My Generation – The Very Best Of The Who

This Compilation Surfaced In 1996, And It Coincided With The Remastered Series

This Compilation Surfaced In 1996, And It Coincided With The Remastered Series

This was the single disc compilation that accompanied the remastered series that were issued in the ‘90s. The disc has 20 tracks, and many were the remastered versions that the forthcoming CDs were to include.

On the whole, the compilers did a very good job. All the early non-album singles minus “Call Me Lightning” and “Dogs” are included. From “Tommy“, we have “Pinball Wizard”. From “Who’s Next” we have “Baba O’Riley” and Won’t Get Fooled Again” (both unedited). Beside, two of the three Lifehouse leftovers that were issued as singles are here. They are “Let’s See Action” and “Join Together”. We are missing the final one, “The Relay”. It is a loss, but not a great one. The best thing about it is Moon’s funky drum track. But the other two singles were the real deal, and they proved it on the charts.

Quadrophenia” is represented by just the one track, “5.15” (also unabridged). Finally, we have the ineluctable “Squeeze Box” (it was a top ten hit after all), an edited “Who Are You” and the full length “You Better You Bet”. The song is unremixed. You can tell because the background vocals are not as crisp as on the reissued “Face Dances”.   

A selection that can stir some controversy is “Boris The Spider”. The song was a fan favorite, retained in every concert they played with John. But it was never released as a single, and its inclusion just opens the discussion regarding other songs fans love that could have been included like “Bargain” or “Slip Kid”.

Two serious omissions: “Behind Blue Eyes” and “Love, Reign O’er Me”.

A warranted omission: any track from “It’s Hard”.

In any case, this CD is a far better deal than the “30 Years Of Maximum R & B” boxed set. Geez, that didn’t even have the studio version of “Substitute”, available here in the best quality up to that date.

On a side note, this was the second Who CD I ever bought, right after “Who’s Next”. It is a very even compilation, but two more good ones were yet to come: the “Ultimate” set (made up of 2 CDs that included all the tracks featured on this single disc, and many of the omissions that were listed above) and the “Then & Now” disc (2004), including two unreleased tracks that were surprisingly good.

Personally, I find this a very good summation of the band’s career. Those wanting all the hits will have to go for the “Ultimate Collection” (which was issued in 2002, incidentally), but if all that you want is an (extensive) sampler of the band and the peaks they could reach, this will play the part perfectly. And it will also leave enough questions unanswered so as to entice you to buy the individual albums.

Would I recommend purchase of this compilation: Yes
Do I feel like digging deeper into their catalog after listening to it: Yes