The Ox

Album: My Generation (1965)


  • An instrumental studio jam at the end of the album, this song was titled for The Who's bass player, John Entwistle, who was nicknamed "The Ox" for his strong constitution and ability to out-eat and out-drink the other band members. Considering that this song is both powerful and features an amazing bass lead, it is fitting that it's named after him.
  • Session man Nicky Hopkins played the piano. Because it was an improvised jam, he got a writing credit along with Pete Townshend, Keith Moon and John Entwistle.
  • Bass player John Entwistle named his side band The Ox.
  • John Atkins' book The Who on Record: A Critical History, 1963-1998 describes this song as "put together in the studio as an instrumental blowout. Every instrumental and surf artist from the Ventures to Sandy Nelson and Link Wray are simultaneously acknowledged and overpowered by the heavy barrage of heavy riffing, machine-gun drumming, distortion, and feedback.
  • This instrumental was also the basis for a later song titled "Top Gear" on The Who's 1967 album The Who Sell Out.
  • On the final bars of the riff, Townsend seems to have sacrificed yet another guitar. Listen amid the acoustic feedback and you'll hear the crackle and buzz of the guitar lead shorting out.
  • Other instrumentals named after an animal include Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross," Bent Fabric's "Alley Cat," Weather Report's "Birdland," Radiohead's "Hunting Bears," Allman Brothers' "Kind Of Bird, Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick," Cole Porter's "Song Of The Birds," Herb Alpert's "Spanish Flea," and Yes' "The Fish." To name some of them.
  • My Generation was the debut album by The Who. It was produced by Shel Talmy, an American who ended up working with The Who, The Kinks and The Easybeats when he came to England.

Comments: 8

  • Stukka63 from St.augustine,fla.On a few tunes on Quadrophenia, the Ox is like playing lead on the bass.
  • Roy from Granbania, MaKeith Moon is my absolute favorite drummer of all time. His style is so unique I can't get over how good he is. No one uses tom rolls, cymbal flourishes, and double bass drum like he did. He was one of the first men to play drums as a lead instument.
  • Scott from Boston, MaKeith Moon was a huge fan of surf music and wanted to play more surf-style music. This was one of the songs they did, and it wasn't a rip off of "Wipe Out", it was more of a tribute. The Who also covered The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann."
  • Allen from Bethel, AkThis song sounds like Black Sabbath to a surf drum beat, when you think about it.
  • Jonathan from Johnstown, PaAwesome instrumental song, guys.
  • Zach from Grimsby, CanadaWhile this is a great song, I'm pretty sure most of it was ripped off of Wipe Out by the Safaris
  • Steven from Congers, NyHis other name was Thunderfingers. Amazing nicknames for an amazing bass player.
  • Dfromcan from Canada, CanadaEntwhistle's nickname was Ox
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.