Similarly to equal genius of The Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Pete Townshend crafted a project that was too big and detailed to be accomplished by musical means. Whereas Brian Wilson had the aborted Smile sessions, Pete Townshend had the Lifehouse project. Both never saw the light of day as musical ideas, but in both cases, some leftover music was the gift. This resulted in with The Who, their best album overall, which is this one. Who’s Next is no doubt going to be a great listen as a result, so let’s take an in depth look at the music here.
We begin with Baba O’Riley which kicks off with a glorious sounding keyboard part that sounds amazing, especially for the time. Before long, an additional piano part enters along with some thundering drums. Roger Daltrey sings nicely here, showcasing himself as a really excellent Rock singer who could deliver. A really lovely and intricate piece of music that is awesome and brilliant sounding, with references to a “teenage wasteland” lyrically. Really great to hear, this was light years ahead musically compared to some of the groups contemporaries. Towards the end is a pseudo-Classical sort of musical piece that sounds really great, speeding up to conclude. Very good music.
Next along is Bargain which begins with some acoustic guitar strumming in the right channel and some electric guitar violining in the left channel, before going into a crashing Rock number. This is a really great album, showcasing The Who as a serious and wonderful force of nature to hear on record. There are some brilliant sounds and melodic structure here towards the midsection, which are really nicely done in a musical sense, and are totally awesome. There is a weird keyboard sound here, too. No doubt that The Who were on a great mission musically, and this album is proof of it. Keith Moon’s drumming is subdued, but really powerful here. An excellent call to arms for The Who fans, this is a great listen. A great instrumental section concludes this song, along with strummed acoustic guitar. Brilliant effort.
Love Ain’t For Keeping begins with some nice dual tracked acoustic guitars and drums, before Roger Daltrey sings in a beautiful way. This is a very short piece that is quite beautiful and melodic here. A really great listen and effort here, with some interesting reflection upon love itself. Brilliant song, and a great album so far. Not bad for two minutes and ten seconds long. It has a frenzied acoustic guitar part right at the end as a surprise, listen out for it.
My Wife is next. It is a punchy Hard Rock number that ended up with bassist John Entwistle getting a divorce from his own wife for writing such a song. Still, this piece is really great and just fits on this album perfectly nicely. A rather funny piece of music on this subject, there are horns and other brilliant sounds here that are fantastic. This is a great song that is definitely underrated, as is the rest of this album. Great song about a confrontational topic, but expertly delivered by The Who. Awesome.
Next up is The Song Is Over which has a proto-Disco mixture of piano and keyboard melody to begin with. Roger Daltrey’s singing voice here is absolutely mint, he comes across as a really underrated singer here. A great and brilliant listen, this is a six minute epic that just sounds melodic, catchy and powerful, a nice mixture of elements here. There is a great guitar solo here as well. It is quite an amazing listen, and very beautiful, powerful and melodic here in a way that is inimitable by others as well. Roger Daltrey sounds really amazing here, adapted to a key change in the second half here as well. A brilliant piece of music that sounds unlike anything else out there, it shows a raw and uncompromising singing section that is gorgeous. It ends with a load of drumrolls. Nice. Not bad for a six minute long song, it never bores one by listening to it.
Following is Getting In Tune which begins with a piano part that sounds a lot like John Lennon’s Imagine with Roger Daltrey’s lone voice, before launching into an absolutely superb Rock number that sounds lively. A really excellent devotion to music itself, this is a really cool listen for a four minute plus musical piece. In the second half, Roger Daltrey sings magnificently and delivers really well here. The whole piece of music just flows nicely here, and sounds really cool. Underrated song from an underrated album, this is lively, lovely and wonderful, “Getting in tune with the straight and narrow,” is chanted towards the end here, a magnificent piece of music. Excellent stuff.
Going Mobile comes along next with some nice acoustic guitar led intro and likely refers to the tradition of living in a caravan or something similar. A really excellent and good listen, with some interesting electronic keyboard parts here, this is another great listen from The Who. Poppy, energetic and awesome, Hard Rock rarely sounded this good. It goes into a keyboard led Electronic jam in the second half that sounds great. Weird but awesome listening, a really great song, and album too.
Behind Blue Eyes has been covered many, many times by other bands. The original here is terrific, an outpouring of human melancholy emotion that is unbeatable. The instrumentation here is just as good, and this piece sounds lively and extraordinary. It is a really deep and meaningful sort of tune, it just sounds really nice and fantastic. It launches into a killer Rock groove in the second half that sounds really excellent. Nice songs here, it just sounds totally different and really good simultaneously. Good job by The Who.
Last here is the extended piece Won’t Get Fooled Again which begins with crunchy guitar and a super trippy organ sound that makes a lasting impression on the listener. Before long, the band launch into this piece which is magnificent and unbeatable. A really great piece of timeless music that sounds really excellent from start to finish, this is a grand and wonderful listen that doesn’t feel at all a lengthy listen. Some of the drum work by Keith Moon here in particular is incredibly good, he is sure an underrated drummer in the history of Rock music. A loud, raw and punchy statement about Rock and Roll and other life affirming pursuits, there is a great guitar solo in the middle here. Wonderful tune, and very unforgettable upon listening. Very catchy and wonderful, this song is a Rock Opera in a single song. Glad that, despite everything, Pete Townshend kept these songs. Towards the end is the repeated keyboard part that this song opened with, which is rather Psychedelic in nature, before some drum rolls enter, taking one by surprise. An awesome scream by Roger Daltrey enters next before singing a couple of lines about politics and the song concludes shortly after this. Brilliant.
This is an extraordinary listen that fuses various elements of melodic genres, but stands tall on its own as an original album of Hard Rock that sounds like nothing before it. This album is nothing short of amazing and yes, if you love loud guitars, then you definitely must hear this real gem of a record. Fans of The Who will be delighted to know that there are many re-releases with extra tracks on them, so go check them out.
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