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The Who - Album by Album by Song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    Who are The Who?

    This may seem absurd, but somebody probably doesn't know the band, and there may well be folks that don't know the history of the band.
    The Who formed in 1964, and the core members were three Acton, London lads of dubious reputation.

    Roger - March 1, 1944
    Contrary to popular belief, early on at least, Roger Daltrey was actually the leader of the band, he was older and had a pretty big rep for getting his way with his fists, even though he wasn't very big
    He was actually a good student and ranked at the top of his class, which led to his enrollment at the Acton County Grammar School.
    Roger made his first guitar out of a block of wood and it was a cherry red Strat replica. He joined a Skiffle band called The Detours who needed a singer, and was told to bring a guitar, and after a few weeks rolled up with his Strat.
    His dad bought him an Epiphone in 1959, and he became the lead guitarist in the band. Not long after this Daltrey was expelled from school for smoking.

    John - October 9 1944
    In late 1961 John Entwistle joined The Detours playing the bass, but John was the only member of the band to have had formal music training.
    He took Piano lessons at age seven, at eleven switched to the Trumpet and moved to French Horn when he joined the Middlesex Schools Symphony Orchestra.
    John met Pete Townshend in the second year of school and the two of them formed a trad jazz band called the Confederates ... they played one gig and decided that rock and roll would be a better option.
    Not being able to hear his trumpet over the bands, he moved to guitar, and then with his love of lower range playing led him, via a fondness of the low tones of Duane Eddy he moved on to the bass.
    When he joined the Detours he encouraged Pete, and insisting that Pete becomes a member of the band

    Pete - May 19, 1945

    When Pete Townshend joined The Detours he was playing rhythm guitar, Roger was playing lead guitar and John was playing bass. Doug Sandom was on drums and Colin Dawson was the singer.
    Pete spent a lot of his youth reading adventure novels, such as Gulliver's Travels, Treasure Island and such.
    The family used to visit the seaside at the Isle Of Mann and on one of these journeys he discovered the movie Rock Around The Clock, and watch it repeatedly, this sparked a fascination with US rock and roll, and not long after he saw Bill Haley in concert. At the time he wasn't thinking of pursuing rock and roll, he wanted to be a journalist.
    Pete got his first guitar for Christmas, from his Grandmother, in 1956.
    With his test scores not really pointing towards University Pete decided to study graphic design at Ealing Art College.
    Dawson quit the Detours in 1962 and Daltrey became the lead vocalist. With encouragement from Entwistle, Pete became the sole guitarist.
    Through Pete's mum the band, the band got a management contract through Robert Druce.
    In 1963 through Pete's dad, the guys made an amatuer recording called It Was You, Pete's first song.
    In 1964 the band became aware that there was already a group called the Detours, and roommate Richard Barnes suggested The Who, which Daltrey decided was the best name.
    Not long after the name change Doug Samdon was replaced

    Keith - August 23 1946
    Keith Moon was born in the North London area known as Middlesex, he was hyperactive, had a restless imagination and loved The Goon Show.
    Moon attended Alperton Secondary Modern School where his art teacher said in a report: "Retarded artistically. Idiotic in other respects" and his music teacher wrote that Moon "has great ability, but must guard against a tendency to show off."
    Moon was in the Sea Corps for a while on the Bugle, but found it difficult to learn and decided to play drums.
    He left school at age 14 in 1961 and got a job as a radio repairman, which a=enabled him to buy his first set of drums. Keith took lessons from Screaming Lord Sutch's drummer Carlo Little and was influenced by surf music, jazz and R&B.
    A commonly cited story of how Moon joined the Who is that he appeared at a show shortly after Sandom's departure, where a session drummer was used. Dressed in ginger clothes and with his hair dyed ginger (future bandmate Pete Townshend later described him as a "ginger vision"), he claimed to his would-be bandmates that he could play better; he played in the set's second half, nearly demolishing the drum kit in the process.
    Moon ended up getting the gig. Sandham had been the Peacemaker in the band so the band dynamic changed. Due to all their natures the guys were constantly in conflict with each other.
    Daltrey and Townshend feuded between themselves, but because of Moon's temperament the group now had four members frequently in conflict. "We used to fight regularly", remembered Moon in later years. "John [Entwistle] and I used to have fights – it wasn't very serious, it was more of an emotional spur-of-the moment thing." Moon also clashed with Daltrey and Townshend: "We really have absolutely nothing in common apart from music", he said in a later interview. Although Townshend described him as a "completely different person to anyone I've ever met", the pair had a rapport in the early years and enjoyed practical jokes and improvised comedy. Moon's drumming style affected the band's musical structure; although Entwistle initially found Moon's lack of conventional timekeeping problematic, it created an original sound.

    The Who
    The Who changed managers to Peter Meaden. He decided that the group would be ideal to represent the growing mod movement in Britain which involved fashion, scooters and music genres such as rhythm and blues, soul and beat. He renamed the group the High Numbers, dressed them up in mod clothes, secured an audition with Fontana Records and wrote the lyrics for both sides of their single "Zoot Suit"/"I'm the Face" to appeal to mods.
    Meaden was replaced as manager by two filmmakers, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. They were looking for a young, unsigned rock group that they could make a film about, and had seen the band at the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone, which had become a regular venue for them. Lambert related to Townshend and his art school background, and encouraged him to write songs. In August, Lambert and Stamp made a promotional film featuring the group and their audience at the Railway. The band changed their set towards soul,
    rhythm and blues and Motown covers, and created the slogan "Maximum R&B"

    In June 1964, during a performance at the Railway, Townshend accidentally broke the head of his guitar on the low ceiling of the stage. Angered by the audience's laughter, he smashed the instrument on the stage, then picked up another guitar and continued the show. The following week, the audience were keen to see a repeat of the event. Moon obliged by kicking his drum kit over, and auto-destructive art became a feature of the Who's live set.

    By late 1964, the Who were becoming popular in London's Marquee Club, and a rave review of their live act appeared in Melody Maker. Lambert and Stamp attracted the attention of the American producer Shel Talmy, who had produced the Kinks. Townshend had written a song, "I Can't Explain", that deliberately sounded like the Kinks to attract Talmy's attention. Talmy saw the group in rehearsals and was impressed. He signed them to his production company, and sold the recording to the US arm of Decca Records, which meant that the group's early singles were released in Britain on Brunswick Records, one of UK Decca's labels for US artists. "I Can't Explain" was recorded in early November 1964 at Pye Studios in Marble Arch with the Ivy League on backing vocals, and Jimmy Page played fuzz guitar on the B-side, "Bald Headed Woman.......

    So that is a really rough version of how it all came together. The Who obviously went on to record many great singles and release many great albums, and that is what we are going to have a look at over the course of this thread.
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    Firstly, I am not an authority on the Who, and I know a lot of you folks are, so please correct me if I give out any misinformation, that is certainly not my intent. I just reckon they were a great rock band, and want to look more closely at the albums and singles.

    The way the thread will work is we will run through albums and songs Monday to Saturday, and Sunday will be a rest day for folks to catch up or whatever.

    Please stay with us on the thread. It makes it easier for folks poking their heads in, if we are all on the same page. This doesn't mean don't mention anything we are coming to, if it is relevant, but for the most part try and stay where we are purely for keeping things coherent.

    I discovered The Who very early on in my music listening days. Their aggressive rock style suited my hyperactive youth very well, and I enjoyed the songs and the attitude that it had.
    I got by with a best of for the longest time, and I fell into the misguided idea that The Who weren't an album band. This idea has been corrected, so please don't feel the need to read me the riot act :)
    The first album I ever got of the Who was Face Dances, and that was followed by Who's Last ... So I didn't exactly get the best introduction to the band, although I have come to enjoy those albums a lot more over the years.
    A couple of years ago I ended up getting the albums that I had never heard, and from my perspective I really want to give them a better, more close listen, and I know many of you are big Who fans and I love learning stuff about bands I like and figure, somewhat selfishly, that you might join me on this journey, and I may learn some stuff, and you may enjoy revisiting The 'Orrible 'OOO.

    So for now as we just get started, please feel free to talk about the band, and maybe give us some idea of how you came to the band, and whatever else comes to mind, and on Monday morning, or afternoon, depending on time, we will start going the the recordings of The Who

  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    @The Lone Cadaver - I know you love these guys. It would be cool if you could join in and share your knowledge :righton:
  4. arthurprecarious

    arthurprecarious Forum Resident

    North East England
    I’m up for it. Probably my favourite band. Bought “Who’s Next” not long after release and saw them first in 1975. Best show by anyone, ever was 76 Charlton. Then 1981 in Manchester (not a great show!). Didn’t see em until 2000 then a few times since.

    look forward to it.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  5. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay The autochanger switched as I filled my sandwich..

    Denver CO
    I was introduced to them by a school friend when we were about eight years old. The two of us had older brothers. Mine were into the Stones, Hawkwind, Roxy Music, Led Zep and Pink Floyd. His brother was also into Zep and the Floyd, and also The Who. Quadrophenia and Dark Side were new records at that time, so I got a lot of exposure to them. He also had Tommy, Sell Out and A Quick One. We had another friend who also had older brothers, they were into Yes and ELP. I consider myself to be exceptionally fortunate to have been exposed to so many major artists at such a young age. A classical education, if you like.
  6. First album for me was Who’s Next when I was 1971. Second was Tommy. Third was Sell Out. Favorite is still By Numbers although I love individual songs onQuadrophenia , the concept doesn’t really work for me.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    I really like By Numbers, it seems strange to me that it seems to be less liked.
  8. dave9199

    dave9199 Forum Resident

    Durham, NC
    My brother turned me onto rock music. He is 6 years old than me. He had Who's Next and the Tommy soundtrack (which I still love) but my memory is first seeing The Kids Are Alright on The Movie Channel in 1980. I asked for the soundtrack for xmas. Because of that it's one of my favorites along with their pre-Tommy stuff. I asked for the two-fers of My Generation/Magic Bus & Happy Jack/Sell Out after that. I remember my step mom who is ten years younger than my dad had Magic Bus and Introducing The Beatles. I asked to listen to those a lot. I also share the same birthdate as Pete Townshend. And while my nose isn't as big as his, I have been made fun of for it being a skinny kid. I started playing drums first and Keith Moon was an influence. Townshend was an influence on my songwriting when I taught myself guitar. I still get sweaty when I see or hear instruments being knocked over.
  9. jhw59

    jhw59 Forum Resident

    Tommy was the first Who album I listened to as a preteen. My uncle had a copy and let me listen to it on his stereo. The others followed though not in sequence.
  10. Thievius

    Thievius This is my sweet custom title, yo

    Syracuse, NY
    I was introduced to The Who through (obviously) the radio around 1978 and '79, as my musical awakening was just starting to branch out. There was a new film in '79 that released just as school had let out for the summer entitled "The Kids Are Alright" and my curiosity got me into the theater. After being blown away by the film, I rushed out and bought the double lp soundtrack. In hindsight it was a perfect, proper intro to the band as it hit a wide swath of their songs and career. For Christmas that year I asked for and received the original Tommy double lp as well as Who Are You.

    And the rest, as they say, is history. The Who are still one of my top 3 favorite bands.
  11. It’s a mich more personal album from a songwriting POV for Pete and it lacks the larger, bombastic numbers that made Who’s Next popular. Introspective seemed much more accepted when it comes to Pete’s solo career than Who.
    JonnyKidd, J_D__, beatleswho and 2 others like this.
  12. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
    Was also a bit of a comedown after Quad. From the epic (Love Reign O'er me) to the domestic (Squeeze Box).

  13. Lynd8

    Lynd8 Forum Resident

    New York
    My odd way into The Who was Pete Townshend's solo work and not even his most famous one. A friend of mine had "Rough Mix" and I knew Charlie Watts was on it and Eric Clapton and after a few listens it grew on me and I really enjoyed it. I was only familiar with Who's Next songs up to then and didn't really get real serious about exploring their catalog until about 1980 or so (Unfortunately they basically called it quits 2 years later!) The rest is history - as you might guess from my Avatar, I like another band a little more, but The Who and Pete's solo work is a strong second for me. I also really enjoy Pete's "Scoop" series - hearing those Who classics in demo form is really awesome. looking forward to this thread and discussing the "'orrible Who!!"
  14. Mechanical Man

    Mechanical Man Cease to Exist

    Oakland, CA, USA
    I'd be down for a thread like this, as I've just been reimmersing myself in the Who after a long break. Will we be covering all the outtakes in addition to their proper catalog?
  15. Who'sTommy

    Who'sTommy Forum Resident

    The Netherlands
    My all-time favourite band. My dad introduced me to the band's music around 1990. He named me after "Tommy".
    JonnyKidd, SKean, Jim G. and 5 others like this.
  16. True but I liked the smaller scale myself.
  17. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    I've been a fan of The Who since the late 70s, and my introduction came from WPLJ radio in New York, from songs Won't get fooled again/Baba O Reilly/Who are you/Behind blue eyes. I didn't have the money to rush out and buy everything as a young teen, so the radio was important. WPLJ also used to have special days when they would play only Beatles/Who/Stones/Zeppelin, which were my 4 favorite bands, this has stuck. I'm sure some other people here remember that on WPLJ, which became life shaping in my case, but a lot of the other music was too. My 1st albums I owned by the band were Face Dances, Who's next, It's Hard, and I still love them all, since having acquired all the studio albums and others. I got to see the Who in 1982 in Oakland, my only time..
    JonnyKidd, SKean, alchemy and 4 others like this.
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    If they were released on albums we will be covering them.
    By all means though, if there are outtakes that aren't on albums, and you want to post them, by all means do so.
  19. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    This is a great time to do this thread - with no tour, a new album that's great just out and all the time we have on our hands this should be fun. I'll try to participate. I'm sorry I didn't get to write on the Joe Cocker thread. Maybe I'll try to get on there too though it's strangely quiet. I know this thread will be really popular. Kudos for getting ambitious.
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    With The Who's somewhat scattershot catalog, it is going to be a challenge lol ... apprehensive about this one :)
  21. GlassPepper

    GlassPepper I can't get no

  22. GlassPepper

    GlassPepper I can't get no

    I gotta say something. The Who don't really have any bad songs. Just like the Stones.

    Yeah a few tracks are a bit meh but nothing is absolutely vile. ;) (even the crap 80s stuff)
  23. Fullbug

    Fullbug Forum Resident

    This forum is up to the challenge,. . . . and we have plenty of time!
  24. Mechanical Man

    Mechanical Man Cease to Exist

    Oakland, CA, USA
    Awesome. Since this is album by album, hopefully you can find a way to work in all the non-LP sides. So many of their classics never appeared on a proper LP.
  25. Libertine

    Libertine Forum Resident

    100% up for this!

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