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 The Who

British rock band

 

Studio Albums

My Generation 1965

A Quick One 1966

The Who Sell Out 1967

Tommy 1969

Who's Next 1971

Quadrophenia 1973

The Who By Numbers 1975

Who Are You 1978

Face Dances 1981

It's Hard 1982

Endless Wire 2006

 

Compilations

Live at Leeds 1970

Who's Last 1984

 

 

 

The Who

My Generation - 5

Out in the street/I Don't Mind/The Good's Gone/La La La Lies/Much Too Much/My Generation/The Kids are Alright/Please Please Please/It's Not True/I'm A Man/A Legal Matter/The Ox

Long before they became the darlings of rock opera, the Who were a raw rhythm and blues combo and their debut album was dripping with rough edged r and b. There were few hints of what was to come as Townsend and the boys polished their style to move to the forefront of British rock. Here there is a mixture of Townsend songs and covers. The band have over the years dismissed the album as a rushed job not representative of their stage act and in many ways that sums it up. Some have held it up as a classic rock album, however, which I think is going a few steps too far. There is little subtlety, the vocals are snarling and it is difficult to see just what it added to the rock year 1965 except for a two fingered salute to the establishment. Of course the title track has often been voted the Who's greatest song and an anthem of the sixties and subsequent generations. It has never been one of my favourite Who tracks, however. The other stand out track is the Kids are Alright with its classic sixties Brit pop beat. Overall it was a starting point rather than anything else. There really was much better to follow.

 

A Quick One

Run Run Run / Boris The Spider / I need You / Whiskey Man / Heatwave / Cobwebs And Strange / Don't Look Away / See My Way / So Sad About Us / A Quick One While He's Away

The Who Sell Out

Tommy

This album probably more than any other got me into rock music and gave me the ability to in many ways think outside the musical box if you'll pardon the pun. I was absolutely astounded the first time I heard Tommy and it has remained one of my favourites ever since. It was just the concept of a rock opera that left me gobsmacked. Not only that but the excellent way Pete Townshend fused rock with classical music and the haunting way Roger Daltry delivered those See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me lyrics. Many fans of the Who (indeed probably most) seem to prefer Quadrophenia as being more worldly and more realistic and in many ways it was but Tommy has a magic all of its own. The plot may be slightly ridiculous but that is almost its main charm. It takes us away from reality for a while and surely that's what musical theatre is all about. It's one of those albums that I know so well that I can instantly sing virtually every track. The Who were pushing the rock boundaries (remember this was released a year before the golden 70s hit us). It was almost a farewell to the 1960s and a progression from everything that had been happening from 1965 onwards. It has its moments of high musical drama and even the more slightly silly songs had a starkness and blackness to them. And there are plenty of underlying themes from corruption to exploitation and disillusionment. Here the Who had done something distinctly different. It was to be a blueprint for much that followed.

 

Who's Next
Quadrophenia
The Who By Numbers
Who Are You?
Face Dancers
It's Hard
Endless Wire
Live at Leeds
Who's Last