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The Who By Numbers (Remastered) Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

149 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, November 19, 1996
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$7.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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The Who By Numbers (Remastered) + Who Are You + Face Dances (Remastered)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This deluxe reissue includes three bonus live tracks taken from their historic 1976 performance at the Swansea Football Ground!

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This 1975 collection excels in large part due to its modest goal. It's the Who's singer-songwriter record. Without the ostensible shield his "rock operas" provided, Pete Townshend's personal demons strut about nakedly. Not a pretty sight, but an involving spectacle nevertheless. "They Are All in Love" and "How Many Friends" are forgotten Who songs, but they've aged beautifully. John Entwistle's "Success Story" sequences nicely with the rest of the album. And "However Much I Booze," "Dreaming from the Waist," and "In a Hand or a Face" are great decade-early exercises in mid-life self-pity. There are only three bonus tracks here--live versions of "Squeeze Box," "Dreaming from the Waist," and the earlier "Behind Blue Eyes"--but By Numbers is such a cohesive collection that they're less welcome extras than annoying distractions. Still, By Numbers now stands as one of the linchpins in a great band's catalog. --Steven Stolder


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Slip Kid 4:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. However Much I Booze 5:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Squeeze Box 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Dreaming From The Waist [Explicit] 4:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Imagine A Man 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Success Story 3:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. They Are All In Love 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Blue Red And Grey 2:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. How Many Friends 4:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. In A Hand Or A Face 3:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Squeeze Box (Live) 4:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Behind Blue Eyes (Live) 3:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Dreaming From The Waist (Live) [Explicit] 4:52$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 19, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002P2W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,610 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By David Bradley on May 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I don't suppose I can realistically argue that WHO BY NUMBERS is the best Who LP. It's really not on the same level as QUADROPHENIA, WHO'S NEXT or LIVE AT LEEDS.
But WHO BY NUMBERS may be my favorite Who LP. It's Townshends most personal, most initmate group effort. While it has never made me want to hold a lighter over my head or play air guitar, it does touch me in a way no other Who record can do.
Critics love to say the album was Townshend's first 'mid-life crisis' LP. That's more than a tad absurd, considering Townshend was still a good 15 years shy of mid-life. WHO BY NUMBERS has more to do with Townshend's increasing concern that he was losing himself in drink and celebrity. The album is a cry for intimacy in a world Townshend increasingly saw as hollow and transparent; he finds himself, as he wrote years earlier, Alone In A Crowd. The audience and the generation that Townshend always tried so hard to connect with seemed to be further removed from him all the time. On "However Much I Booze" he sings:
"You at home can easily decide what's right by glancing very breifly at the songs I write, but it don't help me that you know, there still ain't no way out."
For all the talk of Townshend's bow to Punk on WHO ARE YOU and his great solo LP EMPTY GLASS, he seems to have had a premonition of the movement on this 1975 album, writing in "They Are All In Love":
"Goodbye all you punks, stay young and stay high. Hand me checkbook and I'll crawl off to die. Like a woman in childbirth, grown ugly in a flash, I've seen magic and pain, now I'm recycling trash."
The songs on WHO BY NUMBERS are witty, caustic, confessional, and, in several cases--"They Are All In Love," "Blue Red And Grey"--downright pretty. There are two quirky little hits here, "Slip Kid" and "Squeeze Box," but the non-hits, including Entwistle's great "Success Story," are far better.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By michael d. bado on July 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Again, some of the greatest works of art are misunderstood. I think Pete Townshend even told us that when he said: "You at home can easily decide what's right/ by glancing at the songs I write/ but it don't help me that you know ...."
I don't think this album was made to be gobbled up by the masses. It is a lot like Alice Cooper's 1978 masterpiece "From the Inside." You are ALLOWED to enter into a world that one wouldn't normally understand.
As far as the record goes, it contains some of Tonshend's finest melodies. I don't think it is easy to argue with jams like "However Much I Booze" or melodies such as "Imagine a Man" or "Blue Red and Grey". It even affords Entwistle an erstwhile place to soap-box in "Success Story." Such a record!
Sometimes it is good that people don't "understand" a record. Those who need it or want it seek it out, and it strikes a chord as resonant as the last chord of "A Day in the Life". Only for those that know .... And isn't art made for those that take it in?
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Zayas on May 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Unlike The Who's three previous albums, Tommy, Who's Next and Quadrophenia, Who By Numbers is stripped down, back-to-the-basics rock and roll. There are no themes, no operettas, no stories running through multiple songs. Instrumentally, it's comparatively bare-bones; most of the songs are just guitar, bass and drums, played to perfection. Lyrically, the album as a whole is as good as anything Pete Townshend has written, though much more understated, thematically. Even the album cover, John Entwhistle's connect-the-dots drawing, is almost child-like in its simplicity. It's as if the band intended a 180 degree turn from high-art aspirations of their previous three albums (of original material), not unlike the Beatles' original approach to Let it Be.

Whether the simplicity of Who By Numbers was accidental or intentional, it produced The Who's best album. Tommy is great as a concept album, but if you're just interested in hearing good rock and roll tunes, the story line, and the extra songs needed to round out the "opera," get in the way. The same is true, to a lesser extent, with Quadrophenia. Who By Numbers, short and to the point, has no such faults.

"Dreaming From the Waist" is brilliant, a clever but mature description of the effects of raging male hormones and uncontrollable lust. "Blue Red and Grey," a celebration of life, just Pete and a banjo, is maybe Townshend's most beautiful song ever. "They're All in Love" is an open letter to the band's recently departed managers, a rather caustic parting shot. "However Much I Booze" is an admission of Pete's - and maybe Keith Moon's as well - struggles with alcohol (and whatever other substances.) Oddly enough, the album's weakest tracks are its biggest hits, "Squeezebox" and "Slip Kid".
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The Who's first mid-life crisis album contains more good cuts than their later ones. "Slip Kid" is one their best (I always loved the count-off at the beginning); we hear a slightly older and more cynical Pete/Roger trying to tap into the spirit of youthful rebellion in the face of creeping middle age. John Entwistle's "Success Story" is a bouyant autobiographical song of the band. "Squeeze Box" has some nice banjo work on it and sounds like the obvious choice for a single (which it was). Pete breaks out the ukulele on the very pretty "Blue, Red, and Grey" and "Dreaming From The Waist" is a tough rocker with some okay lyrics about sexual frustration. In truth, the rest of the album is pretty depressing. "However Much I Booze" sounds more upbeat than it should, while "They Are All In Love" and "Imagine A Man" are as bleak as they come. Although it's clear that the excesses of rock stardom were starting to wear them down, the playing is still inspired. By the time "Who Are You" came out, Keith Moon seemed to have lost a step and The Who would soon lose the chaotic drumming frenzy that was the band's driving engine. WHO BY NUMBERS, while over all too darkly self-confessional in tone to make for a consistently enjoyable listen, has some some fine moments and is way better than anything The Stones were putting out at the time (if you want to put it in some sort of context).
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