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The Who - It's Hard CD (album) cover


The Who



2.58 | 103 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Opinions are strongly divided on IT'S HARD, but in my opinion it's far preferable to its immediate predecessor, the indifferent FACE DANCES. Back in the early 1980s the Who were my favourite band. When FACE DANCES came out, it was obvious to all and sundry that Pete Townshend was saving his best songs for his solo albums. IT'S HARD came as a relief. It seemed as if the Who had been telling themselves: 'We're going to show the world we can still rock.' It's true that about half of the tunes on the album sound hopelessly boring, but let's not forget the other half!

"Athena" is an utterly charming opener, similar in spirit to "You Better You Bet" - the Who were obviously hoping for another minor radio hit. Two of John Entwistle's hard-rocking songs are captivating: one with rather flat lyrics ("Dangerous") and one with deeply poignant ones ("It's your Turn"). Townshend's ballad "One Life's Enough" sounds moving, but the highlight of IT'S HARD must be its energetic closer, at the end of which Townshend really lets rip on electric guitar, something he never even tried on FACE DANCES or WHO ARE YOU. I have always found it a magical moment. I'm surprised few other Who fans seem captivated by it - but I have a hunch they simply never made it to the end of the album.

Rating: IT'S HARD as a whole only merits two stars, but the tracks described above (as well as "Eminence Front", perhaps) firmly deserve three.

fuxi | 2/5 |


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