Boris the Spider – song by The Who

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Boris the Spider is a song written by The Who‘s former bass guitarist, John Entwistle. It appears as the second track of their 1966 album A Quick One. This song is claimed to be Entwistle’s first composition, and became a staple of live shows. Boris the Spider was written swiftly as a joke after Entwistle had been out drinking with the Rolling Stones‘ bass guitarist, Bill Wyman.

The chorus of “Boris the Spider” was sung in basso profundo by Entwistle (which possibly helped give birth to the “death growl“), with a middle eight of “creepy crawly” sung in falsetto. These discordant passages and the black comedy of the theme made the song a stage favourite and it was the only song from that album which lasted throughout the Who’s live career.

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According to Pete Townshend in his song-by-song review of Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy for Rolling Stone, it was Jimi Hendrix’s favourite Who song. There is a Long Island beer company named Spider Island that produces a “Russian Imperial Stout” named Boris the Spider…

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