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THE WHO

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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The Who picture
The Who biography
Formed in 1964, Hammersmith, London, UK - Split in 1982 (occasionally re-formed for live appearances)
Resumed regular touring in 1999 and recorded a new albums in 2006 and 2019

One of the greatest of all rock and roll bands and one of the most influential of all time, The Who formed in 1964, when drummer Keith Moon left the Beachcombers and joined The Detours, who included singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, and bassist John Entwistle. The Who arrived on the scene at a crossroads in the English music scene: The Beatles were still king but were beginning to turn from the bubble gum pop of previous albums, the Merseybeat boom was fading and London was becoming the center of English music. A residency at London's famed Marquis club gave them a stage to make their impression: above all, The Who were a live band that had to be seen as well as heard. There first hit, "I Can't Explain", led to regular TV appearances and a tour with The Beatles. It also got them signed to Decca Records, where they recorded their first album, "My Generation". The album was a hit in England, reaching #5 on the charts, while the title track became an anthem of sorts for the times and still perhaps their best known song.

The Who were very original in that their arrangements were far from the normal in rock those days. Pete was more of a rhythm player who had Keith and John playing around him instead of
merely holding a beat, an influence acknowledged by the way Prog rock turned conventional rock idioms on their ear with regards to arrangement and traditional roles of the instruments. Keith's drumming was described as 'lead' drumming and John was having bass solos as early as 1965 in rock music.

Success out of the gate gave the group some measure of creative control on their next album which they lacked on the first. Pete and manager Kit Lambert had been talking about extended themes and ideas in rock and roll for some time. When The Who went into the studio for their second album in 1966 each group member was to contribute songs to help generate more revenue in royalties for the group, the group having a rather high overhead in terms of destroyed guitars and drum kits. When the others were not able to meet their quota of songs for the new album, Pete and Kit stepped in to fill the album out, and came up with what would be one of the trademarks of prog music in the future, the extended song cycle "A Quick One", which would be the title o...
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THE WHO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE WHO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 211 ratings
My Generation
1965
2.98 | 195 ratings
A Quick One
1966
3.55 | 273 ratings
The Who Sell Out
1967
3.99 | 621 ratings
Tommy
1969
4.42 | 655 ratings
Who's Next
1971
4.50 | 652 ratings
Quadrophenia
1973
3.50 | 221 ratings
By Numbers
1975
3.32 | 235 ratings
Who Are You
1978
2.47 | 134 ratings
Face Dances
1981
2.61 | 126 ratings
It's Hard
1982
2.88 | 100 ratings
Endless Wire
2006
3.61 | 40 ratings
WHO
2019

THE WHO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 176 ratings
Live At Leeds
1970
4.04 | 53 ratings
The Kids Are Alright (Original Soundtrack of the Film)
1979
2.67 | 26 ratings
Who´s Last
1984
3.06 | 17 ratings
Join Together
1990
2.86 | 5 ratings
The Who Live (Golden Age serie)
1993
3.33 | 36 ratings
Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
1996
3.02 | 31 ratings
BBC Sessions
2000
3.88 | 23 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall
2003
3.17 | 6 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
2010
3.94 | 15 ratings
Live At Hull
2012

THE WHO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.89 | 34 ratings
The Kids are Alright
1979
3.73 | 11 ratings
Who's Better, Who's Best
1988
3.60 | 19 ratings
Live at the Isle of Wight Festival
1998
3.97 | 13 ratings
Who's Next - Classic Albums
1999
3.92 | 17 ratings
Live at the Royal Albert Hall
2000
2.86 | 7 ratings
Live & Alive
2003
2.71 | 7 ratings
The Vegas Job
2006
3.15 | 17 ratings
Amazing Journey
2007
3.75 | 15 ratings
The Who at Kilburn: 1977
2008
3.53 | 15 ratings
Maximum R&B Live
2009
3.78 | 9 ratings
Live in Texas '75
2012
3.26 | 12 ratings
Quadrophenia: Live in London
2014
3.84 | 6 ratings
Live in Hyde Park
2015
4.00 | 2 ratings
Tommy: Live at the Royal Albert Hall
2017

THE WHO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.25 | 18 ratings
Magic Bus: The Who on Tour
1968
3.37 | 37 ratings
Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy
1971
3.69 | 42 ratings
Odds & Sods
1974
3.33 | 6 ratings
Who's Missing
1985
4.09 | 13 ratings
Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B
1994
3.81 | 27 ratings
My Generation - The Very Best of The Who
1996
2.26 | 4 ratings
The Who (budget compilation)
1997
4.06 | 30 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
2002
3.27 | 15 ratings
Then and Now
2004
1.88 | 11 ratings
Greatest Hits
2009
5.00 | 7 ratings
Live At Leeds 40th Anniversary Super-Deluxe Collectors' Edition
2010
4.83 | 6 ratings
Quadrophenia - The Director's Cut (Super Deluxe Limited Edition)
2011
3.83 | 6 ratings
The Who Hits 50!
2014

THE WHO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can't Explain
1965
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Legal Matter
1966
2.74 | 12 ratings
I'm a Boy
1966
2.79 | 11 ratings
Happy Jack
1966
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Last Time / Under My Thumb
1967
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pictures of Lily
1967
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can See for Miles
1967
5.00 | 1 ratings
A Quick One, While He's Away
1967
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Seeker / Here for More
1970
3.67 | 6 ratings
Summertime Blues
1970
3.07 | 8 ratings
Let's See Action / When I Was A Boy
1971
5.00 | 1 ratings
Won't Get Fooled Again / Don't Know Myself
1971
3.67 | 3 ratings
Relay / Waspman
1972
4.10 | 10 ratings
5.15
1973
5.00 | 1 ratings
Substitute
1976
3.00 | 1 ratings
Long Live Rock / I'm the Face / My Wife
1979
2.50 | 2 ratings
Athena
1982
3.00 | 1 ratings
Ready Steady Who
1983
3.05 | 3 ratings
Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B sampler
1994

THE WHO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Quick One, While He's Away by WHO, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
5.00 | 1 ratings

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A Quick One, While He's Away
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars This really could be the most progressive 7" singles recorded in 1966! When The Who were making their second album that eventually was to be titled A Quick One, their producer and manager Kit Lambert encouraged Pete Townshend to write a longer piece to fill up the album length. 'A Quick One, While He's Away' (9:10) is a suite of six song fragments, and it tells about a girl who has an affair while her lover is away but is forgiven.

The intro 'Her Man's Gone' is a multi-vocal a cappella piece lasting only about 25 seconds, followed by an uptempo rocker 'Crying Town'. 'We Have a Remedy' is a charming movement with its la-la-la-la-la-laa harmonies, and the hilarious 'Ivor the Engine Driver' introduces the other man in the first person. 'Soon Be Home' has a laid-back country feel and The Beach Boys reminding vocal harmonies repeating the title's words. The cathartic finale 'You Are Forgiven' starts the B side of the single. The Who wanted cellos there, but Kit Lambert could not afford it so the band ended up singing "Cello, cello, cello" at the beginning of the movement.

In the performance on Live at Leeds Townshend calls the song a mini-opera and introduces it as Tommy's parents. Indeed it is a clear precursor to the seminal "rock opera" Tommy (1969). Within nine minutes you hear many things that stylistically have an equivalent somewhere along the 2-LP of Tommy. It sure feels very hectic and tightly packed, but that's an essential part of its peculiar charm. The movements follow each other in a hurry, and yet the whole is very coherent. The production is very good for its time.

'A Quick One, While He's Away' has a tragic background underneath its cheerfulness. It was inspired by Townsend's childhood experiences, as he reveals in his 2012 autobiography Who I Am. (I am citing the Wikipedia article.) The song "briefly refers to his molestation as a child, but not explicitly. 'Ivor the Engine Driver' is said by Townshend to be a metaphor for the possible abuser. The 'Her Man's Been Gone' section refers to Townshend's separation from his parents and spending time with his grandmother, Denny. The crying in the 'Crying Town' portion is his own, for his parents to pick him up and to leave Denny, who is said by Townshend to have been the person who brought in unknown men into her home. The 'little girl' referred to in his song is actually a make-believe 'imaginary constant friend' and 'twin girl who suffered every privation I suffered'. 'You Are Forgiven' presents someone coming to Townshend's rescue: his mother. The lyric about sitting on Ivor the Engine Driver's lap 'and later with him had a nap' also hints at what may have happened. The song ends with the verbal chant of 'you are forgiven', which Townshend states that when The Who performed the song, he would always get into a frenzy. He states that those who were being forgiven was everyone referred to in the song's lyrics, including himself."

In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked 'A Quick One, While He's Away' number 4 on its list of the 50 greatest songs by The Who.

The single's B side continues with 'So Sad About Us' which on A Quick One album comes before the epic final piece. It's a good lesser known song from The Who, combining the raw rock energy and The Moody Blues reminding melodicism. I'm tempted to give the breathtaking musical contents of this unique single five stars. The Who definitely were ahead of their time in 1966.

 My Generation by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
2.98 | 211 ratings

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My Generation
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by DangHeck

3 stars [Hello from the future! I really don't know how it used to be, but it must be said: We aren't judging Proto-Prog on its merits as being "Progressive Rock", but simply as "Rock Music", per the rating standards. I also must acknowledge here and now that I not only rated this before I was actually reviewing (a grave sin, I know), but that perhaps my mind can, by appearance, change in admittedly a very short period of time; hopefully more a reflection of me honing my ratings and therefore overall personal standards. Generally speaking, perhaps the greater Prog fandom genuinely doesn't care for early The Who. On second thought, "the greater Prog fandom" seems to be right on the money here.]

The Who started off here, I always thought most strongly, in 1965, in the midst of the British Invasion (John Entwistle already sporting the Union Jack...et... with pride). Reps of the Mods with their contemporaries The Small Faces, they and plenty other Brits of the era nerdily inspired by Black American culture (whether Soul-loving Mods or Merseybeat R&B-obsessive Rockers), straddle the line between the cool 'n soulful and the booming 'n searing. [This will be a review for the... apparently 2002 Remaster edition... selected most selectively, just so I can talk about "I Can't Explain" even briefly haha.]

A tell of the time from certain tracks, we get straight-ahead, early Garage Rock in the opener, "Out in the Street" (ballsy for the time, for sure); and "The Good's Gone", featuring some Proto-Punky chillout, to my ears a la Iggy Pop-esque vocals (maybe? Lou Reed?). I definitely enjoy this'n, despite its momentary indifference to the guns-blazing Rock of The Who's most memorable numbers. "Much Too Much" is a bit of a mix of these two modes, even expressing the first moments of their brand of genre-defining Power Pop with bright drums and a simple melody. The Garage-ready "It's Not True" is just fine. Back in this mode from a quick hiatus is "A Legal Matter", a decent track with obviously lesser vocals from our primary songwriter, the otherwise fantastic Pete Townsend. Rolling drums blast into our ears on "The Ox", by far the heaviest song of the whole, featuring, though too, some striding keys.

Yet another sign of the time was the to me now-somewhat-surprising presence of R&B, heard prominently on the second track(?!) of this album, "I Don't Mind". This track has some real heft in the midst of classic, melodic B.A.M. observance. It's fine haha, but it has something. This sound results specifically in a soft dance number in "La-La-La Lies", reminiscent to me immediately of The Beatles' "Tell Me Why", released a year and a half earlier on A Hard Days Night (1964). The Soul continues on "Please, Please, Please". "I'm A Man" is a... poorly aged rendition of a sort of Howlin' Wolf Blues number; decent ideas, but nothing that drives it to anything great. The final track of this Afro-American mode is the wonky "Daddy Rolling Stone", the final bonus track. Pretty cool, pretty funky, with some sort of honky-tonk piano.

Squarely in the middle of the release, the title track, "My Generation", is of course a must-hear, an era-defining moment in music history. It's hooky, punky, and, frankly, daringly cool as hell. We have unique, stuttering vocals from Daltry and the insane, flailing drumming from Keith Moon. Right up next, starting the second side, is one of the strongest on the album, the best example of early Power Pop present here, "The Kids Are Alright". Excellent melody, great and memorable instrumentation. And the bridge!!! Good God Almighty! Another highlight/must-hear is the Garage-Pop of "Circles". Awesome melody, and heavy instrumentation. It's pretty much got it all. What I can say is that I would actually recommend the Freakbeat cover of this by Fleur De Lys all the more. Absolutely fantastic stuff. As mentioned in my intro, I had to take time for the bonus track "I Can't Explain", a single backed with "Bald Headed Woman" (a bombastic White R&B track, which only gets better as it goes). "I Can't Explain" is yet another quintessential Power Pop tune, to be sure.

Overall, a solid debut LP (better to my ears than, say, Please Please Me, for instance). See my [super]boldings for the best of the best. Other slight standout tracks are "The Good's Gone" and "The Ox". A lowered re-rate was certainly in order.

 The Who Live (Golden Age serie) by WHO, THE album cover Live, 1993
2.86 | 5 ratings

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The Who Live (Golden Age serie)
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by Prog123

3 stars The world of budget compilations is truly a world that can be very interesting. But it is also a risky world. Many budget compilations are only of modest quality. Others end up being real bootlegs. Other times they allow you to listen to songs in live version with not always good quality. And, in the latter case, it is not uncommon that given the success they have, they end up obtaining a restoration and a 100% official publication. With the arrival of the CD or, better still, CDs for everyone (late 80s / 90s), these budget compilations multiply. Often because the rights on the recordings expired or because certain labels decided to sell off their catalogs. Other times it happened that there was no interest on the part of the labels for certain artists who, however, were in great demand. Thus were born several labels that bought the recordings of those artists or had new versions of famous songs recorded and put them on the market. This budget live compilation is at the limit of legality since there are recordings of Leeds 1970 that are already contained in the official live of The Who and because the others are from 1968 and 1969 and, therefore, at the limit of exercising copyright on the recordings. In any case, if you were lucky enough to find it, I would recommend it. After all, there is no Progressive here, just Hard Rock (they are all 60s songs) but very valid also for a Progressive lover, given that Hard Rock, at the time these songs were written and recorded, was an innovative genre and played the role of the Progressive of the following decades. Some (I think of "Boris The Spider", for example) have a certain appeal to a Progressive lover for the structure of the writing, for example. But, in general, you can hear great Hard Rock and Proto Metal here.

What to say, to conclude? That this budget live compilation is a good example of what The Who was like at the time. But don't look for a (live) compilation for audiophiles or true Progressive lovers here.

 The Who Sell Out by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.55 | 273 ratings

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The Who Sell Out
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by dvukelja

4 stars There was a lot going on in the musical world of 1967. The year that brought to the world the first albums from Pink Floyd and the Doors, Sgt. Pepper and Days of Future Past among many others. The Who Sell Out is another great title that came out in the said year, but unfortunately, often overlooked and rarely talked about, despite having some amazing tunes and being one of the first real rock concept albums, with a very original form. One can argue about the "progressiveness" of the songs, but if put in the context of the time of its release, there are some boundaries pushed, and isn't that what prog is all about? But I'm prolonging this, let's start with the album. So the album starts with the only song not actually written by a member of the band, "Armenia City in the Sky". I never really liked this one, it just sounds really different from the rest of the album and it would be kind of unnoticeable if it was removed from it. The second track "Heinz Baked Beans" opens the door for the "commercial" side of the album. But not commercial as in appealing to the masses, I mean literal commercials in song forms (and I don't mean jingles, because there's a lot of that too on the album). The finest of these three (Third is Entwistle-sung "Medac") is Townshend's "Odorono", telling the story of a singer on an audition, failing because she used an inferior deodorant, in a couple of verses with an interesting harmonic foundation based on sequencing seventh chords. "Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand" shows a gentler side of The Who. The song features acoustic guitars, interesting percussion (it almost sounds as Moon is playing the spoons, I wouldn't be surprised) and characteristical harmony. The song itself is pretty funny (it is a string of joke tracks: Beans - Marry Anne - Odorono - Tattoo), telling the listener that despite other girls have respectable qualities, Mary knows how to use her hands. It is the mocking of radio that is the real point of this album and it is done brilliantly through fake commercials and songs like this one. "Our Love Was" is another Townsend-sung simple song which has my favorite five seconds of the album, right there in the middle, the song stops and a Capella harmony kicks in, followed by a modulation. Brilliant. "I Can See For Miles" is the conclusion of the first side and it does and with a bang. If I have to pick one song to represent early Who, this would be the one. In my opinion the best performance by Keith Moon, fantastic vocals by Daltrey, very interesting harmonies in the chorus and that plain energy in the form of a song really wraps it up. Now, as much as I love this album and the first side is one of my favorite "proto-prog" album sides, I must say that the second side, despite having nice, catchy songs, isn't as interesting. I don't have much to say about the songs on it except the grand finale - Rael. "Rael" was Townshend's first idea for a rock opera (after writing the 9-minute "A Quick One While He's Away", arguably the first "epic") which was then scrapped, but parts of it were used for this album. For people that don't find The Who "prog enough", this song can prove otherwise. Despite being little under six minutes, it has several different parts, a story about a hero, vocal harmony, instrumental breaks... If it had been finished (with music in this style), I would have taken "Rael - the album" before "Tommy" any day, but that's for some other time. I conclude this rather longish review by saying that if the rest of the second side had been as good as the first one, this would be a five star album for me. This way, I give it four stars because it is something that every fan of proto-prog should hear.
 My Generation by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
2.98 | 211 ratings

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My Generation
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Following in the trendy 60s mod and art pop scenes as the Detours, the band that changed its name to THE WHO quickly wooed audiences with its slick crafty menagerie of garage rock mixed with rhythm & blues and found instant success with the single "I Can't Explain" which was admittedly a derivative of The Kinks "You Really Got Me" which shot up the British charts and launched the band into the big leagues right out of the gate. The unexpected success of that single that hit #8 on the charts opened the doors and quickly followed by another top 10 in the form of "Daddy Rolling Stone." Due to these two high charting singles THE WHO was rushed into the studio where they cranked out their debut album MY GENERATION which debuted in December of 1965 and while a bit fashionably late to the British rock invasion, once THE WHO had arrived they wouldn't stop until they hit the big time which happened practically overnight.

Like many albums of the era, MY GENERATION found two slightly different releases for its British audiences and another for the US with two different album covers. While a rushed job for sure with a mixed bag of varied tracks, MY GENERATION is notable for being one of the first British rock albums to showcase a more energetic aggressive approach which by today's standards sounds laughable but around 1965-66 was quite shocking and single-handedly signaled an arms race of heavier and faster guitar riffs that ultimately led to the unthinkable variety of extreme metal and punk that would come a few decades down the road. That means THE WHO are considered both a proto-metal as well as a proto-punk band and although the songs on MY GENERATION are fairly standard blues driven pop rock that was fairly common for the British scene of the mid-60s, the drumming prowess of Keith Moon in particular along with heavier jangle guitars upped the ante in harder rock.

While i wouldn't call MY GENERATION the most essential release by THE WHO, the album is interesting in connecting the dots between classic 50s rock and roll with the hard rock and proto-punk bands that followed. The title track was the only single off of this one which was a huge hit peaking at #2 on the British charts but also one of the best songs THE WHO ever did in its early years. The other notable songs are the opening "Out In The Street" and the instrumental "The Ox" which prognosticated the heavier and more progressive route that the band would take. This feisty number features incessantly heavy drums, a hyperactive piano groove and a punkish guitar and bass attack unlike anything that had been released at the time although it still retained a melodic connection to the R&B driven rock and roll era that THE WHO emerged from.

The album is decent but many rushed albums in the 60s included fluff and this album is no exception. The album features not one but two covers from James Brown: "I Don't Mind" and "Please, Please, Please" as well as "I'm A Man" from Bo Diddley. Decently done but nothing more than adequate covers that really don't hold up well over time. While touted as a masterpiece of the ages, i really don't find MY GENERATION to be that exciting of a listen other than tuning into the zeitgeist of the mod scene of the mid-60s. Other than the title track and "The Ox" there is really nothing memorable about this album however if you have the Deluxe remastered version (the one i have) then you will be treated by extras such as the excellent track "Circles" as well as the singles that were released before MY GENERATION. Overall, this is a decent slice of mid-60s British blues fueled pop rock but hardly the best the era had to offer and certainly not THE WHO's magnum opus but a great place to explore the band's music for sure.

3.5 rounded down

 WHO by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.61 | 40 ratings

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WHO
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Tommy: Live at the Royal Albert Hall by WHO, THE album cover DVD/Video, 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Tommy: Live at the Royal Albert Hall
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by Mortte

4 stars First: this review is made from the audio-version. It was released also as 3LP and 2CD. Little bit odd was, that there was no DVD in vinyl version as there was in 'Live In Hyde Park'. On the other hand 'Quadrophenia: Live In London' didn't come vinyl at all, only as DVD & 2CD. Anyway this review is based from the one I made in Finnish prog sites 2017. Today I listened first listening after that year. Little bit odd was, that they decided to make this two years before Tommy would have been 50 years old. Well, maybe they thought this had to be done before it's too late, Daltrey had had some health problems just before this. Because the horrible acoustic of Royal Albert Hall of rock concert they originally planned this to be acoustic version. But as Roger said in the begin of concert, their four weeks rehearsal's wouldn't benefit the charity where the concert profits were going, so they decided to play Tommy in as they've played it many years.

But adverts still says this was first time when Who played Tommy as it entirety. It's not exactly true, over ten minutes 'Undertune' is just few minutes piece and played only by guitar. Really would liked to hear Starkey's doing some original kind of drumming in that. But what's great here was first time really good live version of 'Welcome' that was the one of the most proggy pieces in Tommy. Really wonderful also was they've added in 'Overture' the horn parts originally played by Entwistle. I am not going to write about every songs from this album just because they're mostly very loyal to original. But have to say Starkey's drumming is little bit sticky at first (just like he's predecessor Moon had in some gigs). But when he warms up, it's again very amazing to hear! Daltrey singns as usual, although he's voice has become little bit thicker, also some songs goes into lower keys as original. Townshend has lost his voice and it's his brother Simon who sings the highest parts of Peter's. As in always the Who plays Tommy in gigs, here are also other their classic pieces in the end of the album. They played all of them already in 'Live In Hyde Park' and versions are as great. I believe they have played 'Baba O`Riley' & 'Won't Get Fooled Again' almost in their all gigs after sixties, but they sounds in this album like they were new songs!

At the moment there won't come in my mind any others in the begin of sixties started bands that still can play their old classics so well as the Who and The Rolling Stones. I just can't give this great live album five stars, because this still don't rise into level of the original masterpiece, maybe partly because that torso version of Undertune, but also they just couldn't full achieve the freshness of Tommy 1969 (who could after 50 years). But I think this is great live album to those, who don't like those more sixties sounds of the original version, also in this live vocals are not as front. Still this is not sounding too clean. Really this was a concert I would have liked to be with!

 A Quick One by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1966
2.98 | 195 ratings

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A Quick One
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The Who showed their ambitions and potential on this still early album. While not reaching the sophistication of Beatles at that time, they were ahead of other rocking peers such as Rolling Stones. There isn't the studio trickery of the Beatles, songs are still quite clearly rooted in rock. The inclusion of French horn and tuba was quite inventive followed closely by creative guitar playing (including acoustic guitar) and dynamic drumming. Melodies are quite good, sometimes even reaching the pop-rock territory because of not so raw vocal harmonies.

This is hardly a proto-prog yet but remains a testimony and important album of 66 in the UK. For proggers, the 9-minute suite is worth listening multiple times. Creativity, energy and young spirit on this record are infectious and memorable. My first favourite The Who album. Other highlights "Boris the spider" with semi-growling and progressive melody, "Cobwebs and strange" with its semi-avantgarde structure accelerating drums and brass instruments. "Don't look away" is a pop track with excellent harmonies.

 WHO by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.61 | 40 ratings

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WHO
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by Just Because

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 rather a package of surprises.

