‘Happy Jack’: The Who Make Their American Album Chart Debut

They made the countdown for the first time in May 1967, but only after a delayed release and a title change.

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Happy Jack The Who

The American market wasn’t fully ready for The Who when they made their album debut with My Generation at the end of 1965. Second time around, they cracked it, and won their first appearance on the US album chart on May 20, 1967. But only after a delayed release and a title change.

The US release of the band’s second LP A Quick One came five months after the UK. So The Who’s American label, Decca, decided that it should be renamed there for their song that was climbing the Hot 100 at the time. “Happy Jack” had been a Top 3 UK hit in January, but wasn’t included on A Quick One. That wouldn’t do for Decca. The company removed the album’s one cover version – a nod back to their soul and R&B roots with Martha Reeves & the Vandellas“Heat Wave” – and replaced it with “Happy Jack,” which would become the first US Top 30 hit for The Who in early June.

Songs by The Ox and Moony

The album also featured one of John Entwistle’s best-loved songs, “Boris The Spider” (a title that he and Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman came up with after a night out). There were two Keith Moon compositions: “I Need You,” his first-ever song for the band, and the highly percussive “Cobwebs and Strange.” Also on offer was a mod favourite that The Who revived on their Who Hits 50 anniversary tour, “So Sad About Us.”

After A Quick One reached No.4 in the UK in January, the Happy Jack version opened on Billboard’s Top LPs at No.184, in between albums by Jimmy Ruffin and Dean Martin. It climbed steadily for the next nine weeks, peaking at No.67 on the LP chart in June.

Follow the 60s playlist for more transatlantic hits from the 60s, including other British Invasion heroes like The Beatles and Cream.



  1. kellyc

    May 20, 2015 at 8:21 pm

  2. Russell

    May 20, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    It took awhile to track this album down in its original mono format, but it’s well worth the effort and expense. Much stronger and punchier in mono in comparison to its stereo counterpart, though I noticed “Run Run Run” has an earlier fadeout.

    But the best reason to get this original album is the liner notes; laugh-out-loud funny! I wonder who wrote them. I never knew Keith Moon was a chicken breeder!

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