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Rock - Released January 1, 1971 | Geffen

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released January 1, 1970 | Geffen

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released January 1, 1971 | Geffen

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released January 1, 2003 | Polydor Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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. 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 /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1995 | Polydor Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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. 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 /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Polydor Records

Distinctions 3F de Télérama
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, given added weight by the fact that the Who 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 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), in turn meant to reflect the four conflicting personas at work within the Who themselves. 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'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's most powerful statements. © TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1965 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townshend's exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on "My Generation" and "Out in the Street"; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout. Some "Maximum R&B" influence lingered in the two James Brown covers, but much of Townshend's original material fused Beatlesque hooks and power chords with anthemic mod lyrics, with "The Good's Gone," "Much Too Much," "La La La Lies," and especially "The Kids Are Alright" being highlights. "A Legal Matter" hinted at more ambitious lyrical concerns, and "The Ox" was instrumental mayhem that pushed the envelope of 1965 amplification with its guitar feedback and nonstop crashing drum rolls. While the execution was sometimes crude, and the songwriting not as sophisticated as it would shortly become, the Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1995 | Polydor Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Pete Townshend originally planned The Who Sell Out as a concept album of sorts that would simultaneously mock and pay tribute to pirate radio stations, complete with fake jingles and commercials linking the tracks. For reasons that remain somewhat ill defined, the concept wasn't quite driven to completion, breaking down around the middle of side two (on the original vinyl configuration). Nonetheless, on strictly musical merits, it's a terrific set of songs that ultimately stands as one of the group's greatest achievements. "I Can See for Miles" (a Top Ten hit) is the Who at their most thunderous; tinges of psychedelia add a rush to "Armenia City in the Sky" and "Relax"; "I Can't Reach You" finds Townshend beginning to stretch himself into quasi-spiritual territory; and "Tattoo" and the acoustic "Sunrise" show introspective, vulnerable sides to the singer/songwriter that had previously been hidden. "Rael" was another mini-opera, with musical motifs that reappeared in Tommy. The album is as perfect a balance between melodic mod pop and powerful instrumentation as the Who (or any other group) would achieve; psychedelic pop was never as jubilant, not to say funny (the fake commercials and jingles interspersed between the songs are a hoot). [Subsequent reissues added over half a dozen interesting outtakes from the time of the sessions, as well as unused commercials, the B-side "Someone's Coming," and an alternate version of "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand."] © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Geffen*

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townshend's exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on "My Generation" and "Out in the Street"; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout. Some "Maximum R&B" influence lingered in the two James Brown covers, but much of Townshend's original material fused Beatlesque hooks and power chords with anthemic mod lyrics, with "The Good's Gone," "Much Too Much," "La La La Lies," and especially "The Kids Are Alright" being highlights. "A Legal Matter" hinted at more ambitious lyrical concerns, and "The Ox" was instrumental mayhem that pushed the envelope of 1965 amplification with its guitar feedback and nonstop crashing drum rolls. While the execution was sometimes crude, and the songwriting not as sophisticated as it would shortly become, the Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 23, 1969 | Geffen

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Rock - Released December 15, 1967 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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It's a bit strange to think that an album that originally contained 13 tracks could be re-released in a collector's edition, or more precisely a Super Deluxe edition that boasts a hundred songs to get stuck into. But that is exactly what is on offer in this exceptional re-release of The Who's Sell Out, which is rich in surprises and other rare treats. When first released in 1967, the album shocked some audiences who didn't always understand quite what the group was trying to do. With advertising jingles interspersed between the tracks, the album feels more like a pirate radio broadcast emanating from The Boat That Rocked.Offbeat, and adopting a somewhat sarcastic tone, The Who Sell Out was an amazing journey. Although it is not quite a concept album (as was Tommy, released in 1969), a connecting thread does run through it, and it enjoys a real sense of overall coherence. In particular, it was an opportunity for The Who to get more closely acquainted with psychedelia, a few months after the release of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The band go easy on powerful riffs, and put more of an emphasis on the pop side of things, bolstered with a smattering of hallucinogenics, but they manage to not lost in endless flights of fancy and lashings of echo and reverb. The Who Sell Out is very much an album of songs, and it contains some of the four-piece's most famous tracks, such as the magnificent I Can See for Miles, which nestles among other gems like the incredible opening number Armenia City in the Sky and Tattoo. The result is a daring, audacious and adventurous record, which has not always been given the credit it deserves. But over the years it has been rehabilitated, thanks in large part to a number of generous reissues.This Super Deluxe edition is surely the ultimate version for any fan wishing to soak up even more of the work’s off-beam atmosphere, charged with British humour and very elegant writing. In addition to the album's mono and stereo mixes, we get a heap of bonus material like previously-unreleased versions of Pictures of Lilly (which was released at the time as a single) and of various songs recorded in studio sessions in 1967 and 1968... Most notably, there are 47 pieces which have never made it out of the archives until the present day, including 14 demos by Pete Townshend. It all adds up to a fitting tribute to an album that broke the mould, a kind of magical interlude flavoured with just the right amount of sarcasm. This record really highlights the songwriting talent of the guitarist, Townshend, who was then preparing for a sally into rock opera, but along the way he produced this seemingly-lightweight article, which in fact turned out to be a real masterpiece. © Chief Brody / Qobuz
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Rock - Released November 1, 1973 | Geffen

