George Starostin's Reviews 



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<> (23.03.2000)

I am sure John whatever his lasat name is, (from the Who) is a good bass guitarist, but to actually claim him as the greatest bass player ever....hehehhaha, not so my foe! I am afraid that goes to the worthy master sir Paul McCartney! No one has ever been nor will there ever be anyone as creative, powerful, energetic, graceful, and totally unpredictable as Paul. He is simply the best. But I dont need to tell you this, just ask around, read some books, like Rolling Stone, and other magazines whom have already voted that Paul is the greatest bass player. By the way I could probably name five more bass players in front of your man johnny!

Sure you might be saying"All he likes is beatles....They are the best, but I also love others most of whom you have already denied credibilty!

Quuzlfut <> (01.04.2000)

The Who were without doubt one of the most influencial bands in rock history, and credit for that has to go to Pete Townshend (along with his supporting cast, of course). As for bass players, Entwistle is an outstanding and innovative one, and he's certainly among the best, but I'll agree with Quarrymn that there are many others who were (are) just as talented and innovative, if not more so.  McCartney is a great one, but let's recognize Chris Squire and Geddy Lee, too.  (Squire is probably my personal favorite).

[Special author note: I think you guys take this problem in a bit too shallow way. I'm not going to argue whether Entwistle's technique superated Squire's or not (although it certainly superated McCartney's - saying that Paul was the best bass player ever is carrying the Fab Four worship a bit too far); but fact is that John was there the first, and it was John who actually transformed the rock bass guitar into an independent, respectable instrument, not just a rusty part of a rhythm section. And at least one thing about his technique I know - he's the fastest bass player in rock. Like I said, check out the 1990 version of 'Sparks' and show me Chris Squire or Geddy Lee playing those tricks.]

<> (02.04.2000)

oh oh, major disagreement coming here! I know lots of people love the Who , but i just dont see why. You can count the number of decent tracks they did on one hand! I do agree with you that Townsend writes and plays for himself and not the fans and this is probably why i dont care for them. They are (and were in the case of Moon) good musicians but I just dont think that much of the music. They resort to conceptual albums and ' rock operas' to mask the lack of musical diversity and creative ideas ( i do not consider these as creative as i would call them tactics).oh well, thats why i like this site-you have you're opinion and are kind enough to let me voice mine! Thanks!

Fredrik Tydal <> (14.04.2000)

It's diffcult (or 'it's hard', heh) to start at the right place in The Who catalogue. If you're not careful, you might pick the wrong album and be completely turned off by the band forever. I can easily understand some of the comments here, since I shared the same opinions as them once. You know, growing up in the eighties, hearing people naming the The Who as "sell outs" and not refering to the 1967 album. One of the best places to start with The Who is probably the excellent compilation My Generation: The Very Best Of The Who. But that mostly features The Singles Who, and not The Album Who. The Album Who is an important part of the group, preferably experienced in Tommy. Tommy is a great place to start with for new-comers. First, it's much music for your money since it's a double LP remastered on one CD. Secondly, if you don't like it on first listen you eventually *have* to listen to it again, having no choice since you bought it. Soon enough, the magic will come through; Tommy just can't go wrong, with those riffs and melodies you think you've heard your whole life. Then you can proceed to Quadrophenia and so on... Who's Next is a good place to start for The Rockin' Who. Every classic rock fan will love that album. Where to not start is A Quick One, The Who Sell Out or anything after Quadrophenia. I still think that Sell Out is overrated and it will probably put off any Who novice at once. So, anyone who is prejudical or critical about The Who without really having heard them, pick up Tommy, Who's Next or the mentioned compilation. It will be worth it.

Philip Maddox <> (02.07.2000)

My Who collection isn't complete (yet), but I have most of their most important albums. These guys are really good, of course. Roger was a great vocalist, Pete was a really good guitarist, Keith is the best drummer ever, and John is an amazing bass player. Listen to Live At Leeds - this is just 3 guys making all that noise! That's impressive! They wrote great tunes, too - as of today, I like every Who album I have (Sell Out, Tommy, Leeds, Who's Next, Who Are You, and My Generation: The Best of the Who). Very talented, indeed. Of course, they're certainly still touring for the sole purpose of making money - there a concert coming to town on 7/5/2000 and the tickets cost $130 apiece! Luckily, I got some for nothing, so I'm going, but I'd never pay $130 for a concert ticket (I only paid $25 for the Tull concert I'm attending later this year). Their endless pursuit of the dollar (or pound, as they're English) has tarnished their reputation, but it hardly subtracts from all of the great music they made.

And a note about bass players - John was great, but for pure style and flash, check out Les Claypool of Primus - that guy can jam! He's my favorite bass player, though John certainly isn't far behind. John was more innovative for sure, though. Just listen to 'Boris the Spider'... aw man, that bass line rules!

P.S. After seeing the Who live, Entwistle has easily moved up to being my favorite bass player. He just never stopped! His fingers were absolutely flying across the bass the entire time. I might also add that the Who in general were amazing! No backup musicians outside of a keyboard player. Pete did windmills! Roger swung his mic and bore his chest! Great show, probably the best I've ever seen. They actually seemed inspired for a group that hasn't recorded together in 18 years. But like I said - never again will I say I've seen a better bass player than John (unless I see one, which I doubt).

Adrian <> (19.08.2000)

I had only been familiar with the Who through their hits and the few albums I have, which I admittedly don't listen to that much. Still when the chance arose to see them live, I went for it. They played Thursday (Aug. 17th) here in San Diego, and I didn't know what to expect. I knew that they had legendary live shows, but I also knew that they were in there fifties and wasn't sure how much energy they could channel. Well, I could go on for hours about how awesome the show was, how it was probably the best concert I've been to, etc...etc... But I won't. I'll just stick to comments on each bad member and how they affected the show.

Roger Daltrey- The man still has the roar and is also the youngest looking out of the crew. Some people just age well I guess. Well, vocally he's sounding better then ever....and that roar...we were treated to it over and over. He also played some mean harmonica and did his signature mic twirl. He even took up the guitar on 'The Kids Are All right'. Still an amazing front-man.

John Entwisle- I totally agree, the BEST bass player in rock. He has this 5 minute bass solo during 'Be My Wife' I believe, and I still can't believe how effortlessly his fingers moved across the strings. He was definitely Mr. Cool and Professional that night, standing in one place the whole time, playing in the shadows. He has no need to be flashy because his instrument speaks for itself.

Pete Townshend- I could go on about him all night as well. A 56 year-old is not supposed to have that much energy. He played every song like it was the last, abusing his guitar, windmill arms and fast licks, running and jumping... His stage presence was inspiring. Another thing, I've never though of Pete as an amazing soloist...just a great rhythm player. But at the show, he played some of the fastest and best licks I've heard in a while. He is what a rock star should be. He is a legend.

Keith Moon- Yes, I know Mr. Moon left us long ago...actually one year before I was born... So what can I say about their drummer that night? Well, he channeled the spirit of Keith perfectly. Every roll was there, ever beat and bashing snare was right-on. One could almost imagine that Keith was still with them. This guy was one of the best drummers I've seen in a long time. Oh yeah...his name? Zack Starkey...yep, Ringo's son!!! And to be honest, he blows his dad away.

So for lack of a better term, the Who still kick ass. New and old bands should take a lesson from them. For they are still the masters of the live show. Pete is famous for his line: "Hope I die before I get old!" Thankfully, he's still a 20-year-old punk!

Shaun Tatarka <> (25.09.2000)

George, Where are you from? Are you from the US? If so have you seen the WHO reunioun tour. If you are from the UK, I swear on the grave of my grandparents that you will love it! It's no tlike the Who on Ice from the other tours. CHECK IT OUT! I saw them at the Gorge In Washington State and they were awesome! (Better than a Rod show, which you ARE a moron for never seeing!)

Denis <> (26.09.2000)

Well The Who is one of my favourite groups along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and others classics.

Pete Townshend is one of the greatest guitarists ever and John and Keith also very very good instrumentalists.

I have A Quick One, Sell Out, Who's Next, Quadrophenia, Odds&Sods, By Numbers (It's one of my favourite albums.I like 'They Are All In Love' and 'How many friends'),Face Dances.

I Also got the first Roger Daltrey's disc.

Well The Who=great vocal+great guitar+great bass=great drums.

<> (16.11.2000)

The Who are the most divisive force in rock 'n roll. Even though they're an extraordinarily popular band, they're as strongly disliked by their detractors as they're loved by their fans.

Have you ever noticed that, in the case of most classic rock bands, even people with the worst tastes in music (even people who like today's pop crap at a point in time its reached its nadir) can appreciate at least some of the music. Everybody likes some Zeppelin, some Beatles, some Stones and some Doors, but they never admit to liking The Who.

To a fan, The Who's music sounds so natural - the way rock 'n roll was meant to sound - rebellious and raw but with civilizing elements of brains and spirituality. You can't dance to The Who but you can thrash around and - more importantly - think to it.

The Who's instrument-smashing and Pete's windmill guitar-playing seem cartoonish to their detractors. Who fans see these things - at least before they became de facto parts of their musical presentation - as more than pointless destruction and theatrism. They're representations of an attitude towards life and society some people have. A guitar is just a material object, destroy it - reject society's materialism and mores and think for yourself - question everything. That's the message I've always got out of The Who's music anyway.

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

The Who were and still are a great group. All four of them were very talented, (with their instruments). Pete was the intellectual, Roger was the though guy, Keith was the comic, and John was the quiet, romantic type dude with a sick sense of humor. In the early days they had many conflicts, (Roger's temper, Roger and Pete wanting to do 'intellectual' music while Keith and John just wanted to have fun) but they stuck together until Keith died, and long afterwards. Their 69-73 period I would say is their best, with rock operas, synth experimentation to boot but still being a hard rockin' quartet. They are one of the most intelligent and talented hard-rock bands.

<> (30.11.2000)

I cant agree with you more concerning your statement of John. Geddy Lee Chris Squire and Paul Mcartney all had the luxury of playing with a supporting and accomidating cast of fellows. John had to play with Moon, who if anything is probably the one most responsible for the way John plays. For those that doubt, listen to Live at Leeds turning the balance to the right. The show was recorded with the bass and drums panned to the right and Petes guitar and lead vocals on the left. You hear exactly what is taking place in what appears to be pure chaos. John accomadates Moon while staying on the heels of Pete thus keeping all of the members from losing it. His vocals on 'Heaven and Hell' are incredible as well as his back up vocals. John doesnt get the credit because people who have never played are the ones doing the critiquing.Pete was the brains Roger was the brash Moon was the bruit force but John was the musician the meat and potatoes and presence of power that allowed the rest of Who to be showman.

Dan Miller <> (15.12.2000)

No gamble here. John Entwistle is the best rock bassist. I think you hit the nail on the head, no need to expand here. If "Sparks" or "The Real Me" doesn't hammer this fact home, listen to his solo on the otherwise disposable Roger Daltrey CD A Celebration: Music of ... The Who. Even better, if you've ever seen the video (it was on public television for a while), you'll know what I mean.

As a bass player myself, I can vouch for this. Paul McCartney certainly is a gifted, excellent player and was largely (if not solely) responsible for the Beatles' rhythmic foundation. While his playing makes for some great "air bass" fun on "She's So Heavy" and "Silly Love Songs," he must assume the backseat to Entwistle, as must Jack Bruce, Chris Squire and Geddy Lee. Rolling Stone be damned! Damned be Rolling Stone! Damned Stone be Rolling ... you get the drift.

Nickolay Anoschenko <> (16.12.2000)

The Who were a unique band of the 60's (together with many other bands). What is the most important thing about them is that they could actually handle their instruments. They could when they started but they progresed with time and by the end of the 60's they became one of the most professional bands, espesialy live.

They were also a band, who made many revolutionary styles (rock operas ('A quick one' was the first one? not S/F/Sorrow) and statements (my fovorite beeing "often a bad sound is much more audience provoking, than a good sound", and rememmber- they could outplay anyone in 65)

Townshed knew, where his strenghs lay, so he never pretended to be a solo guitarist or anything. And still, when you listen closely to Quadrophenia you realize, that this man could craft brilliant solos. Pretty cool stage acting too. And he was a gifted songwriter.

Entwistle is a great bass player. Although I respect Beatles very much, I must admit that McCartney could never compete with John.

Dalatrey was a good vocalist who he could handle his voice (not counting the first two albums).

Moon- was fantastic drummer. And although his drumming was sometimes sloppy, it was purely brilliant. And his greatest advantage over Bonzo and Paice is that he was NEVER given a drum solo.

bdoglb <> (22.12.2000)

Your ranking of John Entwistle as the greatest bass player on the planet is ABSOLUTELY correct. With all due respect to Sir the two on stage together and Mr. Entwhistle BLOWS HIM AWAY!! Style and ability,and the ability to reinvent on stage are paramount when comparing musicians. I have seen both live(as well as many more) and to compare them is fine,but to give the nod to Paul is absurd. All you Paul fans(and I am one of them) should take time to listen before judging. Listen to live WHO (5:15 on last years blues to the bush album...or get the free mp3 down load of 5:15 from the diary section) you will soon learn the difference. It was not by mistake that in 1999 John Entwhistle was named "Bassist of the Millenium"...Paul came in # 2 folloed by John Paul Jones and Jack Bruce. The contest is really not even close. Sorry .

I saw the show at Great Woods..the stage show broke down, pete got pissed..yelled at the band. It was great!!!! he proceeded to pick up the electic guitar(which was a rare thing then) jam out several classic Who tune (8min. Magic Bus!!) Great Show!

<> (26.12.2000)

I first saw the Who, as a student in Cardiff in 1965, in their guitar smashing days and left the venue exhausted.

35 years later my son got tickets for one of their reunion concerts which took place in Birmingham Arena (uk) last October 2000. Their performance was stunning and it was wonderful to see. Where do they get their energy & enthusiasm from?

If John Entwhistle is not the best bass player (I favour Jack Bruce in this esteemed position) then he certainly rides high amongst the all time greats. In passing, whilst McCartney may be one of the greatest songwriters his bassplaying was about as original as Ringos drumming.

Talking about drumming Zack Starkey, who appeared with the Who, put in an exceptional performance.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (03.01.2001)

It is somewhat silly to discuss who is the "best" bass player - Paul or John - on this page, but I just can't help commenting myself. The two men approaches their instruments from completely different angles. The way I see it Paul "composes" his bass lines and often puts as much effort in them as in the vocal lines. He also has a full rich tone in his instrument, which makes it possible to actually hear every note he is playing, although the bass doesn't dominate the overall picture. This is best appreciated in the period 69-76. Why has he let other people play "his" instrument in later years? John has a much less structured way of playing - he often improvises around the chords and his lines often aren't instantly recognizeable. Technically he is the best of the two, though, and he is more important to the sound of The Who than most people realize.

If you are are a competent bass player it's "easy" to play Paul because his lines are so clearly defined. To play Who songs, you have to adapt the style of John, which isn't such an easy task. Let's not forget Bill Wyman, by the way. Musically he belongs between the two others. I love them all.

Brian Hobbs <> (18.01.2001)

I am a true fan of The Who as a band and of each member as artists. I am also a lover of R & R and R & B. My opinion of the top three in this category are: The Beatles, Elvis Presley and The Who, respectively. Each member of The Who contributed equally. Without either member, The Who would not have been. Roger Daltrey started the band and brought all the players together. Pete Townshend contributes with the greatest realm of artistry-playing guitar and keyboard, singing and composing. John Entwhistle is THE BEST bass guitarist ever! He also sings and has tried his hand at composing (Dangerous). Keith Moon was not the best drummer, but he gave the ultimate drumming experience for The Who. Roger Daltrey remains the business end of The Who. I firmly believe that if it were not for Roger, the band would have dissipated and all gone the way of Keith. Roger was kicked out of the band in 1969 because he protested so much about the alcohol and drug abuse. When their latest release at that time hit the charts, he was quickly brought back into the fold. You can easily think of other bands that didn't fare so well with one of their original members gone. When Keith died, The Who thought that was the end of them. But, they managed to come together and continue. I went to their last concert and have to say that they haven't lost any of their power! Usually, men start to lose their range of pitch or commanding performance on stage. I can tell you, these men did not! They gave a raging performance of true Who quality. Keith Moon had a slight off-beat method of drumming that seemed to perfect every song ('I Can See For Miles'). 'Eminence Front' probably remains my favorite Who song.

Palash Ghosh <> (08.03.2001)

I agree with the previous commentator who said The Who are the most 'divisive' force in rock history -- that their detractors are as passionate as their admirers. It seems that you either love The Who or you hate them (sometimes, even if you love them, as I do, you often hate them as well!). It's well documented that The Who was (were?) the greatest live rock band in history, and, I lament the fact that I never saw them perform in person. But, by saying how great they were in concert seems to discount what truly great and innovative studio musicians they were as well:

*John Entwistle was the greatest bass player in rock history (yes, Paul McCartney was great, too, but The Ox could improvise much better, while Sir Paul had to have everything written out in advance).

*Keith was the greatest drummer in rock history (there's just no comparison to anybody else).

*Pete and Roger, well their various merits can be debated endlessly. Pete was a great rhythm guitarist and soloist, but unfortunately, his early habit of smashing his guitars (the only 'gimmick' The Who ever really resorted to) left a bad taste in many people's mouths. Pete's songwriting skills went up, went down, disappeared, came back, then vanished again -- he was wildly erratic. But the best songs he ever wrote were the best songs EVER written by anybody, no doubt. But he wrote a lot of crap as well. This may have been inevitable since he had to bear the crushing load of writing 95% of the group's material! Yes, Entwistle contributed here and there, but he was hardly equal to Pete. (Imagine if Lennon had no McCartney or vice versa, would The Beatles' music have been nearly as good?).

*Now we come to Roger -- like Pete's composing skills, Roger's voice was sometimes bad, sometimes great, sometimes over-the-top, sometimes inspiring, sometimes weak. I never liked Roger much, but I recognize how crucial he was to the group's success.

As far as their albums go, one can easily follow their evolution and see the good, the bad and the ugly. From 1965 to 1967, they were unwashed, unrefined, unschooled, just learning the tricks of the trade clumsily as they went along. From 1967 to 1973, they were at their peak, made a lot of money, lost a lot of it. Then from about 1974 or 1975 they began a long and sad decline. Creation and self-destruction -– and we could watch it all like voyeurs!

Except for Roger, they all had serious drug and alcohol problems at one time or another, and they were quite open about it -- it's all documented. They were neither ashamed of it nor did they 'glorify' it. They just were what they were -- there was absolutely nothing phony or fake about The Who! Another weird thing about The Who (at least during their classic 1960's incarnation) was that they were a very 'masculine' band -- that is, girls simply did not like them! Apparently, people who attended their concerts in the 1960's were overwhelmingly male, presumably the same folks who attended English football matches or participated in race riots! In fact, I have never known a single woman in my life who liked or even tolerated The Who! The Beatles, of course, had legions of female fans from the very beginning; even The Stones always had girls crazy for them. But not Pete and his lads. Why was this? Was it because The Who were too ugly? Well, yeah, they were kinda ugly, even Roger, who despite having a handsome face, was very short and always acted like a belligerent punk. The Who appealed primarily to young males because they were all about aggression, anger, rage, rejection and violence -- that is, everything that every red-blooded adolescent boy feels or thinks about. The early Who were NOT about sex, love and romance -– check out their early 'love songs,' they're usually about loss or jealousy or rejection or a painful longing (there's not an 'I want to hold your hand' or 'She loves you' anywhere in sight!). Let's face it, The Who were four angry, unattractive, dysfunctional working-class London boys –- and this is precisely why I love them so much. As a boy, how could you NOT love The Who????

I guess that by the 1970's when Roger became a 'sex symbol' due to his 'Tommy alter-ego' and Pete started writing more introspective songs, women might've found them more appealing, I don't know.

Not only that, but The Who often were in conflict with each other (in the early years, Roger was an obnoxious bully.) They were so REAL, so flesh and blood to me, not the phony creation of some public relations firm.

Another thing is that, although The Who's appearance at Woodstock brought them into Americans' consciousness, they were as far from being hippies as could be! I really doubt the hippies liked them much.

Even Pete's infatuation with the Indian mystic Meher Baba did not make him a hippie at all -- Pete was, despite his many flaws, very sincere, he didn't go looking for Baba because every Western kid was suddenly turned onto Eastern religions.

As much as I loved The Beatles (and musically I rate them higher than The Who), I realized that I couldn't really identify with The Fab Four as much as I could with Pete, Roger, John and even Keith!

Oh, and, yes, they should've called it quits when Keith died. When Keith expired, the group was dead. I pretty much despise and ignore what they did after 1978 or so. With Kenney Jones (surely a laughable successor to Keith) they became a boring, sterile ordinary band; and afterwards, with the interminable reunions tours and big-money corporate events, The Who really sank in my estimation (they have become almost as repellent to me as the aging Rolling Stones). I prefer to think of The Who as they once were, not what they have sadly turned into.

Glenn Wiener <> (17.06.2001)

Whereas these guys were in third place in the British Invasion scene behind the Stones and the Beatles, there were many aspects where these guys exceded both the Beatels and Stones and others where they fell well short of them and other lesser successful bands. As individual musicians, The Who definitely had the edge over the fab four or five. Entwhistle was indeed a Bass God in his hey day. And Moon’s drumming is just out of this world. Townsend’s style is on a par with Richards and more distinctive that either Lennon or Harrison. And Daltrey has a great voice. Not just in power but in stylings and effects. His range is not small in any respect. But you are correct that it is his power that is his ultimate strength.

Where the Who’s sound falls short of the Beatles and Stones is when integrated. As a unit there are many times, the guys all try to do too much. The result can be a strain on the listener’s ears. Whereas Pete Townsend is a talented song-writer, sometimes the overblown nature of the Who as a band just is too much to take.

On another note, Townsend’s vocals are OK as a divergence from Daltrey’s. However there are several songs…..'A Legal Matter', 'The Acid Queen', and 'Goin’ Mobile' where Townsend either sounds off key or just does not emote well. But his softer style particularly on 'Blue, Red, and Grey' are quite a nice change of pace from Daltrey’s lion like roar. Entwhistle contributes some interesting vocals here and there.

Anyway, there is no doubt about it that the Who rank up there as universally great. Many of their songs 'Baba O Reilly', 'I Can See For Miles', 'Pinball Wizard', 'Substitute', 'Boris The Spider', 'Bargain', I could go on and on will live on forever. However, certain aspects of the band clearly out them in their place in the British Invasion. And that is clearly third.

Carman Tse <> (03.10.2001)

Meaty Beaty is the best Who compilation there is. It is universally accepted as the greatest "greatest hits" disc there is. Also on there is a version of 'Magic Bus' with the complete intro (nothing absolutely important) and an alternate version of 'I'm a Boy'.

Other items I'd highly recommend that you don't have are the 30 Years box set and the Quadrophenia soundtrack (it has a few tracks unique to it).

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

I have to notice that it's much easier for me to listen to 70 minutes of The Who than to a equally long CD of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. That, naturally, doesn't mean that I don't like those bands, and that doesn't even mean that those bands are much too overplayed, but somehow, they just get to tedious with time. Unlike them, I can't get enough of The Who, so they're in a much heavier rotation than any other 60's bands. I'm completely convinced that Daltrey has a much more enjoyable voice than McCartney, Lennon and, especially Jagger. I don't know if it's the range or whatever, but he rules !!! The rhythm section is magnificently powerful and consistently precise. Mr. Townshend isn't exactly a unbelievable vocalist but he does stand he's own ground. The problem is that he's not a too impressive as a guitarist, impeccable, but not so astonishing as Blackmore, Page or Clapton. Anyway, it's a great shame that they aren't so popular as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, but that grave injustice was partially removed by their admittance to the rock 'n' roll hall of fame.

Sameer Barua <> (24.01.2002)

To the naysayers on John Entwistle being the greatest bassist ever - watch his bass solo in "5:15" on the Live at Royal Albert Hall 2000 DVD - you'll be eating your words for years.

Ben Kramer <> (27.04.2002)

Yep, I totally agree with you. These guys are great, their spectacular. They are second on my list, only to The Beatles. Moon is a lunatic, yet he brings knowledge of his instrument with him. Entwistle is the greatest bassist I have ever heard. I have a bootleg version of '5:15' with they most technically stunning bass solo I have ever heard by far. For those of you reading this with audiogalaxy look up "5:15 live (awesome bass solo)" . The file is 13 minutes long, but it is worth every second of it to hear Entwistle play. As for Daltry, probably the best rock singer ever, though I really like Jagger. I can't decide who is better, but I know that they are both amazing. Daltry is the only rock singer who can scream and still sound like he is singing. Most sound like they are just going crazy and the vocals become a turnoff. Last, but not least comes Pete. Damn, this guy is talented. He has got to be one of the top five songwriters of rock & roll. His guitar, while not as staggering as Hendrix's, still sounds fabulous. When these guys came together, the sound is too good for words to describe. Even their low points have many redeeming qualities. The fact that they had all of the talent that anybody could ever want prevented disaster.

General Evaluation

Listenability - 5+/5 - You gave McCartney a 5+, and these guys are more listenable than Paul.

Resonance - 5/5 - If you look up the word "resonance" in the dictionary, it will say to listen to Quadrophenia.

Originality - 5+/5 - The fathers of aggressive rock, the fathers of the rock opera, the fathers of hard rock more so than any other band...

Adequacy - 5/5 - Gotta disagree with you. I like 'Song Is Over', and once again, if you can forgive Paul for all of the late shit, then I can forgive The Who for slight signs of mediocrity.

Overall: 5++/5

Man I love The Who!

Eric Benac <> (24.05.2002)

the who are my favorite band. i've never heard a band i identify with more. although, i recognize that the beatles are much better, i just don't gell with them like i do with the who. john entwistle is the most amazing bass player ever. he plays so amazingly, and it never seems like he's just being flashy, it seems like he HAD to play like that to keep the band together. pete is under rated as a guitarist. people rairly ever say "yeah, pete townshend did that feedback thing." it's always "hendrix hendrix hendrix!" and sure, hendrix beat them at the feedback thing, no doubt about it. he was better at it. but pete beats hendrix every other way!!! one of the most amazing song writers ever, one of the best lyrics writer ever, one of the finest singers ever, one of the most diverse musicians ever. and even in his solo career he really tries hard to push into other areas, really hard, but he fails quite a bit (psychoderelict any one?). nobody drums like keith moon. nobody has, nobody ever will. i really can't say anything about his drumming it defies analysis. roger daltrey is one of the most powerful vocalists of all time, and although he can't hit the high or low notes (like you said) that well, he can sing all matter of songs, and sing them convincingly.

add all this together, for one of the greatest bands ever!!! five plus for everything.

Eric Kleinbrink <> (29.09.2002)

First off... I love the Who. The 'attitude' was pure punk. The Kinks may have the first punk song, but, The Who were actual punks! I hate to say this, George, but I would not give The Who a 5 rating ! I just don't think they are anywhere near the class of the Beatles. Sure, they can play their instruments better , and they were definately a better live band..... but, the music is pretty sketchy, especially their 70's & 80's stuff. I think they started taking themselves too seriously after Tommy (The Kinks Arthur is better!!). Personally, I think The Kinks were further along with their songwriting, in the mid sixties.

Anyway, long live The Who ! ( I give them a solid 4)

George Bepko <> (20.10.2002)


I discovered your site quite by accident, and I'm am so glad I did. I' m a 43 year old die hard Who nut, since '69.

You tell it like it is, and you made me laugh several times over this weekend with your candid and true assessments. It's great to know that there are others out there that realize that The Who, although musically brilliant at times, really did come up with a lot of crap, too. The magic bus ride was still worth it for the great stuff.

Thanks again!

<> (12.02.2003)

Being a diehard WHO fan for twenty years now, I have compiled a short list of the 5 most incredible, yet underrated WHO songs ever.

The first is "Success Story" written by John Entwistle. This song is pure classic rock and roll and has a great and furious rhythm which never lets up. I can't imagine how this song never became a huge WHO hit. I have never heard the Who perform this song live and its a shame. Even George Harrison of The Beatles had his brilliant moments in songwriting!

The second song is "Relay" written by Pete Townshend. This Who song originated from the early aborted Lifehouse project and is featured on the Hooligans album. This song was ahead of its time and delivers a captivating and impressive rhythm; a kind of a futuristic and sci-fi-sounding quality. I finally heard this song played live on the Who's Live at Royal Albert Hall concert and it was great although I still prefer the original album version.

The third song is "Sister Disco" by Townshend. This song has a part sung solely by Townshend and an immediate subsequent solo by Daltrey which is absolutely incredibly uplifting and powerful (in a Tommy-esque sort of way); giving me the goosebumps everytime I listen to it. Although this song was a minor hit; it never received the respect that it deserved.

The fourth song is "Music Must Change." This steadfast song sung brilliantly by Daltrey is a slow and powerful crescendo of a rock song; sung softly at first and then finally raging into an awesome display of furious rhythm and blues. An excellent example of a classic rock and roll ballad which is neither too soft-sounding nor too loud.

Last but not least, is "905" by John Entwistle. This song, like "Relay", has a sci-fi feel to it and is both original lyrically and in sound. It is the story of a futuristic robot brought to life with the excellent use of keyboards. It is precisely these synthesizers which bring this song alive and into the "underrated Who song Hall of Fame." I hope there are diehard Who fans out there who agree with my assessment of the 5 most underrated Who songs of all time.

Sergey Suslov <> (18.04.2003)

It took me THIRTY years to understand how great they are. The breakthrough came with Who Are You? (the entire album). And John's bass... yes he's the greatest.

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.04.2003)

God, I was reading all the other comments on here (man, there's a lot of them... what is it about The Who that inspires this intense degree of dedication?) and people just need to give the best bass player of all time awards and the Beatles comparisons a rest. I mean, the Beatles were definately pop and The Who are rock, so... whatever.

I don't think I've ever met another girl who likes The Who, which made me suspicious to investigate them. I always percieved them as being incredibly macho, so I automatically assumed they sucked. Suffice it to say I was very wrong.

But it was a tough road. My first exposure to them was watching Tommy when I was probably 10, and then watching Woodstock when I was maybe 12 (neither at my own choosing), and all I took away from those two experiences were combined memories of curly hair, fringe, the song 'See Me, Feel Me', and a profound fear of Oliver Reed.

Probably six months ago I watched Rock and Roll circus, and, ignoring The Who's music in favour of Jagger, declared that the fringey lead singer was hot and that Pete Townsend was the ugliest man on earth, a declaration that probably had more than a little to do with the accent he adopts for the spoken part of 'A Quick One', which at the time reminded me a little too much of Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Orange....

Anyway, after that, I found a vinyl copy of The Kids Are Alright in the record cabinet, listened to it, heard 'See Me, Feel Me' again for the first time in 9 years and decided that I needed to buy a Who album with that song on it. I bought the new Ultimate Collection greatest hits, and was completely blown away by their diversity. I mean, the first CD starts with these cute, uptempo mod ditties, and then you get to the end of the CD and there's 'Baba O'Riley', and I couldn't even believe that it was the same group. It was kind of scary, actually.

But it wasn't until I bought Tommy that I was really won over. And now I owe the credit card company 200 bucks for all the Who albums I've bought... A good chunk of that money going to the Deluxe Edition Live at Leeds. But it was worth it. They must have something because they've managed to expand the horizons of my recent David Bowie fanaticism (though I still prefer Bowie to The Who). And yeah, once I realized that Pete Townsend was a great songwriter with a beautiful voice, while Roger Daltrey is a creatively disabled prick, my assessments of their respective attractiveness was fully reversed (you can't fault a girl for her first impressions). But Daltrey does twirl a mean microphone. He should have just stuck to THAT, and not tried to ever write a song or embark on a solo/acting career. Some people just don't know when to stop, I suppose.

But yeah. The Who. Macho, I suppose, but in a really good rock way rather than an annoying noise over talent way. And ABSOLUTELY the greatest live show ever. As if anyone doesn't already know that.

Jason Motell <> (30.04.2003)

I've never really said this until today.never even thought it until right now, but the Who are overrated.

If you were to put any band in history (well.that I know of anyway) against the Who, member vs. member they really are individually an amazingly accomplished group. Townshend is one of the greatest songwriters ever, plays a mean guitar, and has an intriguing voice. Roger sings like a demon and plays a pretty good harmonica. Entwistle is the greatest bass player ever in rock, had a good voice, and wrote some pretty good songs himself and Moon was in the top 5 best drummers ever (at least). But all together, as a band, they just didn't make enough good songs IMO to be considered a 5.

Their albums all have flaws. Every one of them has more than a little filler. I agree with most, that their best album is Live@ Leeds, which kind of proves that they really never made a perfect, or even near perfect studio album. I guess they weren't really a studio band, despite Townshend's best efforts on Tommy, Quad, and part's of Who's Next.

Should they be revered by anyone interested in rock?

Without question.

Are they a great band?

One of the best.

Did they make great records?

I would have to say no.

Coops <> (04.09.2003)

I find it comical that the first reader comment on your review of Jon's solo project doesn't even know who John is. Yes In large McCartney was probably the best bassist to songwrite...that is totally different than the best bassist and Entwhistle would be that man. all you have to do is watch how fast his hands move and how rich the sound of his bass is. By the way Entwhistle revolutionized the way people play the instrument (with help from JPJ). Anyhow I wrote this in response to the first person to talk about your review and to back up your theory on who the best Musician was to play the bass.

<> (15.10.2003)

George most certainly rates this band a lot higher than I would. Now don't get me wrong, while I like The Who very much, I just don't think they are as technically proficient as George makes them out to be. While Daltrey certainly is the best "screamer" in the business bar none, when he actually had to sing something even remotely close to being a ballad, he really struggled for the high notes. This is where Townsend's songwriting is fully appreciated as he wrote songs in the perfect keys for Roger's voice. When he couldn't alter the song's key, Pete just sang it himself. As great of a songwriter Pete was, he wasn't that much of a lead guitar player. He was a superb rhythm player who could bang out a few simple one note leads. Keith's drums were usually at the forefront anyway. Now for the big debate I've been reading about...George states that John Entwistle is the greatest bass player ever. Really? Ever? That's a mighty long time. In the world of rock I'd say him and McCartney are definitely at the top. While Entwistle was certainly faster than Paul, faster doesn't necessarily mean best, as Paul could come up with some beautiful runs on the bass. But if we're using the term ever here, then we have to be incorporating all styles of music. For example, Jaco Pastorious of Weather Report was probably the greatest bass player who ever lived. He also invented the fretless bass. No one is even fit to carry his jock strap. Not Entwistle, not anyone. Further mention must be given to Stanley Clarke as well. He played in Return To Forever and has been a successful solo artist. His album School Days is a bass clinic and many people consider him the best. In the world of funk, there's Bootsy Collins. He was a member of Parliament and laid down the groove on all of those funky tunes. A monster on the bass if there ever was one. Do you see my point here? This is a futile argument. Is Entwistle considered one of the greatest bass players ever? By all means yes. Is he the best of all time? No. Now back to The Who...I personally think you should have three Who albums in your collection, and by the way all have been given the Deluxe Edition treatment by their record company which now makes these essential purchases. Who's Next which I consider the best Who album ever. The version just released has a full disc of rarities. No it's not overrated. How can an album of songs being played in regulat rotation on radio and in commercials thirty years later be overrated? Silly talk. Live At Leeds, one of the best live albums of all time. I personally like The Allman's Live At Fillmore East and Little Feat's Waiting For Columbus much better, but this new deluxe edition now has the entire performance of Tommy. Go find it. It's worth it. Speaking of Tommy, that's the other one which is slated for the deluxe edition rarities version this month. I urge you to find these versions as they blow the other ones out of the water. I just didn't care that much for Quadrophenia in which case I consider Who's Next to be their last superb album. Moon would crash and burn some years later and The Who as we know them died with him. Townsend would ulimately run out of song ideas. But the three aforementioned releases are some of rock's greatest moments, and deserve to be in any fan's library.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (28.08.2004)

The Who is the best band ever. And they get the gold. Everybody should have a band that he likes more than the Beatles. Heeeeee

Pete Townshend is the best songwriter ever. How can I prove it? Well, just listen to their (Who's) albums. As much as I respect John Lennon and Ray Davies, they couldn't come up with anything as perfect as Quadrophenia. And he is obviously one of the best guitarists in rock (and in all other genres of music as well). He is in my Top 5, actually. But maybe I'm just biased. And maybe I'm not. And I'm absolutely sure I'm not.

Keith Moon is the best drummer ever (I'm ready to use the word 'ever' at least one more time). Speaking about his songwriting abilities, I would like to mention that I quite like 'I Need You'.

John Entwistle is, yes, the best bass player ever. 'My Wife', 'Boris the Spider' and 'Cousin Kevin' are all classics. But he also wrote some really good material for Who Are You and Face Dances.

Roger Daltrey has really amazing voice and he is my second favourite vocalist after Jim Morrison. And he also cowrote 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere'

Once again, the best band ever. Ever.

Matt(the great)Byrd <> (23.07.2005)

Yeah, the kids (me?) don't appreciate the Who too much. I haven't really listened to more than a few greatest hits collections and Tommy (which, addmittedly, I didn't like, I only listened to it ONCE!?) and Who's Next. But let's say this; I did once go through a HUGE Led Zeppelin phase, I never went through a Who phase, but I KNOW that a competition between an album with the best of the Who would demolish the Led Zeppelin counterpart. All Led Zeppelin's got is 'When The Levee Breaks' and 'Rock 'n' Roll', the only two songs in their catalogue that can REALLY match up with the Who's VERY best, I'm talkin' 'We Won't Get Fooled Again' and the 'I Can See For Miles' type stuff. the Who's got early R&B pop to psychedellia to acoustic pop to complete, over-the-top rock 'n' roll. Led Zeppelin has great riffs and good drumming, I can't EVER see that beating the complete package, this package includes songwriting and the dropping of the whole hippie-metal attitude.

Lionel Marechal <> (27.10.2005)

George, I really don't wanna lick your toes or anything, but... your reviewing style has even further improved since your comeback! I have rarely read anything in the WRC as interesting, as insightful, as the Who's new intro. "I tip my hat to the new introduction", as Pete could say.

Well, after that, I have little to add, really. The Who are one of my favourite bands. They had, without a doubt, the best rhythm section in rock (at least the best of the "so active they almost become lead players" genre). They had a great singer plus two good ones. And, of course, a great songwriter. Plus, could you name another band who was an influence on punk ("I Can't Explain", "My Generation"), hard rock (Who's Next) and prog (Tommy and Quadrophenia)?! I feel, however, that the Who before Tommy were mainly a singles' band. It makes me lament the fact that the reissues don't have a coherent policy about singles' tracks (OK, having the B-sides for "Pictures Of Lily" and "I'm A Boy" as bonus tracks on A Quick One is cool, but why not put the A-sides too, dammit?? To force us to buy a compilation?) Couldn't they put everything as bonus tracks? (well, it would be hard, since all the Who's albums from 1967 to 1973 are either conceptual or live) Or make the equivalent of the Beatles' Past Masters (everything that's not on the albums, and only that)?

By the way, I recommand the compilation called Rarities Vol I & II (too bad it's out of print) which has the B-sides to all the Who's singles and a few rare A-sides (including "Relay"). With this one and any good greatest hits compilation (such as My Generation - the very best of), you'll have the content of all the Who's non-album singles.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (22.12.2005)

I vaguely remember the Who having a hit ('Squeeze box') when I was about 12 and the name "Pete Townsend" was one of those names that all the hip guys at school knew about in 1975........I was not hip.When I was really discovering the Stones in a big way 4 years later, I tried oh so hard to get into the Who and I just could not, surprizingly so, because at that point I adored "My generation" and also my head was opening to so many new bands and sounds. But not the Who. Over the next 17 years I read loads of their interviews and a couple of biographies and found them all to be fascinating people and finally I got into their music. It was the segment from "Woodstock" that did it, primarilly "We're not going to take it". I didn't know what it was called and I went around loads of 2nd hand record shops singing what I could remember of the melody, before discovering it was from "Tommy. When I bought that, Meaty, Beaty.. and borrowed Live at Leeds and listened to a couple of bootlegs from '73 and a host of their singles, I marveled at what a fantastic all round band they were and I also marveled at how I had missed this back in 79/80. I mean, I was getting into Floyd, Zeppelin, Kansas, Purple, Sabbath, CCW, and a bucketload of bands that I still love hearing now.

Without a doubt the Who were one of the most original bands to emerge from that 60s explosion. If you listen to the words of some of the songs like " I'm a boy" or "Fiddle about", you can see that the 'Oo may have been macho roughnecks from Acton (well Roger was ), but they were dealing in themes that people just didn't speak about in those less open days. Pretty revolutionary stuff, if you ask me. And while it is a justifiable point that they lacked even a George Harrison to counterbalance Pete's, in the main, excellent writing, I think John Entwistle was pretty ahead of his time as a writer, in terms of his humour and what he was actually writing about ( spiders, child abuse etc).

Musically, the Who were a strange band, live they were a loud powerhouse and in the studio, they could be that but they were also a clever outfit, making the most of the least. And while I do think that arguments about who was and wasn't the best are pretty moot, John Entwistle [with "My generation"] must at least take credit for actually getting the bass guitar heard properly in rock/ pop. Some of the soul bassmen were doing it but the Ox really elevated it. I think he unwittingly hinted to Jack Bruce how the bass could perfom 3 functions at once[ rhythm, foundation & melody].As for Moonie as the drummer, I think he was a total one off. I cannot think of another band for whom he could have played......but let's not take the approach that he couldn't play, no no no! I watched a "Classic albums" programme earlier this year and they were going through Who's next and the engineer on that album (or was it the producer ?) Andy Johns played sections of each song without various other instruments or vocals and Moon's drumming was a unique, TIMEKEEPING feature.

I'm not knowledgeable about the post Moon period, but let me say, the Who, on their '65 - '76 showing alone are more than worthy of their place in the halls of innovation and great music. Tommy, can you hear me ??

Adam Kavulic <> (19.12.2005)

I have friends that don't like to listen to rock music that contains more then 4 instruments (i.e. vocals, bass, guitar, and drums). And I know for a fact those same friends would vomit if a "rock" band used synthesizers in any way shape or form. Rock is suppose to be those 4 instruments right? How can you be angry with studio produced albums? How can you be a punk when you have a piano introduction to a song called "Love Reign O'er Me"? Also, how can anyone, anything, be better then The Beatles? Hell, didn't The Beatles say they were better then God? ;^) Huh?

I will tell anyone The Who is the best rock 'n' roll band ever. You can't dispute that! I'm not saying they are the greatest thing to happen to music, but I am saying that for rock music. Beatles purist will argue The Beatles are the best rock band, and I will slap them in their face. I'll even say The Beatles are a better band then The Who. I mean, The Beatles quite literally changed the way we listen to music. However, The Beatles knelt down when The Who passed with their "Maximum R & B". They were the first band to do so many things and they pioneered so many others. I can't tell anymore if it's just the love I have for him that changed my opinion to "fact" but Pete Townshend is the greatest lyricist in music. (Don't tell any Beatle nuts but I think he wrote better stuff then John and Paul combined). What The Beatles did for music originally, Pete tried to take that to the next level with his Lifehouse. The Beatles say, "We are better then God," where Pete says, "We are gods, and you can be one too, through music."

Also their talents. Unreal! You may say that John isn't the best bassist, Keith the best drummer, Pete the best guitarist or lyricist, and Roger the best singer. But doesn't it count for something that you can make the claim "they are the best" and back it up?! Even the sheer ability to justify these claims with more then saying, "Because they are the best!"... means everything. You can listen, learn, and understand what they did and say they are the best because A,B, and C. Beyond any feelings or emotions... facts are facts... and a claim backed up with facts solidifies its validity.

The Who, even with production at it's peak, managed to spit in your face! They can somehow through violins, cellos, and a synthesizer show you what rock is all about! How wrong is that?! I mean a string arrangement justifying a punk mentality! Listen to "Martha My Dear," back to back with "Love Reign O'er Me" and tell me which song rocked more.

For me, all things standing in the way of The Who's title for rock's king was settled when I saw them in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 2002. I was not in the front row but the story goes that Pete sort of missed the opening notes to "I Can't Explain" and a few people in the front row chuckled. I missed that but I didn't miss what Pete said into his microphone to 25,000+ people, Pete screamed, "F*** off! All of you!" What was our response?! We screamed right back as if we won the lottery! What would happen at a Paul McCartney show if Sir Paul opened up "Hey Jude" with a muffled piano chord and a middle finger to the audience?! I will tell you that it wouldn't be screams of approval from his fans! From an asshole at heart to anyone disputing The Who as the king of rock, "F*** off! All of you!"

Adrovane Kade <> (02.02.2006)

Hi, George.

Congratulations for your huge database of album reviews. Although I disagree with some of your analysis (ABBA, for example), I understand that their are guided for your own taste, and respect that. And the opportunity of sharing our own ideas in the 'comments' section is great.

I would like here to make some comments about The Who. I really never enjoyed The Who very much, but after reading your reviews I decided to give them a new try. I only comment the Who's music, because I couldn' evaluate the impact of the band in 1960's scene.

First, my feelings about the musicians. I think they are (were?) really good, specially the rhythm section. I'm not going to discuss any of "he's the best of all time" and such a crap comments that are, after all, pointless and useless. Every one of us has a "best of all time" list, and discussing this becomes a religious kind of discussion. What matters in this case is that the rhythm section of The Who was just great. Keith Moon and John Entwhistle made a perfect drums-bass combination, that worked out really good in the band. They were solid and had a great level of communication, as can be heard in Live at Leeds, specially.

Roger Daltrey, on the other hand, doesn't have a great voice, but is not unpleasant at all. I totally agree with some comments that say that he was not a great singer. And this is visible in ballads, like "Behind Blue Eyes". But he was a great screamer, indeed. And, as so many bands in the rock history discovered, if you can't sing, at least scream loud and clear.

Pete Townshend always was an enigma for me. He's worshiped as one of the greatest guitarists in the world. But I never was capable of giving him all this credit. How could you compare Townshend with the other great guitar players of his time, like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore or Eric Clapton? You obviously can't! He's not gifted enough! He's a good rhythm guitarist, yes, but there was others at that time that was too good, like Roger McGuinn, for example. And John Lennon, of course. And these guys never had the same level of worshipment (in Lennon's case, I'm considering his guitar playing only, of course). But there are so many people that consider Pete Townshend such a guitar hero, that I think the problem is with me! Because I think he's the most overrated guitar player in history! Oh, sure, this guy has the credit of being the first one to break instruments on the stage, so... no, I don't think that it is just this. I must be missing something here.

So, the musicians were good. And what about the songwriting? That is, for me, the weakest point of The Who. After all, what really matters is what we the pathetic mainstream worms call S-O-N-G. Right, George? I would like to propose a comparison between the songwriting from The Who and the other bands you gave an A grade: The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. How can we compare The Who with these bands in terms of songwriting? Well, we can't! It's obvious to anyone that The Who's songwriting is poorer than that of anyone of these three others. And it is also worse than other bands of their time, like The Kinks, for example. One evidence can be found in the original Live at Leeds album: six songs, three covers! That makes clear that, at that time, not even the band/managers/producers were pleased with their own material.

Considering individual songs, what is the best known The Who's song? It is surely 'My G-G-G-Generation'. And what there is in this song that can be called original? Absolutely nothing. A Bo Didley-sucked melody (repeated in Magic Bus - you can't be creative all time, right George?), Beatles-sucked backing vocals, a fair instrumentation, and nothing more. Oh, there is, of course, the Daltrey's stuttering singing, which is fun in the first listening, but becomes annoying as time passes. There are some better songs, like "Behind Blue Eyes" (my personal favourite), "Who are you?", "Won't get fooled again" (both brought to 21st century by CSI TV series), "Substitute", "I can see for miles", "See me feel me" and "Pinball wizard" (eight-year-old-school-boy lyrics, however). But there is some crappy songs, too. "Boris the spider", for example: good basslines, but stupid lyrics and ridiculous singing. One of the crappiest "rock" songs I ever listened to, by the way.

So, what remais for me from The Who is that is necessary more than good musicians to make a great rock band. It needs great songs in great albums. And, except maybe for Quadrophenia, The Who albums are not so great. They can't be compared to Beatles', Dylan's and Stones' at their best. And even Kink's "Arthur" is at least at the same level.

In conclusion, I think your review of The Who suffered a huge influence of the fact that you are a great fan of the band. The paragraph that talks about the role played by each one of the musicians ("Pete the songwriting philosopher, Roger the heavy-fisted rebel, John the technical-minded scepticist, and Keith the schizophrenic surfer") is a typical example of fan's talk. There is nothing wrong about that, of course. If I was the one making the reviews, I would put Led Zeppelin in the A class. But, please, take that disclaimer out of the page. It really doesn't make any sense there.


Jeff Blehar <> (15.02.2000)

The Who Sings My Generation? "Screams" is more like it. Everybody falls over themselves to call this a "powerful" and "stunning" debut, but I just ain't buying it, and I *love* these guys to death. It's suprisingly weak, especially when you consider that the three singles which had immediately preceded it - "I Can't Explain," "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," and of course "My Generation" - are all rock classics. Instead of 12 tracks of pulse-pounding British rock on the level of those songs we instead get a mix of tepid R&B covers, some banal originals and of course a few splendid originals which give this album a reputation that I don't think it quite deserves.

First of all, "My Generation" is the best song on here, so there's no point in commenting on it, except to say that I am amazed, AMAZED I tell you, at how incredibly dirty and nasty and raw this track still sounds. I mean, shit, this sounds like it could've been recorded by a thrash-punk band last year! Except it was made in 1965! Those four guys really knew how to wring the most out of their instruments (Daltrey and his voice included). As for the other real highlights, they go by the names of "The Kids Are Alright," "A Legal Matter," and "The Ox." "Kids" is haunting, Beatley, and anthemic, but I'm royally pissed about the edited version on this CD. As of now, the only place to get the full length version is on Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B (which I like a lot, even if I agree with George that it's largely unnecessary with the new reissues...but where else are you gonna get to hear "Dogs?"). "A Legal Matter" has always struck me as more "cute" than "classic," but I was listening to "The Ox" again today (by the way George, the song WAS named after Entwistle, not the other way around) and, like "My Generation," I was just blown away with how it sounds to modern ears; that is, it's still compelling as hell. I swear Townshend does things with his guitar on that track that STILL haven't been repeated in a studio.

Unfortunately (and this is a big "unfortunately"), the rest of the album, all 8 tracks of it, is simply mediocre. The R&B covers just sound *wrong*, the way a that a death-metal band trying to play new-age sounds wrong, while some pleasantly mediocre Towser tunes like "La La Lies" and "Much Too Much" just serve as filler to be waded through on the way to "My Generation." And please, for the love of everything that is good and holy, will somebody shoot Shel Talmy? We NEED this album remastered, especially because there'd be a ton of neato bonus tracks from this era to slap on to a reissue. Anyway, it's got those four greats, but everything else it dispensable, and since you can find those elsewhere (like Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy) I'd only give this a 5/10.

Bob Josef <> (24.06.2000)

In the wake of the Beatles Invasion, a lot of groups were recorded extremely quickly and ineptly in order to cash in on what was thought to be another passing pop fad. Unfortunately, none of the producers had even an ounce of George Martin's savvy. And no one , not even the Stones, suffered more at the hands of a hack producer than the Who. Talmy was SUCH an incompetent -- the Who was one band who sounded far better live at this stage, and only on the "Anyhow, Anywhere, Anyway" single did he attempt to bring any of the power of the band to the studio. I bemoan what "The Ox," in particular, could have sounded like if anyone else was running the tape machines. Even if the album is remastered, it won't help much. And I do agree that Daltrey wasn't much of a vocalist at this point, sounding like a ragged, less tuneful John Lennon.

But, despite this, the classics here are undeniable. Entwhistle redefined bass guitar on the "My Generation" single, becoming the forefather of such bassists and Chris Squire (Squire more than freely admits that) and Jon Camp. "A Legal Matter" has a rather daring theme for a 1965 song -- a guy running away from his pregnant girlfriend who wants to get married? Not even Mick Jagger dared something like that at this time.

I think the recording quality prevents this album from being an all time classic, unfortunately.

David Lyons <> (10.12.2000)

Can I volunteer to shoot Shel Talmy on behalf of Jeff Blehar? The man has a lot to answer for (hopefully the ricochet would hit Glyn Johns in the bit of him that tried to stop Keith Moon drumming like Keith Moon).

Jeff Melchior <> (22.12.2000)

At a time when most bands (except for maybe The Beatles and The Stones) were still in the habit of releasing a few good songs as singles and padding their albums with filler, The Who did something incredibly unique: release an album of predominantly good work, with most of it written by themselves. Even The Who's much-vilified approach to R and B is here in fine form. Everyone complains about Shel Talmy's production, but to my ears this is an excellently-produced record - a rich, full mix that was ahead of its time. Only songs I don't care for are 'Out In The Street' and 'Please Please Me', and even that's growing on me. As far as I'm concerned, the record would be worth the cost of admission if all it had was 'The Ox' and, of course, the timeless title track.

<> (23.12.2000)

John had had the name The Ox long before the song was writ. I just want to say this album rocks and I look forward to the reissue (which is do out?). This time I think Shel's murky production works for the best.

Palash Ghosh <> (16.02.2001)

Before people start criticizing The Who Sings My Generation, they should realize that The Who at this time were four very young, very raw kids with little else but boundless energy, rage and rough talent. It was a totally different world in 1965 –- a group of kids this unschooled could never get a recording contract these days, the market is over-saturated. But London in the mid-sixties was really just the germination of the great English pop/rock movement -– and labels were willing to give scruffy kids like Pete, Roger, John and Keith a chance. And so, this album is very unrefined, very naked, very unfinished -- and that's precisely why I've come to like it. Yes, the production is substandard, yes Pete's songwriting skills had yet to flower, and yes, Roger's voice was undeveloped -– but how sophisticated were YOU when you were 18 or 19?

The truly amazing thing about this record is that Keith and John had already established themselves as musicians!! 'The ox' is very nasty, even a bit avant-garde (did people dance to this track? Or did they just sit there with their mouths agape in wonder?). Other great tunes are 'The kids are alright,' 'The good's gone' and of course, that awesome unforgettable title track.

I actually don't think Roger's James Brown imitations are THAT bad, at least he gives an enthusiastic performance.

Another thing, The Who shouldn't really ever be compared to The Beatles or The Stones. The Who were younger than these other groups, thus they were not really their 'peers' (their evolution was not parallel). Keep in mind, that The Who really couldn't reign supreme until the Fab Four started to wind down.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (22.09.2001)

so what do i do every moning? i wake up p-p-p-put breakfast in m-m-m-m-my hhhead and g-g-go outside to talk with my buddies then we together fiddle about the streets and t-t-talk loud about our probleb..problet... pro-blme-ms. you are not one of us, starostin, whatever your first name is, so who gave you the right to put down this most original and the b-b-b-best record ever made? what is your moto? 'i have ears of tin so call me starostin?' unlike you good Pete decided to t-t-t-tel the truth to the wh-h-h-h-hole world about his g-g-generation. the good's gone is absolute ah, i mean it's good. and kids are alright is good, too. you maybe scratch your assssss but legal mater is also good. and now bite your dick c-c-c-coz ox is g-g-good, too. it's a good album. best in the hole music. and you may bite your c-c-c-cock again s-s-since you gave it only 8/15.

PS. Seriously now. I almost completely agree with you on this point. But proto punk? Well, maybe, but I think Pete didn't know what we would call this 30 years later.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

Hey, hey, I've got this thingy on a cassette (like many other albums), and I don't plan to buy it on CD anytime soon. Why should I buy something that has a poor sound quality, and it's also too short ? I'll rather wait them to remaster it. And if they don't, than I wont buy it EVER. Well now, this is certainly one of the best played and structured debut albums in the history of rock 'n' roll (this one beats the hell out of Led Zeppelin I). The guys are great songwriters and arrangers, and they play very convincing, technically speaking. Lot's of energy more than makes up for some minor problems (like Daltrey's vocals). A choice of good and outstanding tracks is not at all limited, so one can choose between the punk anthem 'My Generation' (my own favorite), 'The Kids Are Alright' (awesome, and not dated at all), 'A Legal Matter' (gorgeously catchy with some exceptional singing by Townshend). Some people have a problem with Daltrey's vocals on this album, and I can see their point, but we have to remember that they we're very young at the time (he still manages to outsing the likes of Plant, Osbourne and, especially, Coverdale). Besides those tracks, the rest is also recommendable, but somewhat inconsistent. 'The Ox' and 'The Good's Gone' are noticeably better than, say, 'Please Please Please'. Anyway, I would rather forget about the covers. Not that they're bad, but they're just not as solid. I admit that this maybe isn't the material that deserves a 9, but it seems appropriate enough for me.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

the debut album by my favorite band. townshend blazes throughout, and his song writing ability is insanely great even at this early point. of course, they pad the album with covers, a bit, but it's only two!!! in fact, pete was so creative he rairly had to use covers again, and when he did he wrote them into the context of the album. far better than please please me by the beatles, in fact, i'd say pete was a stronger song writer than any of the beatles were at this point. sure, the album suffers because of the abysmal production but each song is a gem (except for the covers with roger over singing) and shows a remarkable amount of range and diversity already. well, not remarkable i suppose, but listen to "my generation" and "a legal matter" and tell me that's not range? i'd give it a nine out of ten.

Zach Smith <> (16.07.2002)

Hey, I think TWSMG is very strong, and is probably the most under-ambitious the who ever got. I mean, except for live albums, this is the only straight forward album in their discography.

Now for the music... 'Out in the street'... cool beginning, not as good as ever thing else

'I don't mind' is a ok cover, while 'the good's gone' has a great gutair solo. 'La-la lies' is underrated to the extreme, as is 'much too much' and 'its not true'. I've never liked 'a legal matter' that much. 'Circles' is good, 'ox' is kick ass, and 'please please please' sucks ass. I give it a 7 out of 10. Wait... u say there are two other songs on the album? That's right!!! 'My generation' is their best song ever, well best of their 60's songs anyway. And 'TKAA' kicks serious ass as well. I don't mind when a guy's dancing with my girl.....

Thomas Vaughan Kent <> (04.12.2002)

Hi George!

I don't care what anyone says, 'The Kids are Alright' is a blatant rip off of 'All My Loving'.

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.05.2003)

Holy Shit! As if someone actually wrote that they've never met a girl who likes The Who! That makes me so happy. Well, here's one, despite my Dad's email address that always appears when I post reviews. I LOVE The Who, and I love this album. I bought a used vinyl reissue because I only had about 5 bucks to my name at the time (now I have none), but it was worth every penny. I don't necessarily think of it as being very bombastic, though. I mean, it definately has a hard edge to it, but there's nothing particularily off-putting about it. The Stooges are off-putting. This sounds pretty cute and tame compared with that.

I actually LIKE the 'I Don't Mind' cover, because Daltrey sounds like such a snot-nosed British youth, I find it funny. I really like 'Out in the Street', too. It's super catchy, and a great way to open the album. I disagree about Dalrey's singing being especially bad, though. I much prefer his singing here to what he comes up with for Sell Out. Although I agree he became much improved as the years passed. I only mentioned it because I put off buying this album due to your comments about his voice, which I felt were overstated, in retrospect.

Any similarities The Who might ever draw to The Beatles, their debut a,bum sets the two groups at opposite ends of the spectrum. I suppose I'm atypical (as a girl) in this respect, but I could never get into the Beatles because it was just too clean, too happy, too catchy. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The Beatles are pop and The Who are rock. And to say that most girls don't like The Who because they're "ugly" is nothing more than a sad commentary on the fact that the majority of girls have no musical taste whatsoever. Since I'm a girl I guess that comment gets expemt from being attacked as sexism.

Maréchal Lionel <> (11.04.2004)

I've bought the new version of My Generation - they finally decided to remaster it and add bonus tracks on it ! Actually, it's a "Deluxe Version" with a second disc of various bonuses. Here's the tracklisting:

First disc : 1) Out In The Street 2) I Don't Mind 3) The Good's Gone 4) La La La Lies 5) Much Too Much 6) My Generation 7) The Kids Are Alright 8) Please Please Please 9) It's Not True 10) I'm A Man (from the English album) 11) The Ox 12) A Legal Matter 13) Circles (from the American album) Bonus Tracks : 14) I Can't Explain (first single) 15) Bald Headed Woman (B-side of I Can't Explain) 16) Daddy Rolling Stone

Second Disc : 1) Leaving Here 2) Lubie (Come Back Home) (the original was "Louie Go Home") 3) Shout And Shimmy 4) (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave 5)Motoring 6) Anytime You Want Me 7) Anyway Anyhow Anywhere (alternate version) 8) Instant Party Mixture 9) I Don't Mind (full length version) 10) The Good's Gone (full length version) 11) My Generation (instrumental version) 12) Anytime You Want Me (a capella version) 13) A Legal Matter (monaural version with guitar overdubs) 14) My Generation (single version : monaural version with guitar overdubs)

As I don't know the original CD, I can't tell if the remaster has a better sound. All I can say is that the sound is loud and clear. As for the songs themselves, well... the original album is good, for sure, especially for a first album and for the year 1965 : it beats The Rolling Stones by a short advance, especially on songwriting, and blows Please Please Me away. Some songs aren't that good (the two James Brown covers are atrocious) and the album globally lacks some experience, but there's a kind of youthful excitement, of innocence, that redeems it (and of course the title track is an absolute classic). Good garage/rhythm&blues stuff : 8(13) on George's scale. As for "I'm A Man", well, you know the song, and Daltrey sounds quite bad on it (don't try to copycat the old bluesmen !).

Now what about the bonus tracks ? "I Can't Explain" is a worthy addition, of course (you know it, so I won't describe it ; still, few bands had their first single that good) ; "Bald Headed Woman" was written by Shel Talmy (the same song is on the Kink's debut album, but the Who play it better. And guess who's on rhythm guitar ? the unknown Johnny Sheet who later formed Steel Blimb). "Daddy Rolling Stone" is another covered-to-the-point-of-suffocation song, not really interesting. The second disc is mainly made of covers (apart from "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" and "Instant Party Mixture" , and the songs that are also on the album"), and they are really hit-and-miss. "Heat Wave" and "Motoring" are the best of the lot, while "Shout And Shimmy" (another James Brown cover) is as bad as "Please Please Please" and "I Don't Mind". "Instant Party Mixture" is a funny original, with doo-wop-like vocals ("choo-be-doo-be-doo"...), the first appearance of John's "boss voice" and (surprise, s! urprise) the riff of "Johnny B. Goode" inserted for no reason. "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" is a very good one, too, but I wonder why they put in an alternate version instead of the superior regular one. The so-called "long versions" are, frankly speaking, a swindle : "I Don't Mind" adds one verse, and "The Good's Gone" merely fades out 20 seconds later ; an instrumental vesion of "My Generation" was completely unuseful (it's not even an alternate take !), so is the a capella "Anytime You Want Me". The single version of "My Generation" adds some lead guitar parts, and (in my opinion) is slighly better than the album one, but "A Legal Matter" is identical to the album version.

Overall, some of the bonuses are worthy, but some others aren't. The worst thing is that the running time of the 2 discs is only 90 minutes, which means that by cutting off the stupid long and a capella versions everything could have been on one CD. I also wonder why they didn't add the superb "Substitute", whereas they did add its B-side "Instant Party Mixture".

Still, the liner notes are quite informative. According to them, the album's first recording session produced 11 tracks, only 1 of them being an original ("You're Going To Know Me", later renamed "Out In The Street") ; but the reviews of the demos were bad, so manager Kit Lambert encouraged Pete to write more original songs, and Pete eventually came up with enough originals to fill the album. A funny thing, "My Generation" was originally written as a slow blues, and was LATER rearranged as the "proto-punk" anthem we know (by the way, apart from "My Generation", no song here sounds like proto-punk, George, what were you thinking?). So "My Generation Blues" is not a new version, but the original one!

Alexey Provolotsky <> (29.08.2004)

The best debut I could ever expect from the band. In fact, I consider it one of the strongest debut records ever together with Velvet Underground & Nico, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and a few others.

I don’t understand it how some people (including you, George) can rate this album the same as the Stones’ debut. IMO, My Generation is much better. And only 2 covers! “Much Too Much”, “The Kids Are Alright”, “My Generation” (I can carry on) are undeniable classics. Could Jagger and Richards come up with such incredible songs in their early years? I mean, with such amount of incredible songs. Of course, no. Two Brown covers are decent, IMO. The rest are catchy and aggressive tunes. A very important release. It gets a 14. Really.

Dane J. Hitt <> (16.09.2005)

George asks, "Is the double-disc remaster worth your time?" Let's examine:

Disc One - The Original Album 1) "My Generation" and "The Kids Are Alright" are both the original versions, or alternate, or whatever. Both use less vocal overdubbing (I at first did not like this, but later it grew on me), but the old "My Generation" is on the second disc. "TKAA" features the infamous Moon solo in its entirity, a big plus for me. As for the rest of the songs, I can't attest to any changes from the original album, as I've never had the chance to hear the original.

2) "I'm a Man" is included, but it doesn't really enthrall me. Perhaps others would like it more. I consider it a waste.

3) The single version of "I Can't Explain" is included as a bonus track, much to my delight. The other bonus tracks are "Daddy Rolling Stone" and "Bald Headed Woman," the latter of which features Jimmy Page, but neither of the two songs are all that interesting.

Disc Two - The Extras

1) The first few tracks are R&B covers, and almost any of them would've been suitable replacements for the James Brown covers. "Leaving Here" (I love this one, better than the BBC version), "Lubie (Come Back Home)" (it's alright, I guess), "Heatwave" (different version from A Quick One, it's good), "Motoring" (it's alright), and my personal favorite, "Anytime You Want Me."

2) Plenty of alternate versions of old songs, and a few surprises. "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" with an alternate chorus, and an unreleased track called "Instant Party Mixture," not to be confused with "Instant Party (Circles)." The former is actually about partying, makes several allusions to drug use, and features tradeoff vocals from all members of the group. It's a fun gag number, I like it. After that are full length versions of "I Don't Mind" (certainly we could use more of THAT one), "The Good's Gone," mono guitar overdubbed versions of "A Legal Matter" and "My Generation" (I believe this version of "MG" is the same as the one on the original album), an a capella (read: backing track suppressed, the vocals are identical to those on the instrumental track) version of "Anytime You Want Me," and an instrumental version of "My Generation."

It's an odd mix, but if nothing else, the handful of good R&B covers + extended Moon solo version of "TKAA" makes the batch worthwhile, but I recommend it only for Who fans...that is, the ones that'd take interest in more of the second disc material. The extras on the first disc are mostly throwaways.

Also, if it makes a difference, the album cover looks different for the deluxe edition. It just says "My Generation." I'm guessing this was the original UK cover. I could be completely wrong.


Jeff Blehar <> (15.02.2000) least it SOUNDS better! But A Quick One is actually even more disturbingly unfocused than My Generation, with a remarkable amount of filler (at least it's original filler, though). Still, for some reason (and now with the bonus tracks, even better reason), I'd rate this higher than the debut. I don't know exactly why, but I think it's the spirit of the LP: this is THE definitive "Swinging London" mod/pop album, and for better or worse, it really conjures images of its time.

About the songwriting deal, I have to say that while I agree that Roger's "See My Way" is a rotten sardine (but his "Early Morning Cold Taxi" ain't!), I dig Moon's "I Need You" and "Cobwebs And Strange" for the Swinging London atmosphere described above. John's two are excellent, of course; I really don't think "Whiskey Man" gets the credit it deserves from fans. And sadly, Townshend only came up with two good songs this time around, one of which wouldn't really BECOME good until it was taken on the road. "So Sad About Us" just flat-out rocks, like a more melodic "My Generation" with a bunch of "la la"s and one daftly perfect line in "you can't turn off my loving like you can't turn off the sun!" "A Quick One, While He's Away" has a lot of potential that goes unfulfilled here - the opening and closing sections ("Her Man's Been Gone" and "You Are Forgiven"), which were the standout parts of the song when played live, are flaccid, flaccid, flaccid. The best version around is probably the one from the Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B set which grafts the opening and closing sections of the Rock And Roll Circus version (a different, and quite frankly VERY superior, take than the other two released on The Kids Are Alright soundtrack and the Rock And Roll Circus video, respectively. The Who did three performances of the song that night, and this one is the best of them) onto the body of the studio version. But if you don't want to plunk down $55 for the set (and who would?) go get Live At Leeds, which has the next best attack on it.

Anyway, so the album itself is weak, but the bonus tracks are all nifty fifties by me: the Ready Steady Who! EP is lightweight fun (with the exception of the notably heavy "Disguises") while Entwistle's B-sides are ALL little bundles of joy. And unlike Georgie, I really like the acoustic version of "Happy Jack." Doesn't last too long for me. My only complaint is that they could have thrown on more tracks here (the CD only runs something like 55 minutes) like "The Last Time," "Under My Thumb," "Substitute," "Instant Party," and other rarities, and thus made more room for later B-sides on the Odds And Sods reissue. That way we would have been able to have ALL of The Who's music on reissued CD. Instead, they were either sloppy or cheap. Take your pick. I'll give this a 6/10 (11/15) with bonus tracks, take TWO points away for a copy without them.

Philip Maddox <> (28.07.2000)

This one's kinda hard for me to rate, because I really do enjoy listening to the whole thing, but not a lot of the songs are great. John's two are REALLY great. 'Boris The Spider' is an acknowledged classic, but the insane 'Whiskey Man' should be, too - I love the lyrics about how there wasn't room for Whiskey Man at the mental hospital. Hilarious and catchy. Plus, I really love the opening 'Run Run Run', which is a really catchy, fast, groovy rocker. The rest all kind of depends on my mood. The title track is catchy, but some of those harmnonies don't quite work. It was much better on stage. Still, it's hard to beat that 'You Are Forgiven' section at the end - one of the best moments the Who ever did. Roger's song sucks, of course. Keith's two are fun, but not really great - the drums came in so loud on 'I Need You' that it made me jump! Plus, I've never been too crazy about the remaining two Pete songs - they're decent, but nothing special. I like the bonus tracks - goofy surf music played by the Who! Swell. The Entwistle songs here are cool, as is 'Disguises'. I'd have to give this album something like a high 6, maybe a low 7 on a really good day.

Bob Josef <> (14.08.2000)

Well, mad experimentation was in the air in 1996. And it's obvious with it's multiple songwriting and attempts at varied styles, Lambert and the Who were trying to create their version of Revolver.

But Lambert ain't no George Martin, that's for sure. Even thinner production than Shel Talmy. The early 60's tinniness of Pete's guitar, in particular, continues to annoy. The rhythm section is actually far clearer in the murky mix than the guitars. The CD remastering and remixing doesn't rescue the record.

The other reason is that Townshend and Entwistle (never mind Daltrey and Moon) aren't exactly Lennon and McCartney in the songwriting deparment. Pete actually, except for "A Quick One," takes a major (although temporary) dive in writing with this collection of wimpy pop songs, albeit dressed up in the band's instrumental attack. I actually prefer Pete's touching little acoustic demo of "So Sad About Us" (available on Scoop) to the rather ordinary Beatlesque rocker here. He does get an A for effort for the title track. I think it's overstating it quite a bit to call a 9 minute track a "rock opera." Rather, Pete does here what the Beatles would do with the medley of Abbey Road -- attempt to weld several song fragments into a cohesive whole. It's very tentative, though -- the different pieces seem to fit rather awkwardly, at best, here. The live version is where the piece really becomes seamless. And I love where the band totally trashes the beloved English hymn "Land of Hope and Glory" at the coda of "My Generation" -- this would have generated as much controversy in the UK as Hendrix's version of the American national anthem did in the U.S., if it had been released.

The covers, like most of the covers from this period, are lame, especially "Heatwave". Forget it!! "Cobwebs and Strange" is a fun bit of craziness, like "Yellow Submarine" gone even more demented, but "I Need You" does not make me want to rush out and buy Two Sides of the Moon. Roger's contribution is not worse than most of Pete's -- but that's not saying much at all. But I love John's contributions. Let's see -- an arachnophobe, a hallucinating alcoholic, a hypochondriac, a framed prisoner -- did John know any NORMAL people at this point? But his bass really carries the melodies here!

Lastly, the vocals. Major disagreement here. Roger's voice is slightly improved, but far from what it would yet become. But they had not yet developed a good approach to vocal harmonies. There's TOO MUCH FALSETTO -- from all FOUR band members -- everywhere!! Someone should have told them the Beach Boys sang in OTHER vocal ranges, too. All these squeaky voices!! Drives me nuts. This didn't last, thank the Good Lord.

<> (15.09.2000)

A historic album as the great one first dabbles in the Rock Opera mode. If you buy the CD it has some dynamite bonus tracks. You can keep the Motown covers, but maybe that is because here in Cleveland, the local Oldies Station drills that stuff into the ground. However it is a very good example of non-mainstream early British rock, which is truly the best music in the world!

Fredrik Tydal <> (03.12.2000)

How come no one's mentioned the awesome "In The City" on the re-issue? I'm serious; it's a complete master-piece. I mean, it sounds exactly like a, say, 1964 hit for the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean. I really admire Entwistle's ability to go into the studio and just pin down an exact surf hit replica like that. While Moon is credited on the track as well, it surely is Entwistle who is mainly responsible for the song. It's just like an early to mid Sixties surf song you've heard played to death on your local oldies station all your life. That melody really *sticks* in your head; quite infectious indeed. And couldn't that Entwistle play a mean French horn? The re-issue if just great, even if more tracks could have been included. Am I the only one who thinks that Entwistle's "Doctor, Doctor" is very reminiscent of "Mother's Little Helper"? Something about the bass lines, the dark nature of the songs and their medical themes. And there's "Bucket T" as well! It was released as a single here in Sweden back in '66 and shot directly to number one on the charts, the only one of the The Who's efforts to do so here. So, rather amusingly, "Bucket T" is the second most famous Who song here, only after "My Generation". Rather obscure Jan & Dean song; it was probably Keith's decision to cover it and he does a great job on the lead vocals. And "Barbara Ann" just *rocks* - better than both the Regents' original and the Beach Boys' party cover. And how funny isn't their hilariously disrespectful take on "Land Of Hope And Glory"? (Am I mistaken, or isn't the real title of that song "Pomp And Circumstance?) As it is now, the bonus tracks on the re-issue more or less overshadow the actual album. Sure, there's the title track but that one's much, much better live. Keith's two songs are both cool novelties, both with impressive drumming (almost ear-hurting in "I Need You"). I never really was a fan of "Boris The Spider" - it's not bad or anything, but hardly Entwistle's best song. A five to the original, but a generous seven to the re-issue.

David Lyons <> (10.12.2000)

Quick notes to agree with Mr. Blehar in support of Rog's second effort 'Early Morning Cold Taxi' and to point out that the song is indeed 'Land Of Hope And Glory' - Elgar wrote the original march as part of 'Pomp and Circumstance' without any words, the words were only added later, possibly at the behest of Edward VII for his coronation ode. So there you go.

<> (30.12.2000)

This is a fun album and if you take it at that you'll enjoy it. At first I was disappointed because I wanted another Sell Out and I got this crap ('I Need You' sucks!). Then giving it a second chance found it to be hilarious ('I Need You' rules!). On the original only one bad song, 'See My Why'. I like 'Don't Look Away' and 'I Need You' and 'Cobwebs And Strange' are good clean fun. 'Run Run Run' is OK but reminds me of 'Call Me Lightning'. As for the big one 'A Quick One While He's Away' is kinda dull here but is better on Leeds. The bonus tracks are all good but I wish they had put on 'Dogs' or the real 'Happy Jack' instead of the acoustic one but pobody's nerfect! (sorry)

Palash Ghosh <> (08.03.2001)

Oh, boy, I just don't like "A Quick One" at all -- I think it's pretty much of a mess; and, more importantly, in no way does it reflect The Who's gloriously violent aggressive live act of the time.

At least John Entwistle came through with some winning tunes: 'Boris The Spider' is fun; but it gets a bit too much praise, it is, after all, just a silly, scary nursery rhyme. 'Whiskey Man' is terrific and largely unknown to non-Who fanatics.

If you regard Keith's contributions, 'I Need You' and 'Cobwebs And Strange' as brief wacky comedy numbers, then they can be enjoyed. But if you try to treat them as 'songs,' then they fail miserably.

I might be in the minority here, but I just do not like the mini-opera 'A Quick One' and I can't see why it gets so much attention. I think it's an embarrassment, it sounds like something that would be more appropriate for 'Monty Python' and not the world's greatest live rock band!

The only original composition I can say anything good about here is Pete's 'So Sad About Us' which works for me.

Thank God, the group got it going on the next album!

Ted Goodwin <> (17.03.2001)

Many years ago I bought a 2-LP "compilation" consisting of A QUICK ONE and SELL OUT. I won't try to give full reviews because there's a lot I don't remember (having gotten rid of said compilation not too long afterwards) -- just wanted to touch on a few points.

(1) I always liked "Boris The Spider" best - one of the very few rock songs where I actually memorized the lyrics. Didn't like "Whiskey Man" nearly as much for some reason.

(2) I remember actually liking "See My Way", or at least the chorus. I don't remember the rest so I must have found it merely undistinguished rather than bad per se.

(3) Has anyone noticed that all 4 guys have lead vocals on the "rock opera"? At least, I assume that's Keith doing the 1st solo vocal ("Down your street your crying is a well-known sound"). He sounds a lot stronger there than on his own "I Need You".

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

This isn't too satisfying. Okay, note that I don't have the fancy remastered version, so I have to manage with stuff I've got. 'Boris The Spider' is the only true masterpiece here. It's funny, creepy and it has some of the weirdest singing at the time (is it possible that The Who influenced Death Metal type growls with this song ?). Other tracks are just sad. The songs are solidly constructed and all, but they just don't IGNITE. Sure, the opener 'Run Run Run' is extremely decent, and some other songs do ignite a little, but not all the way. While 'Whiskey Man', 'Heatwave', 'So Sad About Us' and the title track are all worthy contributions to their repertoire, they don't manage to impress me too often. Gee, I think George is totally right, this is a 5.

P.S. This album actually reminds me of Iggy Pop's Soldier.

Hazel <> (10.05.2002)

Okay-the Who's second album, and a good one at that. It's often underrated, but I find it very addicting. 'Run, Run, Run' is thought to be (by me, personally) 'My Generation' whenever I hear the beginning. 'Boris the Spider' is prolly one of Johns' better compositions, and 'I Need You' is Keith-what can I say-it's KEITH! 'Whiskey Man' is a song I always sing, as it is stuck in my head (not aloud, mind you!). 'Heat Wave' is originally a Holland Bros. song. 'Cobwebs and Strange'-I like it because I think Moon does better WITHOUT vocals......'Don't Look Away'-"Don't go 'n' hide, yesterday you were my girlfriend". 'See My Way' is a Roger composition (which I BELIEVE is the only one he wrote by HIMSELF). 'So Sad About Us'-I.....I......I......I CRY! I'm a big ol' baby......and 'A Quick One While He's Away'-I know all the lyrics-definitely one of my favorites! And, last, but not least, 'Happy Jack'-a masterpice that appeared on nearly every Who compilation. So....what's my point? My point is that you should go get this album. It's very hard to find it on vinyl as a SINGLE record, I have it doubled up with the Who Sell Out. (Also, 9 more albums....I'm 10-is that odd?) Well, Long Live Rock, and I hope to send in more reviews real soon.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

the song writing slips a bit here, but not a whole lot. 'don't look away' has a good melody and country atmosphere, but is very light weight like you said. moon's contributions are cute, and at least sort of original. entwistle shows himself to be a great song writer. 'run run run' is a great feedback rocker, and funnily enough the velvet underground named an inferior song after this song. i'm sure you know that though. roger's song is shit.

the mini-rock opera is very good, but i agree it came to life better on stage. 'so sad about us' is amazing. i've heard rocking versions and quiet electric versions and it's never not beautiful. the only way it could lose that beauty is if pete re-arranges it as a techno rap song or something.

the bonus tracks help make the album a much better purchase. in general, the album seems to be the first tentative branching out of the who, and experimentation from their "maximum R&B" roots and they succeed often. a seven for this without bonus tracks and a 8 with.

Zach Smith <> (16.07.2002)

Probably their weakest until 75 (You know what I'm talking about... Mama's got a squeezbox...) but the strong songs rock. I hate 'Run Run Run', 'See my way', 'don't look away', and that's it. Moon's songs are both ok, with some good drum solos? in 'Cobwebs'. 'A Quick One' is superior on the kids are alright and 'boris the spider' is great. My fave song is 'Whiskey Man', R.I.P thunder fingers!

Greg Perryman <> (07.01.2003)

I should say that on this album, John and Keith are really the stars. Keith's drumming is fantastic and loud (his solos in 'Cobwebs and Strange' are AMAZING), and I am actually quite a fan of his songwriting. Sure, he was not a songwriting genius. At all. But I really enjoy 'I Need You.' (And, on Sell Out, 'Girl's Eyes' is quite good.) All of John's songs are just really fun to listen to. They've got a great rock beat and hilarious lyrics. And I have to say, I really hate 'See My Way' and 'Don't Look Away.' For two months I thought 'Don't Look Away' was Roger's composition, simply because the lyrics were inane, although the beat was catchy. The title track is well-written, but much better in its other manifestations - Leeds, R&B, Kids Are Alright. It seemed oddly-produced. I did like the bubbly sounds. I do like 'So Sad About Us' very much and the new 'My Generation,' although it lacks a bass solo. Finally, I think the covers were pretty well-done, if nothing to write to mother about (although possibly to George Starostin). 'Batman' could have been about 0:45 and been much better.

Devon Bott <> (03.05.2003)

Keith Moon's song, "I Need You" was, according to the book, "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" written as a message to the fab four. I guess during this period, the Beatles were somehow snubbing the Who, or maybe just not hanging out with Moon, who knows. But the scouse-sounding talking in the background on the middle break does sound an awful lot like a liverpudlian accent. "We're dancing, We will come and dance near you, We want to learn, Let us come and sitar with you-You talk to them, They laugh aloud, Yet they run to you, In any crowd..." Not too viscious, but still a little stinging. But in the end, keith and ringo become good friends, so it's all good.


Eric Feder <> (22.04.99)

I think the bonus tracks on Who Sell Out are fabulous! A lot of the songs are as good if not better than the originals. Very rocking, but in the way their early singles rocked (not the bombastic rock of Who's next and later). you should give them another listen if you haven't yet bc for me, those extra tracks make the album for me.

Fredrik Tydal <> (12.12.99)

I was actually somewhat disappointed in this album, which is supposed to be one of Great Forgotten Albums Of The Sixties. Sure, Pete came up with a pretty original concept in the "radio" feeling of the album. But that little gimmick over-shadows the actual quality of the album's songs. Sure it was the best Who album up to that point, but it's far from the Holy Trinity; Tommy, Who's Next and Quadrophenia. But "I Can See For Miles" sure rocks!

Jeff Blehar <> (15.02.2000)

Something happened. The 'Oo woke up and looked around, saw their peers putting out some of the best albums of their careers (Beatles, Stones, etc.) and decided that they couldn't coast on great singles and lame albums like they had been doing up until then. Thus, The Who Sell Out, their best album ever, bar Quadrophenia, which is really something else altogether. That's right. Better than Who's Next. Why? Perhaps because it takes itself a whole lot less seriously, and The Who were always great when they were making fun of themselves. I mean, Sell Out is more FUN than almost any other album of the decade, what with those hilarious commercials running around in between the pop-art masterpieces ("Hold your group together with Rotosound Strings!"). And pop-art masterpieces the songs are - I'd go one step farther than George and say that there's not a single duffer among any of these songs here (except perhaps "Medac," but that's not a song, right?), including "Relax," which I always enjoyed a bit for Townshend's just-a-semitone-too-high singing. I mean these songs are all gems, from the psychedelic ear-splitting of "Armenia City In The Sky" to the acoustic woody warmth of "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand" to the wry rock of "Odorono," the beautiful arpeggiation of "Tattoo," the soaring churchly ecstasy of "Our Love Was," and - hey! I've just named every damn song on the first side! Except the prize, of course. "I Can See For Miles." Now I'm going to commit myself here and come right out and say that, despite many later challenges, THIS is The 'Oo's finest-ever moment, with Moon's stratospherically inventive drumming (listen! It's just one long fill! The ENTIRE TIME!), Daltrey's essence-of-cool vocal, those four-part harmonies, and of course Townshend's massed guitars, which bust down the door like a horde of angry chainsaw-wielding maniacs and slice their way out the back like straight razors. And that's only Side 1. Actually, everything afterwards is like a post-coital afterglow - there's very little rock on side 2 ("Rael" is as close as it gets) but instead we get the pretty "I Can't Reach You" and "Sunrise," which is so achingly beautiful it actually hurts. Really - he sounds painfully sincere.

I buy the "lost third side" bit of the reissue wholeheartedly, as well. Give it another listen, George - some of these tracks are *very* strong, like Keith's charming "Girl's Eyes" or "Glittering Girl," both of which would have happily fit on side 2. "Melancholia" is another remarkable one, with gloomily powerful guitar work (Townshend wrote it while depressed about "I Can See For Miles"'s chart failure), while "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand" is a great alternate take, insomuch that while it fails to top the original, it's almost as good and completely different (and it trounces the other electrified version released as the American B-side to "I Can See For Miles," found on Odds And Sods - although the liner notes say that this version is the B-side, they're wrong). Finally, "Glow Girl" is a perfect conclusion, melodic and wacky, with a quote of Tommy in its final lines. I don't quite buy the argument that its inclusion on Odds And Sods makes it redundant here; rather, the inclusion of many of the Odds And Sods tracks on the reissues made THAT album of questionable value (that is, until it was reissued). It fits too perfectly to leave it off. But who cares? I'm splitting hairs, here; Sell Out is The Who's best 60's album, and a required purchase for any music collection worth its salt. There aren't too many other albums I'd say that about. An easy 10/10.

Ben Greenstein <> (02.06.2000)

This is the Who album that convinced me that Townshend was as creative a melodic composer as Andy Partridge (well, almost), and that the Who were a really great group. Although there are only two really commercial songs ("Miles" and "I Can't Reach You"), the other ones like "Tatoo" and "Our Love Was" all have really subtley beautiful hooks. It's pop, though, so anyone looking for that "My Generation" or "Baba O'Riley" rock stuff had better look elsewhere. A nine.

jpcs <> (09.06.2000)

hmmm,you think you detect some Pink Floyd influence? Other way round,I'd say! Listen to the 'rock' tracks on Piper and who's yr. #1 sonic blueprint? This is who,that's who! (Actually, credit should be given where it should be given: Pete himself was a frequent visitor at the UFO those days and admits to have been heavily influenced by the Barrett gang - G. S.).

Bob Josef <> (26.06.2000)

"I Can See for Miles," I agree, is indeed the best track. One of their greatest singles, period. However, unfortunately, Kit Lambert was only slightly less inept a producer than Shel Talmy. Which is why this album, again, falls short. Most of the other songs are decent to very good, and the idea is the most cohesive of any of this period's concept albums, but the lousy recording quality, again, undermines the album. And although Daltrey's singing is improving he does indeed have a way to go.

Philip Maddox <> (28.07.2000)

I'd probably give it something like a high 8 or a low 9. Frankly, I could care less about the concept. The songs are what makes the record. A couple of the songs that have to do with the concept are great, though - 'Odorono' never fails to crack me up. Plus, this album contains 'I Can See For Miles', which may be the best song the Who ever did (but probably not, as the Who did so many great songs - I've got 'You Better You Bet' stuck in my head now, and i think it ranks with their best stuff easily). 'Rael' is pretty cool as the guitar line turned into 'Sparks' on Tommy. I really love the opening 'Armenia City In The Sky' too. A couple of songs aren't as great - 'Relax' never really gets going, 'Silas Stingy' isn't up to John's 2 on the last album, and I have to be in the mood to enjoy tracks like 'Heinz Baked Beans'. Still, this is a fine, fine, fine record. And hey, the bonus tracks aren't perfect, but they're free at least. And I love the bonus version of 'Mary Anne' to death - what a cool organ solo! 'Melancholia' and 'Early Morning Cold Taxi' are cool, too. Actually, I'd probably give the original a high 8, and give the new one a low 9.

Rich Bunnell <> (02.03.2001)

Though I of course was not a listener to Radio London in the '60s, it's neat how eerily this album replicates a 45-minute broadcast of a radio station that plays nothing but straightforward electric rockers. Okay, so it's not that stylistically-narrow at all, but what it certainly is is consistent and fun, what with your expansive psycho-rock ("Armenia City In The Sky"), beautifully-harmonized balladry ("Sunrise" and "Mary Anne") and catchy joke songs ("Medac," "Silas Stingy") making up the bulk of the album. It's a bit irritating that "I Can See For Miles" is produced at least twice as well as every other song on the album, but that's not a knock on the quality of the song, a snarling, abrasive Who classic. "I Can't Reach You" is great, too, but as much as I love it, it's hard for me to listen to it because the Jam ripped of its verse melody in 1980 with "Smithers-Jones," a song I've been incredibly familiar with for some time now. And "Rael" has crappy vocals but an incredibly fascinating arrangement. It seems that I've gotten to the point where I just list off songs monotonously, so I'll just stop abruptly here and give this a 9/10.

Palash Ghosh <> (08.03.2001)

The progression from A Quick One to The Who Sell Out is nothing short of Herculean.

The Who becomes a polished, professional studio band –- everything is running smoothly here: Pete blossoms into an accomplished composer, mixing solid pop melodies with manly instrumentation structures; Roger's singing vastly improves; and, as usual, John and Keith deliver solid performances on bass and drums.

The 'radio commercials' are just wonderful, I never get tired of hearing them! And to think, Keith and John came up with'em! (I guess rock and roll's gain was the advertising industry's loss!).

Pete delivers a suite of gorgeous first-rate songs: 'Our Love Was' 'Odorono,' 'Sunrise,' and of course the magnificent 'I Can See For Miles.' 'Armenia City In The Sky' (which I guess was NOT penned by Pete, but sure sounds like it was) is another thrilling, soaring, majestic number here. For some reason 'Tattoo' never appealed to me and 'I can't explain' why. 'Can't Reach You' is a bit weaker and 'Relax' is a pointless bore. John's 'Silas Stingy' sounds like an inferior re-make of 'Whiskey man.' But, overall, with this record, The Who had ARRIVED.

Ted Goodwin <> (17.03.2001)

As with Quick One, I haven't heard this in many years (only had LP version) and just wanted to touch on a few points.

(1) Curious thing about this one as compared to A QUICK ONE. On the former, Pete's only lead vocal was 1/4 of the "rock opera". In contrast, he's all over SELL OUT, taking sole or partial lead on nearly everything (including "Armenia" where it's not so obvious because the vocals are all sped-up). I think "I Can See For Miles" is Roger's only full lead on the whole thing (I'm talking LP version, remember).

(2) Speaking of QUICK ONE comparisons, I thought "Silas Stingy" was a big step down for John after his previous 2 songs. The joke is kind of cute -- old miser spends all his assets in the process of protecting them -- but it's really not carried out well.

(3) I thought "I Can't Reach You" was one of the better songs but I found one line of lyrics so impossible to decipher that it drove me nuts. Years later I found it was "trying to get on you, see feel or hear from you". (It sounded like "trying to get on your sleepy long hair" but I knew that wasn't right.)

Billy Williams <> (01.07.2001)

There's not much I can add to the discussion about The Who Sell Out but I'll give it my best shot. This album no doubt started the Who's "classic" period. The commercials are great and absolutely hilarious. IMHO, there isn't a weak song on it (original tracks, of course). Of the bonus tracks, "Melancholia" is my personal favorite. I could care less about the rest of 'em. "I Can See For Miles" is a classic. "Rael," "Odorono," and "Sunrise" are also quite good. Here, Townshend (Like Lennon/McCartney on Help! or Rubber Soul) shows glimpses of what's to come on later records. I agree on the rating of 9.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (20.08.2001)

My copy of Sell out has a very strange history. Firstly, I bought it on a tape which was chewed up by my naughty player on the very first listen. Then I got a pirated CD which was corrupted, so I asked for another copy and on the second day it fell from my table and the disc broke. I suppose God really wanted me to buy a licensed copy. And I did so on Crete island. Hmm, you know, discs with cute booklets are not so bad as I thought before...

The main question was - how come the guys didn't release all that bonus part in 1967? Well, they couldn't have put it on one vinyl, but they could have made a double album. People are strange. Then, the second question is: George, why not a ten for this album? I don't get that wild of concept simply because it doesn't differ much from Sgt. Pepper. And if we started talking about conception, I have to admit that The Who wasn't the creators of the idea - their managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp came up with the thought of unifying the band's next album by making it sound like a British pirate or American Top 40 radio station. And the guys worked well - while Pete was composing the music, Keith and John were writing all those funny commercials, half of which were fictisous and another half were real ones (Rotosound, Coca-cola, John Mason's cars and Premier). In fact by producing advertisements of real companies guys hoped to earn something from them. It worked with Rotosound and Premier (that company made many special drums for Keith with sings: 'Keith Moon, patent British exploding drummer'. Unfortunately, few of them survived while Keith was patenting his name) and maybe even with Coca-cola but failed to earn some free cars - 'John Mason - we got the best cars here' slogan was put into archive. Oh, and if we started talking about trivia, here's a story about 'Rael1'. The Who together with Al Kooper on organ recorded the most of the song in one day and then adjourned for a noon start the next day. they left rather hurriedly because they were rather tired of working so intensely, and the multitrack of 'Rael' was left on the counter unboxed. The cleaning woman came in and threw it into the trash but didn't empty it, so it lay there with soda and cigarette ash all over it. Engineer Chris Huston came in next morning ... and was horrified - when he played the tape again, he understood that first 15 seconds were lost. And, moreover, he was the person who had to tell it Pete, the most nervous Who member. So Chris too k Pete to the corner and talked, ending his speech with phrase: 'Pete, I'm sorry, but sometimes these things happen...' Townshend goes to the control room, picks up engineer's chair and throws it through the control room glass partition, damage of roughly $ 12000. Then he turns to Chris and says: 'Don't worry, Chris ... sometimes these things just happen'. Okay, 'nuff - that's the music we're talking about.

I'm not going to discuss every track on here since on the remastered version there're 23 (!!!). Firstly, about advertisements. My faves are: 'Rotosound strings' (it's a parody on Beach boys - hear that harmonies!), 'Coke after Coke, after Coke, after Coca-cola', 'Things go better with Coke !!!', 'Top GEAR!!! Top GEAR!!!' and 'Charles Atlas'. My favourite song on here is 'I can't reach you' (shame that almost noone of previous commentators said a good word about it) with wonderful piano. 'Melancholia' (a parent of 'Behind blue eyes'), alternate take of 'Marry Anne' (which is much better than original version), 'I can see for miles', 'Sunrise' (again, Beach boys' influence - isn't it familiar with BB's 'In my room'? Or a influence from Simon and Garfunkel?) and 'Armenia city in the sky' comes next. And others.... well, I can't put them down simply because they are of great quality.

PS. You know, the only serious song on here is 'Sunrise', which sounds to me completely off the record (strange that it was put on LP in 1967 - when I heard it I thought it was from bonus part). Others are completely unserious, bashing all the people who believe in these songs. I'll try to show my idea a bit more clearly - see, Roger turns a 'tragedy' of 'Can't reach you' into comedy - he simply laughs at his lyrical hero, who suffers of unshared love. And on 'Melancholia' The Who despise all the young dudes/Americans/Turks/punks/conservatives who suffer from their girls. Resonance on here is equal to zero.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

This is more like it. Still, it's not as good like the debut, although extremely close. The concept sucks, though. But the songs themselves are magnificent. Which of them, you ask ? All of them. Well, almost. I'm not completely certain that 'Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand', 'Our Love Was', 'Relax' and 'Rael' are something more than an average filler, but the remaining tracks are colossal. The frantic opener rolls along with lot's of feedback. 'Tattoo' is a nice little introduction to the crappy ballad 'Our Love Was', but after that the band really ignites with 'I Can See For Miles'. Although, I'm the first to admit I needed some time to get into the song, and I'm glad I did, it's one of their best. 'Can't Reach You' is nice and relaxing, and then we have another throwaway 'Relax', but then 'Silas Stingy' takes the stage. It's goofy, for sure, and I don't mind the chorus. 'Sunrise' is a another ballad, maybe the most attractive here, but overall, not their finest. The bonus tracks are okay, I guess, but only 'Jaguar' and 'Girl's Eyes' stand out a bit. Hey, hey, it's a another 9.

Revolver <> (19.10.2001)

Amazing record. The concept as a whole is interesting and funny in my eyes. My favorite song on the whole thing is "I Can't Reach You" which is just absolutely beautiful pop, but theres some other outstanding stuff on here, like "Our Love Was", "Tattoo", "Sunrise", all beautiful ballads, then theres the chaotic take on psychodelia like "Armenia In The Sky", the Syd Barrett-esque "I can See For Miles" and the great mini-epic "Rael". Those fake advertisement jingles are great as well ("odorono", "medac"). A pop masterpiece indeed. Definate 9 out of 10 on this one. Some of the bonus tracks are ace as well, "Glittering Girl" is another take on beautiful pop, and the "Coke 2" advertisement is fucking awesome!! It's a really great take on Hendrix-esque hard rock and Pete comes out with some great guitar work for just a fake joke advertisement song. "Glow Girl", the alternate version of "Shaky Hand" and "Girls Eyes" are great as well. I dont think "Hall Of the mountain king" isnt that much of a blatent Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett rip off as contrarily believed, just a funny-but-menacing type jam, although im glad it was left off the album. The rest of the bonus tracks i ain't too fond of.

Herman Victoor <> (08.12.2001)

'Armenia in the sky' was written by John Speedy Keen, the man behind Thunderclap Newman, which had a massif hit with 'Something in the Air'. Thunderclap Newman had just one -very enjoyable- album, namely 'Hollywood dream' (Speedy's singing and songwriting is great and there's lots of fun piano boogie too). Speedy Keen had two solo-albums which I hope to get my hands on one day.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

genius pure genius. pete creates one of the best albums of all time. it's purely indescriable my love towards this album. it's perhaps my favorite who album ever (quadrophenia is close). perfecty melodic throughout, perfect concept, perfect everything! the bonus tracks do seem a bit of a drag though, i mean they're good but would they have been the essential "third side"? no the album is perfect how it is.

Zach Smith <> (16.07.2002)

I find this one underrated by non who fans, over rated by who fans. I haven t decided, (Although i'm a who phantic).'Armenia' is sick crap, 'heinz baked beans' is hiliarious as is 'medac', and 'odorono',and on and on. 'Tatoo' would be better if it was harder and not as soft. 'Miles' is great, of course, and i love 'our love was' and 'i cant reach you' and 'sunrise'.(All three top notch ballads) 'Relax' is okay, and 'silas stingy' is one that gets old quickly. 'Rael' has terrible voices but has a minor spark of light. he he he he he he. bonus tracks are okay, my favorite being 'glow girl'. Thanx again

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.04.2003)

I really like the concept, but I want to punch that pretentious asshole who wrote that gushing essay for the liner notes of the reissue. I mean, I really love certain albums, but I'm not just to go out and declare something the best album of an era. I mean, I love Ziggy Stardust, but even I'm not stupid enough to declare it the best album of the seventies, or something. Just because I like it doesn't mean it's the "best". Anyway, after that pretentious, horrible, too serious liner notes introduction, I wasn't quite sure what to make of the album. Most of the stuff from the liner notes seems to be in retrospect. How this album is the perfect reflection of a society, etc. Maybe it is, but that's again subjective. Anyway, given this gishing intro, I was a little disappointed by this album.

For one thing, 'Silas Stingy' and 'Rael' aren't any good. The former sounds like a Christmas song and the later sounds like it came from a musical. 'Silas Stingy' especially I can't stomach, which annoys me because it sort of wrecks the whole experience. And yes, I do appreciate the humour of this album, and yes, parts of it ARE very funny, but... I don't know. I suppose I just get uneasy about where the joke ends and the sincerity begins. Is everything on this album parody, or are parts of it meant to be taken seriously? Is 'Our Love Was' a "serious" ballad? I guess what really bothers me about this album is just the softness of it, a strange comment coming from someone was was initially turned off because she thought The Who were too masculine. But I do LIKE it. 'Sunrise' is a gorgeous song, makes you want to fall in love with Pete on the spot. I enjoy everything except the two songs I already mentioned, I just don't LOVE this album the way many people seem to. It's probably just those liner notes that set me off, setting up this album as a premeditated, self-conscious, celebration/dennounciation of the various states of unreality of the drug and consumer cultures (which may seem to clash but both seem to end in destitute futility), when actually it seems more like a well-written piece of fun. And is it true Dalrey got pneumonia from the cover shoot? I think I read that somewhere. Great cover.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (14.11.2003)

I don't have the extra tracks. Do you think I CARE for extra CD tracks? I'm a vinyl freak myself. And sincerely, I don't like this LP much. Sure, side A is really good. 'Armenia City In The Sky' is cool, and "shocking" with all those noises, and 'I Can See For Miles' is one of their best rockers ever. There's 'Tatoo', too. Very beautiful. And... well, there isn't much more. 'Mary Anne With The Shakey Hands' is more or less fun, and 'Odorono' is okay. I could never enjoy 'Our Love Was', though. And know what? I like the radio stuff! It does become fun to listen to, and the idea that THIS is what people heard inbetween the songs on radio broadcasts in the late Sixties scares me. Side B, though, is VERY lame. 'I Can't Reach You' is extremelly nifty, but then... what happens to the radio broadcast idea? It's gone! 'Relax' is mildly decent, but it sounds exactly the same as 1000 other Who songs. 'Silas Stingy' is shitty as hell, and sincerely... I don't remember what 'Sunrise' and 'Rael' sound like, but I remember I didn't really like them... Eh. I'd give this a 11. I think.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (29.08.2004)

I wasn’t that impressed by Sell Out at first. Now I love it. Sure, it’s a pop record, but it’s a pop record by the Who.

It opens with a terrific cover “Armenia City In the Sky” which wouldn't be out of place on TWSMG. Then we have some pop masterpieces by Pete: “Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand”, “Tattoo”, “I Can See For Miles” (their best from the whole 65-67 period), “I Can’t Reach You”, “Our Love Was” and a gorgeous ballad sung by Pete, “Sunrise”. I’m not that keen on “Relax”, but it’s still quite good (and more serious as well). Entwistle’s tunes are really funny. I especially like “Silas Stingy” which is very catchy. Plus, the closing track “Rael” is kind of good, but a bit out of place (see "Effigy"). A solid 14/15.


Gustavo Rodriguez <> (12.04.99)

This is one the few reviews of yours I agree with almost note for note, George.

I would still give it a ten even though I can't stand the 'Underture' section either.

Too damn long and boring! But 'Welcome' doesn't bother me either. In terms of pure pop/rock songwriting this is a masterpeice and Townshend never really topped it. Who's Next is equally great (and better produced), but in terms of quantity as well as quality, Tommy is staggering. I think Pete manages to fill his double album just fine. I also agree with you about the opera/conceptual stuff. If listeners would just take this album song by song like any other album, there's no reason why they shouldn't be satisfied. The album's legacy as rock's first opera is a great burden for a lot of folks. Personally, I don't care about following a plot when listening to this album. There is a definite concept here but I've never been able to take it seriously as an opera. Who cares when the music is this good? There are operatic moments like the middle part ("You didn't see it..") of "1921" but let's stop kidding ourselves: this is just great rock music. It can be deadly once we try to give rock too much 'respectability'. That sort of stuff leads to commercials and--er--uhh lousy Broadway musicals!

Marco Ursi <> (02.05.99)

Here's my opinion on the subject of rock opera: It's a good idea and can be great if executed properly. Townsend didn't do that. I don't like it when people (not nescessarily you, George) say to just forget about the opera idea and listen to the music. It's a bloody opera for Chrissake, the story should be good! As for the music, it is glorious. I love it! This record deserves a 9 but I give it an 8 because the opera (this one, not the concept) sucks.

John McFerrin <> (06.05.99)

Who cares about the story? Even if Pete took this seriously, I really cannot, and as such I just think of it as a means to connect the songs. And anyways, the emphasis in this album is _definitely_ placed on 'rock' and not 'opera'. And darn it, it rocks! Great riffs, over and over. Oh, and I must confess, that besides the obvious choices, my favorite song on here is Sally Simpson. Great, great album.

Boris <> (25.08.99)

I am sorry, I have a correction to make. Tommy was not the first rock opera. S.F. Sorrow by the Pretty Things was, rleased in 1967. Pete Townshend pretty much admitted to hearing that, and getting the idea for Tommy from it. I would even say that I like S.F. Sorrow more I don't want to put down your musical knowledge, but you should really have known that, if you claim to have the 60's as the music period you have most interest it.

Fredrik Tydal <> (12.12.99)

For me, this is The Who's master-piece. This is as good as they good. Neither Who's Next or Quadrophenia could top the grandeur and overall quality of this album. With the stripped down arrangements, this album hardly feels pretentious and bombastic at all. The albums connects itself so beautifully with the recurring parts; the "See me, feel me", "Listening to you...", etc. And the remastered album on one CD is a great buy.

Jeff Blehar <> (15.02.2000)

Strange, George - I always held the middle ground on this album. But then again I wasn't around back when it was first released, being -11 years old at the time.

So The Who made Tommy and Tommy made The Who. For better or for worse, this is the one that made them a household name Stateside. And it was, depending on how you look at it, either A): the first full-blown rock opera and a watershed in popular music, or B): the beginning of the end for Western Civilization. I generally think it's much too overrated, but there's a distressing tendency to overcompensate the other way, to dismiss Tommy as a worthless piece of hype whose value has been fabricated out of whole cloth simply because of that damn song about pinball. That's also incorrect; the album's worth your money, and "Pinball Wizard" is only the first reason for it.

First of all, this album is Riffalicious. It's practically a textbook on how to make creative and melodic guitar hooks without bathos or oversimplicity. And "Overture" collects almost every last one of them, god love 'em all! "Go To The Mirror!" aside, this is my favorite moment on the album, with each important melody from the album, running from "1921" to "We're Not Gonna Take It," "Pinball Wizard," and "Go To The Mirror!" seamlessly. And that acoustic guitar solo at the end? Why it's the finest instrumental moment on the entire album! The whole thing just stomps along from there, highlights spilling out everywhere: "1921," "Amazing Journey" "Sparks," "Christmas," "Cousin Kevin," "The Acid Queen," "Pinball Wizard" (of course), "Go To Mirror," "I'm Free," etc. And frankly, I like the "Underture," even if there really is no earthly reason that it has to be, what is it, a HALF AN HOUR LONG? Sure seems like that. Still, it's a great riff, Townshend just beats it into the ground. It would've been a great 5 minute instrumental perhaps even slightly longer, but 10's pushing far too hard.

That's one complaint, but here's the rest. There's just too much filler. There are quite a few songs on here that did only a little for me upon first listen, and even less after that, and annoyingly they're all stuck near the second half of the album. Filler bits and inconsequential songs like "Do You Think It's Alright?" "There's A Doctor," "Miracle Cure," "Welcome," "Tommy Can You Hear Me?" (I HATE that one!) and "Tommy's Holiday Camp" (alright...I kinda like that last one). There are just far too many of those for this to get any more than an 8 out of 10. Furthermore, although I really like "Sally Simpson," it sounds like it got lost and wandered onto this album by mistake - it sounds NOTHING like anything else on here.

The plot's just dopey too, sad to say. I know Townshend was sincere, he meant it, blah blah blah, but that was probably his undoing; he was so desperately sincere that he oversteps quite a bit. And Entwistle's songs are just MEAN. I mean, "Cousin Kevin"'s sadism is one (disconcerting, but acceptable) thing, but "Fiddle About"'s sodomizing is quite out of line. I'm not offended per se, just somewhat taken aback by the nastiness of them all. And does anyone else think that the line "We'll forsake you, gonna rape you" doesn't scan too well in retrospect?

So that's Tommy. Timeless? Tasteless? You make the call. But despite the filler, I still think it's a mighty fine disc, maybe not as tightly organized as Quadrophenia or Who's Next, but still entertaining (and if you're composing on guitar, instructive). I'll give it an 8/10 and go headbang to "Go To The Mirror!"

Nick Karn <> (24.02.2000)

This is a great album, but it's also very flawed. The concept in parts is a bit iffy and lame, and even discounting that there are so many filler tracks on here that disrupt the flow of the plot rather than add to it. "Tommy's Holiday Camp", "Miracle Cure", and "Tommy Can You Hear Me" for instance really grate on me - I'd rather hear something pretentious and overblown than this ridiculously corny drivel. I still say the filler in The Wall is how execution of the 'weak links' on a concept album should be done. Plus, "Underture" is definitely a pointless 10 minute bore (I didn't think the "Sparks" theme was that great to begin with) and "Welcome" is totally insignificant.

However, my complaints end there - the rest of the album is a fine piece of work, and it does have an impressive abundance of great riffs and melodies. Far and away my favorite here is "Go To The Mirror"... I just LOVE the melody to it (it also works extremely well in "Overture"), and I think that section of the album is the most emotionally powerful. "Sally Simpson" is another personal favorite of mine - I really enjoy the 'laid back' feel it has, and the wacky harmonies and fun atmosphere of the beginning and end of "Christmas" contrasting the darker sections (with the 'see me feel me...' bit thrown in) REALLY work.

"1921" is really beautiful (although I don't see how it's a blues number... Track 6 is a blues number), "Pinball Wizard" and "Amazing Journey" are very effective and essential to the plot. And "Cousin Kevin"? I think I spent my high school years with someone like him unfortunately... Oh yeah, don't even get me started on the "Fiddle About" bit. Oh that demented John Entwistle character. Not one of my favorite concept albums, but enough great stuff on here for me to give it an 8.

Ben Greenstein <> (02.06.2000)

Not overrated at all. My only complaint is that most of the songs sound sorta similar, with a those tasty accoustic and electric riffs. But it's two albums long, and it never really runs out of ideas, just repeats the good ones when it needs to. Another nine.

Bob Josef <> (28.06.2000)

Lambert improves as a producer, but only a little bit. The transformation to CD helps immeasurably -- and I have the CD version released before it was remastered,and it still sounds great! Daltey's best singing yet, still obscured by the production.

The storyline is somewhat incoherent because Pete kept reworking it even as the band was recording. It does seem a bit silly in retrospect (the Broadway play only reemphasizes this). But most of the songs are just great and a lot of fun, except that "Underture" did not need to be 10 minutes long. And I agree the short little tracks like "Tommy, Can you Hear Me?" have great hooks. Still, one can only wonder what this album could have been if their next producer had been around.

Noam Klar <> (02.07.2000)

I think this album would have been better off if Pete would have been given time to add that extra orchestration and additional arrangements. This way, it makes for a pretty monotonous affair. At the beginning, the acoustic guitar thing is really cool and fun to listen to (especially the end of 'Overture'). By the time of 'Underture', it begins to get really really tiering.... By 'Welcome' I feel like going to sleep... That song is really annoying! In any case, I feel this album would have been better like 10 minutes shorter.

And actually the little 'plot' ditties are one of the things I like best here.

Another thing, for a rock opera this really lacks emotion. The whole story is pretty stupid anyway, and the whole 'Tommy' aspect is pretty boring. The music isn't tops either, but not bad or anything. Just too long!! 1921 is really a great song - it's the peak of the album for me.

Philip Maddox <> (03.07.2000)

There's not much new that can be said about this - it's one of the most famous rock records ever, and it deserves to be. Sure, the story can be stupid or nonsensical, but hey, I listen to Yes, so nonsense has no more effect on me. If you ignore the lyrics (which seems to be a focal point of the controversy about this album's worth), the tunes are indeed top notch. 'Overture', 'Pinball Wizard', 'Go To The Mirror', 'We're Not Gonna Take It', '1921', and others are amazingly great tunes. The short links aren't bad, either - they're tuneful and connect the songs well. Like you said, 'Underture' is the low point. Pete must have REALLY needed to fill up space, because he jams on a riff from his last record for over 10 minutes. I don't think it's too bad, as the actual riff is nearly perfect, but I'd rather hear it in 'Sparks' or 'Rael'. The lyrics aren't too bad, either. At least they sound good, even when they're meaningless. A classic of rock music. Everyone should at least hear this album at some point. It's like Sgt. Pepper in that respect - even if you don't like it, it was important enough to listen to at least once.

And about the orchestration, Kit wanted to orchestrate it, but Pete didn't. He wanted the record to be simple enough to be able to reproduce on tour. At least that's what it says in the booklet of the remastered edition CD that I have.

mjcarney <> (31.07.2000)

For some reason, it seems that within the last 5-10 years that this album is losing some of its critical acclain, but I can't understand that, this is definately the Who's high point in my eyes.  Sure, they sound nothing like the old, great, maximum R&B sound of their early days, but who cares when the music is this good.  Pete wrote a concept about a kid who sees his mom kill his dad, then becomes deaf dumb and blind.  His parents--mom and lover--try for years taking him to different people/places to get him better (The Hawker, The Acid Queen, a Physchiatrist etc), along the way he is abused by his cousin, his uncle, and even to some degree his parents, he eventually finds a following through pinball--which is a great joke--and they find a cure for his condition.  His followers then form a cult around him, until he becomes too demanding on them, and they destroy everything he owns, and Tommy is left alone.  Sure, the concept is a little stupid, but what concept album doesn't have its dumb, bombastic moments.  This one also has more comedy in it than others, which is interspersed amidst other more substantial statements.  The best comedy part is the Pinball Wizard bit.  Apparently, Pete added that part as a joke to a big time music critic that was a huge Pinball fan who always panned the Who terribly.  It is a bit of an in-joke, but the song has since become a classic.  Anyway, enough with the little background notes, and onto the music.  It opens with a truly classic instrumental--'Overature'.  This is possibly one of the most enjoyable instrumentals that I have heard, there isn't any parts where it is too overdrawn--like say Pink Floyd, there isn't too much guitar wailing--like Hendrix(although he's great), or Zeppelin, but there is left just an exciting, invigorating opener, which leads into the Captain Walker--It's a Boy bit beautifully.  Other highlights include, "1921"--the three part singing at the end is exceptional, "Christmas"--masterful, and somewhat underrated among true who classics, "Pinball Wizard" everyone knows this one, "I'm a Sensation"--great, Pete sung song, unfortunately dropped from their live lineup for some odd reason, since it is Pete's best solo singing song to this point, "I'm Free"--a riff rocking, yet surprisingly rather subdued classic, and of course, possibly the Who's best song in "We're not Gonna Take it".  Sure, these are the highlights, but the other tracks aren't half bad either.  Roger's singing has never been--nor will it ever be--better.  Instead of simply relying on power, he actually sings here and does SURPRISINGLY WELL.  Sometimes you miss the power of the earlier stuff, or their next two albums, but nonetheless, this album is excellent.  Well played, beautifully written, and masterful.  Also, it might be nice for any fan of this band, or of popular music to check out Pete's demos from this album, they're great too.  It is amazing that he basically had 75% of the album perfected before they started work on it.  This album is in my top five albums ever, and it is simply brilliant.  Unfortunately though, Pete would rely too much on concepts after this which mostly failed, and Roger would rely too much on his powerful screaming, which rendered many of their later songs useless, but here it all works, and this is a true masterpiece.  If you don't have this one, then you surely don't have much of a musical collection--it is just that good.  I would rate it a 10/10! I wouldn't change a bit of it either.

Rich Bunnell <> (25.08.2000)

This album is such a ten it hurts. I think that I'll take my traditional standpoint (and yours, this time) that it doesn't matter that this is a "rock opera" since it's actually just a bunch of rock songs that happen to share a common theme. No lame strings or female choruses or anything can be found here - in fact, it was probably the best idea Townshend ever had to create a rock opera using nothing but drums, bass and guitar, with a bit of synth and French horn thrown in for seasoning. The most appealing part about the album is that the guitars have this acoustic-meets-electric chimey sound the entire way through, and the sound is REALLY good. It's hard to name favorite songs when so many of them consist of themes that are repeated several times over the course of the album, but "Christmas," "We're Not Gonna Take It"(NO! WE AIN'T GONNA TAKE IT!....err...wrong one) and the two overtures are probably my favorites. I don't think that the ten-minute Overture is boring at all -- to me, it's just ten more minutes of that awesome acoustic strum sound.

It's funny how "Pinball Wizard," the album's unquestionably most famous song, was only hastily written by Pete Townshend because he wanted to please an influential music critic who just happened to be a huge pinball fan. Otherwise, the pinball stuff wouldn't even have been on the album (the pinball references in other songs were written in later). The funniest part was that Pete considered the song one of his most sloppily-written and awful ever at the time when he wrote it, but it's held up over the past thirty years as almost the centerpiece of the album. The centerpiece of an awesome album. Like I said, I don't see any reason not to give this a ten.

Nick Einhorn <> (31.08.2000)

According to the liner notes, producer Kit Lambert wanted to add an orchestra to the album, but Townshend was firmly opposed. Which is a good thing.  

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

I somewhat disagree with you on the movie version, which I actually prefer in some places to the orginal. The orginal is still great though and I'll talk about the movie later anyway. The music on here is very beautiful and the story is entertaining. It is a rejection of the drugs, psychedelicness and such that was so popular at the time. Even if this was not the first rock-opera, it is most certainly the most influencial. Underture is not that boring, its simplicity, quietness and length make it a trip into the inner-psyche somewhat. This is a great album, a great story and simply great (I need a new adjective).

mike <> (27.01.2001)

As a art fan I thought this is one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. The music might as well be poetry,  for the music was not up to its full potential. I was always a fan of The Who but this completely won me over.

Federico Marcon <> (03.02.2001)

Dear george,I must disagree with your rewiew about the Who's Tommy for these reasons:a)it was the first, and the finest, concept-album, or better rock-opera, of the '60 (how can you deny this fact?what concept-album can rate with it?You have to admit that Sgt. Pepper ,my favourite album, and one of the most famous concept-album of his era , has a very weak concept:the band playing songs);b)it has beatyful lyrics and melodies,and expecially a very original and complex structure;c)it's an incredibly realistic mirror of the life of the youth in the '60,that proposes an original and deep philosophical message (who openly refused the drugs in the '60?). First of all the music is fantastic: great melodic ballads (like "1921" and "Sally Simpson"),ferocious rocking songs ("Go to the mirror") and powerful riffs ( you know on this ground Pete can really rate with The Riffmaster,Keith).I don' t want to speak about music:you have written a fantastic rewiew from this point of wiew.But I hope you are joking when you say :"it' s a rock opera about a deaf dumb and blind pinball messiah".I think that the album is based on a very important concept:the idea that the Man, with his 5-senses,is unable to catch the true essence of Reality,able only to touch the surface.This is one of the most important statement in the history of philosophy:think about , for examples, the "Myth of cavern" by Platon,the "Maya Veil" by Shopenhauer,the Oriental philosophy or the reflections of Immanuel Kant about reality.And Townshend translated this idea in a very efficient metaphor: a deaf, dumb and blind boy represents the conditions of the whole mankind towards the reality.And the process in which the boy becames aware of the world around him, is an universal message to all men :"Don' t stop to appearance:capture the true essence of the world!" (there is an obscure point here: what' s this essence?Peraphs, as the lyrics of "Sally Simpson" suggest, love:"Come unto me ,and love will find a way".).I think the fundamental (for the story) tracks are 17,18,20,21,24:in these songs Pete explains that only with meditation about ourselves,we can reach "the highest high" (Tommy felt a "Sensation" after he has looked in a mirror,after he  looked to himself, think about "Go to the mirror" and "Smash the mirror").Townshend' s proposal to comunicate to the world this new awareness of the true reality is rock music ("Sally Simpson" is a story of a concert,isn' t it?).

But (oh Pete,you are a genius!) in this long way towards Tommy's (and ours,too) awareness, Townshend deals with a lot of elements about the life of the '60 youth:the quest of mysticism and the necessity of a spiritual guide ("Amazing Journey"),the refuse of the traditional religion (in "Xmas" and the lines "...don' t want no religion..." in "We' re not gonna take it"),the reflection about drugs (and the refuse of them,too) in "The acid queen" and in "We' re not gonna take it". All these elements make Tommy an extraordinary mirror of the '60,and a very original and philosophic album (starting from the cover: the fist of meditation breaks the 5-senses-cage and penetrate the reality!).

Now the bad notes:all the concepts,I' ve talked about,are showed in an embrionic way,the plot sometimes becomes confused (I must admit that I can' t understand what' s really happening in "Sally Simpson"!) and generally you have to listen very close to the lyrics of this record to extract my opinions (peraphs TOO close!!!).

Sorry for my very poor English ,George (oh... what do YOU think about my rewiew of Tommy?) and bye bye!

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

Tommy represents the moment when The Who ceased to be The Who. That's not necessarily a bad thing -– but this album changed everything forever. I think this record suffers a bit from under-production (as opposed to the over-production on some of their later records). Kit Lambert, no matter the pedigree of his musical background, was simply in over his head here. As many reviewers here have pointed out, "Tommy" was just plain badly recorded –- the instruments often sound tinny, John's bass and Keith's drums are muffled throughout.

However, the breakthroughs here are, of course, Roger's breathtaking singing (powerful, but not bombastic as he became on the overwrought Who's Next) and Pete's newly found ability to effortlessly compose beautiful, simple, and unforgettable, melodies and riffs.

If only The Beatles could've temporarily loaned out George Martin to oversee Tommy – a lot of the fat would've been cut out and each song would've been recorded with great care and excellence. And there's a LOT of fat in this record -- although that shouldn't 'weigh down' the incredibly beautiful music present here. '1921,' 'Overture,' 'Go to the mirror boy,' 'We're not gonna take it,' 'I'm free' -– who has ever written better songs than these???

I admit the story of Tommy seemed stupid and confusing to me, like something that an immature teenage boy would doodle in his notebook while daydreaming in school. But that should be overlooked as well.

Tommy is a flawed triumph!

Steve Hall <> (20.04.2001)

Awesome,awesome,awesome.This album is seriously good.First off i hate comparisons with Pink Floyds The Wall.I just think they are very different.Okay they are both rock opera's but that is where the comparison ends for me.I think the wall is much more autobiographical and tries to be personal to the listener,so much so the music is sidelined a little(though i still think it's great.

However with TOMMY the music is very much in the center and the concept is not dominant over the music,so you can detach the two if you like,and lets face the music is seriously good.I mean....overture,we're not gonna take it,christmas,hawk wind,pinball wizard,and my personal favorite is "go to the mirror boy".This album is so much sparser in production terms than the wall but i think this works well for TOMMY and the riffs and melodies are only highlighted even more for this,and that ain't a bad thing.

I like your emphasis on songs like "tommy's holiday camp" and "cousin kevin" because by including these Townsend doesn't take himself too seriously.Another thing a lot seem to look at in their assessment of a double album is the so-called "filler".Again i can't think of one song that irritates me in this sense,yes they are often only there to push the concept along but they still have a catchy melodic element to them i.e "there's a doctor","tommy can you hear me","extra,read all about it"

I agree again "the underture" is the only let down on here(i actually like "welcome to this house")so what should be a 10 gets 9.5

Sergey Zhilkin <> (14.09.2001)

[-Stupid! This band is called 'Who', 'The W-H-O'!!! Not 'Tommy'!]

I'm not gonna discuss was it the first/best/most original rock opera in the world since it's like discussing were the Beatles the greatest band on Earth or not. What I think is that - it's a good thing that this album was such a success - at least because it brought enough financial satisfaction to Pete (imagine, what would happen were this one their swan song! No Who's next or Quad!!! I don't even want to think about it)- and deservedly, I have to say. Did you know that some rumours said Pete was smashing paper guitar, or in the best case - he repaired already smashed guitars and used them again... Holy crap, that must have been awful but at least he didn't smash inflatable guitars...

So what are you supposed to do in such a situation? Write a bunch of songs about a kid who pretended being dumb, blind and deaf because he didn't want to go to school, and then call the whole thing a rock opera, I say! Well, don't get me wrong - it was a joke and, in fact I respect this project just like Quadrophenia.

Okay, to the point now. IMHO, Tommy had a very great potential - you could vary it from a pure musical (Join together) to a hard rocking peice of art (Isle of Wight). And I have to say that your Who collection isn't complete without these two versions plus the original record. If stage performances were polished quite well, original had many flaws. For example, 'Christmas' and some other numbers are played too slow (maybe that is why a record leaves a bluesy feeling), 'We're not gonna take it' isn't aggressive enough (and too short, btw), 'Underture' sucks and, you'll be surprised to hear this, 'Amazing journey/Sparks' is boring. I know, almost everyone loves this tune to death but I can't just get kicks from it (and what's the beauty of 'Sparks' everyone talks about?) so let's just skip it. Other songs are good, though. 'I'm free', 'Sally Simpson' (which sounds like a sequel to Moon's 'Girl's eyes' but actually it features Pete's recollections about Doors concert, where a girl with a bloody face was trying to get to Jim, but he simply ignored her), 'Pinball wizard', 'Acid queen' and 'We're not gonna take it' are simply great so enjoy them. And such smaller songs as 'Tommy can you hear me', 'Smash the mirror', 'Miracle cure' and even 'There's a doctor I've found' are also good and it's a crying shame that they are so short! At least it would be a better way to fill some space instead of writing 'Underture'....

And now, considering that every version of this opera had its low points, I'll try to make an 'ultimate' Tommy: 1. Overture/It's a boy - 1990 2. You didn't hear it - 1969 3. Amazing journey/Sparks - 1969 4. Eyesight to the blind - 1969 5. Christmas - 1970 6. Cousin Kevin - 1969 7. The acid queen - 1969 8. Do you think it's alright/Fiddle about - 1970 9. Pinball wizard - 1970 10.There's a doctor I've found - 1969 11.Go to the mirror - 1970 12.Tommy can you hear me - 1969 13.Smash the mirror -1970 14.Sensation - 1990 15.Miracle cure - 1969 16.Sally Sipmson - 1990 17.I'm free - 1969 18.Tommy's holiday camp - 1970 19.We're not gonna take it - 1970.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

I'm also gonna hold the middle ground and give it a 6. The plainly silly concept, naturally, sucks. It seems everybody loves 'Pinball Wizard'. I don't. It's a nice acoustic little thingy, although the riff isn't too special. 'See Me Feel Me' is the best song/theme here, but it gets a bit tedious with time. 'Sparks', 'I'm Free', 'We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'Go To The Mirror' are also very cleverly constructed songs, but similar to my ears (I admit that this particular remark is extremely subjective). I'm too tired to talk a lot about the other "gazillion" tracks here, but lemme just say that some of them are downright awful ('Cousin Kevin', 'Underture', 'Do You Think It's Alright/Fiddle About', 'Welcome', 'Tommy's Holiday Camp' exc.), and some are almost on 'See Me Feel Me' level ('Amazing Journey', 'The Acid Queen'). In conclusion, if you have a few bucks to spare, then buy it. However, if you don't like concept albums or rock operas, avoid this at all costs.

Ben Kramer <> (21.11.2001)

This should have been a mediocre album. The literal plot blows (come on, a deaf dumb and blind kid who plays pinball), a different sound for The Who shown to the public(they weren't punks on this one), and they weren't exactly the most successful band in the world at that time. However, The Who came over the obstacles and created brilliance. Ok, so 'Underture' is a little too long, the main riff of the opera, and 'Underture', is taken from 'Rael', and 'Tommy's Holiday Camp' sounds kind of gay. But who cares? We are left with over 60 minutes of brilliance. The opener is one of my favorites on the album(Tied with 'We're Not Gonna Take It'). 'The Overture' is a great blend of French horn and acoustic guitar. Roger's voice is another highlight of the album, being his best vocals to date. Tommy also contains one of the best filler songs ever, Pinball Wizard. Don't lie to yourselves. This song is the definition of filler. Pete needed another couple of minutes to fill side 3. Although he later incorporated the pinball theme later into the story, to me it seems so unnecessary. 'Amazing Journey/Sparks' is another great song, despite having a recycled melody. I'm gonna stop here because everything that has been needed to be said about Tommy has already be said. I give it a 8(13), maybe a 9(14) because of the recycled riff and the fact that it sounds so much better in concert (Isle of Wight, and Leeds Deluxe Edition). Quadrophenia is a better opera, but both are definitely worth owning.

Roy Shpringer <> (28.11.2001)

I definitlely agree with most of your review on Tommy: 'Pinball Wizard', 'I'm Free', "We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'Amazing Journey/Sparks' are all great songs (though the last one's live performaces were "amazingly" better...).

However, I really didn't appreciate the fact that you refered to 'Underture' as a redundant and unlistentable track. If you listen to it carefully, something which I did (until i got sick of it), you'll find out that eventually this piece becomes more and more tolerable and even quite enjoyable in the end (just listen to John Entwistle's bass melody). 'Welcome' which you tend to underestimate is, in my opinion, more than just a story filler. It conveys a soothing and calm atmosphere that makes the smashing ending even more exciting.

And another thing - why do you think '1921' is a BLUES number?!!! To me it doesn't sound so bluesy. It's more of a standard (but beautiful) rock ballad... isn't it? Now about the really good stuff - although the story has a load of gaps (nothing that the movie version couldn't fix, although poorly), it leaves a great deal of space for your imagination. And the songs are so good too. They are catchy, funny, perefectly executed songs filled with a lot of hooks and diversity. 'Christmas' is the first one to really grab you and icludes the "see me, feel me" thingie which is so cute, and other great parts of this track also stand out.'cousin kevin', which is a number most people like to bash because of its abusive nature, is filled with beautiful vocal harmony that lifts one's spirit if taken not that seriously.

But the really great part of this album is the 'Go To The Mirror/Smash The Mirror' part which is the really the rocking section of this baby. And although it's only downhill from this one (and it should be), the album is still one of its kind.

Joe H <> (06.12.2001)

Outstanding!! Even those real short songs like "It's A Boy" are catchy and beautiful (except "Holiday Camp" which is dang silly!). Just really nice ringing acoustic dominate the whole thing and i cant help but love this dear ol' album. I even like the concept!! Its interesting, even if it seems silly at first. I agree "We're Not Gonna Take It" is the best song, i really love that "See Me Feel Me" bit, really pretty! This is a definate 10 but Sell Out comes oh so close.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

my first "true" album by the band (not counting a greatest hits thing) i fell in love with them immediately after hearing this album. actually, hearing the first two notes in "overture" and i was almost crying. so beautiful. the concept i like the concept, the songs are amazing, even the little connecting songs are catchy and funny, and the underproduced sound works to it's advantage (i would have hated it with an orchestra). 'underture' is a bit too much but i like it, and 'welcome' is a bit of a bore, but otherwise perfect. it's a sentimental favorite, as it was my first, but it's not my favorite by them of all time. a 10.

Zach Smith <> (16.07.2002)

A great rock opera, but of course not as great as Quad. 'Overture' is greet as is 'boy'. 'Amazing Journey' is a bit dull, and 'sparks' was much better live. (Phish did a great version.) '1921' is great, but ecpessialy on isle of wight. 'Acid Queen' rocks well and 'christmas' is fun to sing a long to , 'Underture'... yawn... 'fiddle about'' is good, but repetitve. 'Go to the mirror' is great. now, all the song suck until 'we're not gonna take it'. Hey, have you noticed the best songs in Tommy have the see me feel me thing?

Nicholas Rogerson <> (09.10.2002)

Funnily enough I used to find it quite hard to get into the Who's music a year or two back. I didn't get Who's Next for a while. However my ear has developed since then and the good old Who are now probably my favourite band. John McFerrin's right that the Stones never hit the same highs as Townshend and co, as much of a fan of the Stones as i am. Well anyway, this is probably the first Who album that I loved from top to bottom after the first listen (disregarding the anomaly of 'Underture'). It's just an incredibly powerful album with great riff after great riff. Particular favourites include 'You Didn't Hear It' ( is that the correct title?! correct me if wrong). You're spot on when you say that it is incredibly emotional. I go misty eyed whenever i listen to that one. 'Eyesight To The Blind' is a cracker, often overlooked. It's certainly different to Clapton's version of it, but it is at least its equal. My other favourite is 'Smash The Mirror', don't know why, perhaps it's the surpressed punk in me! Oh and i couldn't overlook 'Pinball Wizard'. I stop in my tracks whenever I hear that one. The one thing I'd like to ask you is: If Tommy was without 'Underture' would you consider it to be Quadrophenia's superior [no - G.S.]. I would, much as I love that one.

Bill Williams <16155@UDel.Edu> (23.10.2002)

Regarding whether or not Tommy is an opera or not, it actually closer to an oratorio it is an opera because of the fact that it was not staged like a formal opera and and minimal recitative (thanks, allclassical). SF Sorrow contains no operatic elements other than the fact that it has a storyline.

So, you heard it here first: Tommy was the first Rock Oratorio. Music 101 speak aside, this full of great music. "Underture" and "Welcome" prevents, however, a fully gratifying listen. 9/10.

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.04.2003)

I feel conformist saying this, but yes, this is hands down my favourite Who album. I mean, sure Quadrophenia has an artier concept, but I can't say that every single song is great on Quad the way I can with Tommy. Also, I LIKE the whole pinball aspect. Otherwise, it would have been too serious. I mean, I'm the LAST person to be down on art rock, but... the pinball aspect is just such a wonderfully nonesense rock thing, and I don't care if Pete did it for reviews or not,I really can't conceive of the album without that aspect.

I don't want to say too much since so much has already been said. Just a few points.

For one thing, it's not fair to gripe on the harshness of 'Cousin Kevin' or 'Fiddle About' because, I mean, these things DO happen, so why not sing about them. It's not glorifying it, or anything, espcially since Pete now claims he was abused as a child.

Production wise, the reissue sounds great. I actually bought a vinyl original copy, too, and the vinyl sounds horrible. The sound levels keep changing and it's all murky. I usually like vinyl but Tommy is much better on CD.

A final point, I think the reason Tommy is better than Quadrophenia is the sheer accessability of it, and the simplicity. The music on Tommy is so simple, but so well played, it's just amazing. Brilliant, wonderful, beautiful... Even if I took out my thesaurus words wouldn't suffice. The film is such a corruption of this wonderful album, it's really a travesty. When there is music as good as this, adding pictures or extra plot details just fucks it up. Tommy doesn't need any extras. It's just the perfect combination of humour, sincerity, art, and flat out rock. Where most of the concept albums I've been into in the past have a sould-crushing, alienating effect, Tommy does not. It's beautiful art without being uncompromisingly depressing, something that I don't think I believed was possible before.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (14.11.2003)

Lovely! I really like this album. It's not the kind of album I listen to 3 times in a day, but it's a very curious listen, and fun once in a while. Lots of goodies, lots of stuff that doesn't really do much, lots of 'Underture', lots of acoustic guitar. The overture is cool as hell! I think much of disc one is very, very good. But I kinda dislike the middle part of 'Christmas', for some reason. And the "see me feel me touch me fuck me" parts in 'Go To The Mirror, Boy' (awesome song) are kinda stupid. I dunno. It spoils such an awesome song. 'We're Not Gonna Take it' is a great conclusion, and I don't hold bad feelings against 'Welcome'. I give it a 13.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (30.08.2004)

A masterpiece of masterpieces! The best album of the 60s! Fantastic melodies! Catchy riffs! Tommy was my first Who album and I can’t get enough of it. Actually, if not for Quadrophenia this would be my pick for the best album ever recorded. BTW, I’ve always considered “Welcome” to be a very beautiful and moody ballad and “Underture” never bothered me. Well, it may (or may not) be a bit overlong, but it’s a part of the story and it makes the album more complex which isn’t a bad thing. The story itself is amazing, I think. And it escapes me why people usually say that the plot of Tommy is silly while forgetting about the lyrics of the Beatles (oh, girl, I love you) or the Stones (oh, girl, I hate you). An interesting thing: I’ve noticed that the first three rock operas (The Story Of Simon Simopath (yeah, the very first one, if you don’t know the fact yet; it was recorded in 1967 and it’s great), S.F. Sorrow and Tommy) have something in common, really. I’m talking about the plot. Returning back to the review, I would like to say that “Overture” is the most revolutionary song in my life. It literally changed something in me when I first heard it three years ago. So, it’s a pure rock heaven. And to quote Pete, “every moment has its special charm”. Fantastic! My rating? You guessed right.

Matt Partridge <> (10.08.2006)

Keith had very little to do with 'Tommy's Holiday Camp'. According to, Pete asked the others for input regarding the conclusion of the opera, and keith had the suggestion of the holiday camp, but keith didn't write it, and no one but Pete is heard on it, because it's his original demo. Since the idea was Keith's he got the credit, though.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (23.05.2006)

One of your best reviews, George........The very fact that so many people on both sides of the TOMMY debate { and numerous in between } get so steamed about so many different facets of the album shows just what an important album it is. My personal view is that it is a fantastic album containing some great songs. End of story........or at least it would be were it not for my belief that music is not, as Lennon, said, just 12 notes and rehash, but a whole lot more than that. Because music is a creation of human beings, it necesarrilly reflects so much internal stuff, but in a way that is enjoyable (ultimately ! Or at least it should be ) and memorable. The triumph of TOMMY is that we can see so much of the interior of Townshend ( and for that matter, Entwistle - Townshend has always stressed that this was a real group effort ), yet the songs always come first so everything else is irrelevant to those who don't care about the other aspects. Pete made the point that the main thing wrong with pop music was that there was just too much analysis ! Sorry mate, you can't expect people to listen to your point of view and not be able to respond to what they hear, especially when couched in such great sounds. That's anti - human.

I don't find the " story / concept " of TOMMY stupid at all. One of the more fascinating aspects of the whole project is that it is essentially autobiographical, which may surprize many. Although many different elements went into the making of the album, with 30+ years hindsight, Townshend reveals that TOMMY is an autobiographical account and many of the things that actually happen to Tommy happened to him, some literally, some metaphorical. A thought struck me this morning that even the pinball wizard is just so Pete Townshend - a guy on the outside who is so achingly internal that he finds solace in the one activity that brings him admiration, notoriety and wonderment ( in Pete's case of course, writing songs and playing music ). Is the concept important ? That depends on the individual but I'd rather have great songs with shitty lyrics and a weird, unfathomable concept than precise and brilliant lyrics, a straightforward and understandable concept and banal, crappy music coz when all is said and done, there's alot more said than done ( ! ) and we remember and enjoy songs before all the other considerations. That said, once I dig a piece, I want to know what I can about the people and processes that created it and I also like to know what others think of it - which is one of the reasons I so like this site, as it goes. In my opinion, Townshend was right to raise the spiritual questions that he did and he chose to do it obliquely. That I don't particularly agree with some of his solutions is neither here nor there. Lots of people were asking the same questions at the time and many recording artists threw their hats into the ring and are still doing so, some directly and upfront, some much less so, some not at all. All the approaches are quite valid as far as I'm concerned. Not all right, but valid. And trying to point people in directions that they may not have previously considered, well, that's cool too, especially when the music is as good as this ! While I'll defend TOMMY to the hilt in the way it came to us, I can't say that I like every song. But I dig most of them. I have to say that the production doesn't help. For such a top class album it's got pretty lame production. Someone earlier lamented that if only George Martin had been free to produce it, it would've been better to listen to. I'm tempted to agree but in the end, I don't believe that to be true. For better or worse, Kit Lambert's crummy production is what it is and let's face it, that's the version many of us have known all this time. For me, remasters nearly always sound odd, like something fundemental is missing. I get really pissed off when something from the old vinyl that is forever embedded in my psyche is no longer there coz it's been cleaned up for CD. It might be just a click or a tiny snatch of something that's too loud or too soft or a cymbal that is now well balanced or whatever - but I notice. Bass player's ear, I'm afraid. And I still believe that bad or lousy production can't prevent good songs from coming through, but all the great production in the cosmos cannot make shitty songs that just don't have ' it ' sound like they do. Ironically, given a) the state of his relationship with the Beatles in late '68 and b) he was by then a freelance producer with his own company, George Martin was free to produce it ! To be fair to Kit Lambert, he wasn't a real trained, schooled producer / engineer ( being the bands' co - manager ), but he was sympathetic to the band and their ideas. He was the one who really pushed Townshend in the direction of " rock opera " or whatever it is, in the first place.

There are some really delightful things about the playing and singing on TOMMY, such as the mix between the electric and acoustic guitars. The electric is never really rip roaring, yet it's rarely soft either. The album has one of the most delicate guitar balances I've heard and one really has to listen to what the two are doing. The bass is not particularly adventurous but this is actually a real plus coz it enables the band to speak as one voice. But Entwistle plays with such depth that although I could barely hum one of his lines, I can't imagine this record without that bass. Keith Moon drums throughout like a maniac that has been sedated, in other words, magnificently and musically. He really was rare but his manic style could easilly give the impression that he was all thrash and crash. But he wasn't. Granted, not everyone's cup of tea, but I find him one of music's most listenable drummers. He was always inventing, accenting, driving, colouring. Although Entwistle felt the drums were produced to sound like biscuit tins { ! } and at times seem to be mixed far away ( I actually like that 60s way of sometimes panning the drums right over to one side coz you can really hear what the drummer is doing ), that doesn't stop Moon being Moon. Listen to the way he's playing, even as the final song is fading out, like his mum's life depends on it, let alone his own. The singing is also first rate - but while Roger sang well, it's not really him I'm thinking of coz he only sings on half or just over half the songs and besides, he should be singing good. But it's the overall vocals of the Who that present one of the outstanding features of the album for me. I could be wrong, but I don't think they were particularly noted for their across the board strength in the vocal department. I feel however, that they and the Stones ( on glorious tracks like RUBY TUESDAY, DANDELION, WE LOVE YOU for example ) were brilliant harmonists and backing vocalists, making the most of the least and on TOMMY, the melodies are, yes, so singable - but so are the harmonies. The harmonized and / or backing vocals on CHRISTMAS, COUSIN KEVIN, DO YOU THINK IT'S ALRIGHT, FIDDLE ABOUT, PINBALL WIZARD, THERE'S A DOCTOR I'VE FOUND, GO TO THE MIRROR, TOMMY - CAN YOU HEAR ME ?, SMASH THE MIRROR, SALLY SIMPSON, I'M FREE, WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT and LISTENING TO YOU ( which, along with SEE ME, FEEL ME....I count as a separate track ) are simply awesome, twisted, gorgeous and because singing was not their ace in the hole, off the wall and surprizing. Yet there is something about Pete and John's singing that I really dig { this from a man who thinks Dylan, Jagger, Lemmy, Waters, Osbourne, Rick Wright, Harrison, Bruce and Barrett were great singers } and Townshend takes impressive lead vocals on at least six of the numbers, with Entwistle excelling in his two. I've felt for a long time that he was one of the most underrated writers of his time. He wasn't just a purveyor of " Borisovian " humour. He dealt in real themes that few else would touch without heavy disguising. His songs here about bullying that is bordering on the psychotic ( cousin Kevin is more than just a 'nasty little sadistic bastard', he's the kind of kid that ends up a psycopathic murderer ) and not just nebulous, vague ' child abuse ' but actual homosexual rape, make uncomfortable listening but were way ahead of their time. People just didn't address these things in 1969. But now we know, at least in the West, how rife these abuses really were. And Tommy has no idea what's going on coz everything is felt as a musical vibration. Without going into it, that's deep.......The general lyrical power of nearly all the songs is ever so impressive, whether the events are a horror show { " I'm your wicked uncle Ernie/ I'm glad you won't see or hear me as I fiddle about " }, whether they are set in questions or statements of intent { " I believe in love/ but how can men who've never seen light be enlightened ? " } or songs of praise { " Listening to you, I get the music/ gazing at you, I get the heat/ following you, I climb the mountain/ I get excitement at your feet " } or allegories { " I'll tear your soul apart " }. If you like lyrics, there's no shortage of gems here.

This is one of those great records I could discuss nearly forever. Townshend showed how flexible he was by altering the story to include the pinball dimension for the journalist, Nik Cohn, a sort of joke to almost guarantee a good review ! And if you think about it, one of the enduring images of TOMMY in the mind of much of the public, is pinball. Much as I like PINBALL WIZARD, I love Elton John's version more. Mind you, it had a 20 year head start ( I remember it when I was 13 ). I think the closer, LISTENING TO YOU, is one of the most monumental album closers in history, superb lyrics, immense riff, superlative music and singing all round that comes close to surpassing virtually all that has led up it. This was the song that got me to listen to the album in the first place and although I've heard some good live versions, this is the one that really does it for me. This album probably did mark the emergence of the new Who but I think music in general is richer for this. I just love their deftness of touch here. Many of the songs were either written before TOMMY or for other projects and quite a few were unrelated to the story, yet they were brilliantly scaled in and made relevant and I find they all hang together with a powerful punch. There's nothing like being on a roll, at the top of your game.

To return finally to the earlier point about TOMMY being autobiographical, Townshend has said that SEE ME, FEEL ME, TOUCH ME, HEAL ME is him as a kid, locked in a room in his mad granny's flat, scared and crying, fearing for his safety. It's his take on the family and how we're affected by the things we go through. Like Tommy, things he saw at an early age, he blanked out until years after the album was out - which, for me, makes this an intense and amazing bit of writng. And the more I look at that iconic cover, the more I see one of the most creepy, yet apt , album covers I know of.


Gustavo Rodriguez <> (12.04.99)

Let me be careful here. I know everyone loves this record to death and I like it too but let me say a few things here.

1) I only feel that this live album has only begun to deserve its reputation ever since the extra tracks were issued on CD. They fill out the album well and I'll never understand why they were left off.

2) The original 7 track album--in my opinion, is much weaker in comparison. I know I could get severly flamed for saying the following but am I the only person who can't stand "Young Man Blues"? I just can't take that song. It sounds like bad Led Zeppelin to me. Daltrey sounds just horrible. And I also am not that impressed with the 15 minute "My Generation". It just goes on and on. I rarely like tracks in rock music that go on longer than 10 minutes (exceptions: "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" to name one).

3) That being said, I love the rest of it. Whether that makes me less a true Who lover I could care less.

BTW, George I think some other contenders for best live rock album could be:

1) Jerry Lee Lewis Live at the Star Club You gotta hear this one if you haven't already! The best thing he ever recorded--hands down!

2) The Band Rock of Ages Don't know how you feel about them, but if you like them like I do, you might agree.

3) Sam Cooke Live at Harlem Square If you think you're familiar with this old master, wait till you hear him take his pop songs and transform them into soulful workouts the way they were meant to be sung! He plays with his audience and whips them into such a's like nothing else I've heard.

4) James Brown Live at the Apollo Words need not apply.

Marco Ursi <> (23.08.99)

If I could choose just one album to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be this one. This would be my choice for the album to prove Keith Moon was the greatest drummer of all-time.

Valentin Katz <> (24.10.99)

George, on this one, I full heartedly agree with you. Live at Leeds is the greatest live album I've ever heard or could imagine and should be considered one of the greatest albums ever, period. However, I think the ranking you gave it was too low, whatever the perfect score is, this album should deserve a 20, its that good. Wow!

Jeff Blehar <> (15.02.2000)

You know, as a general rule, I hate live albums. I find that more often than not they're either very muddy tapes of teenagers screaming, or myth-destroying documents of uninspired hacks churning out messy versions of badly selected songs which lack all the dynamic power of their studio counterparts to cheerily indifferent audiences. Actually physically being at a concert is one thing. Listening to what went on there a year after the fact is another. For me, it's as pleasant as watching old men die. I've had to revise that statement these days, though. I now say, "I hate live albums, except for Live At Leeds (and maybe Dylan Live 1966 and It's Too Late To Stop Now, depending on my mood)."

Because hoo, John-boy, this is a live album like no other. I'm referring to the reissued, remastered version, which is more than twice as long as the original and three times the fun. No scratches, no muddy tapes, no annoyingly off-key harmonies (I've heard they were edited out at a later stage), just 74 minutes of The Real Thing, gut-crunching metal. Simply put, ALL of the songs The Who performs here are just as good as their studio counterparts, and if we're talking about "A Quick One," "Amazing Journey/Sparks," or "Heaven And Hell" (and why shouldn't we be?) they blow their studio versions away. What's more, a bunch of early singles are covered here, and in commanding performances. They also take one track from each of their albums (bar Tommy, which is performed in its entirety, of course) and impress everyone with them: "My Generation" from My Generation, "A Quick One, While He's Away," from A Quick One, and "Tattoo" from Sell Out.

But the true highlights are the covers, especially "Young Man Blues," which first struck me as abrasive but now fairly slaps me upside the head with its obscene musical brilliance. Guitar, bass, drums, vocals, the whole deal! All perfect! This isn't helping much, is it? Well another interesting feature of the reissue of Leeds is the set of dialogues with which Roger & Pete engage the audience. Charming (especially when Pete ruefully recounts the chart history of The Who's early singles) and intriguing, they're just one more reason to enjoy this budget-priced chunk of plastic. So yes, Virginia, there IS a live album worth buying, and it's Live At Leeds. The Who even learn to jam engagingly here (unlike on "Underture"), on the epic 14-minute take of "My Generation," and the secret is, of course, variety. They do some really creative things here, as Townshned plays off the echo of his own guitar in the concert hall and they fly into pieces of Tommy here and there. It gets a 9/10 from me. Why only a 9?

I'm deducting one point because nobody needs to hear a 7 1/2 minute version of "Magic Bus." Please.

Eric Kline <> (17.02.2000)

look george, here's one we agree on!

not only does this recording prove, beyond doubt, that keith moon was the greatest rock drummer, it also captures the unequaled rhythm section of moon and john entwhistle at its exhilarating peak. mike watt is reported to have said live at leeds is closer to his heart than any other record because upon hearing it he learned what the bass guitar was.

and, yes, it was made even greater with the recent cd re-issue with added tracks.

and if live at leeds ain't enough to prove to you that the who were the greatest of 'em all live, then go watch/listen to 'the rolling stones rock and roll circus wherein the who make not only the stones but also an assembled supergroup featuring eric clapton and john lennon look like second-rate schoolboys.

steady on!

Nick Karn <> (24.02.2000)

I don't even know if I'm qualified to review this one - the version I heard is the 6 song one on record, and I can totally see why people recognize The Who as the greatest live band of all time from listening to it. The energy and power that comes through is incredible, and all the songs are winners. My particular favorites are the infectious "Substitute" and the 14 minute "My Generation" medley where Pete Townshend throws all these GREAT riffs together with the rest of the band backing him up well. The version of "Magic Bus" on here reminds me of something off of Led Zeppelin I for some reason, and it closes things out very well. Phenomenal work, although I'd never play it over and over again like one of my favorite studio albums... this still could very well be the best live recordings get, so I'd give it a very high 9.

Philip Maddox <> (02.07.2000)

Live At Leeds is a really, really great live album. It does something that a lot of live albums (like Queen's Live Killers) don't - they make the songs sound different! All the songs here are distorted and changed enough to almost sound like different songs, but still retaining the original feel. I don't think this is quite as noisy and impenetrable as others think - I've listened to a good chunk of pure noise rock. It's still hard to deny how great this sounds, though - those heavy riffs add something to these songs. My favorites on here are 'A Quick One', 'My Generation', 'Heaven And Hell', and 'Young Man's Blues', but they're all great. The only flaws are that:

(A) 'Fortune Teller' starts out really slow

(B) 'I Can't Explain' doesn't sound as good as the original and...

(C) 'Magic Bus' is too long

Indeed, the best live album I've ever heard (there may be better, but if there are, I haven't heard 'em yet. Bursting Out is great too, though). It's one of the few live records that are every bit as good as the studio ones, and every bit as essential.

Rich Bunnell <> (20.09.2000)

This album rocks large parts of my world. It doesn't even matter if the band hadn't gotten to its "arena-rock" period yet - they make the strummy early-period stuff rock harder than anything that came since! They even make the 14-minute "My Generation" not suck by making...well...only about 3 minutes of it "My Generation," and the rest of it a whole bunch of awesome mini-songs! The covers rock mightily too, especially "Summertime Blues." There isn't really much else to say, except that I'm impressed. Really impressed. I give it a ten and say it is easily the best live album I've heard, far ahead of "live" albums like TMBG's Severe Tire Damage. I haven't heard Ya-Ya's yet, so I can't offer my two cents on that debate.

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

Leeds is a superb live album, though I seriously prefer the expanded version. I don't really care for the blues numbers, I guess I'm not that good of a real rock'n'roll fan. However, the reworked versions of the 60s classics and all the the Who orginals are excellent. Mixing talent, heaviness, theatrics and intelligince. This CD should also prove to everyone out there that the Who can put on a great show without ever smashing an instrument, an ignorant ritual shared by everyone but John that I'm very glad they grew out of.

Ben Greenstein <> (15.12.2000)

I actually think that the covers are the weak part of this album - or at least they look weak next to all of the stunning originals. "Heaven And Hell" is Entwhistle's best, and "Magic Bus," "A Quick One," "Sparks" and the rest all sound great live. Another ten from Ben.

Kevin Baker <> (16.12.2000)

I can't crown a "greatest live album" just yet since I still have yet to hear Get Yer Ya Yas Out, but Live At Leeds does succeed in grabbing all the other live albums I've ever heard, pciking them, twirling them about, and tossing them out the window like yesterday's garbage.  My absolute favorite track is "Young Man Blues", but thats mainly because, well, I am a young man who has nothing in the world these days, or so it seems.  "A Quick One", and also the stage chatter before it about fornication and stations and whatnot, is hilarious and tightly performed.  Matter of fact, every track on here is simply great, with the exception of "My Generation".  WAAAAAAAAAY too long for my liking.  Not that its bad, just overly long for a song that originally lasted under 4 minutes.  Oh, and "Tattoo" is hilarious!  All-in-all, a very gratifying hard rock listening experience.

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

Live at Leeds is a sensational album (I find it hard to fathom that the original LP only contained a skimpy six selections. This album proves that the best, highest-octane rock and roll can be created with just three instruments and one powerful voice (no orchestration, no synthesizers, no chorus, etc.). And to think, this was just an 'average' night for The Who's 1969/1970 period.

Pablo Pérez <> (12.03.2001)

I'm not as sure if this is the best live rock album, but it doesn't matter: is one of the most overwhelming and astonishing albums in rock's history!

In only three years, The Who published an immaculate pop album (The Who's Sell Out), an ambitious opera-rock (Tommy) and this, one of the best live albums of the century which. With Who's Next, you have their perfect tetralogy.

Here you can chew all the power and enthusiasm of the band. All the musicians take the performance to the limit ('My Generation' revives!), but perfectly coordinated behind that wall of sound. It is a celebration of the energetic and imaginative Townshend, a craftsman of riffs and arpegios (Eddie Cochran's 'Summertime Blues' finds here a surprising and wonderful version). Moon and Entwistle prove that they could be the best couple of drummer and bassist ever - the bass lines of Entwistle in this album can't be improved! Finally, Roger Daltrey sings loud, screams with self-confidence, demanding his place in the Olimpo of vocalists of rock.

I confess I am one of those who likes live albums, and this (the 25th aniversary edition!) is essential.

<> (17.03.2001)

Well! It seems early Who is just as good as the later stuff, especially in this context. The old singles have all been reved-up, the covers are incredibly fun, the Tommy material is absolutely mesmerizing, and "Heaven and Hell" once again proves that Townshend was not the only great songwriter in the band. Oh, and the stage talk is hilarious (Pete: "Here comes Ivor the engine driver to make things all better" Keith: "Dirty old sod!") I'd have to say my favorite part of the album is "Magic Bus" though, it starts very sparse and then continually builds until it finally explodes into a big wall of noise, with Roger and Pete exchanging great dialogue all the while. 9/10

Sergey Zhilkin <> (23.08.2001)

Gee... The Who was a great live band. Wow, they were really terrific. They recorded the best live album ever. Great album. Now, can you imagine this? This album was recorded by Who... Wonderful... Pete and John... They are the best.... They with Roger and Keith are great.... They recorded this album.... Terrific.... Amazing.... This album is gorgeous masterpiece. It's great! I love every song on it. It's Who's best album. It's their third masterpiece. I think you didn't get the point. This was meant to be a great live album. And I like it.... What can I add to your review? Nothing, I think.

Yes, yes, yes, I don't know what to say and I just want to earn another point in comments' table. So I give this album 15/15 without even hearing it. Thanks for attention.

Okay, let's forget everything that was said before and start from an empty blank. Now, if you're my fan who reads every comment I post, know this - I adore that album, agree with George's rating and think that Who is really the best live band. If you're not from that group, let's continue. What I like about this album is that it sounds like many BBC sessions - the quality of sound is that good. The audience is well taught - they clap their hands only when the neon line 'Applause' appears and laughs every time Roger makes a pause in his speech. Do you remember Join Together where the beginning and end of each song wasn't heard because of some cretins clapping their hands and shouting 'WOOOOW!!!' every time Roger sang 'See me, feel me'? Thankfully, the situation here is completely different.

I'm not going to compare Ya-yas and Leeds because they are from different categories (stadium rock vs BBC sessions (that's how I call such albums)?). But they have some similar moments. For example, there are many covers and one of them is ruined by being performed too slow (On Ya-yas we had to listen to drunk 'Stray cat blues') (don't know about drunk, but it sure as hell ain't a cover -
G.S.). Anyway, forget Ya-yas, it wasn't that good (I mean, it grew less on me), I like Leeds more. And, yes, so far it's the best live album I've ever heard to. Well, I still don't have their Isle of Wight. And Who's last, too, but I hope I won't buy it. The next thing - all Who's own songs on this concert are better than originals. Only because of 'Leeds' I dug 'Tattoo' and 'Happy Jack'. Moreover, Pete cut some fat out of 'A quick one' and it got only better. Both 'I can't explain' and 'Substitute' have some flaws (because of John who didn't cope with his distorted bass well) but anyway, they are great. Improvisation of 'My generation' (another lil' catchy rhyme) is much better than original, too... Kiddin' of course - these versions can't be compared at all. I like both of 'em, though. And who said that 'Magic bus' is too long? It's alright for me. Moreover, it shows that Roger can play harmonica well. So there's not a weak spot - every second track rules - so I suppose nobody will be much surprised to hear a 15/15 rating from me.

PS. Btw, Rod Stewart sucks. Why Rod? Because he never could put out such live album.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

What's all the fuss about ? This isn't such a masterpiece everyone says it is. Believe me, the only live album which can rock my world is Made In Japan by Deep Purple. Actually, I'm not a fan of live albums, and there's a few mighty good reasons for that:

1.. The sound quality of the live albums is often less than enjoyable.

2.. Most bands just can't recapture the technical precision of their studio albums (that especially goes for singers, who frequently forget lyrics or make up some new ones).

3.. There's always a dull drum or bass solo.

4.. The most popular songs are butchered with numerous sing-alongs, and they're often stretched out to horrendous proportions.

5.. In general, all songs are twice as long as in the studio versions (and some songs are even three times longer).

6.. The stage banter is so repulsive at times, or just plainly forced out and fake.

7.. The song selections are sometimes downright ridiculous, or just bizarre.

Keeping that in mind, a pretty good live album in my taste would be Sabbath's Reunion, cause they do manage to avoid most of those traps (although, the album is overlong and monotonous). I do admit, that some albums are very solid even though the band stretches the songs too far out (for example, Rainbow's On Stage). Now, where is Live At Leeds in the whole thing ? Well, for one thing, I like the completely different sound that the songs have here (loudness, energy, roughness, distortion), but that doesn't work on all of the songs as well as one would like. For my money, The Who are simply the best studio rock band (IMHO), but they certainly weren't the best live band even by a long shot.

Anyway, I just love The Who as a studio band, and their live sound is just too hard for me to digest. Now, the first version of this album, should have bee thrown in the trash, but the remastered album kicks all sorts of ass. Tracks like 'Heaven And Hell', 'Happy Jack', 'Sparks', 'I'm A Boy', 'Summertime Blues' and 'Young Man Blues' just rule. However, almost all of the other songs are plainly overlong, and sometimes even annoying. 'Magic Bus' comes out like a drugged godzilla, and nobody would be more happy than me if someone shoots him (I'm not even too fond of the shorter original version). Stuff like 'Fortuneteller', 'I Can't Explain', 'Shakin' All Over', 'Tattoo' and 'A Quick One' are completely unnecessary. 'My Generation' is simply sickening in it's longness so I just drop down with blood pouring out of my ears after the first seven minutes, but apart from that, it's some sort of a highlight too. I wouldn't mind that it's overlong if it's at least interesting, but, I have to notice that you can't enlarge the running time of a song for so much, without loosing some of it's original charm. Overall, some songs are noticeably better than in their studio versions, but other tracks just don't live up to mine expectations. It's a very good album, but only if you're generally into live albums (and if you don't mind the cacophony noise). For me, it's a 7.

Ben Kramer <> (26.11.2001)

The greatest live album ever, enough said. And you can tell Cream where to shove its 20 minute solos. (By the way, a deluxe version has been made available. They took the bootleg version of Tommy from Leeds and made it not only listenable, but up to par with the rest of the album.)

Mike Flynn <> (26.02.2002)

The best live album of all time just got better because they've gone and released the whole masterful concert. It now has all the Tommy tracks as well. Deluxe Edition it's called & I'm sure you'll want to pick it up George. Pete says he released it due to the many bootleg copies circulating. No matter. I have not picked it up yet, but I was able to download most of it. I think the expanded version was sufficient. Most of Tommy is included on the second disc (out of sequence I might add, but who can argue with having it all on one disc?). If you've heard the expanded version then my guess is you've heard the best of what's on this one. 'Thomas' is missing "Cousin Kevin" & "Uncle Ernie" & it starts out a bit sloppy but soon picks up the pace. "Amazing Journey/Sparks" is still my favorite cut from Tommy. This version smokes as well. As for the other tracks which were all on the expanded edition I absolutely love "Tatoo". How can a song with such hilarious lyrics be so beautifully sung & played? It gives me chills. I could go on & on about this record. The Who really achieved a level of power on this record which I've haven't heard before or since. Keith Moon is an absolute maniac on the traps. He & Entwistle would get my vote for best rhythm section in rock based on this concert alone. Nevermind Charlie & Billy, they don't go absolutely friggin' apeshit like these boys do. A masterpiece & the best live album of all time. I concur.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

shows the amazing power they had in their peak. not really a weak track, although 'my generation' may ramble on too long, even though 'magic bus' is hilarious with those "i'll sell my magic bus for one hundreeeed! english pounds" not really musical genius but very entertaining, and had to be great to see back then. a ten of ten and essential.

Cyber <> (20.02.2003)

Good album. But for those who think that Leeds and Get yer ya ya´s out are the only nice live albums on earth, check out the following ones:

RAMONES-It´s alive

HAWKWIND- Space ritual

ALLMAN BROTHERS- Live at the Fillmore east

SEEDS- Raw and alive

MOTORHEAD- No sleep ´til Hammersmith


dazsmith <> (14.04.2003)

In case no-one has pointed it out, or indeed you found out in some other way, I can't resist mentioning that there is yet a third release of Live At Leeds which features the Tommy section of the set. This version is a 2Cder. It also features much more in-between-song banter, mostly by Townshend, which is fortunately skippable with the remote!!

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.04.2003)

Wow wow wow wow wow...

I'm probably the only person on this site who will say this, but man, this album turns me on. This is rock. I just really can't see pure rock being better than this. Wait, no, that was a stupid thing to say. It's up there, but I'm making a point of never declaring anything the absolute best of anything.

I went out and bought the Deluxe Edition with my Visa, since I figured, if I liked it, I'd end up wanting the Tommy stuff, anyway, and I'd be regretful, and end up spending even more money by buying it twice. In retrospect... No, I'm still glad I bought it. Sure I'm broke, but... It's worth it.

This is just such a sexy album to me, I really wonder what it does to a guy who loves it. Personally, I was sort of torn between wanting to buy an electric guitar or do Pete Townsend. Ultimately, money woes and Pete now being the same age as my Dad crushed both of those righteous dreams. But what the hell? I've still got the album, eh? Everything is just so good, and I don't even really get bored by the wanking off in the middle of 'My Generation'. 'Shakin' All Over' is so great and threatening... It really sounds as though Roger's stripping his throat. It's great. I'm getting too incoherent. Better stop. Just a great album. Not good for all times of the day, but it's still easier to listen to than, say, The Stooges. As least you don't have to be strung out it make it all the way through.

Nick Rogerson <> (31.03.2004)

Undeniably a great live album, and superior to Live At The isle of Wight, which I have on video. One song which is performed brilliantly here, is the often criticised 'A Quick One'. The way the Who speed through all the various sections is amazing. The climax is breathtaking. I love the 'you are forgiven' bit followed by the sudden ending. Someone in the Who has got a great high voice!

All the songs are played very well. Moon in particular sounds great on this night. if I had to choice another favourite, it would be 'Can't Explain'. As soon as that opening riff is played, you know you're in for a treat.

I'd take this album over Get Ya Ya Yas Out although only just. As good as Mick Taylor is on that one, I think the live setting shows that the Who just have the edge, because it is in this setting when the overall expertise of all the group comes through, and I believe the Who were better players man for man, than the Stones.

This certainly isn't an overrated album.

Earl Zingraf <> (08.04.2004)

Having the pleasure of seeing the Who many times, starting in 1971, I must say that they put on one of the best shows live, along with Alice Cooper and Jethro Tull. Live, the songs were blended into each other, with adjustments to the right key, tones and attitudes (not that I know what I am talking about) making the songs even longer. 'Magic Bus' was a fun song to see, because of the characterizations. The problem with live albums is that it is impossible to recreate the ambiance and feel. This is my favorite live album, before I saw them live. Thanks for the time you have taken.

Bill Slocum <> (25.04.2004)

You nailed it, George. This one's a keeper. So many live albums are like giant wanking contests, especially those made in the 1960s and 1970s. Here you have four fantastic musicians truly engaged in their music and playing to an audience. I totally agree with you and Ben Kramer's comments, this is like what Cream might have sounded like if they had a plan.

I only came to this album in its remastered form, so I can't say whether its an improvement over what came originally, but the first disc alone has so much going for it that it couldn't have been a mistake to have put those extra tracks on.

The banter with the audience is especially winning. These guys don't throw up the eminence front other bands hid behind so often (talking about the Stones, of course, and the overrated though very good Get Your Ya-Yas Out. Mick and his mates were sometimes too immersed in their sexuality and devil-worship for their own good.) Pete even apologizes before going into his long, funny explanation of what "A Quick One" is about, while Roger and Keith make a point of noting all the British bands who covered "Fortune Teller" (not just the Stones, but Wayne Fontana and the Merseybeats, they add proudly.) Pete's funny, self-depreciating detailing of the chart performance of ""Substitute," "Happy Jack," and "I'm A Boy" shows an awareness of the band's lack of really monster hits (in the U.S., they only reached Billboard's Top Ten once, with "I Can See For Miles And Miles") and maybe, subtly, makes a case for how unfair it all was. These guys are more humble then they had any right to be.

I don't hear any signs of flagging in the entire set. Keith is so amazing on drums, and Pete's riffing, like you say, is a revelation throughout, sometimes subtle, sometimes not. They just go from strength to strength, finding something uniquely raw and dynamic in each song. Yeah, I'm still not sold on "My Generation" or "Magic Bus" in this form, but give me another half-dozen listens, and no doubt I will be.

While those last two songs are elongated to a near-breaking point, elsewhere the band benefits here from some judicious self-editing, like with "A Quick One." On disc 2, the Tommy part, there's no "Underture," and "Uncle Ernie" is happily absent, too. The result is a Tommy that doesn't lag for an instant, and maintains its dramatic excitement and center from beginning to end. If it's not as killer as Disc 1, it's only because it finds its one place early on and stays there, which is what it's supposed to do, given its a connected composition.

Great live album, still the standard for live recordings today, perhaps more than ever with all the new stuff. But what on earth is a "girl-guide," anyway? Any help, anyone?

Anonymous (24.05.2004)

After seeing the Who on the television (as part of a quiz program)I was put off by the smashing of instruments bit and since you don't hear from them if you don't stick your neck out anyway, I ignored them for years. BUT after spending enough time on this site and others, I bought this one at your recommendation. After the second listen already I adored it. I guess this is your regular converted Who fan ramble, but hey, there's way too few of us so why not. Wondering if I really was a fan I recently got Who's Next too and yes, I really am one ("fan" as in "someone who really likes their music but still likes other artists too"). One of the good things in life is that the Who cd's are relatively cheap - except those deluxe editions unfortunately. About the songs, they all have good moments in them. I like 'Young Man Blues' and 'Magic Bus' (the more 'quiet' part of it) less than the rest, but said rest makes more than up for it. Hey, why don't you give that nice red colour to 'Tattoo', 'Substitute' and 'I'm a Boy' on your site? And maybe to some others as well.

Michael Bleicher <> (06.08.2004)

A full 10. One of the most amazing albums I've ever heard and certainly the best live album I've ever heard. The non-Tommy performance is powerful and spectacular. What I have to say, though, generally applies to the Deluxe version of the album, which contains that night's performance of Tommy. Besides 'Amazing Journey/Sparks' (which is included on the 1-disc version of the album) and maybe 'We're Not Gonna Take It/See Me Feel Me', it's really disappointing. They don't seem to have any spirit in it at all, they're obviously tired of performing it (they just dragged it through America)…but what's worse is that they don't just give a by the numbers performance (a by the numbers performance from the Who on this night would still be pretty damn good), they just give a lousy one, in my opinion. Where Roger sang quite nicely on the original album, he growls his way through it onstage. His roar works perfectly for things like "Young Man Blues" and "Shaking All Over", but Tommy is a much more complex piece of work and he just doesn't do it justice on this recording (Pete is worse, though…he absolutely butchers "The Acid Queen"). The Live At The Isle of Wight Tommy is eons better than this performance of it, but paradoxically, the non-Tommy show is, in my opinion, superior at Leeds. So you have to shell out something like 50 bucks to get a great live Who show. Ah well. Still a 10, though, 'cos it's so amazing.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (30.08.2004)

Yes, it’s the best live album ever (I’m really sorry for such a frequent use of this word, but it’s the Who I’m talking about). And you can easily delete “live” from the sentence. Pete can say anything he wants about his playing abilities, but no one can play on such a high level as he does. Just listen to this live performance of “My Generation”. Isn’t it God-like? But so is everything on here. It gets the highest rating possible. Oh, and do you remember what Ringo Starr said at the end of “Helter Skelter”? Then Keith Moon must have been half-dead after such a concert!..

Bob Josef <> (29.08.2005)

I think I'll give the 1995 version (expanded, no Tommy) a slight edge over ..Isle of Wight, mainly because the seem more "on" here. Sharp, precise, loud, yet melodic! Interesting selection of original material, especuially the medley following "My Generation", with all of those riffs, some of which ended up in actual songs (like the one that became the coda of "Naked Eye"), some that didn't. The Rock and Roll Circus/Kids are Alright version of "A Quick One", I agree, is the best, but this one's no slouch, either. Again. I do think the covers are the weakest things here. "Young Man's Blues" is too much of a noisefest; and the others are merely silly (what exactly was the appeal of "Fortune Teller" for British bands, anyway?). Better to have more of their original material tranformed into powerhouses like "Magic Bus". Out of the previous albums, only Tommy hinted at the power of the live Who. After this, their material became more complex, and therfroe more difficult, to perfrom live. This one sounds great in the remaster ,too, a lot better than many live albums that were recorded in the early 70's. It's quite a contrast to the studio albus, but definitely needs to be in a Who collection.


Marco Ursi <> (10.09.99)

This ain't no Live at Leeds. But it's good. Not a 10, but damn good. The main problem I have is with the playing. Moon's drumming is a little off, espescially at the beginning, where his bashing seems to have no purpose. Pete gets a little sloppy at times but than again, he was probably more worried about his windmills and jumps than hitting the right note. John's playing is fine and all but he kinda gets tied down filling in for the missing brass parts during Tommy. Roger kinda seems to lose his voice near the end and his voice actually cracks a couple of times. Now this is not to say the playing is bad. It's just not as good as on Leeds.

Fredrik Tydal <> (14.04.2000)

My Who collection have been dormant for a while, so I recently revived it with this album. I thought I'd listen to it while writing an essay; I can tell you I didn't get much of that essay done. This is just awesome. The Tommy performance is simply incredible. When Daltrey went "listening to you..." for the seventh time in "We're Not Gonna Take It", I was sitting with my jaw dropped. And he just keeps going! How much can a vocalist take? His voice cracks a few times, but that's understandable; after such a performance. Hit the road, Plant. If there exists better Who performances than this, count me and my wallet in. Haven't got Live At Leeds yet, but I doubt it's better than this - could be up to par, though. Woodstock could be a contender, but I doubt it - the "We're Not Gonna Take" from Wight is, like, fifteen times better than the Woodstock one. And Townshend was just killing at Wight - unbelievable. Keith is good on the first part of the concert, but seems to get tired later on - can't blame him, though. Ah, well; can't wait to get my hands on Leeds.

mjcarney <> (31.07.2000)

I couldn't agree with your review more here.  This set is brilliant, and although not all the playing is as good as in Leeds, I am starting to rank them equally as 10's.  I bought this one when it came out a few years ago, and was initially dissapointed--what with the classic/best live album ever Live at Leeds having better versions of several of the songs.  I returned to it a few times over the years, and I for some odd reason never really got that whole--not quite as good as Leeds bias out of my head.  But, then I tried again, for the third strong listening time, and it clicked.  There is enough of new, non Leeds classics to make this album more than worthwhile, and the reused Leeds songs aren't half bad either.  First I will talk about the non-highlights (it is the best word I could say because they still aren't bad at all, everything besides "Water" is actually really good but not as good as the others")  "Heaven and Hell" is inferior, but still good, powerful, and mindboggling as its Leeds counterpart.  "Summertime Blues" is the same, although I have grown tired of hearing the Who's version of this song on either disc, since I really like the rockabilly original.  "Substitute" and "Magic Bus"are the same, better on Leeds.  "Shaking All Over" is better on the BBC(where it can't be beat by anyone) but I like the medley here too.  Finally, I really hate the song "Water" and hearing it here doesn't help, its not that they performed it badly, I just really dislike the song--too much pedestrian noise for noise sake.  However, the rest of the album is sheer brilliant.  "I Don't Even Know Myself", and "Naked Eye" are here, and they are brilliant Lifehouse rejects--although both I believe became B-Sides and are available on the remastered Who's Next, they just sound a million times better here.  Also, "My Generation" has all the power--and then some--of Leeds, with just enough improvisation.  Although Leeds' version is awesome, I prefer this one, and it is the best spot to hear this classic.  Finally, the inclusion of Tommy Live, which is really why myself and tons of others did/will buy this album, make it even more worthwhile.  Tommy is performed almost better on this disc than on its masterful studio release.  Although, I can't quite say it is better because a few of my favorite songs from that disc are missing ("Sensation" being the biggest, tragic omission).  This version is much more powerful, concise, and well perfect.  Highlights here from Tommy are "Go To The Mirror" "Christmas", "Sparks", "We're Not Gonna Take it"--heck their all great.  This album is worth everything you pay for it and then some.  I believe this is the greatest live rock recording ever, simply because you get twice as much as you do with Leeds. It is indispensable a perfect 10/10!, 15/15 etc.

Philip Maddox <> (09.09.2000)

9 from me. I don't like it as much as Leeds for a few reasons - mainly, a lot of these songs are way too similar to their Leeds counterparts - I don't need another 'Heaven And Hell' or 'Summertime Blues'. And while these performances rule, they're not quite perfect like they were on Leeds. 'Naked Eye' has never been one of my favorites, either. It's good, but not great. That being said, this album is still great. It's nice to have a hard rockin' version of Tommy. This album definately has the definitive 'We're Not Gonna Take It', with Roger doing the best screaming of his career on the "Listening To You" part. On the whole, it's interesting to see just how Tommy would have sounded if the Who had just strapped on their gear in the studio and did it in one take. I'd prefer this to the original if not for the unfortunate exclusion of some great songs (even 'Underture' would have sounded great here). 'Water' rocks hard. I like this extended version a lot more than the 6 minute one on the new Who's Next. And, well, everything else is good too. It isn't Leeds, but I'm still glad I bought it. A very solid listen.

Jeff Melchior <> (03.01.2001)

This album was a gracious gift from above for people like myself who hunger after any and all live Who, particularly their 1969-70 peak as a live band. There's only one problem, and it's the same one I have with Live At Leeds: what's with all the covers? The Who had enough strong original material by 1970 - why did they have to continually bring out the old chestnuts like 'Shakin' All Over'? Yes, I can understand that they were paying homage to their roots, but dang it, how many versions of 'Young Man Blues' (an overrated song, in my opinion) do we need anyway? We already got the versions on Leeds and The Kids Are Alright (am I missing one?), why one more? Personally, I would have liked to hear live versions of 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' or 'The Kids Are Alright'. Maybe Pete thought the band had outgrown these songs (these were still the days when a band was considered old at the average age of ! 23, my how times have changed), who knows? I think a lot of Sell Out material would have sounded spectacular given the live treatment (I'm particularly thinking of 'Armenia - City In The Sky').

These are just minor gripes for probably one of my favorite live albums of all time. 'Water' is a particular favorite (now THERE'S a song I can't get enough versions of), as well as 'I Don't Even Know Myself' and 'I Can't Explain'. The version of 'We're Not Gonna Take It' could very well be one of the most powerful things ever recorded under the guise of rock 'n roll, IMHO.

Palash Ghosh <> (02.08.2001)

Unless I bought a defective CD of The Who's Live at the Isle of Wight this entire album is badly out of tune, too slow and the group members (particularly Roger Daltrey) are just not into it. Maybe I'll change my mind later after more listening, but thus far this record is a bitter disappointment and highlights what a truly great performance The Who delivered at Live at Leeds.

Matt Karp <> (29.09.2001)

Probably the ultimate live rock experience on disc...too many highlights to mention, so I won't go over them, but one of my favorite parts is on "Go To The Mirror" where at the start of the third verse, Roger begins to blurt out the second again ('There is no chance of untried operation') cuts himself off after a syllable or two, and jumps right into 'his ears can hear, his lips can speak'...good save, Rog

Ben Kramer <> (28.12.2001)

Forget my last comment on Leeds. I am beginning to see this album McFerrin's way as the best who live album. Why? This is the most energetic album I own, and I have a lot of Stones, Who, Zeppelin, Doors, ... and nothing done on any of those compares to the energy on this (Leeds and Ya Ya's come awful close though). I agree with you on 'Young Man Blues' being the best on the album. The energy, Roger, Pete, John, Keith, all at their best, but particularly John and Roger. Definitely John's high point as a bassist. Well, ok, Quadrophenia is about even with this, but who cares, he's just so great. Also, before I heard this, I would have to disagree with your statement that Roger Daltry is the greatest singer in rock & roll, but now, after hearing Isle of Wight, I think he deserves to pass Mick Jagger on the list (slightly). Another thing I noticed about this is that Pete seems extremely angry throughout the concert. Maybe something was bugging him, disabling him from delivering solos that were as good as the ones at Leeds. However, he still is able to pull of a few great moments ('Sparks', 'Spoonful', 'Young Man Blues') that are not Claptonish, that are still amazing. My favorite part of the album is the Tommy part (real original). First of all, the songs are awesome. Not that the others aren't, but come on man, it's Tommy, the album bigger than The Who themselves. The only track that I feel is weaker than the original is 'Overture' and that is only because it loses the French horn and that is an amazing part of Tommy's opener. 'See Me, Feel Me' seems to go on a little too long for me, not that the song is bad, but that particular part could have been shortened. Other than that, no complaints about the Tommy part. 'My Generation' is amazing as usual (their best song up to that point?), and 'Magic Bus' sounds nothing like the original, and it's probably better. Oh, another little problem. The lyrics to 'Water' ("We need water, and somebody's daughter) sound kind of perverse and they remind me too much of Page's sex life around this time (for those of you who don't know, Jimmy Page was sleeping with a teenage girl, around 14 years old, and brought her on the tour. Now you know another little charming fact about the Zepsters). Ok, no more complaints from now on. The unmentioned is essentially some of the best stuff the Who ever recorded. So buy the album and "smile you buggars, and pretend it's Christmas" (Daltry, after 'Heaven and Hell'). It is just too good to be true. It is as good as Leeds, and like I said above, maybe it is indeed better. But who cares, they're both great. I wish I was alive then to go see the Isle of Wight festival because the spectators were given the concert of a lifetime.

Zach Smith <> (16.07.2002)

My favorite who live album, because it has obsures well known's and Tommy.

Let's compare it to Leeds (deluxe)Shall we?

IOW has two lifehouse songs that leeds doesn't, complete 'naked eye', shorter 'generation' and 'bus', 'twist and shout' of all things.

Leeds has a better 'summertime blues', better 'substitue' and 'a quick one', but that's it.


IOW by knockout

An almost perfect 10

Kiel Pidgeon <> (14.05.2003)

I don't actually own the album Live at the Isle of Wight, I do however own the DVD. Let me just say it is unbelieveable. The track list on the DVD is different with the all of Tommy finishing off the show not 'Magic bus'. The video is easily worth the mere 19 Dollars it cost me. With Keith Moon having already passed before I was even born, being able to see probably the greatest live band(when they actually were still the Who)ever on stage cannot even be put into words. An absolute must for a Who fan in my opinion.

Bob Josef <> (30.05.2003)

Yes, not as sharp or as focused as the first live album, but Leeds wasn't recorded at three o'clock in the morning, either. Great performance, just mind-blowing. You do have to get used to the fact that the subtle nuances of the studio versions are blown away. But the sheer volume and instrumental attack of the live Who was just incredible. Yet, the band's sense of melody in never sacrificed to the noise -- a lesson that many a heavy metal band never learned.

I have to agree with Jeff -- forget about the covers (even "YMB," sorry, George). The Who's original material was always better than that of their idols, and there was plenty more to choose from at that point. The other minus as compared with Leeds is the lack of "A Quick One," which I guess they had dropped permanently by then. And "Magic Bus" is truncated, but I guess that's because Pete's guitar gave out! My favorites are the three post-Tommy/pre-Lifehouse cuts -- "I Don't Even Know Myself," "Water" and "Naked Eye" (even if Pete had written only one verse at that point). He was approaching his peak as a songwriter, and the band backs it up with powerful, committed versions of these.

The only show that might beat these two albums is the 1971 Lifehouse show added as a bonus disc to another reissue of Who's Next. Get ready to whip out another 10.

Rizki Akbar <> (18.07.2004)

This is the Who at their rawest, wildest edge. It has the best version of "Water" and "I Don't Know Myself".Mind blowing performance! The only problem is the sound quality (drums is the worst), which annoys at first and second listens. But once you get the hang of it it doesn't matter that much. Great as the performances were, I still think it should be supported with better sound mixing. Not for people who barely recognize this band, but highly recommendable for any who fanatics. Rating a full 4 star.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (30.08.2004)

It’s almost as great as LAL. Comparing to nearly flawless performance in Leeds, it has some weak points (especially in Tommy section). But the advantages are obvious: 1) it is longer 2) it has a fantastic performance of “Water” (my favourite number on the record), plus it has such amazing tunes as “I Don’t Know Myself” and “Naked Eye”, and, eventually, the advantage #3: they do “Twist And Shout”. Mindblowing!

Although I prefer Live At Leeds, this one also gets 15/15.


Gustavo Rodriguez <> (12.04.99)

I still give it a ten, even though I agree with your comment on "Song is Over". Starts out great then becomes insipidly bloated. The album is great otherwise. "Getting in Tune" is great and so are "My Wife" and "Love Ain't for Keeping". I am able to appreciate "Baba O'Riley" but sometimes the opening synth part and that "Fiddler on the Roof" sounding ending can get on my nerves if I'm in the wrong mood.

Josh Fitzgerald <> (17.05.99)

This is a definetly over-hyped album, (but are all of their albums) but this one really turned me on to The Who. "Baba O' Reilly" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are practically identical twins, with a synthesizer opening, and serious guitar jamming. The often forgot about "My Wife" is really my favorite track on the album. I'm also a fan of "Behind Blue Eyes", "Going Mobile", and "Bargain", but the only song I really don't care for too much is "Getting In Tune". And "The Song Is Over" is too dramatic for my tastes. Still a great listen

My rating-9

Marco Ursi <> (13.06.99)

9 is the perfect rating for this album although what you hate here is quite different from what I hate. First off, I know of only one other person, who goes by the name Mark Prindle, who hates 'Goin' Mobile' as much as I do. Blah! I'm also not a big fan of the version of 'Love Ain't For Keeping' on here. The Odds And Sods version with Pete on lead vocals is far superior. Finally, although they are horribly overblown, I really like 'Song Is Over' and espescially 'Gettin' In Tune'. Everything else is top notch. Fabulous record.

pwywiesike <> (24.07.99)

Who's Next is an absoloute masterpiece. Not quite wild about the concept either, but look at the songs.....'Wont Get Fooled Again' and 'Baba O Riley' are two of the best rock songs, and the rest of the album is worthy of exceptional praise as well. 'Behind Blue Eyes' is a an excellent song, and I disagree on 'The Song is Over'... The rest of the songs are incredible as well. I think it deserves a 10 for originality as well. It was really ther first album of importance to use synthesizers, and the fusion of Nicky Hopkin's piano with The Who's master instrumentals is both groundbreaking and breathtaking My favorite Who album, and my favorite album period.

Jeff <> (17.08.99)

Just wonderered if anyone saw the previews to the Spike Lee"joint" Summer of Sam. They made great use of "Won't Get Fooled Again," especially in the full-length theatrical trailers. I believe the song was on the soundtrack as well. Of course, why you would buy that and not Who's Next if you only wanted that particular song is beyond me. How could you pass up "Baba O'Reily" or "Behind Blue Eyes"? I'd give the original album an 8, because even though I like all of the songs (yes, even "Song Is Over"), it doesn't quite add up to a 9. On the other hand, the remastered edition easily does. Listen to those bonus tracks!!! "Water"? "Naked Eye"? "Baby Don't You Do It"? Incredible stuff, and it overcomes any "only nine songs" complaints you may have. So the final verdict would be.....

Who's Next= 8

REMASTERED Who's Next= 9

Glenn Wiener <> (30.09.99)

A very worthwhile purchase. I agree with you about 'The Song Is Over'. It just sounds way too overblown and lacks a focus in its seven minute plus length. 'Getting In Tune' is a much better effort as this tune sticks more to a structure. 'Going Mobile' is the second weakest piece on here inspite of its wonderful spirit. However, a weak tune on this album would be beyond what most mere mortal bands could every dream of. Throw in the seven or so bonus tracks on the CD version and you have a collection that can please almost anyone.

Fredrik Tydal <> (12.12.99)

Slightly overrated. This album's good reputation doesn't match with actual number of good songs. The beginning ("Baba O'Riley", "Bargain", "My Wife" - Entwistle's best song with The Who) and the end ("Won't Get Fooled Again") of the album rocks as good as anything the boys did, but the middle really drags. I'm sorry, but I just don't care much for "Behind Blue Eyes". Oh, and Who's Next is my vote for best Who album cover.

Tony Souza <> (20.02.2000)

In the biography MOON, Glyn Johns, who was the producer, was responsible for the sound of the drums. He reduced the number of cymbals on Moon's drum kit and forced Moon to not rely on them as much. He didn't like the way Moon would hit everything in sight on his kit in previous songs and he wanted him to streamline his approach for the songs on this album. As for the sound of the drums itself, Johns was responsible for this also.

I agree with your assessment of this album. I like "Goin' Mobile", hate "Behind Blue Eyes" and, although I like "Love Ain't for Keeping" here, I like the Odds and Sods version better. All the rest of the tracks are great.

Stephen N Chipkin <> (29.02.2000)

Come on man, don't carp. Who's Next is the greatest album of all time, bar none. I can tolerate the one or two mediocre songs. I have not yet read your review of Live at Leeds, but to rate it higher than Who's Next? I don't know. I bought Leeds as an LP years ago and, aside from 'Summertime Blues', have always thought it way to crude and raw. However, I intend to read your review and listen to the album again(if my turntable dosen't seize up).

<> (29.05.2000)

What constitutes a great album... I say staying true to your ideals and still being able to sell those 50 billion records. This album was groundbreaking in the sense of it being the first album to use synthesizers as it's main instrument. Replacing guitar solo's with syntesizer solo's ... truly brilliant. The band is sharper than ever: daltrey identified with these songs particularly well ('Behind Blue Eyes'), moon was in rare form, the ox is always on key and townsend was at a creative zenith both spiritually and musically. This album feeds off it's opening and closing song, everything in between fits perfectly. An album of this calibur can withstand the musical changes over the years. I highly recommend buying the video/dvd "classic albums" in which the band and gynn johns re-live the making of this classic acoustic/hard rock masterpiece. And yes it would be playing at a maximum volume on my desert island.

Ben Greenstein <> (02.06.2000)

Kind of overrated. I just don't go as much for the bombastic, heavy Who sound as I do the clever pop stuff. It does sound really mature compared to the old stuff, though, and "Baba O'Riley" is one of the best songs ever. A high seven.

Bob Josef <> (07.07.2000)

Glyn Johns is a hero! Finally, the Who gets the producer they need. The sonic quality of the album is incredible, especially for 1971 -- no one came up with as clear and as beautiful a record, sonically, before the CD dawned. And the remastered CD only adds to the glory. And again, Johns deserves a huge amount of credit. By comparing the Johns versions of "Behind Blue Eyes," "Pure and Easy" and "Love Ain't for Keeping" with the earlier Lambert versions, this becomes apparent.

But, of course, production means nothing if the songs and performances aren't good. Everyone in the band shines, far surpassing any previous studio work. ALL the songs are great, even if they still get too much airplay. Pete reaches his peak here and with the several singles and outtakes recorded with Johns over the following year. And this just proves that rock operas or concept albums aren't needed for good rock music.

Philip Maddox <> (28.07.2000)

Gets a high 9 from me. Five of these tunes ('Baba', 'Bargain', 'My Wife', 'Blue Eyes', and 'Won't Get Fooled') are easily among my favorite songs of all time. Each one of them totally rules like no other. There's nothing I can even say about them, they're so famous. That leaves the other four - 'Love Ain't For Keeping' is OK, but slight, 'Going Mobile' is slight too, but it's fun and catchy. I like it, I do. That leaves the two big, overblown songs you mentioned - I actually do like them, just not as much as the others. 'Getting In Tune' starts out great, but eventually turns into a jam that never goes anywhere. And I think 'Song Is Over' is decent, but nothing more - overblown as all get out, but still nice. Still, it pales next to the big 5. I definately think that this could be a low 10, as much of this material is totally unsurpassed, but I'll have to settle on giving it a really, really high 9. It starts and ends extremely well, though, so it gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling of "Whoa!"

Rich Bunnell <> (02.08.2000)

"Baba O'Reily" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are arguably the most epic songs ever to make it onto radio playlists, and both songs are amazingly spectacular synth-based songs in every sense of the word. Otherwise, it's just a consistent album, nothing hugely special but nothing bad at all (though I'm not the biggest fan of "Getting In Tune" or "Goin' Mobile"). "Bargain" and "My Wife" are both fabulous rockers, "Behind Blue Eyes" is a great, spiteful ballad (or at least it sounds like one) and I actually like "The Song Is Over" quite a bit. The song is bombastic, granted, but it's not bombastic in a way that overshadows the melody or songwriting. I award this album an 8-- I think that Prindle hit the nail right on the head with his rating. It's a good album, but the only reason people say that it's their best is because it has more radio songs than the others.

Rich Bunnell <> (27.08.2000)

Wait a minute - screw Prindle. Strike my previous comment, after some listens to the awesome remastered CD I'm convinced that this puppy is worth a 9. In fact, there isn't really a bad song ("Getting In Tune" is a LITTLE weak. A LITTLE.) - I'm still not sure why everyone hates "The Song Is Over." And "Goin' Mobile" on repeated listenings suddenly sounded much more charming and memorable than I initially thought it was. It doesn't get a 10, though, because it's not as good as Tommy. At least, in my world.

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

Let me first tell you I found your opening story about the nuclear holocaust and such very funny. I agree that album can be overrated at times but one is not to forget that even if this album had been universally hated or never heard-of most of the music found within is very good. The songwriting is very high quality and the production is almost flawless. 'Baba O'Reily' is amazing, as is the next track. I must disagree with your opinion of 'The Song Is Over'. I find it very beautiful and moving, perhaps the best song the Who ever did. I agree with you about 'Behind Blue Eyes', which would have been very pretty and prolific if not for the mid-section. 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is an awesome synth-metal finale, even though in Lifehouse 'The Song Is Over' was the end of the story. I don't personally care for 'My Wife', it seems rather medicore. 'Love Ain't For Keeping' and 'Gettin' In Tune' I never listen to, they're pretty much filler in my honest opinion but the rest of the album is amazing.

Jeff Melchior <> (27.11.2000)

Actually, any album that has five of anybody's favorite rock songs of all time - no mean feat in itself - cannot possibly be overrated, even if 'The Song Is Over' kinda sucks and 'Goin' Mobile' is kinda jokey (actually, that doesn't bother me at all - why are there so many people who think The Who should never have shown a sense of humor, especially when they were so good at it?). I don't mind this album's bombast at all - bombast in the right hands is a good thing, and The Who were never just any old arena rock band even when they were the kings of bombastic arena rock.

<> (12.12.2000)

Who's Next was my first album by the Who and I agree with you the original should get a 9. What disappoints me about the album is that they used 'The Song Is Over' when they had far better material to use instead like 'Relay' or 'Join Together'. The remastered CD however should get a 10 because of additions like 'Baby Don't You Do It' and 'Naked Eye'

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

Who's Next is vastly overrated -- but I'm probably saying that because three or four of the well-known tracks here have been overplayed to death on FM radio for the last quarter-century. I don't ever need to hear 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Won't get fooled again.'

Some people claim this record represents The Who's return to 'rootsy, no-frills straight rock and roll.' Who are they kidding?!! Do they think that these sterile, computer-driven synthesizers are 'homey'? Do they think Roger's over-the-top bombastic singing represents hard-edged rock? I agree every song on the album was recorded with great technical efficiency – but it's more a triumph for the sound engineers in the control room, rather than on the musicians.

My two favorite tracks here are John's 'My wife' (a hilarious, but muscular, classic) and the widely disliked 'Going mobile' (one of Pete's few unpretentious numbers).

'Bargain' and 'Behind blue eyes' are wonderful compositions, but in each song, the middle is ruined by excessively bombastic singing.

I'm kind of glad the "Lifehouse" project never got off the ground –- the story sounds incredibly cumbersome and convoluted. And if it had succeeded, Pete probably would've never had the energy to compose the magnificent Quadrophenia.

Caleb Smith <> (02.03.2001)

A great, great album. This is the type of Who music I like, mature, bombastic, and well-produced, most of the pre-Tommy material I've heard lacks these qualities. There's still a great deal I need to hear though. Anyway, the opening track, "Baba O'Reily", I love more than anything else on the album. I can't even describe how powerful it is. Not only my favorite Who song, but one of my favorite songs period. And as good as the rest of the tracks are, not even one of them compares. "Behind Blue Eyes", "My Wife", "Bargain", and "Won't Get Fooled Again" come semi-close though. "My Wife", in particular, is very cool. I actually love John's voice.

Syl <> (18.04.2001)

Maybe everyone know that, but I was holding a book in my hand, it was 2001: A space Odyssey.There is a famous monolith on the cover, like in the film by Kubrik (and A.C.Clark).

I was listenning to Who's Next and I took the CD in the other hand ... and... the picture by the who reminds me exactly of the regular monolith. Plus, the landscape around the block on the album cover is the "same" lunar landscape than on the book (and in the film).

What can you tell me? The fact that they piss on it!? They Ddo not agree or like the story? In the Title Who's Next there is the notions of Time and Generation (offspring), and Who?.

The film was already out (1968) and the book by A.C.Clark recently too.Any suggestions? (Am I crazy ;o) ? )"

Sergey Zhilkin <> (14.07.2001)

Oh, my, my.... There ARE such records....

One of the most banal beginnings, I guess, but, Lord, what can I do if I like this record that much. You know, I bought it more than month ago and I still can't get it out of my head (imagine, I'm listening to it right now ('Baba O'Riley' is ending now)!). Albums of that kind are needed when you are trying to get trough all the crap Alan Parsons or CCR (sorry, George) wrote - a very well-timed shake, I say. And I give no crap about failed Lifehouse project (White album was a kind of failed experiment, too, if you don't know it) or some more or less generic ideas (both 'Getting in tune' and 'The song is over' both have strong influences from 'Hey Jude' and 'Let it be').

The record starts off in almost awful way - SYNTH based song!!(???) And the first thought I got was : 'Christ, this gonna be a real crap!', but, no, 'Baba' is more than just a cute song. And did you notice that this synth riff makes 'Baba' a Song from the capital letter? It fills some places that lacks instruments and, moreover, gives another rhythm, along with Moon's mad drumming. God, it's a heaven-like song; never thought that I could find something as much interesting as Beatles were. 'Bargain' is a wee bit worse than opener, but anyway, that's a miracle Pete managed to write it in the same year with 'Baba', 'Won't get fooled again' and 'Behind blue eyes'. M-I-R-A-C-L-E!!! Anyway, let's go forward. 'Love ain't for keepin' is just a small number which helps such unexperienced Who listeners like me to catch their breath and wonder how many times they've been sitting near CD player. Sure, it can't be taken seriously (btw, it will end in ten seconds. Wait... LOVE AIN'T FOR KEEPIN'!!! Err, sorry again) but, quoting Stones: 'I kno-o-ow, it's only rock'n'roll, but I like it, like it, yes I do!'. Next - 'My wife', which was my favourite track on first two listens, strikes you with the thing that it was written by John. I suppose, he never really cared about lyrics so we should ignore them. Anyway, his vocal is much overshadowed by instruments (love those trumpets!) so maybe for the first time you won't get foo... damn, sure enough, I wanted to say - won't get a meaning of song.

And 'Going mobile' is wonderful, too. I remember someone on 'Music Babble' saying that this song is ruined by childish lyrics and another person quoting 'Going mobile' to defend it: 'I don't care about pollution// I'm an air condition gypsy// That's my solution //Watch the police and taxman miss me - I'm MOBILE!!!!' Yup, the song is nothing without these lines, I agree completely. Just imagine yourself driving a car on a very high speed, driving through the empty streets, frightening the lonely doves... Ah, I wish I were 18 to get a license...

Next two follow-ups kick ass, too. 'Behing blue eyes' starts like a dull ballad, until evil guitar breaks in and rocks the shit of all shapes out of casual listener (read: out of me) and 'Won't get fooled again' is ,oh..... (Lord, please find me the most banal phrase to characterize a hit song! 'Wonderful, beautiful and great as a lotus flower'? Thanks a lot, Sri Krishna) George, I think that this song is as wonderful, beautiful and great as a lotus flower.

Yeah, you guessed right, my constant reader George (yup, 'YOU are my constant reader' - not 'I'm your constant commentator'; rename the page of comments' statistic at once, Sri Krisha says) - I placed the discussion of two not so great songs in the end of letter because I really don't think that those songs should get so much dirt on their heads. I personally, can easily stand through 'The song is over' (anyone, explain me why this song isn't adequate!) and I adore 'Gettin' in tune'. The first one gets easily accessible in the end, while the second one is charming song that almost nears the soul genre. You know, time passes slowly as a water in the Gang river and maybe after one or two months you will understand the beauty of 'Getting in tune', maybe you will get in tune yourself, you'll start adoring it just like me. Ah, George, you're such a small and innocent child that you simply can't understand it now. Come back and try the luck later, maybe you will get it, who knows....

Disclaimer: last lines of above letter weren't written by a special computer progra....


*An error occured while running 'easy comment' program*

*If this error will happen again, contact Microsoft Co* *at *

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PS. Actually, that's a kind of very satisfying records, along with Abbey road, Let it bleed and All things must pass. I adore it. To quote Roger at the very end of 'Won't get fooled again': 'YE-E-E-E-A-A-A-AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

Matthew Karp <> (18.08.2001)

Ah, Next vs. Quad...the irresistible, unavoidable center of debate for all Who fans. Should be, anyway. I mean, sure, there are proto-punk-obsessed clowns who find the locus of the band's greatness in their first record and early singles (which are worthy of exalted status, of course, but pale before the likes of 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Dr. Jimmy' like 'A Hard Day's Night' withers before 'You Never Give Me Your Money', or The Taming of The Shrew withers before The Tempest. Well, not exactly withers, but is surpassed by later genius of an even higher order). Of course there is also the Tommy-crazed crowd, but those are often high school theater girls who haven't heard the rest of the Who's work anyway. And I think Dave Marsh actually considers Sell Out to be the Who's best album. Great stuff, obviously, but really now, let's be serious. I basically agree with your take on Quad, but I'm only with you two-thirds of the way on Next, which is why I'm posting here. The disagreement boils down to three songs: 'Song Is Over', 'Getting in Tune', and 'Love Ain't for Keeping'. Let's work back to front, simple to complex, brief to extended. 'Love Ain't For Keeping'...we do both agree that its cute. But can't be taken seriously? "serious" in what sense? Any song with a melody that pretty and that infectious is good enough for me to take seriously as a legitimate piece of music, even if its only 2 minutes. The lyrics are rather laughable of course, but they're intended to be. And who says every great album has to be packed with heavy hitting, 'serious' gems? Certainly not you - 'Octopus's Garden', anyone? 'Keeping' may not be quite as substantial an actual song as 'Garden', but its almost as catchy, and its arguably just as amusing...I just love hearing Roger croon out the goofy, worn-out sexual metaphors about seeds bursting and spring seeping....Anyway. that's not the vital issue, here, however. Its 'Tune' and 'Song' that you've really got the problem with. Essentially, you and virtually every other independent reviewer on the internet feel that they're too 'bloated', to 'bombastic', too 'overwrought'. come on George, you're better than that! This isn't fucking Kansas anymore, and we're not discussing 'Dust In The Wind.' This is Pete goddamned Townshend and if there are two things we can understand about Pete its that 1) he isnt fake and that 2) his melodies justify his pretensions. I've left Quad aside for a bit, but look at it - look at 'Love Reign O'er Me'. You're saying that 'Getting in Tune' and 'The Song Is Over' are too 'bombastic' but 'Love Reign O'er Me' isn't? The distinction you made in your Quad review was that Love's universal and personal sides justify its bombast, whereas 'Song' is merely a hollow epic. But it sounds to me youre leaning to heavily on the conceptual framework of Quad to provide the personal feeling. Because judged on its own merits, 'Song Is Over' delivers the emotional goods. It's all there: The soft piano beginning part, with Pete's plaintive verses - you admit its 'beautiful' - leading into the cathartic Roger chorus (which is hardly 'macho', at all, unless of course all epics are macho) through until the perfectly placed sample of the lovely, melodic 'Pure & Easy'. A melancholy and nostalgic but hopeful song about loss and self-expression. Naturally, without the whole Jimmy Cooper story and the overarching Quad theme, it doesn't quite compare to 'Love Reign O'er Me.' But that's not a fair comparison: 'Love' being, as it is, the very heart of Quadrophenia, 'The Song Is Over' - as merely one of the wrenchingly beautiful secondary tracks on Who's Next - can't help but be inferior. If you want to go on record and say, the songs on Quad and Next are of similar value but Quad is awarded the 15 in studio because the unifying concept gives the songs an emotional ballast that the Lifehouse fragments that comprise Next don't have ... well then, say it. (I don't agree - in my mind they're both certain 15s). But please don't just adopt the tired and tiresome critical posture that its only the 'bombast' of tracks 4 & 5 on Next that hold it back from Quad. Bombast is only a problem, as you know better than anyone, when it outstrips song construction, or melody-making. And even if you don't find 'Song Is Over' or 'Getting In Tune' to be emotional masterpieces equal to 'Love Reign O'er Me' or 'Behind Blue Eyes' (I don't see them quite on that level either), you could at least view them as elegant, respectable, ear-pleasing ballads which compliment (not blemish! never blemish!) the mind-blowing harder stuff on Who's Next.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

I've never heard of this album !!! Is it new ? Nah, just kidding (as you can see, I have virtually no sense of humor). I've heard of it, and I've heard IT. There's so many highlights here, that it isn't even funny. 'Baba O'Reilly' is their best song (IMHO), especially the ending (it's like 'Stairway To Heaven', that one also gets great near the end, when they pick up the pace). 'Bargain' is a solid track, but it's nowhere near as bombastic as 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. That one is a true gem (the full length version, I mean). 'Behind Blue Eyes' is a soulful ballad that actually can't take me anywhere, but it's still enjoyable enough. Apart of those songs, the rest is kinda meek (including the bonus tracks). A decent try, though. This is certainly not the best they got, and it's a 9.

Ben Kramer <> (15.11.2001)

Who's Next is a great album, no question about it. Three of the songs are played constantly on the radio and the other six make it on once in a while. It is overrated a little, not a lot though as many people feel. First of all, this is such a great album because it contains some of their greatest songs and it is a great first Who album (it was mine and it hooked me) despite the live stuff from the 70's being better as well as Quadrophenia. The Who's live stuff intimidated me the first time I heard it (Isle of Wight). It was great, but until I really listened, it sounded like noise. Quadrophenia is nothing like earlier Who material and despite being a favorite of many people, many write it off as trash. However, I have never heard of someone not liking Who's Next. It contains elements of early and late Who so it is a great introduction if you don't believe in greatest hit albums. Another reason for its greatness is that Pete shows signs of rapidly growing as a song writer. I like all of the songs on this album (yes, even 'The Song Is Over'). 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is probably The Who's best song ever. Roger is awesome, the instrumentals are fantastic, it is lyrically brilliant..., I can go on and on. 'Baba O'Riley' aka Teenage Wasteland is another favorite of fans and nonfans alike. I have seen it in at least a dozen car ads in the last 5 years. 'Bargain' is another big song from the album and it doesn't take an Einstein to see why. Pete's lyrics are great on this song and as with the rest of the album, the melody is among their best. 'Love Ain't For Keeping' is too short, my only complain on side 1. Entwistle's 'My Wife' is another classic. Finally we get to the controversial song on the album, 'The Song Is Over'. Sorry George, I have agreed with you a lot, but not here. This song was my best bet for Pete's most underrated song until I heard Quadrophenia and I heard all of the could be hits on it. 'Getting In Tune' get the same crap as 'The Song Is Over', but less of it. It is a good song, not as good as 'The Song Is Over', but good nonetheless. 'Going Mobile' is another classic off of the album. Lately I have been hearing it on the radio a lot (Airline advertising is my guess, trying to get Americans on planes after September 11). 'Behind Blue Eyes' is yet another fan favorite with profound lyrics, and beautiful guitar work. I won't go into the bonus tracks despite their high quality but I will assure you to get the remastered version if possible to get these songs. It is worth it. So, I will agree with the numerical rating, but disagree on the filler.

Joe H <> (30.11.2001)

Yeaaaah awesome record. "Baba O Riley", "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Wont Get Fooled Again" are absolute classic songs! John's "My Wife" rocks a whole bunch too! And man does "Bargain" and "Goin' Mobile" rock! This whole album just never stops rockin'! OK, except when "Song Is Over" or "Getting In Tune" comes. A few bombastic ballads. They are pretty though! "Love Aint For Keeping" is a song that seems to be overlooked, too, but its a nice song. Short but sweet. Great album, but i prefer Tommy and/or Sell Out over this any day of the week (except maybe Saturday morning!), but it is a classic of course, so a 9/10 it gets from me.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

at first, i thought this album was a bit sterile. it didn't really HIT me that hard when i first listened to it. repeated listening's, however, revealed the depth of melodic invention and craft pete had into this album. i really glory in it. i can't say i really hate any song on this album at all, 'going mobile' is great i really do love it! i don't understand why people hate it, it's a cute little song to help break the tension. the bonus tracks are nice, but not that essential, really. a 10, i suppose, although i don't think it's the best who album of all time.

Zach Smith <> (16.07.2002)

7 very strong songs, and 2 very weak songs(song is over and getting in tune) Here's my Who's next

1.baba o reily



4.My Wife

5.Naked Eye

6.Join Together

7.Pure and easy

8.Let's See Action

9.Going Mobile

10.Behind Blue Eyes

11.Who are you(A lifehouse song)

12. yyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh du du yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhWe don't get fooled again Z.S. oh and by the way, 7/10

Nicholas Rogerson <> (10.12.2002)

What I can't understand, is why people who don't like The Who, point to this album, as a way of supporting their opinion. They say it's bombastic and pretentious. So what? Bombastic can be good. It is good in the hands of The Who. Now in the hands of Led Zeppelin? Different matter! This album is a little pretentious in parts, 'Song Is Over', but this song still has a nice tune.

Anyway, this is an album is filled with great songs. For my money 'Baba O'Riley' is the best song here. Talk about diversity! This track has an introductory solo synth part, a middle section of classic riffage and hooks, and a furious fiddle climax. That's diversity! And it's diversity that works. 'Bargain' is splendid, with some fascinating drumming form Keith Moon, and just a wonderful riff. I could carry on analysing the album in pretty much this way, because the phrase 'great riff' applies to most of the songs here. I do feel that 'Getting In Tune' is more of a standout tune than you state, but that is just a minor quibble.

I definitely agree with the 9 you have given this album. I think if I criticise one thing it is that the atmosphere on the songs is a little too similar from one to another. Perhaps I'm completely wrong, it's just the way it seems to me.

Anyway the whole band is on tremendous form on this album, which is apparent in the end product.

Just listening to 'Behind Blue Eyes'. What a great guitar line!

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.05.2003)

I feel like kind of a dick for adding more noise about this album, but I don't have to go to work until the evening, so I have some free time. To be honest, it took me awhile to come around to this album. In fact, I'm still undecided. Listening to it just makes me wish Lifehouse had worked out. Because the songs seem vaguely tied together, and you just feel as though with a couple of extra steps, it could have been so much more than a decent collection of songs... It could have been... an EVENT. That's funny, I like that. I really hated 'Behind Blue Eyes' for a long time, too, because it reminded me too much of all those schmaltzy, religious, Creed-ish shitty rock ballads that were so popular a couple fo years ago. But I've come around, since this song was around thirty years before what I'm comparing it too, so it wasn't derivative, and, what the hell, it was probably heartfelt, what do I know. But I still like the unreleased version that comes with the reissue better than the official album version. I guess, mostly, I don't get too into some of these songs (notably 'Song is Over' and 'Getting in Tune') because they're so bloddy anthemic. Which isn't BAD necessarily, but the whole album is one anthem after another, and... I don't know. I actually sort of prefer a lot of the stuff from that era that didn't make the album compared with the stuff that did. 'Naked Eye' and 'I Don't Know Myself' are such great songs, and both are better and more moving (I think) lyrically than most of the songs that made it to Who's Next. It seems on the whole like a very impersonal album to me, there's no identity to it that you can grab hold of, apart from that of Pete's alcoholism, which to me seems to lend the whole experience a murky, confused quality. But it's still a great album, with a great cover. The only reason I'm even criticizing it is because it's good enough to deserve it. Better to be criticized than ignored, right?

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (14.11.2003)

I DO have the extra tracks on this CD, though. But only because I wouldn't have anything else to fill up the CD-R. So I made my OWN extra tracks: 'Join Together', 'Pure And Easy', 'I Don't Even Know Myself', 'Naked Eye', 'Water' and the 4 minute 'Love Ain't For Keeping'. How's about that?

Well, about the album itself, it's great! 'Baba O'Riley' starts with that shiver-sending synth effect and the piano riff - wonderfully simple... and simply wonderful! 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is brilliant, too. And the others... well, I like them all. Highlights are 'Bargain', 'My Wife' (really groovy) and 'Behind Blue Eyes'. I like 'Love Ain't For Keeping', short as it is. The piano verses of 'The Song Is Over' are veeeeeeeery pretty, and the rest of the song stands up really well. 'Gettin' In Tune' is kinda pointless, but fine. And 'Goin' Mobile' is very funny! Just one thing bothers me... Why do so many Who songs sound SO SIMILAR? Same rhythm section, similar melodies, identical song structures... gee. A 13 to this album.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (30.08.2004)

First of all, it’s really hard to say anything about this album. It was my second Who album and I was a little disappointed as I wanted another Tommy. So, it took me some time to get used to the sound of Who’s Next. It has always been a special record for me. I don’t listen to it very often, but when I put it on, I feel really happy. “Baba O’Riley”, “Bargain” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are all incredibly powerful songs, “Goin’ Mobile” and “Love Ain’t For Keeping” are just little catchy songs, “My Wife” has to be one of the best Entwistle’s tunes ever. “Getting In Tune” and “Song Is Over” (what do you mean the worst excesses of Russian rock? Joking?) are both gorgeous ballads. And I’ve always considered “Behind Blue Eyes” to be o! ne of the most perfect rock compositions ever; it wouldn’t be so perfect without that fantastic middle part.

Not as great as Quadrophenia, but a solid 15.

Rajesh Srinivasan <> (11.03.2006)

Definitely one of the greatest albums ever but not the best Who album. Nevertheless, it still deserves a 15 in my mind. "Song is Over" is quite atrocious, but the rest? "Love Ain't for Keeping" is a nice upbeat ditty, "Going Mobile" isn't that great but it is tolerable and even enjoyable at times, and "Getting in Tune" is just amazing - I love the way Keith's drumming leads into Roger's powerful "Right in on you!" before his voice softens once more as he reaches "I get a little tired...". "Baba O'Riley" is among the top three Who songs ever written and it ranks among the best rock anthems ever written. A few people I know think that the intro is annoying; however, I think it perfectly builds up the energy for the song and the entire album as those piano chords come crashing down. The fiddling at the end is wonderful too. "Bargain" is a powerful rocker that runs at full throttle once again due to Roger's voice. "My Wife" is absolutely awesome, probably my second favorite on this album. Just the combination of the piano, horns, and Entwistle's vocals and lyrics...just brilliant. Entwistle's playing throughout the album is great as you mentioned (although his playing on *Quadrophenia* is still superior), as is Keith's drumming (I wouldn't be surprised if he were drumming with a piece of meat - it sounds like it, especially in "Baba O'Riley"). "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are so famous, that they do not even need to be mentioned. And some heavy metal bands could learn a few things about screaming from Roger Daltrey (or John Lennon for that matter). Overall, a 15, not too strong because of "Song is Over", but not too weak either. I'm glad that it never became a rock opera - I don't particularly like the concept, and also it may have prevented Pete from coming up with the idea of Quadrophenia.


John McFerrin <> (05.05.99)

10 is right. However, I must slightly differ on which tracks constitue filler. For me, these are the aforementioned 'Dirty Jobs', which is kinda boring, 'Drowned', which doesn't do anything for me, and to a lesser extent, 'I'm One', which doesn't quite resonate with me.

You'll notice I left out 'I've Had Enough'. I do not consider it filler in the least bit. Yes, the melodies aren't perfectly complementary, but think of the song in terms of Jimmy's little mental problem. In the "YOU were under the impression" part, his pissed off side shines through, but as it's ready to overcome him, his 'Love Reign O'er Me' side shines through to straighten him out. He then goes into a very vulnerable, sad state, and then his anger begins to shine through, starting the cycle again, until his sad, dejected side closes out the first act. For me, it's perfect. Also, I used to consider '5:15' to be filler. Then I realized that under the excessive trumpets is a track that really COOKS. So now I like it.

Marco Ursi <> (13.06.99)

A masterpiece. For me, the ultimate teenager's album. Great melodies, great lyrics, drumming, brilliant bass, and Roger's best singing ever. The synths, horns and pianos ADD to the sound. I hate when people call the album overblown just cause of the orchestration. P.S. How could you call 'I've Had Enough' fake? It's one of the best songs the Who ever did!

Josh Fitzgerald <> (03.09.99)

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT!?!?!?! A...A 15!!! Somebody hand me the tranqulizers! I think I'm going to explode!!!

Sorry, but I needed to get that out of my system. I hate Quadrophenia. It's extremely difficult to listen to in one sitting. The only songs I can truly say that I enjoy are "5.15", "The Punk And The Godfather", and "Love Reign O'er Me". It's even more overblown than Tommy!!! My rating-6

Ben Greenstein <> (02.06.2000)

I'm surprised that there aren't more people who hold the middle ground on this record - they all seem to either love or hate it. I think it's great, of course - the horns and piano really don't subtract from that great Who sound, and the melodies are first rate, as well. "5:15" may be the best song they ever did. This is a ten.

Bob Josef <> (09.07.2000)

Interesting, George. Yours is the only review I've ever seen which rates this, not Next, as the band's best album. I agree that it's got lots of great songs and I do play it quite a bit, but there are three major problems with the record:

1. Unlike the more universal themes Pete explored in Lifehouse/Who's Next, it's awfully difficult, especially for a non-Brit, to relate to this mod subculture stuff. I mean, who really cares about the mods-vs.-rockers, what "leapers" are, etc. It gets a little confusing.

2. The "quadrophenia" idea, with each member of the Who representing one of Jimmy's multiple personalities, does not really come across. The exception is Keith's absolutely maniacal "Bell Boy" track. But what the hell is "Helpless Dancer" even ABOUT, never mind why is it "Roger's Theme?" What does Pete have to do with "Love Reign O'er Me", etc. Are we supposed to just guess all this?

3. And, most importantly, the album is the most overproduced one the Who ever did. There are just too many overdubs of keyboards, guitars and horns -- they, unlike the perfect arrangements on Who's Next, overwhelm the songs at times. More like movie soundtrack music. On the other hand, they don't go for the layered harmonies like they did on Tommy and Next -- most of the vocals are solos. And Roger is in great voice, once again.

But even though the record is jam-packed with great stuff, it was mistake for Pete to think that the concept could blow away Tommy or Lifehouse.

mjcarney <> (31.07.2000)

I vehemently disagree with your review here, and I definately take the middle ground on this album.  By this point, Pete was way too caught up in the whole rock/concept idea.  He wanted to make at least one more classic one since Lifehouse failed, but Quadrophenia is not it.  Sure, there are some great songs, which all Who fans should enjoy, namely "The Punk Meets the Godfather"--which is another riff oriented rocker, that perfectly matches the sound the who produce live in the studio.  "I've Had Enough" is also a highlight, it is complex, and works really well.  "5:15" is brilliant, the horn addition actually works well to the Who sound which is very rare in many rock records, and it doesn't sound a bit dated, like many other horn lovers of the 70's (for instance Lennon with his Walls and Bridges and Rock and Roll Albums); "Sea and Sand" is a true who classic, "Bell Boy" is the humor highlight of the album--Keith's singing is great here too, and Love Reign O'er Me" rounds up the highlights of the disc.  The Who probably could've added the more filler oriented "Helpless Dancer" and "Drowned" to make this disc another 10/10, but instead they filled it with overproduced, bombastic rockers, and duds too.  "The Real Me" is an alright song, but it was produced horrendously, Entwistle's bass is brought up to the front, and it sounds too light here.  He plays a brilliant bass line, don't get me wrong, but it is produced so terribly that it wrecks the entire song.  "Dr. Jimmy" is too overdone for me, and it is drawn out way too far.  The instrumentals are alright, but nothing special/memorable--although Quadrophenia has a tremendous guitar solo by Pete, still it just doesn't go anywhere to me and the rest is mostly forgettable.  Again, this album would be terrific if it was only one disc, the concept is again pretty stupid--but so was Tommy, yet by here it just doesn't work well.  Still though, I would rate the album a 7/10--the extra point comes from seeing it done live in 1996, which was incredible, even though I am not the biggest fan of the album, it brings back that memory.  Pretty much, if you like the Who, then you might want to check this one out.  I think it is best to find it used though, It is a huge letdown after their last brilliant 4 albums, and compilation (Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy), and it shows, but it isn't quite awful either and it is probably the best album of their post Who's Next career.

David Albert <> (08.08.2000)

You are definitely right, George, this record is damn great, the Who`s best offering, far better than Tommy. The whole thing is very atmospheric with a good concept and music as well, I actually think there`s no filler, maybe the instrumental "The Rock". A very powerful album with clear messages... simply the Who`s masterpiece. About an outcast and his thoughts, sometimes pessimistic but also encouraging... I like the booklet, it illustrates the story well. People, believe George, and listen to that record !

Nick Karn <> (01.09.2000)

Oh my God.

Words can't begin to describe how utterly amazing this album is - in terms of construction, sincerity, and depth, this makes just about EVERY other huge rock opera, concept album, whatever that I've heard look rather silly in comparison, including the band's own Tommy and others like The Kinks' Arthur, Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory, and Pink Floyd's The Wall, as much as I love those albums. Not only does it all flow effortlessly (with the most breathtaking melodic themes showing up frequently), but every song (not including "I Am The Sea" of course) holds up on its' own perfectly as a SONG - played separately, I'm not sure you'd be able to tell there's a concept going on (though I think "Love Reign O'er Me" has even more power once the rest of the album has already been experienced), but together, it's one continuous story. Anyway, the first disc of this album is just about the closest thing I can think of to sheer musical perfection. The melodies and powerful instrumentation to all those songs completely blow me away, but the standouts for me would be "The Punk And The Godfather" (currently my favorite Who song, and that's saying something) with its' punishing riff and energy, phenomenal bassline, great mellow verse breaks and of course, exceptional lyrics, the stunning instrumental title track, which is almost the equivalent of placing four of the most famous riffs/instrumental parts in music history into one song and making them flow perfectly, the astonishingly biting, stripped down "Helpless Dancer", and the horribly underrated sleeper tune "The Dirty Jobs", which I can't see how anyone can call boring filler - yes, it's overblown and Hollywoodish, but passionate and freakin' CATCHY. And finally, the flow of the different parts in "I've Had Enough" may not be perfect, but those are amazing sections nonetheless.

Disc two is just a slight step down, but that's no big thing, considering how shattering the other songs are. "Sea And Sand" and "Drowned" are the only two tracks I'd even remotely consider filler, but both have something cool going for them, with the former's gorgeous acoustic sections and riffs popping out of the waves and the latter's groovy piano line - pleasurable songs that aren't fantastic, but don't drag the album down much, what with the gripping finale of side four that can hardly be beaten (the powerful "Is It Me?" theme from the just as worthy "Dr. Jimmy", another unique approach to the four themes and nice bluesy melodic soloing in "The Rock", and I won't even go into "Love Reign O'er Me" - the song speaks for itself), as well as the cool, catchy horn led "5:15" and the hilarious Keith vocals of "Bell Boy" and quite unexpected yells of the title song in the chorus. That's about all I can say for this - I totally agree with your 15 rating... I'm pretty confident that this will be my favorite Who album, and probably makes it quite easily into my top 5 of all time. Prindle should be shot for giving this a 6... :P

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

Strange that though the story of Quadrophenia and its message are simplier than that of the orginal Tommy, the music is much more complex. You're right, this does have its share of filler but who cares? Just skip those tracks and go on to the other excellent ones, right? Repeating the four-themes throughout the album is brilliant and binds all of the piece together. I like 'The Dirty Jobs', even if it does sound Broadway-ish it has a nice melody and rhythm. 'I've Had Enough' is, like you said, three different parts. A speedy rock thing, the synth-dominated 'Love Reign O'er Me', and the country-ish mantra, I do feel that it is blends together. Side 3 has the most filler and it is the part of the album I listen to the least. The final tracks, however, are my favourites. From 'Bell Boy' on to 'Love Reign O'er Me', the music is very symphonic and introspective into the mind of the Jimmy character. You can really feel the pain in it as his mind slowly dies. Great stuff, I've never seen the movie but my mom says it's terrible and so do you so I think I'll avoid it.

<> (12.12.2000)

I probably listen to Quadrophenia more than any other album and it never gets old. Every thing is absolutely genius, the plot, the melodies and the lyrics. And to Bob who said it was hard to relate for non Brits to relate I say no way. The albums about isolation and everyone can relate to that. One mistake though George, 'The Real Me' and 'Dr. Jimmy' are the best songs here

nick pfeifer <> (26.01.2001)

I bought this album the very day I saw The Who in concert.  The only songs that I had ever heard before was "5:15", and "Love Reign O'er Me".  That night Pete did an acoustical solo of "I'm One", and I have never been so moved in my life.  It took me by surprise, and became my favorite song instantly.  I have constantly been playing it, and the whole album ever since.  It drives my roommate insane.  Too bad.  The best album ever!  10.0!  Thanks Pete!

Michael Gechter <> (09.02.2001)

Guess what?  I'm not going to disagree with you on this one, not one bit. Your review is absolutely spot on. Quadrophenia is one of the few albums that completely and utterly consumes you as you listen to it, leaving you completely emotionally drained at its conclusion. You also mention Keith's incredible drumming, which, in my opinion, are what keeps the album "down to earth." With all the synths floating around and the reduced role of "rocking" guitar, the album COULD sound pompous, overblown, and electronic. However, the synths are forced to share the spotlight with Keith's brilliant and energetic work, keeping the crunchy "rock factor" strong and matching the concrete story of the album. 10 it is.

Federico Marcon <> (20.02.2001)

I agree with Ben Greenstein about this album : it' s better to hold the middle ground.In your rewiew you have perfectly pointed out all the positive sides of this album and I agree with most of your opinions (except for the fact that according to me Quadrophenia is not an "...humble prayer of an outcast..", but a liberator scream : just listen to "Love Reign Over Me").But in this album I am able to recognize a lot of weak points, so I would give it a 10 in overall rating (the 10 in record rating it' s ok).

The main imperfections are:

a)musical originality : Quad doesn' t add news (except for the horns) to the sound the Who created in Who' s Next;sure, the use of sinths is more sofisticated but nothing more (a precisation : I don' t mean that I don' t like the songs, there are a lot of fantastic tunes,like "I'm One", powerful, even if controlled, drums, Daltrey at his best, ,just listen to "Love Reign Over Me"....and a lot of other fantastic things).

b)the plot : two defects here.The first is that the story is too linked to Mod vs Rockers fights.You can' t say is a metaphor :all the attention for the fashion and other elements of Mod-epoch in songs like "I' m One","Cut My Hair","Sea And Sand" and "Bell Boy" makes the album carrying a not universal message.From this point of view "Tommy" is much better : it' s less precise in setting, so the story becomes more universal , a sort of tale ( think about Hesse' s "Siddharta" : the elements that make us to think it is settled in India are the names,and the banana-trees! In this way the author create an universal myth).

The second is the originality ; this palinode of the Mod-epoch was made in the 1973,when Mods and Rockers were all dead! If the story carried a universal message, I could understand, but......... Oh when you say you like "Love Reign Over Me"because you"....know for sure it comes straight from Townshend's romantic heart.."how can you say this!?!?!?Art (and this IS art) never tells the truth : who care if Anna Karenina didn' t exist or if Dante didn' t go to the Hell?The written paper ,this is that count! And even if Lennon was involved with IRA ( peraphs it' s only a rumor ),for example, I will continue to think about "Imagine" as one of the best song about peace.And, this is not the place for these statements, so return to Quad.

c)too much fillers , according to me.In some fillers the music is ok, so they don' t disturb you in listening,but sometime the lyrics are horrible : "..pick up my phone and ear my history.."!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

d)the title: ok Pete was not a greek-latin expert (no one of my favourite artists are, as I' m not an English-expert, as you can easily recognize!),but he could ask to someone only to avoid this mistake! Best songs,according to me (for the perfect fusion of great lyrics and great rock), "The Punk And The Godfather" and "5 : 15".

Great album, a fantastic picture of early ' 60 youth,but sure not the Who' s masterpiece.

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

I don't understand why Quadrophenia is not the household name that Tommy -- I think Quad is The Who's finest achievement, and it should be regarded as highly as Abbey Road, Beggar's Banquet and Sgt. Pepper. Quad is majestic without being pretentious and bombastic and it has a nice balance between heavy, hard themes and moments of light-hearted levity and absurdity. It's a gorgeous sweeping epic -- but for some reason it's not universally lauded. Perhaps it suffers because it was Pete's 'second rock opera' -- but Quad is better than Tommy in almost every conceivable way. For one thing, while Tommy was based on a ridiculous, fantasy world theme, Quad tells the story of redemption and renewal through a very well-grounded, concrete scenario: the Mod culture of England in 1965. And in this manner, Pete deftly unites the world of the 'early young Who' with their more ambitious 1970s incarnation. This is truly a masterpiece.

Rich Bunnell <> (02.03.2001)

Yowsers, this album is fantastic. What, was anyone really expecting me to subscribe to the "this album sucks because it's pretentious and bombastic" newsletter after publicly proclaiming my love for Dark Side Of The Moon and OK Computer? Not that this sounds anything at all like either of those albums, I was just trying to come up with a couple of really good overblown albums that bitter people like to call "overrated." The music on this album, bombastic or not, is just beautifully-written and arranged, the concept is much cooler and more universal (if you look past the whole Mod-rocker conflict thing) than Tommy's, and once again I've set up an ascending tricolon without coming up with a really big third point to finish my sentence so I'll just stop it here. I really love nearly every song on the album - if there's a single point I can call weak, it's that two-song stretch after the magnificent "5:15" where the songs aren't bad, but a bit too similar in their overblown-ness to have been placed right next to one another on the same album. This fallacy is more than made up for by the heaps and loads of pure musical genius to be found in every other song on the album, from the shifting, flowing melodies of "Dr. Jimmy" and "I've Had Enough" to the concise jangling of "I'm One" to the anthemic arena-rock of "The Punk And The Godfather." The two extended instrumentals are beautifully and perfectly arranged, and "The Real Me" and "Love Reign O'er Me" both do spectacular jobs of opening and closing the album respectively. And concept and melodic perfection aside, the album is simply a blast to listen to. Some people choose to be ambivalent towards the album and say that they're impressed by the music but don't enjoy it (Brian Burks in particular), but I have to say that I find nearly every second of the album to be completely entertaining. I of course give it a 10/10, even though I already gave Tommy and Leeds 10' let's call this a really really big 10. As in, "10's don't get much higher than this, baby." The band finally began to slip after this album, but after a career peak like this, it's forgivable.

Nathan Walters <> (30.03.2001)

When I read your review, I was skeptical (to say the least). I thought it was just the writings of someone who wanted to give the Who a 10 on a studio album, but was emotionally vested in his clever downgrading of Tommy. On the other hand, it *was* the only Who's 10-in-the-studio, so I decided to go out and get it (I liked the group, but had none of their material, though I'd heard Tommy, and even seen it in performance). I listened to it...and wondered why your site was the first place I'd heard about this masterpiece.

(Then I figured it out: there's no "Album-Wide Hook" like Tommy's heartwrenching "See me...") Needless to say, I agree fully with the fifteen.

John Drayton <> (16.04.2001)

Hey there, I've just found your site and (as per my usual habit) checked out your views on this masterpiece to decide whether I'd read any further. Undoubtedly the band's masterpiece.

A couple of points that don't often get mentioned: the real pathos in Keith's vocals during "Bellboy" ("Some nights I still sleep on the beach ...") are heartbreaking. When I first bought this, he was still alive and the tragedy of his life was not publicly apparent. With the benefit of hindsight his singing on this track would have told us all we needed to know.

Second, I don't believe the character drowns himself literally at the end. This was the overly literal interpretation used in the (silly) film version. "Drowning" is a common metaphor for immersion in the god-thing, used commonly in many mystical traditions. I believe we are left with an image of him on the rock as a religious statement from Pete: "Jimmy's" ego has been swamped by a realisation of universal love, and he sits there basking.

That's my reading of the ending, anyway: an optimistic piece and, although I am a sceptic, a great religious work of art (one of the few from the last century).

Needless to say, I'll be reading your other reviews with keen interest.

Matt Reyes <> (16.06.2001)

Probably the best Who album and one of my top ten albums ever. Also I love this album not only because of the great songs but because I love reprises so much, how weird is that? The more reprises the better I say, the only song that could be called filler is 'Helpless Dancer', but the nice bit of 'the Kids are alright' is cool at the end. Perfect score from me.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (20.09.2001)

How can a man in conscience say that Quadrophenia is boring, I wonder. It's like saying that all books are dull because you have to sit and read them. I mean, damn, surely Quad is not the rocking heavy metal and you won't jump all over the room imitating Pete's trademark - 'smashing guitars (tm)' BUT... Isn't it wonderful to sit in your armchair and dig this heaven-like album? I must admit Quad changed my way of thinking a bit - I even wanted to become a mod (but remembering what happened to Jimmy I didn't (man, drowning in cool water? I hate cold water!!! Brrrr.....)). And what about these deep tunes? I mean really deep, so deep that it will take you about a week to remember all of them. Just imagine it - one week of full happiness, isn't it a meaning of life? No? I'm a dumbass then...

Ok, enough of praising - it's time for hard bashing. So what does this goddamned Townshend think of himself?!!! Who gave him right to compose a 81 minute rock opera? Why these sea noises (I'm not against all these atmospheric noises at all, but making a 2 minute track out of noises is trying my patience too much)? A CD reissue could fit on one disc! Isn't this a moneymaking? And yesterday I learnt that official Tommy came out on 2 discs, too! Bastards! (backing vocals: 'Bastards, bastards!!!')...

But to the topic... I could count myself a genius if I could write something like 'The real me'. And these lyrics? Your mother turns away from you because you have a awkward age, your girl ignores you because you're 'out of fashion' and local doctor treats you like an ordianary empty minded teenager who uses his head only in order to eat food and etc. etc. Didn't it happen to you? Well, I suffered from some of these problems and such open song as 'Real me' is a hit bellow the belt. 'Cut my hair' follows the same concept to carry it further - should you change yourself to fit the common people? Who cares, anyway? And what I like about the story is that it's not pretentious anymore - Jimmy doesn't fight with other people calls the God or casts magic spells, he just tries to change himself a bit to fit the society (however, he fails). And what about such unexpected ending? Is it a happy end? Well, you might call it so, since Jimmy found that it's love and simple truth that reigns over the world but, on the other hand, he's trapped on a rock island! So you have to die to become happy? That's scary...

Ok, if you don't care about storyline at all, then dig the music. 'Real me', 'Cut my hair', '5:15', 'Bell boy', 'Doctor Jimmy' (with some nasty lyrics, btw) and 'Love reign over me' reign over me. And they will charm you too, just don't read Prindle's and Burks' reviews and everything will be okay. 'I've had enough' is terrific, too ('I've had enough of DYIIIIIIIIIAA!!!!'). Ah, words fail - that's a good sign. Full score from me.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

Again, the concept is awful. NO !!! No, no, no... this time, the concept is actually interesting and pretty philosophic, so, it isn't the concept that I don't like. It's the sound. I personally love to hear simple, basic instruments in rock songs, and somehow synths and trumpets aren't just what the doctor ordered. Since George wrote an extremely extensive review here, I wont waste my breath to try and catch on with him. I'll just say that I love 'I'm One', 'Drowned', '5:15', 'The Real Me' and 'Love Reign O'r Me', but the other stuff isn't as strong. 'The Punk And The Godfather', 'Bell Boy', 'Is It Me?', 'Helpless Dancer', 'The Rock' and the title track, while being grandiose, they don't manage to repeat the excitement of those five songs. Of course, they're much better than the non-impressive songs on, say, Who's Next. When you strip those eleven songs, you still have six more. Naturally, those six are fillers (but decent enough fillers). This ain't no Physical Graffiti, I tell ye. All of those songs are, if not excellent, then pretty good. This is a 9.

Ben Kramer <> (07.11.2001)

Nick Karn is right, word don't even begin to explain how phenominal this album is. At this current time, Quadrophenia, is probably my favorite album around (I only have 104 albums in my possession so that may change). Definately, the best part of this album would be side four with 'Dr. Jimmy', 'The Rock' and possibly Pete's best song ever, 'Love Reign O'er Me'. The feeling expressed isn't matched on any other album ever released. I don't know why this album isn't worshipped the way Tommy is (maybe it was the Dark Side overshadowing this gem). It isn't the kind of album that you can listen to everyday unlike Who's Next or The Who Sell Out. Most people complain about the filler on the album. What filler? I can only think of one song that could be considered filler, and that would be 'Is It In My Head', which by the way is a fine song. Everything else is nothing short of brilliant. 'Quadrophenia' is Pete's best instrumental, '5:15' is a great opener for side 3, 'The Real Me' is a great rocker...This list can go on and on.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

wow this is an amazing album. i really can't see much better prog albums being made. oh, yes, this does stand in the prog camp, bairly, because of it's complexity. but the complete utter beauty of the whole thing destroys any prog competitors (though gabriel genesis has some great stuff). i can't even imagine a more beautiful song then "love reign over me" just that title makes tears come to my eyes, it's like my life saying. not a single second of filler to these ears. an easy ten. the who went down hill, but didn't really get horrible until it's hard.

Anthony Stewart <> (29.05.2002)

Call Me a chump, call me whatever you like, I just never dug the Who. Sure they have Popjewels like "The Kid's Are All Right" and "Substitute' and "Join Together". I just can't tolerate Townshend's overeager thinking too much; trying to squeeze everything into a Rock Opera. Daltrey is a moron who happens to have a good voice but was always ill at ease from day one when Pete and Keith smashed their instruments. He has that 'Siegfried' quality about him. Pete probably has a crush on him. So Quadrophenia did not take me by surprise at all. I think it is infinitely better than Tommy. The 'Leitmotifs' are beautiful, although a bit too repetitious. But you can not say anything against "5:15", "The Real Me", "Doctor Jimmy" and "Love Reign O'er Me". The songs are all wonderful; it is just this continous tale that Pete is fascinated with. And here we are told the tale of the Mods. I don't know...Got the disc, don't listen to it too much and the Who should have done like Led Zep and folded with grace when Moon kicked the bucket. I give this a 7.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (23.04.2003)

Hi, George! It was really nice to read your wonderful review of Quadrophenia. You've done a great job here.

Sometimes I think that Quadrophenia is the best album ever, sometimes I think that Tommy is. But anyway it is a real masterpiece.

It was my third album of the WHO and it was rather difficult to buy it. I'm living in Minsk so it is nearly impossible to find here something by such group as the WHO. But I HAVE GOT IT!!!

So we can find here 17 songs and with not much of exaggeration it should be mentioned that all of them are really amazing. It is practically impossible to distinguish the best song …but…there is 'LOVE REIGN O'ER ME' here..hmm… I love this song! You know when I hear those cries of Pete I can't stop crying myself. But I'd mark all the songs with red colour here.

So, what about the fillers? There are no any. Both 'IS IT IN MY HEAD?' and 'I'VE HAD ENOUGH' are very good songs. I love 'DIRTY JOBS'! ( when I hear "My karma tells me You've been screwed again" I feel like the happiest man in the whole world!). By the way, Pete Townshend has said that he likes to sing this song on the stage more than others.

But you've done a great job here- I can repeat it again and again. Thank you very much!

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.04.2003)

I feel, I dunno... BAD, or something for not liking this album. Well, for not worshipping it, I guess, the way so many people do. Is it just an angsty guy thing? I do like it, and I agree with one of the previous reviews that talked about the poignancy of Keith dropping character in 'Bell Boy', but... I just don't know what it is. I almost feel with this album, more than Tommy, that the music doesn't fit the story. You're sort of listening to it and wanting to jump up and shout "rock!" when actually the subject matter is very serious and depressing. It's about having nowhere to turn. The working world isn't an option, and the only thing Jimmy's ever believed in, the Mod culture (and it's music), has proved itself to be shallow, judgemental, and unfulfilling. So what does that leave? You either have to sell out or commit suicide.

I really do like the concept, but like I said, the mood of the music seems to be much more uplifting than the tone of the narrative, and that confuses me. Pete wasn't Lou Reed, though. He couldn't have just written this album with a sustained depression throughout the whole thing. But the lack of truly depressing material makes me reticant to worship this album. I don't think it's anywhere NEAR the "perfect album" that you've touted it as. For one thing, the synthesizers sometimes remind me of the rearrangements on the Tommy film soundtrack. I like a lot of what Pete did with synthesizers on Who's Next but they sometimes seem to overload things here. And, as much as we can babbe on about how truly heartfelt 'Love Reign O'er Me' is, I just can't make myself love it. Hearfelt or not, grandious statements like that make me nervous. Maybe I'd feel better about it if it were sung by it's writer. It seems cheap to me to have someone else, regardless of singing talent, belt out this supposedly deeply personal, bombastically emotive ballad. It wouldn't have worked with the album to have had Pete sing it, but as an individual song, that aspect does cheapen it's emotional sting. But I've admittedly been over-critical. I do like this album, honestly. It just bothers me that it's one of those albums where people feel inclined to say how much it meant to them growing up because of their individual experience that was so similar to Jimmy's blah blah blah and subsequently insist that it's the greatest album ever. In conclusion, I'm going to take the haloed middle ground on this one. I like the concept, I connect with some of it's issues, I like the black and white photos and the liner notes, but, ultimately, I can't ignore the fact that some of the songs, notably 'Is it In My Head?' simply aren't that good individually. It is a good album, though, maybe even a great album, but not The Who's best, and certainly not "the best album of all time".

Glenn Wiener <> (13.05.2003)

Can't disagree with you here. I prefer Who's Next but this one is pretty darn close. Love the bass riffs on 'The Real Me' and the super arrangements of 'Dr Jimmy'. Sleeper songs like 'Helpless Dancer' and 'The Dirty Jobs' are quite clever. The instrumental interpretations of 'Quadrophenia' and 'The Rock' are quite stunning as well. Eclectic guitar solos and a good synthesizer presence. Truly a keeper on all accounts.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (14.11.2003)

Masterpiece! Kinda hard to swallow on first listen, yes. But anyway, if anyone thinks it's too overblown or some shit, listen to side one and side four, and you have a hell of a single disc. As it is, it's great! Side one is as close to perfection as you can possibly get. Title track and 'The Punk And The Godfather" are Godlike. Side two is slightly inferior, with the less surprising 'Dirty Jobs' and 'Is It In My Head' (sucky chorus to an otherwise pretty song). But 'I've Had Enough' is very good! Side three is... dang monotonous! There's '5:15', a great hard rocker. Then there's 'Sea And Sand', a... great hard rocker. Then, there's 'Drowned', a... a... great hard rocker. And finally 'Bell Boy', a... a, er... great hard rocker! See what they mean with "monotony", George? It's all in side three! I like '5:15', though, and 'Bell Boy' is nice. I erased 'Drowned' from my CD-R copy, though. Bleh. Then side four is... brilliant again! 'Dr Jimmy' and 'Love Reign O'er Me' are indisputable classics. I love the arrangements this album gets. It's loud, big, pompous, but it still manages to touch us deeply. With this stuff, Pete justifies why he's held as a genius. A 15.

Laureano López <> (14.07.2004)

I think The Who are a strange band, and specifically Quadrophenia is a very strange album. Very rare at least, but not in the obvious sense (it’s evident that an album like that doesn’t appear every weekend); I mean it’s rare as an artistic phenomenon.

There exists a certain rule in the universe that prays: “you cannot accomplish opposite goals at the same time”. Every time you experiment, mix different things and see the results and fascinate with the possibilities, you risk consistency. It’s natural: consistency is the consequence of following some definitions, and experimentation is in itself the deliberate destruction of previous definitions; you need to recompose the disaster you made while twisting and turning everything in order to create a new form. Then, when you’ve made that, the result is obviously less impressive than before, simply because it sounds “ok-er”. In the same way, when you put your effort into developing an idea, and enrich the contents with complex instrumentation trying to represent it, the product may be a little less immediate, and therefore less entertaining! , than if you follow traditions or first impressions. Again, if you work on a genre searching for new forms, new potentials, your music’s not likely to have the feel of the genre roots.

The Who break these rules up. First of all, they have a rare formation as an ensemble: the usual thing in rock (and most popular music) is to drive the rhythm from the drums and the bass (the rhythmical base), and let the guitar make riffs and solos. Most of the time, The Who reverses this: drums and bass play freely while the guitar (or the synths) marks the rhythm. I know this is a usual practice in progressive rock, but the really strange thing is how these guys can be at the same time unusual and rootsy. I cannot imagine another example. I really like The Beatles, but I think it’s obvious that as they pushed things forward, their music increasingly lost the original feel of rock and roll.  It’s music, and beautiful music, but it’s not the country-blues remix anymore: it’s pop, as classificators call it.

Sell Out may be The Who’s most experimental work, but I really think they reinvented rock music between Next and Quadrophenia. They have a sound I’ve not heard anywhere else (sad thing is that this phase of the band hasn’t been really very influential), they put horns here and violins there and a kettle noise a little farther, and in spite of all this, I listen to Quadrophenia and cannot help jumping across the living-room. I mean, 'I'm One' is much closer to AC/DC or even Elvis Presley (I know the comparison seems rough) than 'For the Benefit of Mr. Kite'. Really. It’s hard rock. It’s as entertaining as Michael Jackson (or even more), and as magnificent as The Ring of the Nibelung. It’s as metaphoric as direct. I cannot see a single fracture in the work, and I don’t mean it’s absolutely flawless: I mean it achieves the impossible combination! of an extremely consistent creation around a central theme masterfully treated, with a wide and complex instrumentation, and the sound and feel of rock and roll. You listen to it and don’t perceive the strange sensation that most prog rock provokes; it’s “normal”, and… it’s not.

So I think Quadrophenia may well be the best rock album in history. The rest of The Who’s repertoire may not qualify them as the greatest rock band, and they may not have had the enormous impact and continuous evolution of, for instance, The Beatles, but this brief period in their career confirm them as the most amazing result of the whole thing that’s called rock. Many people in different genres have tried to leave the origins without losing them, and after some attempts have decided it’s impossible, opting for one or the other thing, or simply produced some music that’s between both aims but doesn’t fully reaches any one. This band and this album are a quite extraordinary exception, and this and only this constitutes a gigantic invention in the annals of rock music.

Michael Bleicher <> (01.07.2005)

Hmmm...I think a 10 is a bit much for this record. This to me seems to be the definition of "flawed masterwork". The concept was ambitious without being too bombastic (for Pete, who was always at least a little bit bombastic!) and is a more relatable/accessable one than that of Tommy or Lifehouse. And the good moments on here are beautiful, powerful, brilliant: "The Real Me" cooks with great Who ferocity (love Entwistle's bass), "Cut My Hair" and "The Punk and the Godfather" are both very well done songs, and "I'm One" is very poignant. So there already, basically all of Side 1 is really good, earns a high grade. The problem is that, after that, there's a huge dropoff in quality. I don't think Quad really needed to be as long as it is. Tommy fits properly onto one CD these days, and that's about the right length. Quad, however, clocks in at about 85 minutes and it just feels too long. After "I'm One", the whole thing starts to drag. I can barely distinguish one song on Side 2 or Side 3 from another—"Helpless Dancer", "The Dirty Jobs", "Is It In My Head", "Drowned", "Bell Boy"—they all sound the same, and none are particularly memorable. They all deal with fairly similar themes (odd that, considering Jimmy is a tetraphenic, the subject matter seems so repetitive after a while), they're all played at similar tempos, they all go on too long, and they all have similar chord progressions (I have the tab). The highs are still high. The passion in "Had Enough" (love the contrasting sections), "5:15", "Sea and Sand" (like John McFerrin, this is my "dark horse" favorite; I love the line 'come sleep on the beach' for some reason, plus all the stuff about Jimmy at the dance), "Dr. Jimmy" (Aggression with a capital "a") and the shivers-down-the-spine climax of "Love Reign O'er Me" are all brilliant and justify a high rating. This music moves and affects me; it's the Who at their best. The problem, then, comes with all the stuff in the middle. There's too much repetition and the over-produced, synth heavy sound does little to help these numbers. Plus, the Who as an instrumental war-horse were already passing their best days, Keith was on his way downhill. I would gladly trade something like "Helpless Dancer" for something like "We Close Tonight" off Odds and Sods, adding a touch of humour and a slightly different sound into the middle of the album. Those middle songs just aren't affecting. They're not angry or vulnerable or romantic in a unique way: the great songs on the album present those emotions better.

The production, as I said, compounds the problem. THE teenage angst album shouldn't have such overblown, murky, fake-strings-and-overdubs production. It should sound like...well, like the early Who. And that's a nagging feeling I have about this album, especially when that snippet of "The Kids Are All Right": that almost all this stuff was said, and said better, by the Who themselves back in 1965-66. That was what REAL angry, misunderstood London mod youths with a few quirks to them were feeling back in those days. Ironically, with just a couple of exceptions, the best songs on Quad are not specifically "teenage": "Love Reign O'er Me", the best of the lot, is very mature and complex; "The Real Me" is not specifically about adolescent insecurity, nor is "Punk and the Godfather". "I'm One" is probably the only "classic" song off the album that's specifically "teenage" in nature, and it's good, very good...but most of the other stuff...jeez, I feel like if Townshend cut out some of the filler, put in a couple of lighter tracks and just didn't spend so much TIME on the record, it'd be better. The Who were an immediate band. Who's Next was recorded in about two weeks. Live at Leeds, their best, in one night! Quadrophenia just seems overwrought to me. But it's still a fine album, and I don't mean to be bashing was my salvation during a lonely and confused Freshman year of high school. And all members of the group are in fine form; Keith, in particular, saves the album on a number of occassions with his last consistently great drumming parts.


Glenn Wiener <> (30.09.99)

The Dark Horse of Who albums. These songs incoporate all sorts of styles and seem to merely be thrown together. However, I just like almost everyone of them. Even 'Postcard' is pretty likeable with the horn section and the spunky special effects. 'Little Billy', 'Too Much Of Anything', and 'Pure And Easy' are classics in my book. Guess I just like things that are a little bit different from what is overplayed and overrated.

Jeff Blehar <> (23.02.2000)

The original was a ton o' fun, but the reissue is a disappointment. Why, when they gave us all these new tracks? 'Cause none of 'em are any good, that's why! I mean, they removed the best part of "Under My Thumb" on this remix (the bass part, which held the marimba line originally played by Brian Jones on the Stones version), and that was the only addition I would've liked! The outtakes from Tommy, Who's Next, and Quad...well I can see WHY they're outtakes. Wouldn't have missed 'em either. The version of "Mary Anne" that was the US B-side of "I Can See For Miles?" Leaden and draggy. (Ignore the liner notes here - they're in error, as they also are when they say "Now I'm A Farmer" was made in 1972; rather, it was 1969.) The studio takes on the Leeds tracks are merely historical in interest. The original tracks (especially "Glow Girl," "Long Live Rock," and "Now I'm A Farmer") are loads of fun, but too many of them are now located on other, more essential reissues (The Who Sell Out, Who's Next) in either original or improved versions (like "Pure And Easy" and the live "Naked Eye") to make this CD anything more than an investment for completists. Furthermore, where are the B-sides? The wonderful Entwistle song "When I Was A Boy?" "Waspman?" "Here For More?" Dammit, I'd rather have had those song than these outtakes. Before the reissues I'd have given this a 7/10. Now it's a 6, because most of the best stuff can (and should) be picked up elsewhere.

Bob Josef <> (11.07.2000)

I just got the CD reissue. It's worth it for the Lifehouse stuff, period. "Time Is Passing" is one incredible song! Just beautiful, even if Lambert did produce it and the recording quality is subpar. Same with the first version of "Love Ain't for Keeping" -- although is not as intimate or harmonious as the Who's Next version, the rocked up arrangement is just as hard hitting in its own way.(I think this was closer to the way they played it live). And most of the Glyn Johns produced tracks -- "Put the Money Down," "Too much of Anything" and especially "Pure and Easy" -- are just awesome. The one exception is "Long Live Rock," which is amusing at first hearing but just gets tiring after a while -- most radio programmers missed the irony in the lyrics.

I agree with Jeff when he says that the compilers messed up on some of the recording dates. I believe that "Naked Eye," "Now I'm a Farmer," "Water" and "Postcard" date from the 1970 sessions that also produced "The Seeker," "Here for More," and "I Don't Even Know Myself,"," Which makes sense - -the production quality drops significantly from the Lifehouse and Quadrophenia tracks, so it doesn't stand to reason that that they would have been recorded in 1973. But, aside from the silly "Now I'm a Farmer," these are great songs, and show rapid progress in Pete's songwriting maturation post-Tommy.

As for the early stuff, the Lambert/Talmy/Meaden curse strikes. I agree, the peaks are the hilarious "Little Billy," the spiritual "Faith" and the interesting "Glow Girl." But the rest were not necessary. I never really cared for The Who's covers, anyway, even on Leeds, and these studio prototypes don't change my opinion.

Fredrik Tydal <> (27.07.2000)

Where's the bizarre crap? John's "Postcard" is great! "Those self-biographical lyrics combined with the wacky brass parts and sound effects - pure Entwistle, I love it. Might as well have been called "The Ballad Of John And The Who". The Quadrophenia outtake "We Close Tonight" is interesting (who would have guessed that Jimmy had such sophisticated music taste?) and "Little Billy" is just hilarious, with a great refrain. "I'm The Face" is so blatantly commercial that it's ridiculous, just an obvious attempt to cash in on the mod movement. I'm glad it flopped back then. The studio versions of live favourites is interesting, to say the least. "Summertime Blues" holds up quite well on it's own, while "Young Man Blues" almost seems pathetic compared to the vigorous live versions. "Under My Thumb" is lacking that distictive bass-line, which made the original memorable in the first place. And why couldn't they have squeezed in its flip-side "The Last Time"? Ah, well; the Lifehouse outtakes is all you could hope for. "Pure And Easy" is a tad pretentious, but wonderful tracks like "Time Is Passing" and "Faith In Something Bigger" makes up for it more than well. All in all, this is in my opinion probably one of the best outtakes albums there is.

mjcarney <> (17.08.2000)

First of all I am reviewing the remastered disc for this album.  All I can say is that it is quite enjoyable.  It showcases all sides of the who, from their early mod sound, to their pyschedelic sound, to their humourish/operatic sound, to their hard rock legends sound, to thier overblown sound of the mid 70's.  All sides of this band are present on one great disc.  But, still it cannot help but be weaker than their classics.  It opens with their great historical first single, and mod ripoff "I'm the Face" which is a good piece of forgotten British invasion music.  "Leaving Here" would have been a great cover song to add to either of their first albums, and it is a hit. "Under My Thumb" is definately interesting although I really would've prefered to hear the Who's version of "The Last Time" both should be here, but instead yet another outtake of "Mary Anne..." which is interesting but nothing special, and I've simply heard too much "Summertime Blues" by this point which pales considereably to the live version, although I would have bitched if that wasn't on here I'm sure so its a minor argument.  "Too Much of Anything" is a great lost who gem.  It would have fit well on Who's Next, and is a shame it was passed for something like the catchy "Going Mobile".  Entwistle's "Postcard" is also a highlight here, and that coupled with "Long Live Rock" are great rock n roll anthems--one about a member of a band, and the other about Rock itself.  But the greatest tracks on here are the humourous "Little Billy" and "Faith In Something Bigger".  "Little Billy" makes the album worthwhile alone, the ha ha ha ha bits crack me up, and its funny that Pete would write a song so condemming smoking when he still smoked heavily at this time.  Still a major highlight, it would've fit great on Who Sell Out.  "Faith In Something Bigger" is also hilarious, this is probably due to Pete's hilarious liner note on how he reached an all time low here, but their are some intricate harmonies, and if it wasn't for the stupid chorus it might have been a great song.  But I can't help but laugh when I here that song--although i can't listen to it too often either.  "Naked Eye" and "Cousin Kevin Model Child" fill up all the highlights of this disc, which really make it enjoyable.  However, horrendous songs like "Now I'm a Farmer"-- which features possibly the dumbest chorus they ever wrote--it should have never seen the light of day.  "Water" which is just a stupid song--although I much prefer the studio over the live versions that I've heard for some reason. There are a bunch of repeats (considering their other remastered additions, although all these songs were new originally, nonetheless they should have been switched upon the rerelease) and some "eh" songs, bring the rating down.  What can you expect from a B Sides collection though?  Still I much prefer this to thier regular albums post Quadrophenia.  I would rate it a 6/10.  Definately worth checking out, but be prepared it's no classic. 

Jeff Melchior <> (27.11.2000)

Well, I guess I like this album a lot more than you do, George. In fact, I'd dare say it's among my favorite Who albums at the moment. That could be, however, because I've only heard the version with the new tracks and the sheer number of songs masks the weaker numbers. Personally, I love 'Pure and Easy' and 'Too Much of Anything', but I've always liked The Who's "universalist" anthems. I think I actually like the version of 'Mary-Anne With The Shake Hand' better than the Sell Out version. 'We Close Tonight' is simply one of my favorite Who songs ever. How did this song remain in the vaults for 25 years? It really does belong on Quadrophenia - too bad that fact wasn't considered in the reissue process.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (04.01.2001)

I think "Long Live Rock" was originally given to the movie That'll Be The Day (1974). The story is set to the 50s and the cast included David Essex, Ringo Starr, Billy Fury and Keith Moon. I believe Billy Fury sang the song in the movie and also released it as a single. That can explain why such a good song wasn't released on any "official" Who releases at the time. One questions from a Stones/Who fan: was the "bass" version of "Under My Thumb" on the original Odds & Sods or just the single?

Brian Brennan <> (05.01.2001)

"Naked Eye" contains one of my my favorite Who lyrical stanzas because it captures all the dashed hopes of 60's activism (whether they wanted to admit it to themselves or not) with Pete's pragmatic, but ever so nihilistic worldview:

"We're not pawns in any game, we're not tools of bigger men,

There's only one who can really move us all, it all looks fine to the naked eye,

But it don't really happen that way at all.

Don't happen that way at all........"

Palash Ghosh <> (08.03.2001)

I just don't know what to make of Odds And Sods. If you record songs that you deem unworthy for release, why put them out commercially at all? And if the stuff is good, why not release it in the first place? Who the hell was maintaining 'quality control' anyway??

I really love 'Little Billy' (which might've made a perfect addition to Who Sell Out although I think it was recorded too late for that); and 'Post Card' (John's sweeping brass rules!).

'Long Live Rock' is the cream of the crop here. What a terrific and rousing anthem!

Based on the outtakes for the aborted Lifehouse project, I'm GLAD that thing never got off the ground. 'Faith In Something Bigger' just doesn't sound like The Who to me.(For the record, 'FISB' never was intended for Lifehouse; it dates back to 1968 - G.S.).

'Naked Eye' has some great moments in it, but taken as a whole, it's rather disappointing. 'Pure And Easy' is another lame effort. 'Put The Money Down' and 'Too Much Of Anything' and 'Now I'm A Farmer' are just more spam.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (30.01.2002)

If you have a booklet to Quadrophenia, you can find an interesting fact - Pete recorded more than 50 songs for the project and only the best cream was released. The question is where are the rest tracks? Odds and sods contain one outtake - 'We close tonight' but others, I suppose, are still covering dust in studios... That's a pity - they had to make Odds and sods a double album. Anyway, we have what we have - 23 previously unreleased tracks and they can be easily divided in two parts: early Who (with Roger's voice so whiny) and post Tommy Who. The first part can be interesting only from historical point of view - not too many people need these songs (although, it's so cool to hear Roger's voice growing with time). The main part starts with 'Love ain't for keeping', which puts the original to shame (and Pete's vocal fits this time much better than Daltrey's). 'Pure and easy' is somewhat overblown a bit but I still like the middle part of it. 'Long live rock' was supposed to be a title track to a project, which later was transformed into Quad, and I'm quite surprised that this awesome anthem wasn't included on any album. Plus, there's a fine version of 'Water' and a classic in Who's catalog - yes, yes, yes I'm talking about 'Naked eye'. Overall, that's a nearly great album, no missfires (even 'Postcard' sounds fine - nice hornsvand fast rhythm, what else do you need?) but not too many awesome songs so I give it a 12. A must album for fans, of course, buy the reissue today.

PS. Btw, did you notice that when John sings about Australia in 'Postcard' there are the same bubble noises as in Kinks' 'Australia'? Amazing.

Tony Souza <> (14.07.2003)

I remember buying this record way back when with just the ten songs on it (I didn't realize that this was a top twenty seller in the U.S. at the time it first came out. Not bad for an outtakes album) and loving it. Now that they have added all the bonus tracks I love it even more. This is the way that I love the Who: songs that are creative, catchy, rocking and aren't bloated with excess keyboards and orchestration. Sure, some of these songs ('Summertime Blues', 'Young Man Blues', 'Water', etc.) don't hold up to their live counterparts, but, IMHO, pretty much their whole catalogue doesn't hold up to their live counterparts. These versions, however, are enjoyable to listen to.

The version of "Leaving Here" is rawer than the version on the box set and therefore I think it's better. "Love Ain't For Keeping" far surpasses the one on Who's Next. "Too Much of Anything" is a good song, but Moon's drumming raises it up a notch. Entwhistle's "Postcard" is very un-Wholike - maybe that's why it's criticized so much - but I think it's fun and a welcome diversion from the more guitar-heavy numbers. "Naked Eye" has some of Townshend's best soloing on a non-live song. Also, the drumming on "Postcard", "Little Billy" and "Pure and Easy" pretty much dispels the notion that Moon couldn't keep time. Actually, Moon's drumming shines on this whole record.

This record is not perfect, however. Do we really need another version of "Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand"? And I got real tired of hearing "Long Live Rock" long ago.

This is a hidden treasure in the Who's catalogue.


Gustavo Rodriguez <> (12.04.99)

After this album, I stop liking the Who pretty much. And you are right, George.

This album is half good. "Slip Kid" is another standout. Too much whining and self pity.

This is still better than Who Are You.

Just the title song makes me nauseous. Ughh!

Marco Ursi <> (23.08.99)

I must disagree. When I bought this CD, I wasn't expecting much. Not many internet guru's seemed to think much of it. But as I listened through, I couldn't understand why this album got such a bad reputation. Apart from "Squeeze Box", I like every song on here; "Imagine A Man" being my favourite. "Dreaming From the Waist" sounds like classic Who (with standout bass playing from John), "Slip Kid" is a very catchy tune that should have been a hit single, "Blue, Red and Grey" is simple but pretty, and John's "Success Story" is a cool heavy metal tune where Keith and John do some of there best work. My rating-8.

Glenn Wiener <> (03.05.2000)

In between some of the mesmerizing guitar and drum choogling songs(Geez, am I mixing my CCR with the Who?! An interesting combination.), the Who contribute some excellent softer toned songs. 'Imagine A Man' is performed with utter brilliance. And 'Squeezebox' is just a fun light hearted ditty. No, this is not the best quality stuff from these guys. However, a few little changes without over relying on synthesizers and cheezy pop structures can't hurt you.

Bob Josef <> (14.07.2000)

Glyn Johns, as good as he is, can't save the band from mediocre songwriting. "Dreaning from the Waist" the BEST song? That one and "However Much I Booze" really ramble on too long and to unnecessarily, especially lyrically. That's when Pete's angst really gets overbearing. And "Blue, Red and Grey" is sort of cute, but quite eccentric -- Pete said that it was inspired by the Beach Boys' Smiley Smile, and it shows. Weird.

Still, this album is far from horrible, overall. "Imagine a Man," "How Many Friends?" and "They Are All in Love," despite rather depressing lyrics, really have gorgeous melodies and great vocals from Roger. And a big disagreement over "In a Hand and a Face" -- that riff is killer! "Success Story" reveals that John's sense of humor hasn't deserted him, nor has Pete's, thanks to "Squeeze Box" -- quite a contrast. And "Slip Kid" has fascinating lyrics -- sort of a snapshot of different heroic characters in time is my interpretation.

The stripped down sound (no synthesizers -- I wonder what got into Pete?) makes the record rather dry sounding, but good. This is what the first three albums might have sounded like if they were recorded in the mid-70's rather than the mid-60's.

mjcarney <> (17.08.2000)

Well, the Who have finally wore out everything they had here.  I am not saying that the rest of their material is horrible, but it is no longer in the same league as their earlier material--up to Who's Next.  Here is Pete Townshend's singer-songwriter Who album.  That is precisely why this album does not work.  A band with such power as the Who--Roger's tremendously powerful voice, Keith's brilliant drum bashing, and Entwistle's thunderous bass are just not suitable for Pete's mellowdramatic/toned down songs over an entire album.  There are some good songs however.  "Slip Kid" opens up the album with a great start--not quite as powerful as old, but sounds like many of the good tracks off of Quadrophenia did.  "Imagine a Man" is the one ballad here that really works.  It is weird because I could easily see like a James Taylor or someone singing this song, yet Roger does a tremendous job on it.  "The Blue Red and Grey" is also a highlight, but it is just too light to be much of a Who classic.  "However Much I Booze" would have definately fit well onto a Pete Townshend solo disc, it has a lot of promise--just has one or two extra verses, and an average bridge which doesn't fit well to the song.  Nonetheless, it is still a highlight of the disc--which should tell you something.  But to argue my point, the guitar riff here is so upbeat and enchanting and this coupled with real "downer" lyrics really make for a stark contrast which makes the song memorable (if that made any sense).  Finally, the much hated "Squeeze Box" rounds out the highlights.  Why might you ask? Well, it is catchy, fun, and somehow fits well on the disc.  The rest of the album ranges from slight to horrible.  "Dreaming From the Waist" is just too mellow for the Who on a song that probably could have been beefed up a little. "Success Story" is just one of those horrible Entwistle songs in the vein of "Silas Stingy"--sure its catchy, but the riff is so simple, and repetitive that it just gets old quick.  "They're All In Love" showcases for one of the earliest times a mismatch between Roger's voice and Pete's songs--hell, 80% of the album is that way, but it STICKS out here to me.  They are going different ways, well Pete is writing different types of songs, and it doesn't work here, and it doesn't work on the album closer "In A Hand or A Face Either"--well I don't think anything could have helped that song.  So now that I have analysed all the songs, I must point out that even the highlights have defects, there really isn't a true classic on here "Slip Kid" is the best of the lot though.  That said, I would rate this album a 5/10.  It is enjoyable, but there isn't a classic song among it making the album very inessential--for completists only.

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

Between 1967 and 1975, The Who released six consecutive very good or great albums (if you include the singles compilation Meaty Beaty) -- this is an achievement for consistency and excellence that only The Beatles could match. This record, Who by Numbers marks the last dying gasp of their supremacy -– and despite the greatness of this album, the cracks are already showing.

By Numbers is really Pete's first solo record (with Roger as his unconvincing 'puppet'). I think Pete was exhausted after Quadrophenia and decided to write songs lamenting his own personal travails -- real or imagined.

Many will disagree, but I think there are some terrific songs here, including 'Dreaming From The Waist', the beautiful ballad 'Imagine a man,' and the strangely cheery-sounding suicide note 'However much I booze.' Even John delivers a winning number in 'Success Story.'

This record should have been The Who's 'swan song' – for at this point they were standing on the precipice.

Rich Bunnell <> (22.05.2001)

I guess that this is technically the start of the decline, but only because it's weaker than Quad - then again, most albums are weaker than Quad so that's not really a fair statement. I actually really like this album - the songs are considerably more basic than they were before, but they all have expertly-written vocal melodies and hooks. I love the backing vocal effect on the chorus to "Slip Kid" - great stuff. I think that most people are unfairly ranking this album against the Who's previous work, but you can't really compare this to, say, Tommy, since they're pretty much two completely different animals. What I can say is that "Dreaming From The Waist" and "Squeeze Box" are really really freaking catchy, "Blue Red And Grey" and "Imagine A Man" are gorgeous, and "How Many Friends" and "However Much I Booze" manage to be both rollicking and intensely personal at the same time. "Success Story" isn't very good (not because of the voices, but because it just isn't very engaging), but that's about it. I guess that by this album's very "unpretentious and unspectacular" nature I can't give it more than a 8/10, but I really enjoy it almost as much as Sell Out and Who's Next.

Glenn Wiener <> (17.06.2001)

Some good softer numbers exist on here specifically with 'Blue Red and Grey' and 'Imagine A Man'. 'Squeeze Box' is a cute novelty piece. However, the number of memorable instrumental embellishments have lessened from previous releases. Truthfully I like 'However Much I Booze' as well even if Townsend’s vocals are a bit strained in spots. This is another example where it was good that Roger was the main vocalist.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (11.11.2001)

George, sorry but you didn't say a good word about 'Slip kid' at all. And to be more correct, you haven't said even a word about it! Shame on you.

Alright, let's think that the song is sooo great that words fail you.

I was rather disappointed about the fact there was no concept and the quantity of the songs was only 10 (not counting rather weak bonus), you know what I mean, right? And yet the album is good. The Who stepped into a new and sad 'we were fab' period, which is bad news but the main thing is that the band still have right to exist since Pete has enough talent to write such songs as 'Slip kid' and 'Dreaming from the waist'. Both songs are great, entertaining and memorable - classics in Who's songbook. The most strange thing is that how many really bad songs are put on here as well - 'Imagine a man' (to say that it has a melody is equal to say that Roger Daltrey was a great songwriter), 'They are in love' (seems like it was really written by Daltrey), 'However much I booze' (same chord repeated all the time can get on your nerves) and 'In a hand or a face' is absolutely dumb, too. I'm left not knowing what to think actually - by this time Pete had more than 50 unreleased original songs (some of which were very good) - why not to put them on instead?!! Yeah, and for all 'How many friends have I really got' haters out there - it was Keith's favourite song on the album: every time Pete played this song Moon was crying. Well, I don't find myself crying while listening to this song, but it's good anyway - I enjoy the piano part very much indeed. The other songs are no great shakes but comparing with dull ballads mentioned above these tracks stand out, especially 'Success story' ('I'm gonna make it far, if I smash my guitar' - humor is still here).

Overall, an essential album even for those who don't think they are Who fans... but try to get it cheap, okay? An also be prepared to be thrilled by 'Slip kid' -, IMHO, best song on here. 7/10.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

not one of their best, but i do enjoy the album immensely. it's a bit of a let down after the amazing quadrophenia, but the songs are nice, well constructed, and in some places, sometimes, quite beautiful. 'blue red and grey' comes to mind. a solid 8.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (30.08.2004)

By Numbers is just a small collection of excellent songs with “In a Hand Or a Face” being the only misfire. I once considered it the worst Who song, but now the “honour” goes to something from It's Hard. “They're All In Love”, “Imagine a Man” and “Blue, Red and Grey” are very beautiful and moving tunes. It’s nearly impossible to choose the best track on the record, as they are so equal. Sure, it’s a letdown after Quadrophenia, but it’s a letdown after Quadrophenia. I give it a good 13 on your overall scale.


pwywiesike <> (24.07.99)

Glad to see someone out here who actually appreciates this album. I'll agree not up with Quad, but definitely The Who's last great album. I'll agree, 'Love Is Coming Down' is the worst on the album, and I get too tired of 'New Song'. Moon's drumming is clearly hindered, but all the Entwistle's songs are nice, and Daltrey does one of his best jobs on vocals

Marco Ursi <> (23.08.99)

No matter how times I listen and try to enjoy this album, I can't seem to get past those annoying synths. On Who's Next and Quad, Pete used the synths to help accent the sound. Here they are overused and abused. And Keith isn't Keith anymore. He's just another drummer. Oh well, he was dying.

Daniel Madden <> (01.02.2000)

Actually, Keith died of an overdose of a drug called Heminevrin, a drug designed to curb the effects of alchoholism. It was only supposed to be administered under supervision of a doctor.

Bob Josef <> (17.07.2000)

I would rate this as #2, right behind Who's Next. A major return to form -- too bad Keith died just after this was released. Roger's voice is sounding a little ragged here, but still powerful. The synth work by Pete is also a welcome return, with the title track benefiting the most -- this really is yet another innovative use of the instrument. And huge disagreement on Entwhistle -- these are 3 great songs. I remember reading an interview where he complained about being pigeonholed as the "black humor" guy, and why shouldn't he have the right to write about other topics? A good point -- Roger especially delivers a great vocal on "Trick of the Light," and the guiatr/bass attack is awesome. "905" is really eerie, and it's John's last decent lead vocal. As for Pete, his various takes on the philosophy of making music on the other songs is a little tough for ordinary mortals to relate to on occasion, but Roger's passionate vocals convince us.

The album proves that the Who were back on track, at least in the studio. Too bad the train derailed so quickly.

mjcarney <> (17.08.2000)

Well, the synthesizer mixed with Pete's rapid hearing loss ruined the Who, and on this album it is blatantly obvious.  There are two irreplaceable songs on the disc though which I must mention before completely panning it.  "Who Are You" is definately the Who's best song since Quadrophenia, and the best song they would release post-Quad ("Emminence Front" is a close number 2).  It has everything the hard rocking mid-Who had, great synthesizers which were done well, awesome playing, and Roger's best vocal performance in years!!!  "Sister Disco" is another terrific highlight, again the synthesizers work well, and it is a strong track, albeit no classic.  The rest though is horrid.  "New Song"--who cares, and I am even more upset that I have to hear another version of this song on Pete's recent Lifehouse Elements disc (I forgot about this song and thought it was a lost classic when I bought that disc).  Terrible, Terrible, Terrible.  But it gets worse! "Guitar and Pen" "Trick of the Light" and too much Entwistle make for a horrible album.  It is a shame that Keith died right after this album, but really the Who should have disbanded after thier weak Who By Numbers.  They are just a corporate rock golliath by this point, and nothing near the same band that produced Who Sell Out, Tommy, Who's Next, and even Quadrophenia.  It's just a horrible shame.  I would give this a 4/10.  The synthesizers destroy any enjoyment of this album for me, but I was only 2 at the time of its release so I am looking at it from a different perspective.  Still though if it weren't for those 2 highlights, the Who would have been long forgotten by this point.

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

I have terribly mixed feelings about Who Are You. It's a precious 'document' because it was Keith's final recording, but the material is pretty weak overall.

The title track is an enervating Who classic and 'Had enough' is a good one, too.

But the rest of this record is either anonymous or lethargic or lame (or all three). What was Pete doing during the three-year hiatus since Who by Numbers –- self-destructing his talents?

Glenn Wiener <> (17.06.2001)

At this point the Who was slipping way past prime time status. 'Had Enough' is a nice song sung with spirit and vigor. However, there are too many synthesizers here and throughout the record in general that just over color the performance. 'Music Must Change' features a nice deep voiced vocal styling from Roger. The title track is pretty good too. But in general, this is off from their best efforts.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (05.09.2001)

It's strange how things sometimes change. In fact, I have bashing letter in archive on disc where I give this record only 10 or 11 scores and call it a 'Queen and Van Halen' parody. Man, was I wrong! Fortunately, I heard a great line in 'New song' - 'We write the same old songs with a few new lines' and, BANG!!!, something hit my poor brain. Gee, this witty phrase (guys really we scoffing at new disco and punk music) made me relisten the whole album (with bonus tracks). Actually, I read somewhere that this album (or some songs) were dedicated to all punks - Pete surely had a sense of humor left, though it was a kind of sad humor since The Who wasn't in the major league anymore. And you can tell by the quality of songs - none of them (even title track I dare to say) reaches the excellent rating (though, there're many songs of good quality) - this means none classics on here.

Anyway, 'nuff about this... Oh, wait, I just forgot to say that Who are you betrays Moon's and Pete's talents - I mean that drumming is simplified ( not bad by any means, though) and guitar sometimes is covered by too loud synth riffs. But that's the only complain about album... err, well, not the only - there's 'Love is coming down' stinker, too... I promise this was the last bad thing I said.

Firstly, I think I'm lonely at this but .... John's contributions are pretty good (especially 'Had enough' and 'Trick of the light'), even '905', though the latter has some dull moments which suck mightily (ouch! I promised not to...). And Pete is in a good form, too.

I won't be wordy and will just go on and say that title track, 'Sister disco' and 'New song' rule with their synth riffs. 'Music must change' is a great surprise - confess, you couldn't expect this song in Who's catalog, could you? And it doesn't have any drums, just a big bunch of effects (I love that sound of falling coin in the very beginning!) and Daltrey's powerful voice. Plus, I don't get why almost everyone is so biased towards 'Guitar and pen'. I mean, heck, it could be a kind of very uplifting song, were the slow middle part thrown out. And to tell you the truth, I always put this song on when I have to clean my room. It's a compliment, mind you. Moreover, I even like Roger screaming 'in the e-e-e-e-e-e-e-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-END!!!!'. As for the bonus tracks they consist of two Pete's solo songs (and to be frank, I'm not very eager to buy Empty glass after hearing title track and a live version of 'Rough boys' (from J.T.)) and three different mixes, which I prefer to originals. On 'Guitar and pen' there's a more sharp guitàr and vocal, 'Love is coming down' has different brass section and title track is different, too (and not only because of lost verse).

Overall, that could be a great album if there were just two or three songs more (good ones, of course) but, alas, were are left with only 9 original compositions so the rating will be 13/15.

Billy Williams <> (09.01.2002)

This is average, at best, if you ask me. It starts off with a high note with the cynical "New Song." The title track is, obviously, one the Who's best recordings ever. But that, unfortunately, is it. Entwistle's tracks are OK, but nothing special. "Sister Disco" and "Music Must Change" are fine, but I was disappointed when I compared them to the awesome live versions off the Maximum R&B dvd. As for "Guitar and Pen" and "Love Is Coming Down," these two are absolutely TERRIBLE. When these two tracks roll around, I am automatically compelled to hit the "Skip" button on my CD player. The bonus tracks: whatever. Who Are You is quite mediocre and is my least favorite Who album. I'd give this a 5.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

yes! i love this album!!! it was my third who album i got, and i loved it immediately. this is solo stuff later, but only for awhile). i love all the songs, and it's very creative and the band is branching out. if keith moon wouldn't have died and crushed pete's (and the band's) spirits, who knows how high they could have went? oh well. a ten, easily for me.

Tony Souza <> (14.07.2003)

Well, I don't despise this album but I do think it's the weakest of all their albums with Moon.

I wanted to like this and I did at first, but upon repeated listens I started to like it less and less. The problem I have with this record begins with the way Daltry sings most of these songs. It's in a more neo-theatrical style instead of the more rock-oriented style on past albums. Which makes sense because he was getting involved in movies, theater and whatnot. But I still find this singing style fucking annoying don't like it. "New Song", "Guitar and Pen" and "Music Must Change" all show this style at it's worst. Also, Townshend's guitar tone has a brittle sound to it. The full-bodied roar of the past has been diminished so some songs lack power.

The other thing is that in the three years since The Who By Numbers, Townshend was only able to come up with six new songs for this album (Entwhistle wrote the other three). Even in the context of those times, that's not very much, so it shows me that The Who were beginning to become much less of a priority for him. Or maybe he was getting tired of being in the Who. Or whatever.

I think it's also telling that "Who Are You" is not only the best song on here (though I've grown tired of hearing that one over the years), but it's the best song by a wide margin. Even the songs I like on here - "I've Had Enough", Trick of the Light", "905" - pale in comparison. There hasn't been this wide a discrepancy between the classics and lesser numbers in the past.

The Who tried to make an album on par with the others, but to me they came up a little short.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (30.08.2004)

Well, this album certainly differs from the last one. Both Pete and John play synthesizers and so does the guest Rod Argent. It seems like the band decided to change its direction. But I really don’t mind as the songs are of top quality. As usual. “Sister Disco”, “Music Must Change” (a jazzy tune – what a surprise) and the title cut are my favourites. The material seems more serious than on the previous record, but it doesn’t mean that I like it more. Another 13.


Jeff Blehar <> (27.02.2000)

This gets a 4 out of 10. If you consider yourself to be a hardcore fan of The Who, then please go ahead and add 6 points to that rating and write me off as an idiot. For the serious fan, The Kids Are Alright is utterly indispensable, a collection of live Who performances spanning 1965 to 1978, including two cuts from Keith's last concert.

For everyone else, though, there's nothing here that a trusty copy of Live At Leeds won't supplant any day. The version of "Happy Jack" on here was actually taken from that concert, and the version of "A Quick One, While He's Away" performed at The Rolling Stones' Rock And Roll Circus in 1968 is inferior to the Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B hybrid or the Leeds attempt. The performances of "I Can't Explain," "My Generation," and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" are really only historical in interest, and the Woodstock Tommy material, while powerful, cannot alone justify dropping $12.00.

Even more troublesom is the CD transfer of The Kids Are Alright from the original vinyl. Released as a double LP, they hacked off the "Join Together/Road Runner/My Generation" medley to cram it onto on CD. This is bad enough, but there is more. This is the only album, along with My Generation, that has yet to be remastered and reissued, and it doesn't look as it will be, so the sound quality is noticeably (very noticeably) inferior to the other CDs. Also, "I Can See For Miles," originally performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with new vocals (it could never be performed completely live because it used two guitars), has been replaced with the regular studio version, a bit of carelessness that really pisses me of. There are almost no alternate versions of this song - maybe The Who's best - available, and now there's one less. The recording details present on the original album (such important information as when and where the performance was recorded) have been omitted from the CD, along with the excellent and thorough liner notes, so you're left guessing by the general style of the playing what era the song is from. For the more experience Who fanatics among us, this isn't so hard - 1969 vintage Who does sound different from 1971 or 1976 vintage Who - but for most people it will just be frustrating. One final complaint. The live performance of "Baba O'Riley" taken from Moon's last performance is actually disturbing in its sloppiness. Gone is the drumming dexterity that this song always showcased, replaced by a leaden 4/4 THUD-THUD. It's quite saddening to hear Moon drumming this shabbily; the end was certainly near.

Bob Josef <> (18.07.2000)

A fun collection, in its original LP form. Although I like the "Join Together" medley, it's hot Live Who, but the first part does NOT bear any lyrical or musical resemblance to the great "Join Together" studio single. An annoying nitpick for me!

By the way, a correction: nothing is repeated in its previous studio form. " I Can See for Miles," "Happy Jack," "Magic Bus" and "My Generation" are actually rerecorded for the band to mime or sing live to on TV shows. And "Long Live Rock" is an alternate mix from the Odds and Sods version. Not that that all matters -- the differences between these versions and the original are indeed minor. And I don't think "My Wife" is so bad here, either. The album as a whole, though, is a lot more amusing if you've seen the film.

Ben Greenstein <> (15.12.2000)

Funny - I think that "My Wife" is one of the better performances on here. That's just me, though - the rest of these songs are all classics, even if the recording quality leaves a little to be desired sometimes. I don't know what score I'd give this, because it's kind of unessescary in the big picture..... a high seven, maybe.

Jeff Melchior <> (11.01.2001)

It sounds odd, but I resisted doing a review of The Kids Are Alright simply because I couldn't resist telling a personal story relating to my fondness for it. But what the heck - the worst George can do is edit it or not print it at all...

My comments in the certified commentators section says something about my fascination with rock starting with Pink Floyd at about the age of 16. That's partly true, but as I look further back I realized it started much earlier - at the age of six. That's when my mom and dad took me to see some piece of Disney fare at the movies - what did one of the preceding trailers just happen to be? Why, none other than one for The Kids Are Alright.

I remember my parents grumbling about the punks on the screen smashing their guitars and making a lot of racket. Myself, I was scared, yet strangely enthralled.

Listening to the soundtrack 21 years later, I'm still enthralled, and maybe even still a little scared. Although as a compilation it's wildly uneven, it's worth the money for the versions of 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Won't Get Fooled Again' alone. As much as I don't agree with the nay-sayers who condemn The Who for not packing it in after Keith's death, that final performance of Fooled would have been one heck of an adieu.

The varying sound quality bothered me at first, but in light of the well-recorded Woodstock and late-period concert material, I was able to forgive the muddiness of 'I Can't Explain' and 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' and in fact revel in their raw murkiness.

And you gotta love the cover, too. They're sleeping - how rock 'n roll is that? They're not pouting for the camera or putting on adorable smiles - they're sleeping - "Screw you, we're not waking up for this photo shoot" (did I mention the film's poster made an impact on me at the time too? Man, sleeping IS cool...).

Anyway, thanks for letting me indulge in my little reminiscence...

Jaime Vargas <> (12.04.2002)

Guess what! Go right there to the MCA webpage - the new reissue has all the songs, including 'Long Live Rock' and the 'Join Together / Roadrunner / My Generation Blues' medley! Add to this that Live At Leeds has been issued in three different formats (regular six-track, remastered enlarged edition and deluxe complete edition) and 30 Years of Maximum R'n'B and tell me if MCA aren't the biggest moneygrabbers out there. Rats!

Alexey Provolotsky <> (31.08.2004)

This record is a must for all Who fans. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen the documentary, but the soundtrack is brilliant. I have to agree with you that the song selection is quite strange. Anyway, I bought a 2 CD set. Although I wouldn’t complain if they cut “Magic Bus”, for example, so that I could pay less money. My favourites are “A Quick One While He Is Away” (but I still prefer the LAL version), “See Me, Feel Me”, “Young Man Blues” (ooooooh!), all those WN tracks (yeah, and even “My Wife” with its incredible middle part) and, of course, the “Join Together/Roadrunner/My Generation Blues section. That’s a perfect performance! And that short interview at the beginning of the record is hilarious! I give this soundtrack a solid 14.


Glenn Wiener <> (22.01.2000)

This one belongs in the same category as Its Hard. There are three excellent songs on here. 'You Better You Bet' is a very spirited rocker with some creative arrangments and good vocals by Roger. John Entwhistle's conributions, 'The Quiet One' and 'You' also rank as quality material as they display some needed emotion. Much of the remaining material is way to reliant on synthesizers. There's just too little oomph. My recommendation is to save this when you see it in the Dollar bin. Thats all it is really worth.

Bob Josef <> (21.07.2000)

I was really quite surprised when the Who immediately decided to carry on without Keith. And that turned out, of course, to be a mistake. Keith was a totally unique drummer -- impossible to replace him. The musical chemistry of the Who was (and is -- no more tours, please!) absolutely dependent on all four members, even more so than the Beatles (granted, the Beatles wouldn't have been quite as much fun without Ringo, but musically, they would have been just fine, thank you).

However, even given that, Face Dances could have been better. I think this one is by far the worst post-Tommy studio album, not the next one. Why? For one, producer Bill Szcymyk seriously emasculated the group's sound. Entwistle's amazing bass and Roger's great voice are still intact, but Pete's guitar is totally eviscerated and his synth parts are really simplistic -- his touch with the instrument seemed to have temporarily left him. And Szcymyk is probably as much to blame for the wimpy drum sound as Jones -- turning him down in the mix was not going to hide the fact that the guy is simply not Keith.

And the other reason is Pete's songs. They are so maddeningly oblique. Empty Glass had a few tracks that were somewhat similar, but here it's far worse. In songs like "Cache Cache," "Daily Records," "Don't Let Go the Coat" and "Another Tricky Day," you get the feeling that Pete is writing about something important, but he's deliberately obscuring what he means like he doesn't really want the listener to know what it is. It drives me crazy. It's the other extreme from the all-out soul bearing of By Numbers. Although I admit I might be taking "You Better You Bet" too seriously -- perhaps Pete is just being funny, but even so, I prefer him when his humor is more straightforward, like "Squeeze Box." But I think John's songs are good, and really funny. "The Quiet One" is an amusing jab at those who would stereotype him (although his voice has really deteriorated since Who are You), and "You" seems to be John exasperated at another impossible woman, a la "My Wife." Roger does a great delivery on this one.

Perhaps, commerce (they had just signed a big mega-deal with Warner Bros. in the USA) took precedence over musical wisdom, but Warners hardly got a lot out of their end with this release.

Philip Maddox <> (14.12.2000)

I like this album somewhat, actually. It isn't bad at all. It's just not particularly good, either - it's generic keyboard pop. There is one big exception to this - "You Better You Bet", with its cool lyrics, funny intonations, and upbeat, uplifting chorus, is fantastic. Not only is it fantastic, I consider it to be one of the Who's absolute best. The closing "Another Tricky Day" is really good too, though it certainly isn't a classic - keyboard pop to be sure, but catchy, well written keyboard pop. The seven other tuns, though, aren't bad, and are even kind of nice, but I absolutely never need to hear them again. The Entwistle 2, "You" and "The Quiet One" aren't keyboard pop - they're hard rockers - but they're still too generic to really be considered "good". And the other tunes are just kind of there - nothing really stands out, except for the fact that I want to smack Roger for the way he sings "There ain't no bears in there" on Cache Cache, which has to be the dumbest chorus of all time, even beating out the endlessly stupid "Chug-A-Lug" by the Beach Boys. Ah well. The bonus tracks are pretty nice, though - "Somebody Saved Me" is quite pretty in particular, and the live "How Can You Do It Alone" is far superior to the album version, boasting a rawer, harder sound. I'd give the original album a high five, but the bonus tracks are enough for me to give it a low six. Not a bad purchase, but it's no classic.

And there's one thing I'd like to say here - lots of people try to blame this somewhat lackluster album on Kenney Jones. I don't think it's his fault - he's actually a pretty damn good drummer, though it's obvious that he's not Moon. Pete was going through a hard time when he made this - he was still upset that Moon had died, and he was battling drug addiction, in addition to the fact that he now had to write for both himself and the Who at the same time. I'd blame this albums "OK-ness" on Pete spreading himself too thin in addition to facing personal problems.

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

I think the producer of Face Dances (Bill what's-his-name) said "Hoo boy, we've got a pretty crappy album here, so, let's put it in a beautifully rendered cover with illustrations by the best artists of each member of the group -- that is, the record buyer will at least have some nice artwork for their money and not feel totally cheated."

If anything vindicated Keith Moon, it was this pathetic, lethargic album full of techno-drivel. I'll admit that 'You better you bet' is a decent enough tune, with unexpectedly passionate lyrics, and 'Another Tricky Day' has some nice moments, too.

But this record proves that The Who should've quit after Who Are You (maybe even BEFORE Who Are You).

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

actually, this is great little keyboard pop. i mean, it's not great, ground breaking or rocking or anything like that. it's just great keyboard pop by one of the best song writers of all time, who of course elevates the potentially annoying keyboards and synths into great songs. well, good songs. a seven.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (31.08.2004)

I think I will never understand what is wrong with this album. Sure, Kenney Jones is no Keith Moon, but he is still a really solid drummer. The songs on the album are catchy and a bit poppier than on the previous efforts. But that’s not a problem for me. Entwistle contributed two hard rock songs and both of them are great. “You” has a fantastic riff, IMO! And “A Quiet One” is a really catchy song. Pete’s compositions are also quite impressive. Of course, the main highlight of the record is “You Better, You Bet” which is an indisputable classic. The album has some problems, though. For example, I’m not a big fan of both “Did You Steal My Money” (always disliked the song) and “How Can You Do It Alone”. The rest are from really good to great. A 13.


Glenn Wiener <> (22.01.2000)

Its really really listen to this record in its entirety knowing that these guys have come up with so much better material in the past. Peter Townsend was excessively imbibing in alcohol and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This was not helping his other band mates and the result was this schlock. 'Eminence Front' is without a doubt the standout piece on this collection as the synthesizer works well here setting a very eeirie mood. A few other songs and parts of songs are pretty good as well. However, there are way too many filler pieces here (at least five) to make this a memorable record. For Diehards only!

Bob Josef <> (23.07.2000)

As I said, this one sounds closer to classic Who because of the presence of Glyn Johns' production. He brings the drums more forward in the mix, so the album sounds a lot more aggressive in than the last. And another disagreement on the songwriting -- although "Cook's County" and "Why Did I Fall for That?" retain the annoying lyrical style of Face Dances, on the whole the rest of Pete's songs are more straightforward and accessible. And they really rock! Unfortunately, "It's Your Turn" and "Dangerous" also sound like John was trying to copy Pete's Face Dances songs! Grrr! But I love "One at a Time" -- more funny stuff about John's frustrations with women, and that multittracked horn intro is really cool (even if his lead vocal sucks).

