As part of The Who’s ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations, a second installment in a series of vinyl box sets featuring replicas of the band’s early singles will be released on August 14. The Reaction Singles 1966 collection contains five seven-inch discs, four singles and a five-track EP — originally issued on Robert Stigwood’s U.K. label Reaction Records.
Each disc in the box set is pressed on heavyweight vinyl and housed in paper sleeves. The records are packaged in a “lid-and-tray” box, and the collection also includes a booklet featuring liner notes by Who biographer Mark Blake.
The Who’s Reaction releases came out after the band parted ways with producer Shel Talmy and the Brunswick Records label. Among the singles included in the new box set are two that feature “Substitute” as an A-side, and, respectively, the songs “Circles” (renamed “Instant Party” for legal reasons) and an instrumental titled “Waltz for a Pig” on the B-side. Interestingly, the latter tune wasn’t recorded by The Who at all, but rather by The Graham Bond Organization — a band Stigwood was managing at the time, although it was credited to The Who Orchestra.
Also included in the vinyl compilation are the singles “I’m a Boy” and “Happy Jack,” each featuring obscure B-sides, and the Ready Steady Who EP. The EP contains various lesser-known tunes by the band, including the group’s covers of the Batman theme, Jan and Dean’s “Bucket T” and The Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”
The Reaction Singles 1966 box set follows the April release of The Brunswick Singles 1965–1966 collection. Two additional vinyl singles box sets, focusing respectively on recordings issued by the Track and Polydor labels, also are due out before the end of 2015.
Here is the track list for The Reaction Singles 1966 box set:
“Substitute” b/w “Circles,” aka “Instant Party”
“Substitute” b/w “Waltz for a Pig” (B-side credited to The Who Orchestra)
“I’m a Boy” b/w “In the City”
Ready Steady Who EP: “Disguises” and “Circles” b/w “Batman,” “Bucket T” and “Barbara Ann”
“Happy Jack” b/w “I’ve Been Away”