My Five Favorite Who Albums

Now that I have finished reviewing all the albums that The Who released during its original run, the time is ripe for individualizing the five studio records of the guys I can’t do without. As I always say, this is just a matter of personal tastes. I have to say it again because having included “Face Dances” at the expense of “Who Are You” or “Tommy” could end up in me being lynched. I am just highlighting the albums I can connect with the most. You can let us all know what you think by posting a comment below with your own favorites.

1- Who’s Next

The Who’s most consistent album from start to finish, and that is specially remarkable considering the tensions it caused within the band, the friction with their longtime managers and the risks that they took by embracing new technology so openly. If you listen to classic rock stations, you already know more than half of the songs on offer here – “Baba O’ Rile” (aka “Teenage Wasteland”), “Behind Blue Eyes”, Won’t Get Fooled Again”…

And the ones that you don’t know are no B leaguers in any sense (“Getting In Tune”, “The Song Is Over”, “Going Mobile”…)

2- Quadrophenia

A very problematic album turned to be a timeless work about identity – Pete Townshend’s key theme, and one that few have investigated as thoroughly as him. The 1996 remaster put everything in a mix as balanced as that of “Who’s Next”, making listening to this double album as pleasant to the ear as it is to your intellection.

3- Face Dances

How good would a poppy Who sound? The answer lies in this album, the first with Kenny Jones onboard. It produced their last chart hit, the dynamite “You Better You Bet”. But it also had some great songs in the shape of “Don’t Let Go The Coat” and “Another Tricky Day”. In each and every case, Roger’s delivery is more nuanced than usual. It is a pleasure to listen to him on this record. And the remastered CD is a true gem. Continue reading

Live At Leeds (The Who) – Album Review

A Discreet Cover For An Explosive Album

A Discreet Cover For An Explosive Album

As successful as Tommy would prove to be for The Who, it would also prove to bring about a series of difficulties that were to undermine the band, the way it saw itself, and the way the audience saw it. The problem with the famed rock opera was that the sound of the record was not even remotely reminiscent of the way The Who sounded on stage, and since many people discovered them through Tommy they had no idea of the volume and electricity the band generated when playing live. How could they address that situation and make newcomers realize how they really sounded, and show their old fans that they were as demolishing as ever? The answer was to be named “Live At Leeds”, and nowadays any fan of rock & roll knows the words. They are inscribed into the collective soul of rockers, and into the cognition of those who have experienced music in its purest form.

“Leeds” found the different band members at the point in which they realized The Who was to be what they were to do for the rest of their lives. Not because they were making a substantial income, but because they had found something they truly excelled at, and something that truly inspired others to do their best. Continue reading