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The Who

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Introduction

The Who Short Disclaimer: You may or may not notice that I did not mention everything The Who have released, or all the people in their line-up at all times. Nor did I mention Tommy(the movie) or Quadrophenia (the movie). I wanted to focus on The Who's music in their prime years, rather than their various reunions and films. Band Members: Pete Townshend: Guitar, vocals Roger Daltrey: Vocals, harmonica John Entwistle: Bass, vocals, French horn Keith Moon (until 1978): Drums, vocals Kenney Jones (after 1978): Drums John Bundrick (after 1978): Keyboards Discography: 1964: Singles: I'm the Face 1965: Singles: I Can't Explain, My Generation 1965: The Who Sings My Generation 1966: Singles: Substitute, I'm a Boy, The Kids Are Alright, Happy Jack 1966: A Quick One 1967: Singles: Pictures of Lilly, I Can See For Miles 1967: The Who Sell Out 1968: Singles: I Can't Reach You, Dogs, Magic Bus. 1968: Magic Bus - The Who on Tour 1969: Singles: Pinball Wizard, I'm Free, The Acid Queen 1969: Tommy 1970: Singles: The Seeker, Summertime Blues 1970: Live at Leeds 1971: Singles: Behind Blue Eyes, Lets See Action 1971: Who's Next 1971: Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy 1972: Singles: Join Together, Relay 1973: Singles: 5:15, Love Reign O'Er Me 1973: Quadrophenia 1974: Single: The Rael Me 1974: Odds and Sods 1975: Singles: Squeeze Box, Slip Kid 1975: The Who by the Numbers 1978: Who Are You? 1979: The Kids Are Alright (Soundtrack) 1981: Face Dances 1982: It's Hard 1991: Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (Box Set) 1996: My Generation - The Very Best of the Who 1996: Live at the Isle of Wight 2000: BBC Sessions 2002: Ultimate Collection 2002: Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2004: Then and Now: 1964-2004 Few bands in rock history have had the talent, ability, energy, and impact as The Who did from the mid 60's to the late 70's. ...read more.

Middle

They were now only a short step away from a full-blown concept album. The Who's live show was growing in popularity, size, volume, etc, as they became a bigger band over the last few years. Destroying their equipment was now a standard part of their nightly show. In fact, The Who destroyed so much equipment and gear, that they were actually in debt for a few years, despite the success of their albums and singles. Ironically, the band had stopped smashing their instruments by the time they had enough funds to actually afford doing it. In 1967, The Who performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in front of 200,000 people. Two years before the legendary Woodstock, a festival of this magnitude was a great tool to help launch the band into their upcoming power rock years. In 1968, The Who continued to release singles, including the ever-popular Magic Bus . To help keep momentum, they also released Magic Bus -The Who on Tour , a collection of some early singles and some album cuts not available previously. Through the rest of 1968, Townshend worked on what would be considered by many the band's artistic peak. He developed an interesting concept and a complex plot that moved through the life of a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who plays pinball. Tommy , released 1969, is a double-album and a conceptual masterpiece. The album is known for being the first very successful rock-opera (and one of the first in general). Tommy was met with great commercial success, especially in America. The plot, though confusing at times, is generally easy to follow. An interesting aspect of Tommy is in the religious themes it develops. By the end Tommy becomes such a powerful figure for fans seeking salvation (Sally Simpson ). Musically, the album is unquestionably strong. The Who were able to use great vocal harmonies and soft melodies in combination with their naturally loud and upfront style to produce an ideal mix of the two. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kenney Jones, formerly of the Small Faces, was hired as Moon's replacement. Keyboardist John Bundrick was also added to the group, and they began working on new material and set up for a tour. They gained momentum through the release of The Kids Are Alright, a collection of video footage of the group's entire career. But their momentum and goodwill was crushed when they were informed about the deaths of 11 people after being trampled in a Cincinnati accident. Townshend fell deep into drug use now, and had an almost fatal encounter with heroin in 1981. Daltrey and Entwistle worked on their solo careers, but met limited success. The band reformed to release Face Dances (1981) and It's Hard (1982). Though with some standout material (namely Eminence Front ), the albums pale in comparison to The Who of ten years ago. Their 1982 Tour was supposedly a goodbye to fans, as they were basically packing it in. The remainder of the 80's saw numerous Who collections emerge, and finally in 1991 the band brought together a successful 4-disc box set. The three core members continued their solo careers, and have reunited a few times in the 90's for brief tours and various benefits. When it looked as though the group was gaining steam, John Entwistle died in June of 2002. The Who's lasting legacy to rock music is one of the greatest ever left. They did what no band had done and very few have done. Between the early mod Who, the guitar-smashing mid 60's Who, the concept/thematic album Who, and the unyielding arena-rock Who, few bands have changed as much as they did and covered so much area in music. Their legendary live show is still though off as one of the best rock has ever seen. With the super talented musicians they had, it is no wonder that The Who were able to produce so much good music and influence so many bands and artists of their time, and even now. Their music will indeed live on forever. ...read more.

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