Many songs are like a fresh air rushing in an open window. 'All This Music Must Fade', 'Street Song' and 'Hero Ground Zero' well illustrate this feeling. The latter is sung with such young ardour that one can unwillingly doubt if Roger is a really 75-years old man.

On the contrary, bluesy 'Ball and Chain' suits the age of these 'old and tired guys'. I can say the same about 'She Rocked My World'. This number also has something that we have never heard from them before: jazz and bossa nova.

On heartwarming 'I`ll be back' Pete proves his mastery of narrative vocals. In this sence he could be in a nice company with Bob Dylan or Mark Knopfler.

Pop-folkish "Break the News" composed by Pete`s younger brother Simon brings me a soulful and carefree mood.

On "Rockin' in Rage" Roger sings verses with depth and wisdom, then the song explodes with a powerful chorus which would fit 'Who`s Next'.

Bonus pop-psychedelic track 'Got Nothing to Prove' opens a gateway to 1966/1967, a kind of feel like 'times when we were young and naive'.

In all probability we have a final album of the band and it can serve as their testament on a high note. The only thing left for us is wondering if they can perform another heroic act to make another one output. 'Who' knows ?

 WHO by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.61 | 40 ratings

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WHO
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by Mortte

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 this autumn hearing, there was coming new album! First single 'Ball And Chain' was promising. So I went to the Who- store and ordered three vinyl version, where the vinyls are from Who-logo: blue, white and red. This album was named just Who. It's not the first time, in 1966 'A Quick One' was released in Germany and some other countries in the name 'the Who' with a little bit different songs. But I quess there is some self-irony, in these days there are young people, who never have heard about the Who and will ask 'Who?'. Anyway Towshend has always been those, who want to follow the time, but he's always managed to do it with style. So is it in this new album. This is the first album that I've heard, where is used autotune without any irritation to me.

Album starter 'All This Music Must Fade' really also has self-irony with it's lyrics: 'I don't care I know you're gonna hate this song. And that's fair, we never really got along. It's not new, not diverse. It won't light up your parade. It's just simple verse'. Anyway it starts album really well, in a very typical, energetic Who-way. 'Ball And Chain' is also very good song, reminds a little 'Who Are You', but is lot better than that many times heard piece. 'I don't Wanna Get Wise' is again very positive, energetic Who song. When 'Detour' starts, you may think, are they made their first glam rock song. But gladly there are softer parts, that make song really great! In 'Beads On One String' direction starts to go little bit mediocre, but it has still great melodies. In 'Hero Ground Zero' strings and energetic playing keep your interest on.

Second vinyl starts with 'Street Song' that I think is the most mediocre song in this album. But then direction changes totally in 'I'll Be Back'. When that eighties Steve Wonder reminding soft harmonica intro comes, you don't know what to think. This song is the only song sung by Townshend and I think it would have fit more into his solo album. 'Break the News' is another oddball in this album, but I like it as it`s innocence. But the greatest is yet to come: 'Rockin` in Rage' could have been in Quadrophenia with it's powerful, but dark chords. Also acoustic spanish-influenced piece 'She Rocked My World' is just great! In my vinyl version there is one 10' vinyl with bonus song 'Sand' that is unreleased demo-track from the sixties. Although I can understand, why they didn't released it in the sixties, it's now sounding really great in it's sixties production and young energy!

When 'Endless Wire' came in 2006, I was totally suprised how great it was! And have to say for that reason I got lot of expections of this new album, but they didn't fulfill fully. Anyway this album is my 10 best album list of this year. I really loved in 'Endless Wire' how songs change between fully acoustic and really energetic. This new album is sounding like they've tried to make it radio friendly. Also there are any as great songs as 'Fragments', 'Mike Post Theme' or 'Black Widow's Eyes' and really not mini-opera. But I am glad only thing that connects this to 'Face Dances' is art director, this album is just so much better. All you Who-fans, who think 'Quadrophenia' was the last great Who album, I think you should at least have a chance to this new one and also 'Endless Wire'. All you who never listened the Who, do begin from 'Who's Next' or 'Quadrophenia'.

Thanks to micky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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