Mar 172014

Ok, are you familiar with that cover? Did you ever actually buy Roger Daltrey‘s 1975 solo album, Ride a Rock Horse, his second release apart from The Who? I never did, nor did I knowingly know anyone who had, not even my old high school friend, Stuart, who seemed to own every other Who-related release, including bootlegs.


Last October, my close, personal friend, sammymaudlin, bought a used copy in a Philadelphia record store. Someone had to rescue that thing from the dollar bin. Being that he is a web designer and graphic artist, with an interest in expanding his work in designing album covers, it was only right that I let him buy the album, so that he might research design mastery behind the cover art.

Scant details on Ride a Rock Horse exist on the usually informative and completely accurate Wikipedia:

I wanted to learn something about the making of this album: the whos, the whys, the wheres. Mostly I wanted to get my head around the whys. Have you ever heard this album? It’s got all the bombast of mid-’70s Who music with the sort of horn charts John Entwistle might work into one of his solo songs. It’s weird that Roger “went outside the marriage” for an album that highlighted the beginning of the end of The Who, that pointed to the flaccid Kenny Jones years, that foreshadowed the years in which Pete Townshend toiled while encased in plexiglass. Listen to a couple of songs…after the jump, before we continue this investigation.


  9 Responses to “Roger, You Went Outside the Marriage for This?”

  1. misterioso

    God, it’s been years since I thought about, much less listened to, Daltrey’s solo records. Awful, best as I can recall. I can only think he was trying to shame Pete into writing him better songs. It doesn’t seem to have worked.

  2. sammymaudlin

    If I could design just one piece of album art that is 1/10th as inspired and brilliant as Ride A Rock Horse, my mission in this realm would be complete. I would assuredly advance to the next level of hyper-existence.

    Woulda been better with brown horse pubes that matched Daltry’s doo though.

  3. First off, it should be noted that the most important thing that Stuart ever did was hook us up w/ Townsman Sethro!

    I forgot how funny the “Free Me” video was. I liked the song when it came out but the video always made us crack up especially the “can’t you hear me say, can’t you hear me say….” part.

  4. diskojoe

    Looking at that Russ Ballard Wiki, although there’s a bit of cheese, there’s also some good stuff there, like “New York Groove”, “I Don’t Believe In Miracles” & “Hold Your Head Up”. It’s funny to know that there’s actually a connection between the Zombies & Kiss through him. Also, I bet he does “the check dance” when the royalty checks come in every month unlike us.

    As for solo Daltrey, wasn’t it also the time when all of the Who’s members put out solo albums, even Moonie, whose solo album would probably make Ride a Rock Horse sound like the Who Sell Out. I think that Pete was in one of his crisis situations re: the Who at that time & didn’t want to tour.

    As for that cover itself, I don’t know if it was that out of place at that time. It was the pre-punk 70s, after all, when Yes album covers were all the rage. I could see that image being spray-painted on vans across the country.

  5. So true. I even bought Entwistle solo albums (Whistle Rymes, Mad Dog) but never touched a Daltrey solo record.

    I do recall this single Daltrey released – “Walking In My Sleep”

    I think it was derailed as a single by the more popular “Talking in Your Sleep” by the Romantics that came out nearly the exact same time. I don’t think you could have two “sleep” songs on the radio during the same period.

  6. 2000 Man

    Russ Ballard? I remember that Voices song. I was in a friend’s wedding years ago, and I was partnered with his sister, who lived in Houston and was a little younger than us. Voices came on the radio and she cranked it up while we were going to get our pictures taken. It was weird, but not as weird as 2:10 in this video:

  7. I don’t recall that song for the life of me!

  8. hrrundivbakshi

    I am the proud owner of a genuine collector’s item, found in a thrift store for 50 cents: the McVicar “making of” interview LP (cheekily titled “McVicar For the Record”). I should rip it and post it here for our collective amusement. I believe there are Who nerds who pay upwards of $30 for the thing.


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