Tag: The Who

Popular Culture (Music) 20110729. Who’s Next

Those of you who read my pieces know that I often write about my favourite band, The Who.  (I used the UK spelling intentionally this time, rare for me these days).  This time we shall examine what many people say was their finest work.  I am not sure that I agree completely, but it was extremely good.

Who’s Next is actually a compilation of songs, most from Townshend, that became an album after the ill fated Lifehouse project, Townshend’s opus, never came to light.  He finally finished it, many years later, but the final product was far different than this record.  We shall discuss Who’s Next tonight, and will continue the discussion about Lifehouse next week, after I see your comments and questions.

First let us get to the facts.  Ready to go?

Popular Culture (Music) 20110708: The Who Live at Leeds Part 2 of 2

Last week we examined the original vinyl record of Live at Leeds.  Due to the technological limitations of vinyl, it was only about 45 minutes, give or take a couple, long.  The album was rereleased in 1995 on CD, and because that medium is capable of much more time, around two hours, many more tracks were added that had been recorded at the time.

Tonight we shall listen to those tracks and discuss whether or not we think that they are good.  I think that they are all no worse than very, very good and that many of them are outstanding.  Please listen and tell me what you think.  For those of you who have not signed up for an account, please do so so that you can comment in future.

Let us get started.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110701: The Who. Live at Leeds

Live at Leeds was the first live recorded record album by The Who that was legitimate.  There were plenty of rather crudely recorded, pirated versions of many of their live performances, but back in 1970 those analogue ones, mostly recorded by audience members under cover, rapidly were degraded by the very process of analogue to analogue copying, making even third generation copies almost unintelligible.   That is too bad, because some of those performances were great.

After the huge success of Tommy, and the concomitant success of the associated tour, Kit Lambert and The Who decided to record an actual live record that would capture their sound.  Live at Leeds did it well, but was too short because of the limitations of vinyl records at the time.  Remember, and I have covered this topic before, only 45 minutes, give or take a few, were possible with the vinyl technology at the time.

Let us examine what is really a wonderful record.  Note that there is very little video available, so that just the music is usually given here.  By the way, the album charted at #3 in the UK and at #4 in the US.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110610: Tommy Part II

This shall complete our discussion of Tommy, the seminal record album by The Who from early in 1969.  We had an excellent discussion last week, and hope to have an equally good, if not even better one tonight.  I was particularly interested that there was a range of thoughts about it, from some who just hated it to those who just loved it.  That is fine.  That is just personal taste.

I should go on record to say that my mum liked Overture.  She was pretty reserved about music other than the Swing Era kind, since she came of age then, but allowed to me that she really liked the French horn.  I was pretty dumb at the time that we were listening to, on the radio, one of the most important bands that ever existed.

With no more ado, here is the second disk (the third side) of Tommy.  Please comment profusely.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110603: Tommy Part I

In 1969, the seminal Tommy was released by The Who.  Track Records, The Who’s own brand, in collaboration with Polydoor was the UK record company, and in the United States Decca was.  I have a mint Decca one.  It was billed as the first rock opera, but it actually was not.  There had been at least a couple before Tommy came to us.

Not counting the composition effort (by far the bulk of it by Pete Townshend), it took the better part of year to record, edit, and redub the work.  This was Kit Lambert, their producer, at his finest, and also extremely fine efforts by all of the band and the production and engineering staff.  It is truly a masterpiece.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110513. Magic Bus: The Who on Tour

First of all, this is really a very poorly titled record album.  It had nothing to do about being on tour.  It is actually their first compilation album on Decca, their American label.  When this came out in 1968, the way that songs were released was a bit different than later, but it looks like, in the digital age, we are sort of returning to the older ways.

Back then, the single ruled (actually, they were doubles, 45 RPM vinyl pressings with an “A” side (the “good” song) and a “B” side (the ugly cousin)).  That ceased to be the norm after around 1969 or so, when the album started to dominate and singles were released in accordance with how well specific tracks on the album got airtime.

In any event, this is a compilation from many singles the The Who had released over several years.  It had a companion in the UK, and we shall discuss that presently.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110422: The Who Sell Out

The Who Sell Out, the third album by The Who, was their finest to date and in my opinion is still one of their best works.  To be sure, it fell short hither and thither, but I think that it was great.  There are a number of reasons why it is so good, one of them being Kit Lambert once again producing.  As you recall from the previous installment, he was so much better than the hack Shel Talmy that there is really no comparison.

Another reason that it was so good was that it has a lot of energy for a studio album.  The third reason that I shall cite is that it was one of the very first concept albums, in that there was a unifying theme throughout the record.  Since it was on vinyl, it only runs around 37 minutes, so lots of material got scrapped when the final edit was done.  I shall include some of that material late in the piece.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110408: The Who. Happy Jack

Happy Jack was the second album released by The Who and their second studio album. It was released in the UK with the title A Quick One.  That was a little suggestive for Decca Records, the US label and the single Happy Jack has charted in the US, so that title was used.  The song lineup is a little different betwixt the two records as well, Happy Jack not being on the UK version.

Released in the UK 19661209, it was delayed in the US for almost six months, finally being released in 196705 (I am not sure of the exact day).  This record was truly transformative, and is one of my personal favorites.  It was this album where Townshend really showed that the was a writing force with which to be reckoned, and he took some risks that he would not have taken previously for a large reason:  the brilliant Kit Lambert had replaced the hack Shel Talmy as the producer of the band.

Popular Culture (Music) 20110325. The Who Sings My Generation

This is the first part of a comprehensive treatment of the albums released by The Who.  This promises to be an extremely long series, but I shall intersperse it with other topics from time to time, to keep it from being too monotonous.

I know, but still can not understand why, some folks are not fans of The Who.  LOL!  This was their first album, and was quite good in some respects, and weak in others.  They had already had some hit singles, but nothing astounding as of yet.  Note that I am using the U.S. discography by default, since I am in the United States.  Where possible, I shall cross reference it to the U.K. one.  Note that we shall take the studio albums first, then the live ones, and then attempt the very long list of compilations.

I have written about The Who many times before, but have never started at the beginning of their album career to cover it from then to now.  I hope that you like the effort, and some of the excellent music that I shall embed.

Popular Culture 20101224: Doc’s Favorite Christmas Songs

I was going to write on a completely different topic, but decided that some Christmas music would be appropriate, since I often write about music here.  Most of the songs are either from my childhood or from comparatively long ago.  I have no “new” favorite Christmas songs.

What I intend to impart is just this:  Christmas is a legal holiday in the United States, but is also a time for people of any, or no, faith to come together and celebrate family and friends.  I care not a whit if you are Jewish, Wiccan, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Shinto, Taoist, Buddhist, a believer in Confucius, or any other religion, or none at all.

In the United States, Christmas is recognized officially, for good or ill.  If all of the great religious can agree about anything, it is good will towards everyone.  With this in mind, please enjoy with me a bit of music that sort of makes the season for me.

We’ll Be Fighting In The Streets

With our children at our feet

And the morals that they worship will be gone

And the men who spurred us on

Sit in judgment of all wrong

They decide and the shotgun sings the song

stage presence 😉

Popular Culture 20101126: The Who, Entwistle’s Contributions

Most everyone who is aware of The Who as a major British band realize that the three instrumentalists were very good at their crafts, and some say that Keith Moon may have been the best rock and roll drummer who ever lived.  However, the bass player, John Entwistle, did much more than play bass.

John Alec Enwistle, born 19441009 and died 20029627, was one of the original members of the band.  He and Pete Townshend formed a band in the late 1950s, and he left to join Roger Daltrey’s band in the early 1960s.  He convinced Daltrey to have Townshend join, and with the admission of Keith Moon The Who were formed.

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