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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 19 | May 20, 2007|


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Band Musice

The Who

Pete Townshend (guitars)
Roger Daltrey (vocals)
John Entwistle (bass)
Keith Moon (drums)

The Who had been through almost all phases of classic musical eras- maximum RnB, Rock to hard-core seventies! They reigned as one of the most acclaimed rock bands of all time, earning their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 as best guitar smashing best performers!

The pent-up energy and chaos of rock and roll into its purest form was something hardly found in that era. In their prime time, they were a band whose individual personalities fused into a larger-than-life bunch of performers. Pete Townshend provided the slashing guitar work and much of the material. Vocalist Roger Daltrey injected the songs with expressive muscularity and passion. Bassist John Entwistle anchored the band with his stoic demeanor and expert musicianship. Keith Moon, one of the greatest of all rock and roll drummers, embodied their explosive energy.

The Who evolved in 1964 from a group called the High Numbers, which included Daltrey, Townshend and Entwistle. They were joined by Moon, who'd played in a British surf group called the Beachcombers. The newly charged-up band came on as equipment-smashing musicians who brashly declared, “Hope I die before I get old,” in their stuttering anthem, “My Generation.” The early Who demonstrated a mastery of the three-minute single, articulating the frustrations of adolescence in such combustible classics as “Can't Explain,” “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” and “Substitute.” However, it wasn't until the 1967 release of “Happy Jack,” cracked the U.S. Top Forty. A turn toward psychedelia and consumerist satire yielded The Who Sell Out and its illuminating key song, “I Can See for Miles,” which became the Who's biggest stateside single, reaching #9.

The Who released their conceptual rock opera Tommy soon after, a double-album about the spiritual path of a “deaf, dumb and blind boy” “Who's Next”, a flawless album of discreet numbers, helped define the sound and sensibility of rock in the Seventies. From “Baba o'Riley's” album-opening, discourse on “teenage wasteland” through to Daltrey's electrifying scream on the closing track, “Won't Get Fooled Again,” Who's Next stands as a virtual rock collection of all time. From this they returned to the rock-opera format with Quadrophenia, a hard-rocking memoir and documentary of the group's Mod origins.

At all stages of its career, The Who has been a dynamic live act. During those decades when they were actively creating, the band was also outspoken and combustible. Group conflicts often fueled their best work, providing a volatile dynamic that never quite broke them up. Only the death in 1978 of Keith Moon - who overdosed on medication taken for his alcoholism - interrupted the original foursome's remarkable run.

The Who undertook a lengthy and much-publicized “farewell” tour in 1982 but thereafter regrouped on a number of occasions, apparently having said farewell only to the notion of making new music together. (Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle all pursued prolific solo careers both during and after the Who's alleged breakup, however.) Among other things, the Who revived their rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia for multi-night stands in big cities and, subsequently, full-fledged concert tours. Tommy was also successfully adapted to the Broadway stage in 1993, with Townshend's blessing and involvement, and won five Tony awards. The next year saw the release of an exhaustive box set, The Who: Thirty Years of Maximum R&B. Seems like with each time they bid farewell and then re-grouped, they lied about the words said in “My Generation”

Albums to listen to : My generation

Compiled by Shamma M Raghib


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