Trick of the Light (John Entwistle) Hot Red Music (BMI)

From the Who Are You liner notes by Matt Resnicoff with additions by Brian Cady:

 

Recorded at RAK Studios on March 13 and 14, 1978. The guitar-like assault throughout is actually John's heavily distorted eight-string Alembic bass.

"This must have been one of the first Who albums to feature John Entwistle songs at a ratio with my own of 2:1. This track's sound is so brutal it must count for about 3 tracks. Alembic 8-string bass solo on this sounds like a musical Mac truck. Strange that such a big chap should be so paranoid about being sexually inadequate with a prostitute."
--Pete Townshend

That was the one track I didn't want on the album...It just goes on and on and on and on and I think the lyrics are very witty but it just becomes musically bland to me."
--Roger Daltrey

Edited down to 3'37, this was released in the U.S. as a single backed with "905" and was the only U.S. Who single with both A and B sides composed by John. It was released December 2, 1978 and peaked at #107 in the Billboard charts. The Who played this live during part of their New York City-New Jersey shows of September 1979 then didn't play it again until the 1989 tour. A live version appears on the Join Together album (1989). The 1996 remix differs from the original in having Roger's "Come on, tell me" and the first notes of John's first lead bass line potted out, Keith's drums during the first ten seconds comes from a different take and the end has a much longer fade out.

Wide awake in the middle of the night
I wonder how she's feelin'
Is it just a trick of the light
Or is her ceiling peeling?

She's sitting up in bed, shakin' her head
At a copy of "True Confessions"
Ooh, it must seem like a fairy tale
To a woman of her profession

But was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?
Was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face
Or was it just another trick of the light?

But was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?
Was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face
Or was it just another trick of the light?

Come on, tell me
What's a nice girl like you doin' in a place like this?
They don't make girls like you no more
And I'd like to get to know you
On closer terms than this
But I guess you've heard it all before

Lady of the night
Won't you steal away with me?
Lady of the night
Won't you steal away with me?

The money's lyin' on the floor, she looks at me
Shakes her head and sighs
Out of time, out the door
Red light shinin' in my eyes

But was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?
Was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face

All right?
But was I all right?
All right?

This song appears on:

Source Length notes
Who Are You 4:47
Join Together 5:40 Live
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