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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Alphabet Beats #156: W is for....The Who

W is for....

For Dougie of Sligo and Bob of Philly
Two of the biggest fans of The Who that I know.

When asked the question, "What is your first musical memory?", I have absolutely no hesitation in saying it was The Who on the Television performing 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere'. I was just a mere nipper but the image of Pete Townshend whirlwinding whilst playing guitar left a mark on me so much that I assumed that every other guitar player was actually playing the guitar wrong! It's a great memory to have and one that reminds me that The Who have a special place in my own Soundtrack4Life.

A lot of people point to The Beatles or The Rolling Stones as their band of the 1960's but for me it will always be The Who (closely followed by The Kinks).

In the Melody Maker for 5th June 1965 here is how they described The Who
"A new name ...being hurled around in hip circles...They are four Mods from Shepherd's Bush, London...
Their music is defiant, and so is their attitude. Their sound is vicious. This is no note-perfect 'showbiz group', singing in harmony and playing clean guitar runs. The Who lay down a heavy beat, putting great emphasis on the on and off beats. Moon thunders around the drums. Townshend swings full circles with his right arm. He bangs out Morse Code by switching the guitar pick ups on and off. Notes bend and whine. He turns suddenly and rams the end of his guitar into the speaker. A chord shudders on the impact. The speaker rocks. Townshend strikes again on the rebound. He rips the canvas cover, tears into the speaker cone, and the distorted solo splutters from a demolished speaker. The crowds watch this violent display spellbound."  

50 years on from that Roger and Pete are still at it, whilst John and Keith are no longer with us, rest in peace. 

Roger is sounding amazing for his age and Pete still has the attitude if not a little more reserved. They are out on the road now for what could be their final ever tour (I think we have heard that one more than once over the years, though this time due to age and the general wear and tear touring brings to the body it could actually be true). They will perform at Glastonbury this year as the band to close the 2015 Event on The Pyramid Stage (Sunday 28th June).

My only gripe about The Who (and it's the same one that I also have about The Rolling Stones) is that I really do wish they would have recorded more new material. One new song (Be Lucky) on The Who Hits 50! and the first since the Endless Wire album in 2006 is quite unacceptable I think, though when the 26th Compilation of their career was released mention was made of a possible new album in 2015 - that remains to be seen!

Enough of my rambling, on with the music. Click on the links to enjoy the sound of Shepherd's Bush Boys The Who.

The Music
    The Who sings My Generation (1965)
    A Quick One (1966)
    The Who Sell Out (1967)
    Tommy (1969)
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (1971)
    Who's Next (1971)
    Quadrophenia (1973)
Odds and Sods (1974)
    The Who by Numbers (1975)
    Who Are You (1978)
The Kids Are Alright (1979)
    Face Dances (1981)
    It's Hard (1982)
Who's Last (1984)
BBC Sessions (2000)
    Endless Wire (2006)
The Hits 50! (2014)

The Soundtrack4Life 
Top Ten
The Who
 10. The Real Me.
03. 5.15.

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