Too Late The Hero

John Entwistle

 

Released in 1981, some Who fans consider Too Late The Hero to be the late John Entwistle's final solo album. Regardless of that distinction, this disc showcases the underrated talent of rock music's most-arguably outstanding bass player.

"Try Me" leads off the album with the protagonist pleading his case to become the substitute for a substance-addicted acquaintance. "Lovebird" is a uncommon rock-ballad, revealing Entwistle's exceptional ability at singing a melodious harmony.

"Dancing Master" is a most peculiar disco track for it's era. Entwistle recorded this funky piece in his own definable style, trading lead lines with Walsh's guitar. Entwistle's subtle humor is a hidden hallmark within his unique compositions.

"Fallen Angel" is, perhaps, one of Entwistle's strongest rockers. His bass playing is tremendous in this engaging composition. The clear vocals and sharp guitars give this number a driving edge, promoting it as a recognizable album highlight.

The ironic theme of "Love Is A Heart Attack" underscores Entwistle's personal struggle with the temptations associated with fleeting fame. The hard-rocking thrust is tempered by a lyrical confession two decades before tragedy would strike down this British Rock Icon.

"Too Late The Hero" is simply Entwistle's shining power ballad, eclipsing similar pieces in comparison with later Who recordings. Performed live on stage during The Who's 1989 Tour, this wonderful opus reached the expanded audience it deserved.

Supported by guitarist Joe Walsh, drummer Joe Vitale, and backing vocalist Billy Nicholls, Entwistle released this solo masterwork, sandwiched between 1981's Faces Dances and 1982's It's Hard. This album has the strength to stand on its own merit, going on a quarter century after being recorded.

Entwistle's bass playing alone was unparalleled. Together with the late Keith Moon, these two formed the basis for one of the most powerful rhythm sections. Rock is dead; long live The Who!

RadioRockonTour #5
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           Airtime for the discerning Concertphile

01. Try Me
02. Talk Dirty
03. Lovebird
04. Sleeping Man
05. I'm Coming Back
06. Dancing Master
07. Fallen Angel
08. Love Is A Heart Attack
09. Too Late The Hero

Repertoire Records
September 1981