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Those owning one or more greatest-hits collections by this band won't get fooled again-this is the definitive collection, a 79-track anthology that artfully mixes classics and rarities and documents them all with a 72-page, full-color, photo-packed booklet containing a discography and group chronology. Among the many highlights: 14 unreleased musical tracks, including High Numbers tunes and hotly sought-after songs like Early Morning Cold Taxi , 14 live performances, advertisements, studio and stage chatter (like Pete Townshend's bashing Abbie Hoffman off the Woodstock stage) and a largely remixed sound quality. F-f-f-fantastic!
This exemplary four-disc box takes the high road, attempting nothing less than an honest reconstruction of the Who's stormy, adventurous, uneven pilgrimage. While offering an evenhanded cross-section of single hits and classic album tracks, 30 Years garnishes the expected high points with B-sides, alternate and live versions of familiar tracks, and the quartet's earliest singles as the High Numbers. Reinforcing the package's documentary agenda are interview and stage-patter sound bites. What emerges is a fascinating chronicle of how the Shepherd's Bush mods journeyed from the giddy, explosive concision of their January 1965 debut single, "I Can't Explain," to the discursive, knotty sweep of creative architect Pete Townshend's "rock operas," Tommy, Quadrophenia, and the uncompleted, unreleased Lifehouse. The Who's swift evolution into rock visionaries is traced chronologically, meaning the band's original immersion in "maximum R&B," which forged their earliest club dates, doesn't surface on record until midway through the sequence, on key tracks from their thundering Live at Leeds album. Fans may quibble over the relative weight given specific albums, but the shape of the Who's career and their passionate identification with their audience are rendered faithfully. So, too, is Townshend's skill at mingling issues of faith and identity with generational manifestoes and sly broadsides. And there's ample evidence of the quartet's outsize musical power; the sheer volume and violence that earned them notoriety early on is matched by a lyricism that deepens by mid career. Given the candor of the presentation, it's not surprising that 30 Years reaches its zenith midway through the set or that the last song (a reunion of the surviving trio covering Elton John) can't help seeming anticlimactic. --Sam Sutherland
Fantastic collection. Some previously un-released tracks. Quality of sound is superb. Great booklet. Being a Who fan is a journey of discovery. Read morePublished 6 months ago by vulture12
According to the back cover of this box set, The Who were/are "the best rock 'n' roll band in the world. Read morePublished 7 months ago by G. M Theroux
A trip down memory lane, great set...well kept, I bought it used...someone loved the Who as much as we do.Published 8 months ago by Patsy Jensen
Got the wrong thing first, but got this eventually. Dad really enjoyed it. Said there were some odd choices on one of the discs, but other than that it was THE WHO.Published 10 months ago by Marty Byerley
This is an AWESOME Set of the The Who's History ..and it came fast..and it was perfect...still playing it non stopPublished 18 months ago by Don M
Because the product is very good .
I liked a lot .
Would recommend to my friends from Brazil .
Yes, I have one or two of those hit collections and I play them in the car, as well as the one long disc of Live at Leeds...without the Tommy part. Read morePublished on June 28, 2013 by Tero
This was the start of the remastered Who albums of the 1990s. After trolling the record stores for whatever bootlegs were out there, it was nice to have something (sorta) new from... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by J. Grow