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Topic ClosedDid the Who "drop the ball" after Quadrophenia?

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AFlowerKingCrimson View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Did the Who "drop the ball" after Quadrophenia?
    Posted: April 21 2017 at 17:06
I've always wondered about this. I'm not the biggest Who fan in the sense that I haven't heard all their albums but I've always enjoyed them and even saw them once in the late eighties. It seems to me that they were never able to equal or surpass the success of Quadrophenia later on. You could even make the same argument about Who's Next. I heard Who's next once or twice and it was good but nothing as good as the earlier stuff and the same thing with Who by numbers. The two post Moon albums were even weaker than those imo but still had a few good songs on them. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2017 at 18:06
I think Who By Numbers is a very underrated album. It's not huge and ambitious like Quadrophenia, but the songs are powerful and emotionally raw--except for that one goofy misstep; you know the one I mean--and are served well by the stripped-down approach. I would definitely not say they dropped the ball there.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2017 at 18:34
I'm not very familiar with WBN so no I don't know which song you are referring to. :)

Edit: Oh wait, I suppose you are referring to "squeeze box." I actually like that one. Tongue


Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - April 21 2017 at 18:37
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2017 at 19:16
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

Edit: Oh wait, I suppose you are referring to "squeeze box." I actually like that one. Tongue

Right. And it's not that I object to the song as such, but it just doesn't belong on this dark, soul-searching album. It disrupts the introspective mood. Even Entwistle's song ("Success Story"), although very funny, is funny in a bitter, mocking, and self-aware way that works perfectly in the context of the album.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2017 at 02:53
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

I've always wondered about this. I'm not the biggest Who fan in the sense that I haven't heard all their albums but I've always enjoyed them and even saw them once in the late eighties. It seems to me that they were never able to equal or surpass the success of Quadrophenia later on. You could even make the same argument about Who's Next. I heard Who's next once or twice and it was good but nothing as good as the earlier stuff and the same thing with Who by numbers. The two post Moon albums were even weaker than those imo but still had a few good songs on them. 



Mmmhhh!!!... You're probably mistaken about the dates uyou saw The Who on stage. AFAIK, they retired in 83 (I was at their last concert at Toronto's MLG of that Farewell tour) until.... whenever.
Outside (maybe) the Live Aid in 85, I don't think they took stage for at least 10 or 15 years

As far as their album discography is concerned, I never really cared about their 60's stuff - I like songs of the era, but the albums are generally weak.

Things changed quite a bit with Tommy, Leeds, Who's Next and Quadrophenia, where they simply couldn't go wrong. To these/my ears, they were the biggest rock band around, because much more ambitious than Zep & Stones and most big prog bands (Floyd will be their heir heir when DSOTM and Quadrophenia would

Post Quadro, I tend to think that WBN is more a miss than a hit (despite Slip Kid & Squeeze Box), as only two tracks (Dreaming From The Waist and How Many Friends) are worthy of Quadro or Next.

the following WAY is (much) better, IMHO, despite Moon's drumming being on its last leg, but the A-side is rather excellent, and if the flipside is weaker, the tt WAY finale is the most awesome track, since Next or Quad..  and the only one too .

The rest, I simply don't care for, even if I have some affinities with Eminence Front.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2017 at 05:01
Personally I would have put The Who Sell Out in their list of great albums.

The Who By Numbers is pretty good in itself.
Who Are You is said to be one of their fiercest albums, but I didn't hear what everyone else is meant to hear when I listened to it.

I think Pete did get a bit obsessed with bigger concepts, but even then not as much as the leading Prog Rock bands.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2017 at 07:03
Originally posted by Michael P. Dawson Michael P. Dawson wrote:

I think Who By Numbers is a very underrated album. It's not huge and ambitious like Quadrophenia, but the songs are powerful and emotionally raw--except for that one goofy misstep; you know the one I mean--and are served well by the stripped-down approach. I would definitely not say they dropped the ball there.


agreed! Thumbs Up 

hard to really consider the Who 'dropping the ball' per say... like most groups I suppose that any semblance of a long career.. they had a hit and miss formative phase...  creative high point(s)... and then a downhill phase 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2017 at 08:07
Quadrophenia was not necessarily the end of The Who, but rather Keith's passing. I guess you could say it was the dark side of the Moon.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2017 at 08:40
Anyway...Quadrophenia is the burning sun that makes everything else pale by comparison
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 10:02
[Mmmhhh!!!... You're probably mistaken about the dates uyou saw The Who on stage. AFAIK, they retired in 83 (I was at their last concert at Toronto's MLG of that Farewell tour) until.... whenever.
Outside (maybe) the Live Aid in 85, I don't think they took stage for at least 10 or 15 years]

No, I saw them in 1989. I swear I really did! :) Although they did basically retire they did reunite occasionally for some reason(I guess maybe to mark certain anniversaries). It did seem weird though and I remember thinking are they together or not? Simon and Garfunkel reunited occasionally too without recording. I suppose it's mainly done for money when artists do that. But yeah it was definitely the summer of 1989 when I saw them. You can look up the dates on wikipedia if you don't believe me. ;) 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 10:07
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

Originally posted by Michael P. Dawson Michael P. Dawson wrote:

I think Who By Numbers is a very underrated album. It's not huge and ambitious like Quadrophenia, but the songs are powerful and emotionally raw--except for that one goofy misstep; you know the one I mean--and are served well by the stripped-down approach. I would definitely not say they dropped the ball there.


agreed! Thumbs Up 

hard to really consider the Who 'dropping the ball' per say... like most groups I suppose that any semblance of a long career.. they had a hit and miss formative phase...  creative high point(s)... and then a downhill phase 

Well, some bands just reach a certain peak and maybe later they aren't as good. Many people say Yes peaked with Close to the Edge and an argument could be made that Jethro Tull never really made many albums after the seventies that were as good as their earlier albums. You could say that about a lot of bands. I think for Yes Close to the Edge is kind of early and so is relayer. Bands change their sound and move on and maybe fans don't like the later sound. I actually enjoy albums like Big Generator and Crest of a knave but can understand people saying their golden days were behind them. With the Who I remember liking some of the later stuff but I'm not as familiar so I need to revisit. 


Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - April 23 2017 at 10:08
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 10:47
I guess that was sort of my point wasn't it....  sort of inaccurate to say The Who 'dropped the ball'.. they did what most bands did... they worked their way up to their creative peak and then went downhill as fame, money, drugs, women, and the inevitable decline in creativity set in.

Some had long... very long yet still productive downhill slopes.. and yet still others went completely off the cliff haha
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 10:59
I don't think so, Who's Next is a monster album that all but solidified The Who as a top rock band of the 70's. Quadrophenia is a huge album with minutes that falter at times, as do most concept albums. I liken it to The Wall, in that it was Pete's creation, so like The Wall there are some flaws.

Please lets not state that Quadrophenia is progressive rock and because of this they "dropped the ball" on subsequent albums which are not progressive.

The Who Rock!!! We don't say The Who Prog......
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 11:01
Do you think Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd all declined in a similar way? I guess a band like the Doors weren't really around long enough to have a decline like that. Also, how do women make a band decline? I would think that would have the opposite effect. :D I guess maybe in Phil Collins case it made Genesis decline. Lol. I guess too many failed marriages could either be a good thing or a bad thing for an artist. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 13:53
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

I don't think so, Who's Next is a monster album that all but solidified The Who as a top rock band of the 70's. Quadrophenia is a huge album with minutes that falter at times, as do most concept albums. I liken it to The Wall, in that it was Pete's creation, so like The Wall there are some flaws.

Please lets not state that Quadrophenia is progressive rock and because of this they "dropped the ball" on subsequent albums which are not progressive.

The Who Rock!!! We don't say The Who Prog......


Absolutely The Who were not, are not, and never will be a progressive rock band. They were a rock band with extremely interesting art rock created by Townsend.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 14:34
I think there were times when the Who were more of a prog rock band than the Moody Blues. I think "won't get fooled again" among others could be considered prog and they probably have as much proggish material as Led Zeppelin. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 15:29
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

I think there were times when the Who were more of a prog rock band than the Moody Blues. I think "won't get fooled again" among others could be considered prog and they probably have as much proggish material as Led Zeppelin. 


Trouble is, of course, is that Led Zep were not a progressive rock band either
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2017 at 16:24
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

I think there were times when the Who were more of a prog rock band than the Moody Blues. I think "won't get fooled again" among others could be considered prog and they probably have as much proggish material as Led Zeppelin. 


Trouble is, of course, is that Led Zep were not a progressive rock band either

Exactly, LZ were a blues band with serious rock attitude. Yes they had some long songs but so do blues bands have long songs, more jamming than prog long songs.

Won't Get Fooled Again is not prog, its a rock anthem. Just because the album version is 8+ min long and includes a synthesizer does not make it prog. It's a kick-a$$ rock song from 1971........

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2017 at 04:44
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

I don't think so, Who's Next is a monster album that all but solidified The Who as a top rock band of the 70's. Quadrophenia is a huge album with minutes that falter at times, as do most concept albums. I liken it to The Wall, in that it was Pete's creation, so like The Wall there are some flaws.

Please lets not state that Quadrophenia is progressive rock and because of this they "dropped the ball" on subsequent albums which are not progressive.

The Who Rock!!! We don't say The Who Prog......

Who's Next is indeed a monster.
It's too bad though that Pete couldn't bring Lifehouse to life. I've been intrigued by that concept since I first heard of it.  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2017 at 05:12
They had a few proggish songs, starting with A Quick One While He's Away. Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again are worth mentioning and side 4 of Quadrophenia is also rather proggy. Who's Next and Quadrophenia are classic rock masterpieces and some singles released between those two albums are also superb. They dropped the ball after Quadrophenia, but I agree with The Dark Elf that Keith's passing was the de facto end of The Who.

Edited by someone_else - April 24 2017 at 05:13
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