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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of Things to Come, December 17, 2007
This review is from: The Who Sings My Generation (Audio CD)
If you put it down to a time, a band, an album... The Who's MY GENERATION is the first punk album ever recorded: With heavy pounding on what had to be the most tortured drum kit at the time (on stage the group would shock audiences by smashing their instruments and demolishing amps and speakers), angry lyrics are screamed and stuttered over guitar feedback and power chords. Even the album's cover, with the band's four grim faces set in front of Big Ben rising into an overcast sky, leaves you with the impression that these guys are a cocky group of foul-mouthed wiseasses--especially the stiff-jawed blond one, who looks like he'd rather be shaking down a store owner for protection money, or simply just kicking someone's teeth out (and, according to more than a few of the band's biographers, Roger Daltrey often would use his fists to end differences, with Pete Townshend as well as others).

This was 1965 and very few then would've had the courage or the foresight to put this kind of sound to wax. Sure, the Kinks also got together with producer Shel Talmy a year before to pioneer a heavier "rock" sound with "You Really Got Me," but they weren't taking it any further; it was easy confusing that song with its followup, "All Day and All of the Night," because they were basically the same thing with different lyrics. And as is always the case, it's the total package of talent with promotion, image with attitude.

It also took real guts for a rising pop group in 1965 to make an album--let alone a debut album!--where 3/4 of the tracks are original compositions. Except for Dylan and the Beatles, nobody at the time was able to get away with doing this. The original UK album version contains three covers, James Brown's "I Don't Mind," and "Please, Please, Please," as well as Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man;" the US version dropped "I'm a Man" for the proto-psychedelic "Instant Party (Circles)"--yet another original! Pete Townshend was taking a big gamble with this record.

In addition to the awesome title track, MY GENERATION also includes "The Kids Are Alright." Somewhat defining the group's early sound, "The Kids Are Alright" bacame a staple number on the Who's numerous compilations, and would provide the title to Jeff Stein's 1979 documentary on the band.

Of the other numbers here, things start off with "Out In the Streets," a weird hybrid of R&B styles with droning guitar feedback. Meanwhile, both "The Good's Gone" and "Much Too Much" sound as if Keith Moon is barely able to control himself with the drumsticks as Townshend displays his prowess with power chords. Daltrey, naturally, just seems pissed off.

Two other notable tracks are "La La La Lies" and "The Ox." The former obviously owing much to Martha Reeves & the Vandellas' "Heatwave" (a song the Who covered on their next album, A QUICK ONE), while the latter is a sort of group effort instrumental composition, written by Townshend, Moon and Entwistle with famous session man Nicky Hopkins.

A brilliant and exceptionally aggressive album that layed the foundations for most things coming to rock music.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2007 5:34:49 AM PST
Boy, this review takes me back a long time! It conjures up images of the original British invasion, and the rich music put out by groups such as The Who. Well done review. . . .

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 10:05:39 PM PST
H. Schneider says:
Yesss!

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 10:29:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2007 10:37:27 PM PST
Caesar, this review is so outstanding and you know so much about music that it makes me feel like a clown AND a joker. So where do I get to stand?

Seriously, this is a brilliant review.

I've been meaning to ask you, what does VINE VOICE mean beside your signature? I've seen that "badge" beside some other names before. Hmmmmmmmmmm ...

Keep your pen hot, my friend.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2007 11:56:52 PM PST
lol! Betty, considering that you can hold a reader's interest with creative and insightful reviews on everything from literature to film, from socks to toilet paper, I'd say you should stand with the folks who are known for their talents and charm.

"VINE VOICE" is a program where certain reviewers are chosen by Amazon to receive items free of charge on the condition that they submit reviews for them afterwards. So far, I've gotten a book, BITTER SWEETS by Roopa Farooki.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2007 4:26:04 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2008 12:40:17 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2008 1:45:01 AM PST
H. Schneider says:
Hi Steve, your comment puzzles me. Are you saying there are people in the world who do not know that the Who are among the very best in Rock? Where would that be, maybe Tibet and Papua Niugini?
Amazing.
Greetings,
Helmut

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2008 7:25:44 PM PST
This is another well written review designed to make me feel old.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2008 12:04:05 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2008 12:40:34 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2008 10:58:22 AM PST
Helmut, there are kids today who, if asked, have no idea who Sinatra, Elvis or the Beatles are, let alone The Who.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2008 1:16:53 PM PST
Gio says:
Caesar and others: there are kids today who, if asked, have no idea who Scarlatti, Gluck, or Janacek are, let alone Perotinus.
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