My Top 1000 Songs #673: Glow Girl

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.] 

So at this point, it looks like I have more songs from The Who's 1974 outtakes collection Odds & Sods than I do from any of their proper LP releases, once again confirming that Pete Townshend's leftovers were better than many bands' best songs. "Glow Girl"--originally recorded in 1968 for an aborted The Who Sell Out follow-up (purportedly to be called, strangely, Who's For Tennis?), then included on O&S before finding a later home on Sell Out reissues--cobbles together the best bits of the band's mid/late-60s pop era into a wonderfully concise (<3 minute) Frankenstein monster of a pop song.

You've got a ridiculously catchy tune, chiming guitars, some lovely (and all too infrequent) band harmonies, a brief feedback-laden break, in service of a strange lyrical motif that seems to catch the fragments of a young woman's life mid-plane-crash. And it culminates in an unexpected coda suggesting reincarnation (or just a childhood lament)--"It's a girl, Mrs. Walker, it's a girl." The line, of course, would be repurposed (and re-gendered) for the opening of 1969's Tommy rock opera, giving a glimpse into how some of Pete's stray ideas helped built that decade-closing monster. (See also "Rael," from Sell Out, later reworked for "Sparks.")

Great cover from power pop band The Anderson Council:
Another killer cover, this time indie poppers The Galileo 7:
Here's my imaginary version of Who's For Tennis, compiling various non-LP tracks from the late 60s: