My Wife

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"My Wife"
Single by The Who
from the album Who's Next
Released6 November 1971 (1971-11-06)
Format7-inch single
RecordedMay 1971
StudioOlympic, London
GenreHard rock
Songwriter(s)John Entwistle
Producer(s)The Who, Glyn Johns

"My Wife" is a song by the British rock band the Who, written by bass guitarist John Entwistle. It was originally released in 1971[2] on Who's Next and later as the B-side of the single "Baba O'Riley" on 6 November 1971 in Europe by Polydor Records.[2]


"My Wife" was the fourth track on "Who's Next" and was recorded at Olympic Studios sometime in May 1971.[1] While it did appear on Who's Next it was thought that it was not a part of the Lifehouse project[1] which was confirmed in 2000, when it was not included in Pete Townshend's Lifehouse Chronicles box set.

Lyrical meaning[edit]

The song is about a man who has gone out and gotten drunk and been gone for a period of time (due to being locked up in the drunk tank) and is in fear of his wife because she thinks he was spending time with another woman. The song drolly describes, in first person, all the things he needs to have or do to protect himself from her wrath.

Song structure[edit]

"My Wife" is arguably John Entwistle's highlight on "Who's Next" being that he takes on the lead vocals, bass guitar, piano, and horn section.[3][4]

Unusually, this song does not feature a guitar solo, which is most likely because Entwistle could only "write on bass guitar or in my head, just transfer it to manuscript paper, or piano,"[5] and did not play the guitar. Instead of a guitar solo, in the longer breaks between verses there is a horn part by Entwistle. This song is in the key of B major.


The Who

The Kids Are Alright soundtrack version[edit]

"My Wife (Live at Kilburn State Theatre '77)"
Single by The Who
from the album The Kids Are Alright
A-side"Long Live Rock"
Released1 April 1979 (1979-04-01)[6]
Recorded15 December 1977
VenueGaumont State Theatre, Kilburn, London[6]
GenreHard rock, punk rock
Songwriter(s)John Entwistle
Producer(s)The Who

In 1979 "My Wife" was again released as a B-side single, this time to "Long Live Rock". This version was recorded live and released on The Kids Are Alright. What is rare about this version is that it was the only song released from The Who's 1977 concert at the Kilburn State Theatre in London.[6] The rest of the songs were not released until 2008 on the DVD The Who at Kilburn: 1977. The song is unlike the studio version as it has a guitar solo by Townshend but no piano or horns.

Live and compilation appearances[edit]

The song was performed first on the Who's Next Tour and quickly became a live staple until Entwistle's death in 2002. It is featured on the following live and compilation albums by the Who:

John Entwistle solo versions[edit]

In November 1973, Entwistle re-recorded the song and released it on his third solo album Rigor Mortis Sets In. A live version of the song was featured on the two-disc compilation album So Who's the Bass Player? The Ox Anthology which was released on 22 March 2005.


During an interview Pete Townshend described "My Wife" as "the best new rock number on the album [Who's Next]."[5]

Critic Mark Deming called "My Wife" the "comic relief" on "Who's Next".[7]

Because of excessive live performances John Entwistle wrote "The Quiet One" to replace this song, although he would still perform the song for his solo career and his later performances with The Who.[8]

Rob Mitchum of Pitchfork Media called it "the only listenable song of [Entwistle's] writing career."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Who's Next (CD liner). The Who. MCA Records. 1995. p. 17. MCAD-11269.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ a b "Discography - Behind Blue Eyes". Retrieved November 9, 2010.
  3. ^ Who's Next 1995 Reissue liner Notes (Pages 2)
  4. ^ Walker, Billy (28 August 1971). "Album Reviews". Sounds. Spotlight Publications. p. 18.
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2013-02-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b c "Discography - Long Live Rock". Retrieved November 9, 2010.
  7. ^ "The Who : My Wife : Composed by John Entwistle". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2015-01-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Mitchum, R. (June 23, 2004). "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015-07-22.