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The Who - Who Are You CD (album) cover

WHO ARE YOU

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

3.23 | 131 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The year 1978 was musically , in my opinion, a time when Disco Music was at the peak of popularity. I hated the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack which was played endlessly on the Radio stations in my country. Everything was the Disco Fad. There were TV shows in my city which were doing competitions with people dancing and dressed "a la Travolta". Even my friends from the Seconday School were impacted by that Fad. But I can`t remember if Punk Rock was popular here. It was in this musical ambient were this "Who Are You" album was released. It was recorded between late 1977 and mid 1978, and I found it in the record shops in late 1978, after Keith Moon`s death (which happened in September 1978). Musically there were not many alternatives to listen for people like me (I was 13 years old then) who grew listening to the great "old" bands like The Who, YES, Focus, etc. So, every release of these kind of "old" bands was a "musical refuge" against the Disco Fad, which I consider as the worst time for International popular music (which some exceptions in bands like KC and the Sunshine Band).

This album is very good, despite the fact that Keith Moon`s drums playing had deteriorated with the passing of time due to his problems with alcohol. The band was having a hard time with him, and finally they talked with him: he had to improve his playing and drink less alcohol, or he was fired. Moon elected to find help for his substance abuse problems and his playing finally improved. Unfortunately, his desire to cut his substance abuse problems led him to a overdose of a medication to help him stop his drinking, and he died. He was planning to marry again, and his life was also improving in general too, but unfortunately the accident happened.

It has been said that the band felt like "Musical Dinosaurs" in 1978. So Townshend reflects these thoughts in the songs in this album.

The songs:

"New song": with similar content in the lyrics to the song called "The Song Remains the Same" from Led Zeppelin, it has very good keyboards and drums. It is one of the best from this album.

"Had Enough": composed by Entwistle, it has very good vocals b Daltrey (whose voice has changed with the pasing of time) and a string arrangement. Entwistle also played horns on this track.

"905": also composed by Entwistle, with futuristic lyrics and a very good synthesiser played by himself. He also sang lead vocals.

"Sister Disco": an attack to Disco Music. I agreed with this song in 1978! Good synthesiser by Townshend.

"Music Must Change": another reflection about the music in 1977-78. It has been said that Moon couldn`t play the jazzy rhythm of the song very well, so the song has not drums, apart from some crash cymbals. Entwistle also added horns on this track.

"Trick of the Light": composed by Entwistle, his best song on the album, this is an almost "heavy-metal" song which includes several bass guitars sounding like "heavy-metal" guitars, Very good drums by Moon and vocals by Daltrey. The lyrics are funny because they relate a sexual encounter with a prostitute!

"Guitar and Pen":a song about songwriting, with some funny lyrics too. Very good keyboards by Townshend and drums by Moon. One of my favourites from this album.

"Love is Coming Down": a "dramatic ballad" about the search of love. Very good drums by Moon and vocals by Daltrey. Again, one of my favourites from this album. It also has string arrangements. It has been said that many Fans of The Who didn`t like this song.

"Who Are You": a heavy song with very good drums by Moon, it also has lyrics which reflect about the musical ambient of the late seventies It also relates a night of drinking of Townshend with two members of the "Sex Pistols" band. Daltrey sang very well too.

Why The Who felt like "Dinosaurs"? The Punk Fad was mostly a marketing experiment which musically didn`t survive or made important ontributions to music, in my opinion (with some exceptions with bands like The Clash). Like the Disco Fad, it was a bad period for the International popular music, in my opinion.

In conclusion, I think that this album is one of the best from The Who. Keith Moon`s playing wasn`t the same in some ways as it was years before, but it was still very good, and more in comparison to later line-ups of the band. He was later replaced with Kenney Jones, former drummer of the Small Faces and The Faces. I consider Jones as a very good drummer, but his style didn`t fit very well with The Who. I think that The Who really should have split after Moon`s death. Townshend also said that in interviews done years later.

Guillermo | 4/5 |

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