnie Wood in the Stones has been a shadow of the guy in the Faces and most of his solo/duo work.

I'm tempted to say Nils Lofgren, but I only like his solo work. I suppose what he's doing for Springsteen is not all that different. Nels Cline otoh - I'm not sure why he's needed in Wilco, other than being a cool guy.

lemonflag said...

Paul and Wings. Never as good as his prior band.

mauijim said...

Nick Lowe on the one and only Rockpile record. His humour never shows up. missed it. whole lp is kind of a miss after his Labour and daves Repeat. like Twangin better than seconds

Anonymous said...

Janis's post-big Brother bands
Paul Weller disbanding The Jam for The Style Council.
Vince Welnick was ok (I guess) fitting in with The Tubes MOR sound, but was in waaay over his head with the Dead.
Ritchie Blackmore's work with Deep Purple before Rainbow, then Ronnie James Dio's work in Rainbow before Black Sabbath.
Should I mention Paul Rodgers and Queen?


Chris Collins said...

My first thought was also Ronnie Wood, who was bad for the Stones and the Stones were bad for him. It's possible to argue that his agreeable personality helped keep the band together all this time. But his talents were definitely underused.