View Full Version : Classic Rock Album Battle #1 - The Who

02-22-2012, 06:26 PM
Simple concept, Choose which you think is the best Classic Rock album from the golden age of the LP, first up is The Who, you can argue with me about my selection but there can only be 3 as far as the Who are concerned IMHO. Vote for your favourite, argue your reasons post tracks etc. Let's get some ROCK music up in here.


1 - Tommy (1969)

The full-blown rock opera about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy that launched the band to international superstardom, written almost entirely by Pete Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/pete-townshend-p5678). Hailed as a breakthrough upon its release, its critical standing has diminished somewhat in the ensuing decades because of the occasional pretensions of the concept and because of the insubstantial nature of some of the songs that functioned as little more than devices to advance the rather sketchy plot. Nonetheless, the double album has many excellent songs, including "I'm Free," "Pinball Wizard," "Sensation," "Christmas," "We're Not Gonna Take It," and the dramatic ten-minute instrumental "Underture." Though the album was slightly flawed, Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/townshend-p5678)'s ability to construct a lengthy conceptual narrative brought new possibilities to rock music. Despite the complexity of the project, he and the Who (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-who-p5822) never lost sight of solid pop melodies, harmonies, and forceful instrumentation, imbuing the material with a suitably powerful grace.

2 - Who's Next (1971)

Much of Who's Next (http://www.allmusic.com/album/whos-next-r21820) derives from Lifehouse (http://www.allmusic.com/album/lifehouse-r229848), an ambitious sci-fi rock opera Pete Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/pete-townshend-p5678) abandoned after suffering a nervous breakdown, caused in part from working on the sequel to Tommy (http://www.allmusic.com/album/tommy-r21816). There's no discernable theme behind these songs, yet this album is stronger than Tommy (http://www.allmusic.com/album/tommy-r21816), falling just behind Who Sell Out (http://www.allmusic.com/album/who-sell-out-r21815) as the finest record the Who (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-who-p5822) ever cut. Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/townshend-p5678) developed an infatuation with synthesizers during the recording of the album, and they're all over this album, adding texture where needed and amplifying the force, which is already at a fever pitch. Apart from Live at Leeds (http://www.allmusic.com/album/live-at-leeds-r443429), the Who (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-who-p5822) have never sounded as LOUD and unhinged as they do here, yet that's balanced by ballads, both lovely ("The Song Is Over") and scathing ("Behind Blue Eyes"). That's the key to Who's Next (http://www.allmusic.com/album/whos-next-r21820) -- there's anger and sorrow, humor and regret, passion and tumult, all wrapped up in a blistering package where the rage is as affecting as the heartbreak. This is a retreat from the '60s, as Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/townshend-p5678) declares the "Song Is Over," scorns the teenage wasteland, and bitterly declares that we "Won't Get Fooled Again." For all the sorrow and heartbreak that runs beneath the surface, this is an invigorating record, not just because Keith Moon (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/keith-moon-p19411) runs rampant or because Roger Daltrey (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/roger-daltrey-p4018) has never sung better or because John Entwistle (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/john-entwistle-p74197) spins out manic basslines that are as captivating as his "My Wife" is funny. This is invigorating because it has all of that, plus Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/townshend-p5678) laying his soul bare in ways that are funny, painful, and utterly life-affirming. That is what the Who (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-who-p5822) was about, not the rock operas, and that's why Who's Next (http://www.allmusic.com/album/whos-next-r21820) is truer than Tommy (http://www.allmusic.com/album/tommy-r21816) or the abandoned Lifehouse (http://www.allmusic.com/album/lifehouse-r229848). Those were art -- this, even with its pretensions, is rock & roll.

