Limited Edition, Ltd ed.
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Vinyl, Original recording remastered, March 23, 2015
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The Bonus DVD is 28:17 in length and features the following tracks:
Mike Post Theme (from the new album Endless Wire)
And 4 classic hits: Won't Get Fooled Again Baba O Reily Behind Blue Eyes Who Are You
Nearly a quarter-century (and bassist John Entwistle) passed between what had been considered the Who's career-capping album, It's Hard, and this 19-song epic, which at its best has the band of two pining for the days of Who's Next. Built from the triumph of the mini-opera Wire & Glass EP (included here in its entirety), Endless Wire mixes metaphors of music, war, and religion, while showcasing Roger Daltrey's ageless vocal cords and Pete Townshend at his windmilling best. Launching with a "Baba O'Riley"-like synth break in "Fragments," Daltrey asks "Are we breathing out or breathing in?" and Townshend answers with a thrashing, crashing Gibson. When the volume is turned up, there are echoes of three decades ago. "It's Not Enough" and "Mike Post Theme" conjure images of Entwistle and Keith Moon--the latter song, with its quiet verse and thunderous chorus, recalls "Going Mobile" and longs for Moon to whack it into shape. But the linchpin remains Townshend's songwriting, whether he's questioning faith ("Man in a Purple Dress"), showing gratitude for support ("You Stand By Me"), or dreaming of entertaining immortals into eternity ("Out on an Endless Wire"). By the time it wraps up, Endless Wire tells two things. No, it does not rank with the band's best work. But yes, as long as Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey walk the earth in tandem, the Who live on. --Scott Holter
The Who Sings My Generation
A Quick One (Happy Jack)
The Who Sell Out
Live at Leeds
The Kids Are Alright
The Ultimate Collection
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The Who is, in my opinion, the most "dangerous" and "unstable" of the British Big 4 - the Beatles, the Stones and the Kinks being the other 3 (my opinion again). First, half the band is dead from hard living. And then there's Pete Townshend, whose out-of-control side has been well publicized since the beginning, from guitar smashing to gutter-lying drunken binges, (chronicled in Who Are You?) to allegations of involvement with child porn. Clearly a man with serious demons. The other side, of course, is the incredibly creative and spiritual man whose quest for understanding and drive for self-expression have made him one of the most consistently durable, thought-provoking and inspiring musicians of the rock era. Roger Daltrey, last seen (by me) humbly extolling the virtues of Brian Wilson while being interviewed for the Smile documentary, is a true heavyweight himself, although not a writer, his voice being among the most iconic of his generation. (The scream at the end of Don't Get Fooled Again would have gotten him there just by itself!)
This album is not wild, nor does it sneer with youthful derision and swagger. The arrogant energy of those young men has been forged into something wiser, deeper and more fragile. Roger's voice sounds older and craggier, not as capable of the old tricks, but up for something just as precious, albeit more subtle. There's a gratitude that shines through this material in Pete's writing and in the more tentative, less forceful vocals of both men. Unlike their rhythm section, they have accomplished the unlikely - even the ironic - they've survived to assume their well-deserved places as elders in the fly-by-night business of pop music. The songs are plainly intelligent, naked and alive. It is as if Townshend's Rough Boy and Seeker personas have finally merged, through pain, trial, tribulation and error into a vulnerable yet dignified and surprisingly sophisticated third entity. And he can still toss out a classic Who hook, e..g We've Got a Hit (again, nice irony, Pete).
These men have not lived conventional lives, nor have they had an easy time of it. But the integrity evident in their autumnal work is profound and gratifying. This is very uncommon music, weaknesses (mostly quite evident) notwithstanding. We are indeed fortunate to be mining the creativity of rockers whose art has taken them into the beginnings of old age. And for those of us who have made the journey with them, there is much with which to connect. BUY IT!
Can't go wrong with The Who! RIP Keith and John!
First, there is a delightful video, "Live at Lyon," which contains nice versions of classic tunes like "Baba O'Riley/Won't Get Fooled Again." One can even see Pete T. doing windmill guitar work and some of his leaps (not as often nor as high as in the past--but many of us would die to be able to do what Pete can still do!). A sign of the times: Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son) is on drums! The live performance gets one energized! Daltrey and Townshend still have energy--like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
Second, the CD album itself. Pete Townshend plays most of the instruments on this album. Roger Daltrey notes: ". . .I strive to connect the listener with the soul of Pete Townshend's music. His writing is always inventive and challenging. The Who are now two and for me it still works." Townshend mixed and played many of the instruments.
The main work itself? This may seem simplistic, but the CD might (and this is a compliment) properly be labeled "Who's Next: Part II." Many of the songs (certainly not all) have a resemblance to the sensibility of that estimable CD/album.
"Fragments" begins with a riff that sounds a whole lot like that in "Baba O'Riley." Just so, "The Mike Post Theme." There are nice growling vocals in "In the Ether." "Black Widow's Eyes" and "Two Thousand Years" have a resonance with the classic "Who's Next" album (again, a compliment). Some low key tunes follow this.
Next is the "Mini-Opera." This is okay, but it is not like earlier rock operas associated with The Who. There are hard rockers and more slow paced tunes, including a ballad or two. Things slow down a little here.
Nonetheless, by the time one listens to "We Got a Hit" and "Endless Wire," things close out very nicely.
In short, this is a strong Who album. The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan have had very strong CDs recently, and it is welcome to see that the Who are still capable of top notch work.
I am very into this CD. I think you will be too. I only wish there was more Zak Starkey on this record. He is only on one track. He is absolutely fantastic and the best drummer for this fantastic music.
Fine wine here folks. Drink it down!!