To me, the album had enough energy and spark to suggest that maybe the group could carry on. But that energy seemed to had totally dissipated by tour time -- as the next album proved.

mjcarney <> (17.08.2000)

Well this album, is not worth purchasing at all.  I feel bad saying this about one of my favorite bands, but they should have quit a long time earlier.  There is one classic on here, "Emminence Front", is really the song that made me keep this album for such a long time.  I can never nor will never tire of that one, the guitar riff works well here and it is probably thier best late period song--even if the poppy come on join the party bit is obnoxious, with a riff that good, who cares, it is very enjoyable and would rank as a "lesser" classic of the Who.  The rest of the album though is very poor.  "Athena" is upbeat, catchy, but stupid.  Still it is a highlight.  "Cooks County" acts as a highlight, but of course a song which tries to make a serious statement yet is so blatantly poppy rarely works--and this is no exception.  Still though it is miles ahead of some of the other songs on this disc.  "I've Known No War" at least features a good vocal by Roger that fits the tone of the song--something rare in the later Who, but still the song was just poor.  Finally, Entwistle's songs are again terrible here.  He was able to right 4-5 good songs throughout the career of the Who but these don't come close.  If it wasn't for "Emminence Front" this disc would surely get a 1/10, but with that song on here, I would rate it a 3/10.  All I can say is don't bother.  The who should have quit years ago, and thankfully (which is a shame that I have to say this) this is their last album.

Jeff Melchior <> (22.12.2000)

I don't own this album yet, but listening to samples from it over mp3 would indicate to me that it's nowhere near as horrid as so many people claim it to be. It's certainly a mature album, but I'm not of the mindset that only the young can create vital rock 'n roll. I admire Pete Townshend for the fact that he acknowledges his age and writes accordingly. In the process he captures the angst of being 30, 40 or 50 just as well as he portrayed his teenage frustration.

Palash Ghosh <> (20.02.2001)

I agree wholeheartedly with Roger Daltrey -- It's Hard should've never seen the light of day! What an appallingly bad album! Even worse than Face Dances! Pete was clearly trying to sabotage the group and its legacy by putting out this sludge.

Still, I like two songs here, 'Eminence Front' (which is kind of a son of 'Baba O'Riley' what with its swirling synthesizers and hypnotic beat) and 'Athena' (which is redeemed by its sheer energy and semblance of melody). Otherwise, this album was a disaster and a pitiful disgrace for a once-great group.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (29.11.2001)

Okay, let me say, just for beginning that I'm very happy to have this album - you know, I once caught myself on a thought that I would even pay $15 for a licensed CD because I was so eager to listen to songs that had a chance of being good ones. And just imagine how lucky I was to find a pirated copy which was lying in a box for half-priced CDs!!! So I was right - there were some good songs (not great, though, by any means) - 'Eminence front', 'I've known no war' and 'Why did I fall for that'. They really deserve a couple of listens and they are surely better than most Face dances tunes. The best moments float to the surface only when synths shut up, Kenny Jones calms down a bit and you can hear pleasant piano and guitar lines which remind you of the past glory days... Yeah, those were the days... In fact, this album, just like its predecessor, is badly produced. In fact, there are melodies, good melodies. Or maybe it is some generic lyrics that ruin the record. I mean, hell, who needs these: 'People are suffering - say it again - people are hungry - say it again' repeated over and over?!! Yeah, I know, probably, Pete was trying to impel the whole suffering world to rise and say 'NO!!!'... Come on, Pete, sorry to say it, but you're old, not a fart but old. Slow down, it's time to return to rocking chair...err, I meant to rocking world and show that your are the best rhythm guitar player ever! Alright, I have to agree with George about this record - it's not good (not bad, either) but I suppose it really had a chance to be better. Especially if Pete have decided to couple it with Face dances.

PS. You know, when after a big pause Roger cries 'WAAAAR' near the end of 'I've known no war' I want to end 'Reign o'er me'. You know, that formula of crying in the end of the song is a little worn ('Fooled again', 'Love, reign o'ver me', 'Who are you'.)

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

insanely bad. i cry when i hear this album. although it's not as bad as i expected, and some songs actually do have melodies or something resembling them. although, i've heard some solo demos of townshends of the songs from this album, and they were strikingly beautiful in their renditions. the whole thing that ruins it is those synths! now, i have HIGH synth tolerance, but this is over kill. just because you have a bunch of synths going, pete it doesn't mean that's a melody! you should have known better! a 3 or 4, and if you've read my other who reviews, you'll realize that's the lowest rating i gave. it's a huge disapointing album.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (31.08.2004)

It’s hard to…well, to listen to everybody bash this album. Even though it is their worst record, as some of the songs do absolutely nothing for me, it has some really good moments. There are no classics to be found, though. I usually divide the album into 4 parts with 3 songs in each one. So, here it is:

#1 (my favourites): “Athena”, “It’s Hard”, “Eminence Front”.

#2 (good ones): “I’ve Known No War”, “A Man Is A Man”, “Why Did I Fall For That”.

#3 (these are decent): “Dangerous”, “One At a Time”, “Cry If You Want”.

#4 (these ones are pretty bad, I have to admit): “It’s Your Turn”, “Cooks County”, “One Life’s Enough”.

The bonus tracks are quite solid live performances of some of the songs from the album. But nothing special, really. It’s Hard gets a low 11 on your overall scale.

Melanie <> (21.12.2005)

I must be the only person who really likes "Athena",especially ever since I heard that it's about the nuclear bomb. "Athena"-goddess of war-get it,hehe?


Tony Souza <> (19.02.2000)

A horrendous live album. Daltry's voice cracks on a number of songs (most notably 'Love Reign O'er Me') and the band sounds like a shell of their former selves. "Mediocre" is a good word for this although for a band of the Who's stature it's certainly not acceptable. The performances seem bland and although they tried in some places, they couldn't pull it off. In the years '68-75 Townshend used to play a Gibson SG and later a Les Paul and that created a thick, warm sound that epitomized their live sound. On this one, he uses a Fender which produces a thinner sound from his guitar and results in a lack of power that the Who's songs need. Compare this album to Live at Leeds and Live at the Isle of Wight and it's sad how it pales in comparison.

Bob Josef <> (25.07.2000)

My guess is that, despite the fact that the band was signed to Warners', the band owed some product to MCA. I actually haven't heard the album, but I did hear a live radio broadcast from Toronto from which, I believe, MCA created the album. Stuff like "Love Ain't For Keeping" (a really rocking version) and "The Quiet One" were actually pulled off decently but left off the album in favor other tracks which were given rather perfunctory performances, at best. On the other hand, the songs from It's Hard actually came off worse than the stuff on the album -- "Dangerous" was lousy, and "Cry if You Want," one of their best latter day songs, was slowed down so much that it was totally ruined. What a waste of time to release anything from this concert. The "1st Farewell Tour" should never have happened, never mine the follow-ups.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (18.10.2001)

George, please stop badmouthing Roger! Do you seriously believe that it is Daltrey who spoils the whole fun? Nope - Pete seems not to be interested in playing at all (look at 'See me, feel me'). Even though none of the songs are played bad, you can't really feel the resonance that was flying around every member of band back in early 70's. Kenny tries to be a hero of the day, but I doubt somebody can listen to these recordings without comparing Jones and Moon so poor Kenny loses the game. And, to be frank, I suppose that the only thing, which pisses you off, is the fact that you bought a licensed copy of Who's last. Yes, Daltrey's singing is sometimes really bad, sometimes his voice cracks and sometimes he just hisses BUT in general he's tolerable. And please don't you say that John's vocals on 'Twist and shout' are bad. In fact, 'T&S' is the only really good song on album - I sometimes put this CD in my player only because of this track.

But the most surprising thing is that this album wasn't released with Who's permission. The story goes like this: John decided to create (compile, I mean) an album which was describing Who's live performances from 1978 up to 1982 but big bosses canceled the project for some unexplained reasons. And they were huge cretins to make such a 'best of Who live' compilation because nobody didn't really care about the songs' quality (only their titles). Unfortunately, they forgot about 'lesser' songs which were performed with a surprising level of energy (I've heard bootlegs from that era). Bastards.

Guillermo F. Vazquez Malagamba <> (05.10.2002)

I have an album called Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, which was released in 1981. These concerts (played in late December 1979) had the participation of The Who, Paul McCartney & Wings, etc. The album has a whole side of The Who´s perfomances, and the 4 songs recorded by The Who are really energetic . Four years ago I was listening to this album, and I wanted more of The Who recorded live with Kenney Jones, so I went to some record stores looking for Who´s Last, but I didn´t find it (it seems that it is out of print). I found a CD called The Who Live- The Star Collection, which was released by MCA in Europe as part of a collection called "The Star Collection" (it says 1991 in the cover). I bought the CD (which was the only copy that I have seen in the record stores) and I listened to it, and I didn´t like some of the performances. At that time I didn´t know that this CD was in fact Who´s Last released under a different title and in a single CD format . Later, I found in the Internet (in the "All Music Guide" and "The Hypertext Who" websites) that my CD was in fact Who´s Last with a different name and cover but with all the songs from the double LP set. Before that, I thought that it wasn´t an official release, because the quality of the performances is really bad. It seems like they were tired of being The Who. And I agree: the record company had better choices of recordings. Maybe Entwistle´s original idea (to compile the best recordings from The Who´s 1979-82 concerts to release them on an album) was better than this record company compilation. I watched on T.V. a video of their last concert of The Who in 1982 in Canada, and they played better than in the Who´s last recordings. The choice of songs could have been better with songs from Face Dances and It´s Hard. Who´s Last really demonstrated (in comparison to the 1979 recordings)that Kenney Jones wasn´t the right drummer for The Who. He is a good drummer, but not for a band like The Who. His drums on Who´s last sound thin and sometimes weak. His best playing is on "Won´t Get Fooled Again". But also the rest of the band played bad. Townshend´s vocals on "Long Live Rock" are really bad and out of tune.


Sergey Zhilkin <> (07.09.2001)

So it accidentally happened that Pete received a copy of Who's last and was totally horrified. This album was an excuse for It's hard and now Pete had to make another tour, as a n excuse for Who's last. That was depressing, but what he had to else?

I'll go straight and point out all bad sides of album: firstly, as I mentioned somewhere above, the sound quality suffers from the claps of audience, which is going to cry 'Hooray!!!' even if Roger will sing 'Fu@k me, suck me' - and, what is worse, they clap not only in the end of every song. I can easily understand why everyone was so excited about John's bass work on 'Sparks', but, Lord, why to clap in the middle of the song? Teenagers on Leeds' concert were that excited, too, and maybe even more, but they sat quitly! That's really strange. Second, Pete switches to acoustic guitar and I can't say I'm happy about it - true, his playing is outstanding but only in the beginning - near the middle of song many other instruments overshadow poor Pete. That's a shame! And the last thing - Who included 'Behind blue eyes' and 'Fooled again' on album! The only question is - who needs it? I mean, I can't imagine a Who concert without latter song but why to record it? It's obvious that they can't beat their previous performances and for me it sounds totally bland (together with 'Behind blue eyes') - they could record something from By numbers or 'Who are you' instead (btw, am I the only one who thinks that 'Who are you' is actually rip-offed of 'Fooled again'? Look, these two songs have the same structure and the main guitar riffs are very similar, too.). And the legendary 'YEAH!!!' cry is performed in very strange way. I mean, Daltrey doesn't seem to enjoy this moment (after all, he must have cried it loud for hundreds of times!) and it sounds like: 'well, guys, I'm really sick and tired, but you still want me to cry 'yeah!' and you will shout 'WOOOW!!!!' not caring about actual performance so here you are - yeeeeaaaaahhhh....'.

I hope you didn't fall asleep while reading the first part or you may get a wrong impression that I don't like this album at all and that I'm very upset from the fact that I paid 25$ for it. No, it's a bullshit. There are many things that redeem this album. Let's start from the performance of Tommy. It doesn't sound like good ole' rock opera of 69 anymore - it's a real musical! Well, almost, Brodwayish musical. I can't compare original version and this one since they are different and you have to get both, I say! All those trumpets, pianos and backing vocals move away Tommy from rock opera as far as possible - and, well, for mostly good results.

The second disc is a great relief, too - no 'My generation', 'My wife', 'Can't explain' and other famous hits. Heck, have anybody noticed that song selection is made in special way - you won't get a though like this after listening - 'Yeah, sure it's good, but all these songs were better played back in 70s, so why do I need this crap?'. Therefore, most songs ae 'new' or taken form Pete's solo records. And I like it much since now I don't have to spend money on It's hard, Face dances and Pete's solo career (cause there're two solo songs more in bonus part to 'Who are you'! How I like all those reissues!). 'Eminence front', 'You better you bet' and all Pete's solo songs are played fairly well (although, I can't get your excitement about 'Dig' - very simple and not much satisfying rocker, this is). As for the rest, I totally agree with you. Rating? Well, 12 is enough - I'm glad that guys proved that they still had some power left.

Oh, and you say that you rather like album's cover - now, explain me what does it mean!....Ah, it seems, I got it! They tried to write word 'WHO' with objects, right? No? ..... Hmm, well, then if it is a symbolic cover, I am supposed to read it as: Keith Moon (drum sticks) drove his sticks right into John's (spider, Boris the spider) ass, beat Roger Daltrey to half death (half bandaged microphone) and banged Pete's head so hard that even his guitar cracked (smashed guitar)! Still no?...............

Oh, stupid me, it's just John, Roger and Peter, right?


Roland Bruynesteyn <> (11.05.2003)

This was actually the second Who album I bought (first was Tommy). I still think it is on of the few good box sets (and I agree with your general criticism (rarities which the fans want and hits which the casual music listener needs - both)).

The heavy metal / power trimo (with added singer) is not really my cup of tea I general but this set containas some very good music and I am touched by the lyrics or general level of intelligence (which is why I like Zappa by the way, to let you know where I'm coming from).

I really think this set is the minimum someone should own by the Who. It's cheaper to get the new revamped debut album and Quadrophenia, but this presents a more complete picture.

Bob Josef <> (11.06.2003)

You've pretty much nailed this one on the head. I bought this before I knew that they would be re-releasing the original albums with bonus tracks. Nonetheless, all of the band's killer singles are here. I appreciate especially having "Pictures of Lily," "The Seeker," "Saturday Night's Alright" and the excellent Lifehouse triple play of "Let's See Action," "Join Together" and "Relay" all in one place. Probably the best single purchase for a casual Who fan.

Yet, as you say, not all of these tracks made it to the CD reissues. For example, the mixes of "Guitar and Pen" and "Music Must Change" are the original LP mixes -- new mixes were used for the Who Are You? CD reissue. And the versions of "Join Together" and "Relay" are extended stereo mixes. You have to be a totally insane Who freak to keep track of them all, but you get the idea. A completist could go broke buying all this stuff!


Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

a fine document of live stuff essential to hard core fans, but not to anybody else. a 7.

Tony Souza <> (20.06.2003)

I'm glad somebody finally said it -- that being that not all the songs on here are live. Live to me means just that -- that the songs are sung and played live - no backing-tape bullshit. This was promoted as live Who and as a companion to Live at Leeds and Live at the Isle of Wight. Hardly. When I heard the last few songs I was disappointed, to say the least. To be fair, it only happens on the last part of this disc, but it happens to the songs I really wanted to hear live, especially "Relay". The rest of the disc is passable. It's nice to have some type of live document of some early, pre-Tommy Who songs and the host of the show didn't bother me at all. I do agree, though, that the studio environment is too sterile for this band. This is good to have if you're a hard-core fan or you're looking to complete your catalogue, but this is far from being must-have Who. The 6 sounds about right.


Ben Greenstein <> (29.08.99)

Like you said - horrible. After I first heard this, I thought I hated the band for two years. It wasn't until I changed radio stations, and started hearing "Baba O'Riley" and "I Can See For Miles" everywhere I went, that I realized what a good group they are. And, of course, "5:15," "My Generation," "Pinball Wizard," and "Love Reighn O'er Me" are all great songs, but they sound weak on here among gunk like "Happy Jack," "Squeezebox," "My Wife," and "Magic Bus," which are certainly above average, but not the group's best songs. My Generation is a good compilation, this isn't.

Jeff Blehar <> (27.02.2000)

The Who's Greatest Hits? Like hell it is! This is a ridiculously selected compilation of some of The Who's songs that, for reasons unknown, is still available on the market on CD. Notice I don't say that it's a compilation of their "greatest hits." That's because it seems like they let a howler monkey loose in a room of The Who's tapes and let him choose a random sprinkling of The Who's songs. Sure, there are SOME songs here that could conceivably be placed among The Who's "greatest hits," but folks, let me tell you that "My Wife" isn't among them. Not that it's a bad song - it's actually wonderful, but there's no logic to the choice. Why put in songs like "My Wife" and "The Relay" while you exclude "I Can See For Miles," The Who's best single and their biggest American hit, or "Baba O'Riley," a much more deserving album track from the same LP that "My Wife" was lifted, Who's Next. And sure, you can find "Substitute," "Happy Jack," "Pinball Wizard," and "Won't Get Fooled Again" here, but why blow $11 on this 45 minute CD when you can get My Generation - The Very Best Of The Who, which contains all of those songs, plus 16 others, for $3 more? Oh yeah, and the sound quality is repulsive, to top it off.

There's one reason why this album remains interesting to collectors, and that's the hilariously hamfisted "single" edit of "Love Reign O'er Me" that can be found only on this CD. Originally released as the US single for Quadrophenia, the edits performed on the song (originally 5:48 in duration) are cringe-inducing. Not only is the piano into utterly eviscerated, but the verses are REARRANGED, and not even in a subtle fashion! And worst of all, the song fades out before the apocalyptic ending that defines the song on the album! Good for a laugh, good for the collector, not good for much else.

Philip Maddox <> (03.07.2000)

It's good, as all of the songs included are good. The selection is terrible, though! Lots of songs are edited, the sound quality sucks, and lots of hits are left off. You're telling me that 'My Wife' was a bigger hit than 'Baba O'Riley'? 'Squeeze Box' better than 'I Can See For Miles'? Whatever. The only reason to get this is 'The Relay', and you can get a version of it on the new BBC Sessions disc. get the My Generation compilation instead. It costs a couple of bucks more, but:

(A) It's got a much better track selection

(B) It's longer

(C) It's got better sound quality

(D) It's got songs that never made an actual album

(E) It's got better packaging...

(F) Etc.

Anyway, like I said, it sounds good, but don't buy it.


Gustavo Rodriguez <> (12.04.99)

They could do much better!

The Who have so many greatest hits, best ofs and box sets, etc. but they all tend to disapoint. This one has glaring omissions: "See Me Feel Me", "Behind Blue Eyes", and "The Real Me.".

And not even one live track? C'mon!!

Instead we get shitty Who songs like "Who Are You", "You Better You Bet", and "Join Together", and the mediocre "Let's See Action." I own this one because I got it dirt cheap and couldn't find Meaty Beaty.. anywhere. I'll admit this comp does cover the early period reasonably well.

Joshua Fiero <> (11.01.2000)

Hey now . . . Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is awesome! It's a fourteen-song high! Pure greatness! It's sequenced incredibly effectively: the fact that everything flows so well highlights the energy of the performances wonderfully. Plus, My Generation is missing "The Kids Are Alright" and "A Legal Matter."

[Special author note: yeah, but they're present on the Who Sings My Generation album.]

Caleb Smith <> (21.04.2001)

The best compilation money can buy, though if they really wanted to make it an overview of The Who's career (which it kind of seems like), they should have included one more song from Who Are You, one more song from By Numbers, one more song from Quadrophenia, one more song from Tommy, a song or two from Leeds, and "Emminence Front" from It's Hard. It would likely have to be two discs though, and that would be a little excessive. Regardless, it's an excellent compilation.

Ratko Hribar <> (29.10.2001)

It seems that quite a few people is unsatisfied with this compilation. What's exactly wrong with it ? It has almost all of my favorite The Who tracks. Even 'Squeeze Box' !!! I agree that it would be nice if they included 'See Me Feel Me', 'Behind Blue Eyes', 'The Kids Are Alright', 'A Legal Matter', 'Love Reign O'er Me', 'Dreaming From The Waist' and so on, but this is a single CD. Which reminds me, why didn't they released a double CD ? Not enough of material ? Certainly not. Perhaps they thought it would be too expensive, but still, I would gladly buy it, and I don't think I'm the only one. They could release both a single and a double compilation. Why not ? Even Iron Maiden did that. I think it's better to buy double compilations, cause, that way, one gets a better overview of some bands, and there's a lot of bands which made excellent double compilations, for instance Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and even Black Sabbath.

Eric Benac <> (23.05.2002)

yes!!! this is a great compilation, if you have this, kick the rest out the door! my first who album it got me hooked!!! 'join together', 'let's see action', 'who are you', and 'you better you bet' are all great songs as most who songs are. i've noticed alot of who fans like the middle period (i.e. Tommy-Quadrophenia) and hate everything before and after. me, i love everything (except for it's hard) but especially the early period, and it's very well represented by this album. a ten.

Phillip Hutcherson <> (01.01.2004)

At one point in my life, I HAD this compilation, yes. And it definetly brought out a greater curiosity for the Who for me, building off of what was there before. However, as good as this single-disc comp is (and it is quite good), I'd have to say that the recently released (well, if you want to consider a bit over a year or so as "recent," I suppose) double-disc set The Ultimate Collection is a better summation of what the Who was all about, which I sprang for after seeing it for relatively cheap in a used record store. For example, it contains all five of the songs from Who's Next that you consider to be highlights (yes, even 'My Wife'!), 'A Legal Matter' and 'The Kids Are Alright,' which some people seem to have missed with this release, 'Summertime Blues' (which I felt was overlooked on My Generation, seeing as how that was one of the songs that got me interested in the band), 'Love Reign O'er Me,' and what might be considered the last truly good song by the Who, 'Eminence Front,' even if it is essentially just Pete performing solo. In short, My Generation is a good, cheaper alternative as a sampler of the band, but if you're looking for something a bit more on the extensive side, yet don't want to collect all of the band's albums, The Ultimate Collection would suit your needs perfectly.


Philip Maddox <> (03.07.2000)

It's OK, I guess. The story is rewritten significantly, as parts of the album were ambiguous and needed to be clarified. It's worth watching it at least once if you like the Who, or especially if you like the actual Tommy album a whole lot. I like it better than Pink Floyd's stupid movie based on The Wall, but I still wouldn't plunk down money to purchase this - rent it or see it on TV (it comes on cable constantly). You're right about the arrangements - they pretty much blow. Still, it has highlights, like Elton John as the Pinball Wizard and Eric Clapton's guitar solo. Really, I find it hard to recommend this to anyone outside of hardcore fans, though. Anyone else will hate it.

Bob Josef <> (28.07.2000)

I saw this one in its theatrical run, the night before I went away to college. As a naive little 18-year-old, I was blown away with how bizarre it is! The movie is really more Ken Russell's vision more than Townshend's, which is why a lot of the Who's fans consider it a travesty. It really is over the top. The most disgusting scene is Ann-Margret's romping around in the baked beans (obviously inspired by the cover of Odds and Sods), and those close-ups of Tina Turner are pretty scary. Although I love her performance of "Acid Queen."

Musically, I don't think it's that bad. Pete actually rearranges a lot of the music in interesting ways. I actually don't mind Ann-Margret's singing -- I don't find her out of tune at all. But Oliver Reed is another matter entirely -- didn't anyone listen to this guy SING before they cast him?! His voice is just TERRIBLE. He's the major reason I can't bear the movie.

However, if you think this one is bad, avoid Russell's next, Lizstomania, starring Roger Daltrey as Franz Lizst (!) and Rick Wakeman. The 70's at their most tacky.

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

I must say that I disagree with your review. Like I said earlier, I prefer this version to the orginal. The synths give it a more 'mystical' feel and compliment the aspects of sprituality featured in the film. I also feel the changes to the story were an improvement. The movie was aimed at the Who's fans at the time of its release, whom of which were baby-boomers and would relate better to having Tommy being their own age. The acting is very good, except on Jackie N's part. Besides, Tommy's cult would have fitten in better with the Woodstock age when everyone seemed to be on some spiritual quest anyway. I guess I'm just reading too much into it. Also, the father killing the lover? If it were you, would you be more disturbed by your beloved father killing a boyfriend that you hardly even liked or vice-versa? Once again I'm reading too much into it.

Palash Ghosh <> (08.03.2001)

Tommy is a dreadful movie, an embarrassment to all associated with it. Not only that, but Pete's re-arrangements of the songs even makes the soundtrack a bitter pill to swallow. And let's not even get into Oliver Reed's singing 'talents'!

And people thought the Magical Mystery Tour film was a disaster??? 'Tommy' had NO HOPE of being a good movie because the plot is just too vague and confusing. A better idea might've been for them to make a documentary showing a live concert of 'Tommy' (something on the order of Last Waltz or Concert for Bangladesh).

Jaime Vargas <> (27.09.2001)

Derrick writes that 'If it were you, would you be more disturbed by your beloved father killing a boyfriend that you hardly even liked or vice-versa?' Well, in fact, Tommy never knew his father, and the original story doesn't state if Tommy likes the lover or not. That Tommy loved his unknown father and that he disliked the lover are strictly additions to the plot in the movie. As I get it, in the original (and also in the Broadway version!), Tommy didn't know anything about dad and the first he knew of him was the killing of the lover (which btw in the Broadway version is not depicted as an act of jealousy but as some 'accident' of the father finding a stranger in his home and thinking he was a burglar, IIRC), so it must be quite disturbing.

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.04.2003)

God, this is an atrocious movie. I watched it right after I bought my first Who greatest hits package (I hadn't heard the Tommy album at the time) because I'd heard so much about it, and I'd seen it when I was a kid and been confused. Mostly, though (sadly) I rented it because I figured, "Hey, even if it sucks, Roger Dalrey will be hot, and that will at least make it watchable." Oh man, was that ever a wrong move. Sure, he's hot, but all those scenes of him running around in his wet jeans--shirtless for no apparent reason--really turned me off. No, more than that. It made me want to rewind and watch Keith Moon rape him again. I mean, running around in wet jeans, wet skin tight jeans, especially, just CAN'T be good for a guy. Surely, that's got to be bad for the sperm count, or something. Sure, Daltrey was FINE before he started talking/singing, and then it was nothing but aimless shirtless running around. In fact, I was willing to put up with the whole thing right up to the point where Tommy "becomes aware". It wasn't good, but it was tolerable. But it quickly became intolerable. I mean, what is this movie, like 12 hours long? It just keeps going and going and going and going... And did anyone notice the little discrepancy with the straight haired, brown-eyed kid turning into blue-eyed, curly haired Dalrey? Like, they actually do a close up on the eyes for the transition, as though they're making sure you notice. Wow. I've thought about this way too much. It's just that when something is as stupid and nauseating and pointless as this movie was I tend to dwell on it. I mean, it was so bad that it turned me off of a hot rock singer. It was only after I watched him twirling microphones on the Isle of Wight video that I could once again STOMACH Roger Daltrey, let alone like him. God, the gratituous shirtlessness... It was as though they realized that was all they had to go on. Well, I'll tell you right now, if you're starved enough for attractive shirtless men that you need to rent this movie, really, you're too far gone for my counselling. DO NOT RENT THIS FILM (unless you're drunk/stoned and plan to mock it with some buddies, but even in that scenario I think you could easily do better).

Pedro Andino <> (11.09.2005)

I really enjoyed the movie and also why people hate so much? I liked elton john and his pinball wizard costume and the big boots. the beans and chocolate part is so crazy!!! I may have to do a track by track thing but otherwise it will go on for part 2 of the who page. cool flick.


<> (30.01.2000)

If you can find a copy of the original release, get it!!! Nowadays, you can only get a cut version. For example, the highlight of the film for me was their performance on the "Rolling Stones RnR Circus" where they played "A Quick One". If you have ever seen the whole performance complete with the editing of shots as originally done for this film (different edits on the recently released R.S. RNR Circus), you'd simply watch in awe at this band blowing the likes of The Rolling Stones and John Lennon out of the water - clowning all the while. NOBODY could touch them. Keith was the best of the best in his heyday.

John McFerrin <> (16.04.2000)

Well, the local video store finally had a copy that wasn't checked out, so I decided to rent it. I currently watching it for the third time since checking it out, and .... wow. No, wait that's not going to do it. HOLY SHIT THIS MOVIE IS FUCKING AWESOME. Yeah, there are far too many cuts, but what _is_ there ... damn damn damn damn damn.

In any case, what amazes me the most watching these guys is actually _seeing_ them so effortlessly fuse pure noise and melodic beauty, all the while making it _look_ as cool as possible (ESPECIALLY watching Pete hitting all of those chords on key while doing fifty windmills a second).

I'm also quite fond of the little videos, especially the 'Success Story' one where John is doing clay piegeon shooting with gold records and breaks out the machine gun in frustration. I was on the floor rolling with laughter afterwards for a long time.

Next step - get the (completely uncut) DVD version when it comes out. Of course, first I'll need a DVD player, but that should take care of itself.

Bob Josef <> (28.07.2000)

I was one of the relatively few who saw the film in its theatrical run. The marquee actually said "starring The Who and Ringo Starr"!! When Ringo makes only a brief, nonmusical appearance in the thing!

The film is endlessly entertaining, funny in numerous spots (Pete's "interview" with a German TV host, the Smothers Brothers, the "Success Story" segment.) The moment that really blew me away was the performance of "A Quick One," which I had never heard anywhere before. Worth the price of the whole thing. A major travesty on the boxed set is that they try to edit this version together with the studio version! Cretins! Since I have the LP already, I'll have to go out and get the expanded Leeds just to see if the version there is as awesome.


rob <> (24.02.2001)


Quadrophenia is a fantastic film and exists to provide an insight into the MAKE-BELIEVE character of Jimmy. It may be called Quadrophenia, but it is a film about a person, rather than about a movement. Ok, so, it is about the mods, but, come on - I'm sure people will agree that this is used as a back drop - and explanation of how a lot of teenagers felt then - whether they were disillusioned or not.

If I'm wrong, I apologise, but, hopefully I made some sense!!

Palash Ghosh <> (08.03.2001)

Have to disagree with you on this one, George. Quadrophenia is a wonderful movie! And unlike the dreadful "Tommy" film, Quad is a REAL movie, with professional actors and directors, realistic sets, decent dialogue, and uses the great music from the album throughout.

The film HAD to discard the '4-part-personality' of Jimmy Cooper because it would be impossible to depict that condition on a two-hour film. Quad is very realistic (albeit with some dreamy surreal elements inserted in). It captures the whole milieu of 1965 working-class London life perfectly -- Jimmy's grim home life, the violence of the streets, the freedom offered by the Mod movement, the fun, excitement and danger of the beach in Brighton, etc. I actually find the film quite exciting, interesting, heartbreaking and moving.

I think you would appreciate this film more if you look at it as a 'period piece' and ignore some of the 'themes' presented by the related album.

Special author note: like I said, as a pure 'Mod experience' this film probably works. But it has NOTHING to do with the album, and on this site I'm only reviewing music-related videos. You can take Don Juan and make an interesting movie about the life of Spanish peasants based on it, but what would that have to do with Mozart and his message? Zero.]

Lloyd Peppard <> (26.05.2003)

I was surprised, actually. This movie might not have much to do with the album, and I might have had to see emaciated English cock (not like THAT's something new), but this movie was at least 9 and a half times less irritating than Tommy, so, given that, and my low expectations going into the experience, I almost enjoyed the movie. Almost. Actually, it was really boring. Nothing really happens. But parts of it were good. Being a glam fan I couldn't help but like the fact that he eventually donned eyeliner (and didn't he look so much better for it?). And wasn't it tragic when they killed his scooter? Man, if I had a great scooter like that, and someone wrecked it, I'd want to jump off a cliff, too. Regardless of whatever else was going on. God, it was a nice scooter... Oh yeah! And then there's the part where he's upset so he rips all his naked pictures off the wall, conpciciously leaving up a picture of Pete Townshend! Ha! That made me laugh. The naked ladies must go, but not Pete.

Anyway, whatever. I watched this movie with friends and heckled it, which is probably your best bet. I wouldn't sit down and watch it as a "serious film", because I think if you did that you would enjoy it infinately less. Plus it's got good music.

To sum up, not a good movie, or a terrible movie, but at least 9 and a half times better than Tommy.

zarch <> (24.07.2003)

This movie is cool- it captures a bleak picture of English youth culture. Check out young Sting (as the bell-boy) before he became a huge star - priceless.


Jenny Ketchmark <> (10.04.2002)

Who's Better, Who's Best is best described as a warm-up for The Kids are Alright. It's basically a string of music videos in chronological order, separated by captions saying which song is next. It includes the "Kids are Alright" video, the entire "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" performances from '78, the video/recording session or "Who Are You," and several other Who favorites.

Although I'm a huge Who fan, I'd be a little hesitant before recommending this. True, there are some visuals. There's an early version of "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" that shows their early years well, Pete makes some slightly-suggestive guitar moves in "My Generation," and towards the end, you see a video for "You Better You Bet," in which Pete's drug addiction can be clearly seen (he looks completely strung out - I think anyone watching at the time would have worried about him).

However, none of these videos have any context or history; they're just presented with no explanation. With the exception of the "Happy Jack" video, most of these are straight performances. That means the great videos from TKAA, like "Cobwebs and Strange" and "Success Story" are completely left out. Plus, because most of these were shot in the 60s, the focus is mainly on Roger, with a little of Pete and almost no Keith or John. Keith starts getting more screen time towards the end, but poor John is really pushed to the background.

I'd recommend this mainly for beginning Who fans. Since it's a group of videos to pre-recorded music, it's a good audio/visual introduction to the Who. But for anyone else, it's really just a poor man's TKAA.


Bob Josef <> (28.07.2000)

Actually, they should have titled this one Three Guys who used to be in the Who and a large backing band play songs by the Who. The band, at this point, retains virtually none of its musical identity -- Pete even says so at one point during the show. The performances aren't horrible (except, I totally agree, for Billy Idol's -- what an obnoxious asshole). But with no Keith, Entwistle muted (he can't even sing "Boris the Spider" alone) and Pete relegated, for all practical purposes, to a support guitarist role, it's obvious that's the band's musical chemistry has almost totally dissipated over time. Roger is in pretty good voice, but this could be a band backing him on a solo tour and it wouldn't sound too different. Exciting in places, but they really should have given it up long before this tour.

Derrick Stuart <> (27.11.2000)

Amusing and interesting video. The guest stars give it a nice flair, I'm impressed with Phil Collins' impersoniation of Uncle Ernie. However, the horn section and such is completely unncessary.


Matt Reyes <> (10.06.2001)

Today I just bought a dvd player and I wanted to buy Gimmie Shelter but it was 34 bucks! So I stuck with this dvd, 2 and a half hours of pure joy. Only 18 dollars to, and I like the 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' version on here, Moon rocks on the drums. I like all the performances on here some more then others. The 1979 shows really show that Kenny Jones was a great drummer.


Caleb Smith <> (09.05.2001)

It's nice, but Tommy has been butchered. Atleast they left "We're Not Gonna Take It," which is probably the best part of the video. Also, it might just be my copy (it's one I recorded from TV), but it seems like the bass is WAY to high in the mix, and sometimes I can barely even hear Townshend's guitar. Otherwise, this is good stuff, and watching Keith Moon play drums with that silly look on his face is quite entertaining.


David Goodwin <> (18.03.2003)

As we usually have pretty similar opinions on this sort of artist, I'm surprised our impressions of John Entwistle and his solo work differ as much as they seem to. His primary trademark is his black humor, but to me that was always overshadowed by his *secondary* trademark of writing interesting and highly melodic songs. In fact, John's songs (at least the ones *HE* sings...he seems to throw some of the stuff he seems less impressed with on Daltrey) are almost always amoung the highlights of Who albums for me...yep, '905' and (horror of horrors) 'One at a Time' occupy a special place for me on their respective albums. I remember reading about how much John hated playing 'Magic Bus' on stage, because he was anchored on A for god knows how long; in his songs, he tends to slightly overcompensate for this, and as a result his stuff can be devilishly hard for mere mortals like myself to play on guitar, as they switch chords approximately every two seconds.

But I digress. I think the primary point of John's solo career was to find a place to unload some top notch material that would either go unrecorded or merely stuck on B-sides by The Who (take, for example, the excellent "When I Was a Boy'). At least, this was the plan from the beginning...John gets a bit absorbed by the kitsch aspect by Rigor Mortis, and it takes him a while to recover.

I partly agree with your assessment, but I think the album is very well stocked with great melodies, hooks, and interesting chord progressions. There's a bit more filler on this than there is on Smash (which I'll speak a bit about later), but I absolutely love tunes like 'Apron Strings', 'I Wonder', and 'I Found Out' (one of the two John songs that shares a title with a Beatle solo track, weirdly enough). Strangely, I like "Nightmare" for the complete opposite reason that you do; I think the opening portion is one of the best examples of how *great* John's voice/melodic sensability was at this point, and I think the degeneration of the track into the "freak out" segment is slightly disappointing. Lastly, while "I Was Just Being Friendly" and "Window Shopper" have...uh, slightly over the top lyrics...I think they're naff musically, and I enjoy them splendidly.


David Goodwin <> (18.03.2003)

You're spot on; the album is more of a tossoff joke than it is an actual well-thought-out solo album. It isn't *bad*, just not something I ever particularly feel like listening to. That said, however, I do adore "Made in Japan," and also "Peg Leg Peggy," which sounds deceptively simple until the chorus. The lyrics on the latter are also pretty swell.


Michael H. <> (09.01.2004)

I havent heard the album yet, but saw a promo clip of keith moon surfing in a kiddy pool on a cable documentary on Keith (that I still have), but have you heard Keith sing on the Tommy soundtrack? I have only heard Keith sing on "When Im 64" from the "All this and WWII" soundtrack, and Keith can only seem to sing-through a filter to make it sound like over a phone-like he's playing a character. Voice over actor but he's singing. He can only sing that way.

Frank Landsman <> (01.11.2005)

In the section on The Who members' solo efforts Daltrey's superb Rocks in the Head is missing, and in the review of Keith Moon's Two Sides of the Moon there must be some kind of error of judgment, for the bare bottom sticking out happens to belong the zany drummer's Swedish girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax, and certainly not to Moon the Loon! This observation obviously won't change the course of Rock History, but since you show such an eye for detail everywhere else (and a superb command of English to boot), I thought I'd draw your attention to it, as it's the only interesting object on this forgettable album. Keith's vocals weren't always that awful - his performance on "Bell Boy" is quite moving, in fact.


<> (26.02.2000)

C'mon George this record isn't THAT bad. "One Man Band" is very listenable and the "It's a Hard Life/Giving it All Away" combo is pretty good stuff. Or maybe I'm just being sentimental. In fact, I'm sure of it. Just memories of that summer of '73. So never mind.

Bob Josef <> (28.07.2000)

This album exists for a specific reason. Although Roger had a lot of confidence in himself as a blustery rock singer, he felt he needed to improve as a singer of ballads (although I don't know why -- "Love Ain't for Keeping" proves he could put in a moving performance on a slow song). However, he certainly went too far in the wimpy pop direction -- he could have picked a million other collaborators, but Leo Sayer?! The album put you to sleep well before the end. However, I do think that "Giving it All Away" is a lovely song that deserved to be a hit. Although it sounded a LOT better on a live solo tour, when it was just him a a solo piano.

David Lyons <> (14.12.2000)

Leaving aside the abomination that is Daltrey (the album, not the bloke), don't forget it got worse - Ride A Rock Horse, anyone? A public flogging should have ensued for the title alone.

Alexis Vonsydow <> (30.09.2002)

I actually have no idea of what this sounds like, 'cause I don't have it, but Roger did also make a really good record. Under A Raging Moon. Why not try it?

Eric Sweenor <> (12.10.2003)

The tracks from this that are on Roger's best-of, Martyrs and Madmen, are listenable, at best. Daltrey was a great voice without a good song at this point...note the simplistic Buddy Holly ripoff of "See My Way" on A Quick One and you can tell he wasn't a songwriter. So, did Roger reject "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"? He probably just couldn't get that falsetto down, dammit. "One Man Band" is the only one that really sticks, but it's at least inoffensive enough. Anyway, there's only one great song in Daltrey's solo catalogue, that being "Avenging Annie", a cover of an Andy Pratt song from the Rog's One of the Boys album.

Chelsea Frank <> (02.06.2004)

Daltrey always said (or at least said once, to my knowledge, in a set of liner notes) that the major problem with his solo career was its comparison to his work with The Who.

While perhaps this was creative self justification I see some truth in this. He was forced to produce material in his solo albums totally unlike anything The Who would be doing, which consisted of everything he was finally becoming used to and quite good at, ie the famous leonine roar.

I don't actually own Daltrey, but i did pick up a copy of Martyrs and Madmen out of curiousity and it contains about 5 songs from Daltrey if I'm not mistaken.

The work is actually not that bad. It is a bit sappy, but I still thoroughly enjoy it. His vocals on 'One Man Band' and 'Giving it all away' aren't bad at all. My favorite is 'Giving it all away', a softer side of Daltrey that borders on cheese but i dont think crosses over. Its rather repetitive, but nice, serene and melodic.

his work seems dissapointing, however, when it is compared with the magnificence that is The Who. While it is unfair to compare the two, it cannot be helped. Ironically, one of the best songs on the album and the one where Daltrey seems most confident is the Townshend penned 'After the Fire' (this refers to 'M&M'). As far as his work is concerned, 'Daltrey' in its freshness represents the best collection, as well as the Who-like 'McVicar' soundtrack. Please god dont listen to any of the eighties stuff. Don't expect the quality of the Who or his usual style and you won't be too dissapointed.

His solo work, for lack a metaphor that won't emberass me, is like candy. It's much lighter, easier to enjoy and on a much less cerebral level than The Who's catalogue.

What I wish he had done, and expected when I bought this album, was that he would go back to his blues roots. When he founded the Detours he intended them to be a blues band, annoyed when Townshend took charge and traded his deep vocals for the high pitched mod sound they became famous for. I wish he had gone back to that, given the kind of performances he gave on 'Young Man Blues' and 'Summertime Blues'; that would have been something to see. Damn the day he met Leo Sayer! Why did he chose easy listening of all styles?


Such potential, while i standby my statement that I enjoy this album I still mourn for what I think it could have been. Im beginning to ramble so I'll close with a summary for those who became bored and skipped the middle: Not Bad, Could Have Been Better, Damn Sayer, Don't Expect Who-Quality


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