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


The Who



4.41 | 574 ratings

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3 stars Who's Next is a truly great album with a few serious flaws. I am a Who fan, mostly for the good content on this album, but it lacks consistency. We go from the highest possible highs of rock and roll with Baba O'Riley to some plain mediocre with Going Mobile. So let's break it down.

Baba O'Riley might be the best song ever. Some days it is some days it isn't, subjectivity is tough. One thing is for sure, it will always be a contender for the top spot. It sets me on pins and needles every time I hear it. Every time! This is a song I have listened to hundreds of times. I've heard it on CD, tape and radio. I hear it when I accidentally am on the wrong channel watching the start of CSI New York. I saw it played at the Super Bowl and most importantly I've seen it live. That's pretty lucky for young pup like me. Right from the first repeating electronic beats to the fiddle fade out, I'm all ears. Most of the time I'm belting right along with Roger Daltrey.

After the electricity of Baba O'Riley, Bargain starts out pretty well, but quickly succumbs to the fact that it's pretty average. It rocks pretty hard. It isn't anything special though.

Love Ain't for Keeping might fall in as just some average track if it weren't for one thing. This one doesn't overstay its welcome. At 2:11 it stays just long enough. If you are gonna make pop you have to have some pop sensibilities. Nice little riff at the end.

My Wife is a song that I have a bit of a soft spot for. I don't really think it's all that entertaining from a musical perspective. I do think it's absolutely hilarious though. I don't listen to the Who to have a bit of a chuckle. I listen to them to rock out and hard.

The start of This Song is Over is part of a big conspiracy to put me to sleep before I can really enjoy myself. Once Roger lets loose, the whole song changes course for the better. I love those hammering piano keys as accompaniment. Once this song is over (Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk) it is time for Getting in Tune. It follows the same program of trying to get me lose interest at first and then changing gears just in time to save itself with vocal chords and keyboards. Nicky Hopkins you are a magnificent bastard! Getting in Tune does tend to let the fade out go for a little too long though. Some of the frugality that was used on Love Ain't for Keeping would have been appreciated here.

Going Mobile is average central. This album wouldn't have been any less spectacular if this one had fallen out on the cutting room floor.

Behind Blue Eyes is a pretty unique piece of work. I'm sure none of us appreciate the emo bands who took after it in later years. I think all of us blue eyed devils out there can sympathize with this mixed up self conscious ballad turned rocker. It isn't the best song on the album, but it is right up there.

Lastly we arrive at Won't Get Fooled Again. I think this song is very good. Keith Moon is lord of this realm. I do have a problem with it. It depends how patient I am, but it rambles. Like the end of Layla by Derek and the Dominos, I don't think they knew when to say die.

In conclusion, Who's Next is one of those great moments in rock and roll history. Not because it's amazing all the way through mind you, but because the sky scrapers are particularly noticeable. I think it could have gone for an extra trim though. It wears out its welcome in a few places and is entirely unwelcome in others. I think I would give this a higher rating if it wasn't for PA. Three stars is all it gets here.

R-A-N-M-A | 3/5 |


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