3 - Quadrophenia (1973)

Pete Townshend revisited the rock opera concept with another double-album opus, this time built around the story of a young mod's struggle to come of age in the mid-'60s. If anything, this was a more ambitious project than Tommy (http://www.allmusic.com/album/tommy-r21816), given added weight by the fact that the Who (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-who-p5822) weren't devising some fantasy but were re-examining the roots of their own birth in mod culture. In the end, there may have been too much weight, as Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/townshend-p5678) tried to combine the story of a mixed-up mod named Jimmy with the examination of a four-way split personality (hence the title Quadrophenia (http://www.allmusic.com/album/quadrophenia-r21823)), in turn meant to reflect the four conflicting personas at work within the Who (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-who-p5822) itself. The concept might have ultimately been too obscure and confusing for a mass audience. But there's plenty of great music anyway, especially on "The Real Me," "The Punk Meets the Godfather," "I'm One," "Bell Boy," and "Love, Reign o'er Me." Some of Townshend (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/townshend-p5678)'s most direct, heartfelt writing is contained here, and production-wise it's a tour de force, with some of the most imaginative use of synthesizers on a rock record. Various members of the band griped endlessly about flaws in the mix, but really these will bug very few listeners, who in general will find this to be one of the Who (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-who-p5822)'s most powerful statements.


02-22-2012, 09:34 PM



Who's Next






02-28-2012, 02:04 PM
Got to go with Who's Next; 'Behind Blue Eyes' is my favorite Who track (on these 3 records) and the classic intro to 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is among the best ever in rock (imo--and the song is not bad either:)

03-03-2012, 09:43 PM
Kind of agree with you, their best tunes on there, but listen to Quadrophenia as a whole, if you can get the album (LP) look at the photos as well (ignore the film please :uhoh:). If it's a CD or whatever ignore all the BS extra tracks and listen to it like it was the original record in the right order:


Listened to it so many times and endlessly feeling so many new twists in it, maybe just it's because basically about a (young, used to be bro :uhoh:) working class English lad that it means so much to me, but Who's Next has some of the greatest Rock tracks ever, but as whole, meh, not so much so, doesn't have the same meaning,

Also would recommend getting Roger Daltery's soundtrack to the the McVicar film for some classic Who goodness, also watch the film, fantastic acting by Daltrey unlike this :


03-04-2012, 11:46 PM
Also would recommend getting Roger Daltery's soundtrack to the the McVicar film for some classic Who goodness,



03-04-2012, 11:57 PM


Am I the only one who thinks the tempo is too fast on that vid? Compare to this...

Elton John - Pinball Wizard (Caribou 11 of 13)

03-05-2012, 12:37 AM
Am I the only one who thinks the tempo is too fast on that vid? Compare to this...


Thanks UMG but I take it you were posting the original by the Who, also cocaine, hell of a drug etc.


03-05-2012, 12:51 AM
Buddy, maybe its a UK thing? I still see the orig in my post. It's The Pinball Wizard vid from the movie. It sounds like someone played it on a deck with the tempo bumped by at least 2-3% but since it's video too, it would have to be a DVJ1000. LOL

03-05-2012, 10:03 AM
Dug out the DVD and the times seem to match, so I'm not really too sure, me not being able to watch your vid doesn't help much TBH :argh:

07-01-2012, 01:17 PM
Nice Documentary about Quadrophenia on BBC IPlayer



07-01-2012, 01:21 PM
And on youtube for you non Brits :tup:

Youtube have killed it :mad:

It's on dailymotion :D



12-12-2012, 02:22 PM
I got Tommy and Who's Next on vinyl, and also have Tommy on SACD, but my favorite Who's song is Eminence Front. When I show off my McIntosh Audiophile system to my friends, that is the track I play first.

DennisBdrmDJ 2.0
12-14-2012, 12:11 AM
When I show off my McIntosh Audiophile system to my friends, that is the track I play first.Off-Topic:what kind of McIntosh system:love:do you have? PM me.

12-15-2012, 08:27 AM
Here is a video of my McIntosh system in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdoVwD1ezaU It is a restored McIntosh MC-7300 power amp that was recapped this year, and also has a new glass face plate. It is rated 300 watts per channel, but it does a lot more. The preamp is the preamp section of my restored Pioneer SX-1250 receiver, which is arguably the best sounding receiver that Pioneer ever built. It was built in 1976 and it has also been restored. The music are flac files that get played from my Logitech Transporter digital music server. It's basically a highend wifi DAC. The thing with the two tubes in the video is a hand built headphone amp. The turntable is a gold Technics SL-1200GLD. Next to the turntable is a VPI 16.5 record cleaning machine. The speakers are Onix Mini Stratas.

DennisBdrmDJ 2.0
12-15-2012, 04:27 PM
That's sweet!.....Thanks for sharing.:tup: