Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


The Who


From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Who WHO album cover
3.63 | 35 ratings | 4 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

Write a review

Buy THE WHO Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. All This Music Must Fade (3:20)
2. Ball and Chain (4:29)
3. I Don't Wanna Get Wise (3:54)
4. Detour (3:46)
5. Beads on One String (3:40)
6. Hero Ground Zero (4:52)
7. Street Song (4:47)
8. I'll Be Back (5:01)
9. Break the News (4:30)
10. Rockin' in Rage (4:04)
11. She Rocked My World (3:22)

Total Time 45:45

Bonus tracks on SE 2019 CD:
12. This Gun Will Misfire (3:36)
13. Got Nothing to Prove (3:38)
14. Danny and My Ponies (4:02)

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Daltrey / lead vocals (1-7,9-11)
- Pete Townshend / guitar, lead (8,12-14) & backing vocals, harmonica, hurdy-gurdy, synth, percussion, Fx, composer & co-producer
- Pino Palladino / bass (1,2,4-8,11)
- Zak Starkey / drums (1,2,4,7)

- Andrew Synowiec / acoustic guitar (9)
- Gordon Giltrap / acoustic guitar (11)
- Benmont Tench / Hammond organ (1,3,10), Mellotron (1)
- Dave Sardy / percussion, synth programming (5), co-producer & mixing
- Gus Seyffert / bass (3,9,10)
- Carla Azar / drums (3,10)
- Joey Waronker / drums (5,8,11)
- Matt Chamberlain / drums (6)
- Fergus Gerrand / percussion (11)
- Josh Tyrrell / handclaps (4)
- Rowan McIntosh / handclaps (4)
- Bruce Dukov / orchestra leader (6,8)
- Martin Batchelar / orchestrations & orchestra conductor (6,8), programming (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Blake

CD Polydor ‎- 7743036 (2019, Europe)
CD Polydor ‎- 7747318 (2019, UK) SE with 3 bonus tracks

LP Polydor ‎- 7747053 (2019, Europe)

Thanks to admireArt for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry


More places to buy THE WHO music online

THE WHO WHO ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE WHO WHO reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars The Who's studio output has, of course, been rather spotty since 1982, and after several breakups and reunions, has only resulted in two studio albums; "Endless Wilre" in 2006, and more currently "WHO", which was released in November of 2019. All that remains of the band is Roger Daltrey doing almost all of the lead vocals, and Pete Townshend on guitars, background vocals and lead vocals on "I'll Be Back" and all three of the deluxe edition's bonus tracks. All other instruments are performed by guest musicians and these guests all perform on different specific tracks. Of course Keith Moon died in 1978 and John Entwistle died in 2002, or course each death had a lasting effect on the band and it shows in the lack of new output.

On this album, both Daltry and Townsend provide the consistency of this album, and they still provide that same The Who signature sound, however, both of them recorded their parts separately and the other parts were added by various musicians. As far as the bass parts; most of them are provided by Pino Palladino who has been in The Who's line-up since 2002 and has also performed with John Mayer. Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son) has also been a regular drummer for The Who since 1996 and performs on 4 of the tracks. Benmont Tench from Tom Petty's band "The Heartbreakers" plays keyboards on 3 tracks and Joey Waronker (session musician for Beck and "R.E.M.) also plays drums on 3 tracks. Everything else is done by various other artists.

One of the most interesting things about the album is the cover which is a series of photos that represent influences to The Who's music along with different notable symbols and things that pertain to the band's history, including the word "Detour" which not only references one of the more catchy tracks on this album, but also is a nod to the name "The Detours", the name the band used before becoming The Who.

As Daltry is lead vocalist on almost all of the tracks on the regular album, so is Townshend the songwriter on all of the tracks except "Beads on One String", The Who's version of a nice ballad (where Daltry even tempers his vocals accordingly), which Townshend shares with Josh Hunsacker, and "Break the News" which is written by Simon Townshend, Pete's younger brother.

The music on this album is definitely interesting enough in that it really reflects the trademark sound of The Who's music through the years. "Ball and Chain" is the first single off the album, yet it really lacks anything interesting. However, as mentioned previously, "Detour" is the first really memorable song up to this point (which is track 4) with a nice catchy hook and rhythm pattern. After that, "Beads on One String" is a definite highlight as a more ballad-like track, and "Hero Ground Zero" features some great orchestral (mostly strings) effects that go uncredited on the album, and that gives it a sweeping feeling that helps it stand out.

Daltry's vocals haven't suffered or changed much over the years, and that is mostly a good thing. I do believe he has more restraint and control most of the time on this album, maybe a bit mellower at times, however, he still proves he has plenty of strength when he needs it, and most people might not even detect a difference in his vocals. In most cases, it has been proven that more restraint never hurt Daltry's delivery, and in this album, even his outbursts are timed quite well. There is still a bit of over-the-top dramatics from time to time, but it works well here.

Townshend's guitar work is still quite similar to his past work also. He doesn't do anything that stands right out, but still performs as he is expected to, which is where his strength has been. His other strength is in songwriting, and, even though there isn't nothing as amazing as "Baba O'Riley", "Won't Get Fooled Again" or even close to the amazing rock opera albums "Tommy" and "Quadropheia", it's definitely much more interesting and varied than most of the songs on "Who Are You" and "It's Hard". Townshend still has his voice also, as shown on "I'll Be Back" which has the help of vocal effects to keep him on target, and unfortunately, this makes what might have been an interesting song turn into a schleppy sounding song that rips off Stevie Wonder complete with harmonica drenched instrumental support.

These songs are varied, which is really the best thing The Who could have done to try to bring in new listeners. I don't think anyone expected to hear any rock operas or amazing rocked out tracks that the band was famous for in the past. But the good thing here, is that they didn't revert to the post-"Quadrophenia" style of songs that sound all the same or heavily soaked in 80s style synth beats. They did keep things organic here, for the most part, and they give the songs more personality by giving a large amount of variety among the songs. The place where it all suffers is that most listeners would love to hear more of a rock edge among the mellower, more radio-friendly tracks. But even that gets some fulfillment especially in tracks like "Rockin' in Rage" and "All This Music Must Fade". But again, don't expect anything that will get your blood boiling and you might be able to see how they use variety to their advantage here.

Are the 3 bonus tracks sung by Pete Townshend worth getting the deluxe edition for? Well, personally, I have liked Townshend's vocals better in the past that were effectively used to smooth out the roughness of Daltry's vocals, but he doesn't always have the strength to carry off a full album as some of his solo work has proven. In the case of this album, "This Gun Will Misfire" is much better than the track that is used on the regular album where Pete sings, and should have been used. "Got Nothing to Prove" has a really cool retro vibe that will make you think this track came from "The Who Sell Out", with strings and a definite pre-1970s sound to the production. Cool. "Danny and My Ponies" is okay, but it uses the annoying auto-tune effect again. I'd rather hear his real voice. So, two of the bonus tracks are great and the last one gets ruined by electronics.

It's not a bad album, but its not excellent either. It's just nice. It's no "Quadrophenia" but its also better than "Face Dances" and "It's Hard", and as such, it stands out in the group of later albums. Still, there is not much in the way of progressive music here, but things aren't necessarily boring either. In the end, it comes off as a little better than average, but not quite enough to be considered excellent.

Review by lazland
4 stars A few years ago, I saw an interview with Roger Daltrey, in which the legendary Who vocalist waxed lyrical about how his old sparring partner, Pete Townsend, had "written the book" on teenage life, angst, and growing up in a harsh world, but hoped that he would one day write the definitive album about growing old.

Well, 2019 saw the release of "Who", a brand new collection of Townsend songs written for his cohort and recorded virtually, with Daltrey allegedly taking some time to "get into it".

Is it the definitive old rocker collection of words? Well, maybe not, but what it is is a fine collection, and, to this long-standing fan, that is likely as much as we are entitled to.

To these ears, Townsend has absolutely rediscovered his ear for fine and catchy rock tunes. The album leaps out at you with the opener, All This Music Must Fade, a somewhat bitter rock track, and Townsend shows that he has lost none of his old penchant for awkwardness when, at the close, he follows up a monologue with "who gives a [%*!#]?". Indeed.

Daltrey sounds absolutely fantastic throughout. Of course, the range is a lot narrower than days of yore, but for a man in his 70's, it ain't half bad.

Ball & Chain opens with delicate piano and guitar, before providing us with a fine modern day blues riff discussing the horrors of Guantanamo Bay. And therein probably lies my deepest satisfaction with this album. I like it that Townsend still has the ability to have a damned good old rant, and that Daltrey is still the only singer and man alive with the capability of translating this into the polished product.

I adore I Don't Wanna Get Wise, a testimony to growing old in rather rude fashion, this rips along at such a pace that you really believe it is being performed by a group half their age.

Zak Starkey and Pink Palladino shine on drums and bass on Detour, a richly produced rock number with more than a nod to the past (Detours was the forerunner of The Who).

Talking of production, there are hints of some of the rich keys which blessed albums such as Who's Next and Quadrophenia all the way through, and nowhere more than on the expansive ballad Beads On One String, and my only minor gripe here is that it would have been nice to have a lot more, because they allow this track to soar in places. Ditto with Street Song, which contains keys which both remind one of Baba O'Reilly in parts, and provide a touch of Middle Eastern textures, and had this been more to the fore, a better track might have followed. As it is, I find it one of the rare throwaway tracks present.

Having said that, nowhere does the entire album sound better than on the wonderful Hero Ground Zero, with orchestral soundscapes backing a very strong Daltrey vocal. This track was written by Townsend as the opener to an as yet unfinished opera, and it is utter proof how just how much Daltrey brought into the recording process. The pair of them might have fought like cat and dog for decades, but they clearly respect each other, and I dare say love each other very much. Music this good doesn't come out of hatred.

Townsend saves for himself the longest track, at just over five minutes, I'll Be Back, a ballad sung and played by him, with Daltrey supporting on harmonica only, and it again features some good orchestration. An interesting track which provides an eclectic contrast to the overall album. The closing chord, by the way, is straight out of Quadrophenia.

The album reasserts itself strongly with the fine single release, Break The News, a song which simply shouts out the pleasure of still being alive, performing together, and rising above the chaos of being the world's greatest rock band. This track was the first I knew about the impending release of a new album when I heard it played on Planet Rock Radio. It was, and remains, a joy to listen to, and worth the admission price alone.

Rockin' In Rage does what it says on the tin, and probably only Daltrey could get away with this at his age. As a latter day protest rock song, it doesn't quite work for me, and I regard this as the other "filler track", being a wee bit too forced.

The album closes with She Rocked My World, a blues infused curio.

That these two are still knocking out music of any, let alone this, quality some 56 years after they started (they have been playing some 6 months longer that I have been alive) is nothing short of miraculous. They have weathered the loss of two of the greatest rock musicians ever to stride this Earth, and, more to the point, they still sound vital and relevant.

Four stars for this. I think fans old and new will enjoy much of what these two old geezers still have to offer. If this is their recording swan song, it is a fine way to go out.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I was not alone when I thought that 'Endless Wire' was their last studio work. And when You come to know that 'the Who' is going to issue a new album it looks like a marvel. This work is better than 'Endless Wire', 'It`s Hard ' and 'Face Dances'. This is not only a surprise as a whole, but rat ... (read more)

Report this review (#2315818) | Posted by Just Because | Thursday, February 13, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have been huge Who-fan almost my whole life! It was not long ago, I was thinking there will not be new Who-album anymore. In 2018 they didn't even tour. I didn't hear anywhere, that in the begin of this year Towshend had said, they were going make a new album. So I was really suprised, when in ... (read more)

Report this review (#2301789) | Posted by Mortte | Saturday, December 28, 2019 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of THE WHO "WHO"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.