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The Who - Who's Next CD (album) cover

WHO'S NEXT

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

4.36 | 390 ratings

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Blacksword
Prog Reviewer
5 stars An absolute classic rock album from a wonderfull era. But, is it prog? Well, no not really. But it's good that The Who have made it into the archives under 'Proto-prog' as their output was generally riddled with progressive elements; imaginative concepts and virtuoso playing. As far as 'Who's Next' goes, the prog elements are arguably few and far between, but it's a brilliant 5 star classic album, whatever label we choose to apply to it.

The opening of 'Baba O'Reilly' was certainly a breakthrough at the time, and very progressive. Townsends synth arpeggios, changing patterns and rhythim, leading to the dramatic opening of one of the best anthems ever penned. It's a powerfull opening to an album which is consistent throughout. There is no filler at all. The songs are direct, memorable, brillaintly played and well produced. The production is that classic 70's analogue sound, which is crisp and clean without sounding in any way processed. Organic is perhaps the word. I would compare the production to that of 1973 - 1976 Zep.

The songs play through with the energy of band in their prime, who are far from running out of good ideas for songs. The choruses stand out and stay with you. There are classic Who trademarks, like the vocal interplay between Daltry and Townsend, changing the atmosphere within the songs and providing the 'light and shade' required to make a good song, and vary the sound. Wonderful use of piano and acoustic guitar also add to this. Lyrically there is great humour in 'My Wife' as Townsend sings about being pursued by his enraged wife after staying out all night drinking, and how he will require 'police protection' when she catches up with him. 'Behind Blue Eyes' is one of my favourite Who songs, complete with sad, softly sung verses, which give way to an air punching chorus, where once again, Daltry's energy offers the contrast to Townsends moodiness. 'Wont get Fooled again' leaves little to say. It's one of those songs that identifies the Who. It's the perfect song to end the album, although there are extra tracks on the CD. An excellent package of powerful, but thoughtful and heartfelt rock songs. Highly reccomended.

If you're looking for a prog album from the Who, this isn't it, but it's well worth every penny you spend on it.

Blacksword | 5/5 |

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