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The Who - By Numbers CD (album) cover


The Who



3.52 | 184 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I love "Squeeze Box", no matter how silly others may find this track. Pete Townshend's deadpan banjo solo always brings a smile to my face. But the remainder of BY NUMBERS is a real downer. Prior to this release, the Who came up with three of the most exuberant albums in rock history. Now their main songwriter had lost most of his energy and courage. What were they do do?

If you play all of THE WHO BY NUMBERS in a single sitting, it feels dispiriting. Most of the songs reflect Pete Townshend's bitterness and despair. That doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. "Slip Kid", "Imagine a Man" and particularly "Blue, Red and Grey" are exquisite. Two of these tracks, together with an excellent live version of "Dreaming from the Waist", can be found in the box set 30 YEARS OF MAXIMUM R&B, which definitely seems a better buy than this album, since it also provides you with the best tracks from WHO's NEXT and WHO ARE YOU, and from the Who in the 1960s.

fuxi | 2/5 |


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