Sunday, December 07, 2008

Number 429 - Who


Number 429

The Who

"Won't Get Fooled Again"

(1971)
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Genre: Rock
Um ..... RUN!
Normally at this time of the year i would be telling you what the latest series of Guitar Hero World Tour is like, but uh, this recession has forced me to think of justifying the purchase that i will not make, probably for ages. Instead this recession has forced me to leave the comfort of my home office and physically work again (If you're that curious, you can read about it here). Also by this time of the year i was really hoping to have this countdown to at least Number 400. Ah well, maybe next year, i mean, how long can a recession last? *Mutter Mumble*
St Peter?
Much of Who's Next derives from Lifehouse, an ambitious sci-fi rock opera Pete Townshend abandoned after suffering a nervous breakdown, caused in part from working on the sequel to Tommy. There's no discernable theme behind these songs, yet this album is stronger than Tommy, falling just behind Who Sell Out as the finest record the Who ever cut. Townshend 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, the Who 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 -- 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.
Wallet?
This is a retreat from the '60s, as Townshend 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 runs rampant or because Roger Daltrey has never sung better or because John Entwistle 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 laying his soul bare in ways that are funny, painful, and utterly life-affirming. That is what the Who was about, not the rock operas, and that's why Who's Next is truer than Tommy or the abandoned Lifehouse. Those were art -- this, even with its pretensions, is rock & roll. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
For more Who see Number 556
The History of "Won't be fooled again"
atkins diet
The song originally appeared on the 1971 album Who's Next and has since appeared on various other recordings, including the live compilation soundtrack for The Kids Are Alright, the 1979 documentary film about the band, which in the 1978 Shepperton film studios shoot, was the last song the original lineup ever performed together. It is famous for its angular organ part set against guitar power chords, leading up to an extended synthesizer break into a drum entrance followed by a long scream by Daltrey. Townshend is playing block chords spread between the two keyboards of the 1968 Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ. The output of the organ is fed into the audio input of the EMS VCS 3 mk1 synth. The first bit of processing to be applied to the organ sound is a low-frequency oscillator (LFO) controlling the frequency of a voltage-controlled filter (VCF), using a sine or triangle wave shape. In other words, the synth is turning the tone of the organ from mellow to bright, up and down automatically. There are pictures of Townshend playing this instrument, as well as a video of Pete Townshend demonstrating how the sound was produced.
Shes mine ... go away !
This was the last song that Keith Moon performed with The Who on 25 May 1978 in Shepperton Studios. The song was performed both at Live Aid and 20 years later at Live 8. Townshend also collaborated on a celebrated, live, acoustic duet version of the song with leading classical guitarist John Williams for the 1979 Amnesty International benefit The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979). The Who's Next deluxe edition (released in 2003) contains an early session tape of this song with a different structure featuring Mountain's Leslie West on lead guitar. Numerous live versions of this song have appeared on albums. In addition to The Kids Are Alright soundtrack, the most notable ones are on the Who's Next deluxe edition from the 1971 Young Vic show and on the Live At The Royal Albert Hall album (from a 2000 show with Noel Gallagher guesting). The band's performance of the song at 2001's The Concert for New York City was considered a highlight of that show. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For Mountain see Number 748
For Noel Gallagher see Number 574
What does Rolling Stone think about The Who?
The Who's Next, regardless of what you may have been led to believe to the contrary, is neither the soundtrack to the realization of Pete Townshend's apparently-aborted Hollywood dream, the greatest live album in the history of the universe, nor a, shudder, rock opera, but rather an old fashioned long-player containing intelligently-conceived, superbly-performed, brilliantly-produced, and sometimes even exciting rock and roll. Having said which, I will digress ...
If, instead of a Heavy!-loving barbiturated kid who discovered in the wake of all the jumpin' and jivin' that accompanied the release of their last two albums that the Who resemble Led Zeppelin and so-on on a gross aural level and must therefore be far-out!, it's an age-long admirer of theirs you are, you'll doubtless have noticed that the Who's stage act, snazzy as it remains, has toned down subtly over the last couple of tours
.
And there you have it, chums, an album that, despite a degree of sober calculatedness that would prove fatal to a lesser group, ranks right up there with David Bowie's and Black Oak Arkansas's and Crazy Horse's and Procol Harum's and Alice Cooper's and Christopher Milk's as among the most wondrous of 1971. In view of the fact that Pete's resumed smashing shit out of his guitar at the end of performances and that they've hopefully now resolved all their anxieties about technique, it's eminently reasonable to assume that subsequent Who albums won't be no shrinking violets either. ~ [Source: Rolling Stone]
For Led Zeppelin see Number 577 & #957
For David Bowie see Number 455, #465, #495, #634 & [with Queen] #513
For Alice Cooper see MM Vol 2 #121
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '429th Song of all Time' was "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" by Solomon Burke. Solomon Burke has not appeared in The Definitive 1000
Other songs with reference to The Who #431, #531, #670, #923
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number 133 and the Album ranked at Number 28
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 77.6 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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