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Won't Get Fooled Again: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia (Genuine Jawbone Books) Paperback – April 1, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richie Unterberger is an acclaimed author and music historian, renowned for his meticulous research. A regular contributor to the All Music website, Mojo, Record Collector and many other publications, he has also written hundreds of liner notes for CD reissues of classic albums of the 1960s and 1970s. His previous books include Unknown Legends of Rock n'n Roll; the two-part 1960s folk-rock history Eight Miles High and Turn! Turn! Turn!; White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day; and The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film, which won a 2007 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.

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Product Details

  • Series: Genuine Jawbone Books
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone Press (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906002355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906002350
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Another excellent book here by Mr. Unterberger. How does he find all the details? I suspect he was hiding in Pete's speaker cabinet to learn all the information here. I thought I knew a fair bit on The Who, but so much here I'm learning for the first time. Well done. Get this, sit down while cranking Who's Next at volume level 11 and enjoy... I did. Dr. Dream
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I bought this book because I am a huge Who & Pete Townshend fan. Quadrophenia is my favorite album and Psychoderelict is in my top 10 with Whos Next.

I'm not a big reader of rock histories but I really had trouble putting this book down. Mr. Unterberger did a great job explaining Townshend's inspirations and aspirations, the challenges the band faced both technically and personally at the time, and how their efforts were received by the press. If not for the footnotes and attributions you'd think you were reading a compelling novel.

An earlier reviewer lamented that Pete was not directly interviewed for this work and that is true. I don't see this as a great loss though as Unterberger reminds us time and again that the band's predictions & recollections changed and morphed through many interviews over time. The author uses previous interviews and statements to support the narrative. I can't see how yet another rehash 40 years later would produce anything other then another hindsight-enabled perspective.

If you are a Who or Pete Townshend fan buy this. If you're looking for an entertaining read I'd recommend it as well.

Note: I got the kindle edition and in some spots in the middle "wordsrantogether" which kept making me think of the title of Pete's first best of album.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding book on The Who's epic period. I have always been fascinated with the failed concept of "Lifehouse" after "Tommy" but never could seem to find substantial details about it. I was particularly interested in Pete Townshend's state of mind during this period. What was his primary point? Was "Lifehouse" a story or something more? How involved were Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp with this idea? I have collected Who books for the last 30 years and never seemed to be able to get to the bottom of it. Yes, there is various information out there but Richie Unterberger has uncovered treasure in my opinion. He goes into loving detail regarding Townshend's pitch, execution and ultimate failure of "Lifehouse" as a tangible concept. The band's various attempts to record the material and the experimentation of the Young Vic concerts were particularly interesting to me. Still we all are lucky to have "Who's Next" as a result. The journey is fascinating and Mr. Unterberger has done a masterful job in presenting the facts. I tip my hat.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This nice looking book delves deeply into the archives to try to reveal the sources of Pete Townshend's creative genius after The Who's Tommy album. The "universal note", Sufi mysticism, use (and subsequent rejection) of drugs, electronic music, virtual reality, synthesizers, back to nature themes were all mixed up to inspire Who's Next and Quadrophenia albums.

It's too bad Ritchie Unterberger didn't just interview Townshend as a lot of the book deals in supposition and archival material to try to piece together the past.

There are many more details presented here which are not in any other book I've read about Pete Townshend or the Who. Maybe too much for the casual reader.

[DW]
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I love the subject matter of this book, but found the writing a bit disjointed.

That said, anyone fascinated with Pete Townshend's music for The Who during the band's fertile middle period should enjoy this. After "Tommy," Townshend was seeking to write another rock opera, but "Lifehouse" never made it to record as he intended. Part of the problem was the plot, one element of which has the Who finding the "eternal note" and, with its audience, simply disappearing into musical bliss.

Instead, the Who ended up with "Who's Next," perhaps the greatest single album of its career, and Townshend reloaded to compose "Quadrophenia," a two-disc set about mods, rockers and, yes, the transcendence of music in the mid-1960s in England.

The author does a great job of covering the events that led through these recordings, though again, I found his prose to be choppy at times. More importantly, he gets into the band's collective head to find out why one rock opera was rejected and another ultimately recorded. As much as anything, this book is a fascinating depiction of the collective creative process.
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Format: Paperback
Richie Unterberger has crafted an in-depth history of a specific period of The Who's career. The period in question, from the aborted Lifehouse project on through the masterpiece Quadrophenia shows a band at the peak of their powers, creating at a furious pace and creating works that would stand the test of time. Unterberger leaves no stone unturned while getting inside the head of the various band members through archival interviews with not only the band but also the engineers, producers, managers, studio musicians, etc. who worked with the band. These interviews, especially provide an immense amount of background and reveal amazing insights into the music The Who produced during that historic period. Unterberger's book shines a light on just how progressive The Who were, especially during that period - and not progressive as in '70s progressive rock bands (though there were certainly strands of that musical style in certain Who cuts from the period), but progressive in terms of the way they took the rock form and reshaped and molded it into something new and astonishingly complex. Won't Get Fooled Again shows just how special The Who were at this point in their career, and how in pushing the boundaries of rock they created music that still packs as much impact and power as it did forty or more years ago. This book is essential for all Who fans, especially the obsessives!
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