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Rock - Released January 1, 1965 | Geffen

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An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townshend's exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on "My Generation" and "Out in the Street"; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout. Some "Maximum R&B" influence lingered in the two James Brown covers, but much of Townshend's original material fused Beatlesque hooks and power chords with anthemic mod lyrics, with "The Good's Gone," "Much Too Much," "La La La Lies," and especially "The Kids Are Alright" being highlights. "A Legal Matter" hinted at more ambitious lyrical concerns, and "The Ox" was instrumental mayhem that pushed the envelope of 1965 amplification with its guitar feedback and nonstop crashing drum rolls. While the execution was sometimes crude, and the songwriting not as sophisticated as it would shortly become, the Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 30, 2020 | Polydor Records

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The Who’s golden age has long passed, but this release is nothing short of a miracle. The London group’s magic was shattered upon the death of Keith Moon in 1978; their two 1981 and 1982 albums incidentally drew little interest. Their 2006 album, which came four years after the death of bassist John Entwistle barely raised the bar. It was difficult to expect anything great to come from the remaining duo but then, in 2019, Who was released. The tireless efforts of Pete Townshend, the band’s determined guitarist and composer was ready to do anything to make another album after many long years out of the studio. Produced by Dave Sardy (who we know more for his work with bands like Helmet, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson and System of a Down), this record goes back to a true and honest form of rock that some more experimental additions (such as some electronic sounds) do not tarnish. Townshend, conscience of his age like his associate Roger Daltrey, recognises the futility of trying to chase after a lost youth. On the contrary, many of the songs seem to articulate the image of inevitability, the aging rocker. Are rockers destined for long-lasting careers? Perhaps not. But they have weathered the winds and here they are. The foundation to many of the songs is his novel Age of Anxiety which was intended to be converted into a musical before Townshend turned his interest onto making a veritable Who album. Who is a not the most full-on rock album and is less energetic than what we are used to. But it is incredibly well written (Rockin’ Rage, Detour), containing beautiful, unifying choruses (Street Song) and some forthright messages as heard on the first words to All This Music Must Fade: “I don’t care, I know you’re gonna hate this song, and that’s fair, we never really got along.” It’s a somewhat indirect way of talking about the relationship between Townshend and Daltrey who don’t compose together. The guitarist writes, the singer performs. After years of a love-hate relationship and recurrent feuds, one might imagine that this bad chemistry would show on the album, especially considering the separate recording sessions. However, the result is clear. It works! The rockers who sang of dying before getting old in 1965 now sing of not wanting to get wise (I Don’t Wanna Get Wise). If getting wise means recording songs like these ones, we won’t complain. The Deluxe version offers a remix by Townshend of Beads on One String and also a live acoustic taken from their unique concert given on Valentine’s Day 2020 at Kingston-on-Thames, 50 years day for day after the recording of the famous Live at Leeds. While it lacks some songs played on this day (notably Pinball Wizard and Behind Blue Eyes), simply listening to classics like Substitute and Won’t Get Fooled Again in this new format is enchanting and hard-hitting despite the lack of saturation. Our old rockers are still going strong and know how to interpret tracks that balance the band’s identity without ever making themselves appear old and frail. A real mark of wisdom despite their refusal to accept so. Rock’n’roll still lives. © Chief Brody/Qobuz 
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Rock - Released January 1, 1967 | Geffen

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Rock - Released December 6, 2019 | Polydor Records

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Thirteen years after Endless Wire, the eminence grise Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey are back together again with the simply named album Who. They are the only two surviving members of The Who; their eccentric drummer Keith Moon died from an overdose in 1978 and their bassist John Entwistle had a cardiac arrest in 2002. Townshend wrote the songs with the aim of inspiring Daltrey, with whom he doesn’t keep up much contact these days. Everything was composed in 2018 and written for his 70-year-old voice. Townshend says that the album is made up of “dark ballads, heavy rock stuff, experimental electronica, sampled stuff and Who-ish tunes that began with a guitar that goes yanga-dang”. Sure, it’s got The Who written all over it: a radiant rock energy, striking guitars and Daltrey at his finest. Though it is less experimental. While The Who have previously stood out for their mini-operas both short (Wire & Glass, A Quick One) and long (Tommy, Quadrophenia), this last work concentrates on eleven songs without trying to turn them into a cohesive whole. Townsend commented “there is no theme, no concept, no story, just a set of songs”. Despite their age, this album is a brilliantly vibrant patchwork and while it does not reach the poetic heights of Who’s Next, it has the merit of cementing Townshend’s genius. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 1975 | Geffen

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Pop - Released January 1, 1990 | Geffen

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy has the distinction of being the first in a long line of Who compilations. It also has the distinction of being the best. Part of the reason why it is so successful is that it has an actual purpose. Meaty was designed as a collection of the group's singles, many of which never appeared on albums. The Who recorded their share of great albums during the '60s, but condensing their highlights to just the singles is an electrifying experience. "The Kids Are Alright" follows "I Can't Explain," "I Can See for Miles" bleeds into "Pictures of Lily" and "My Generation," "Magic Bus" gives way to "Substitute" and "I'm a Boy" -- it's an extraordinary lineup, and each song builds on its predecessor's power. Since it was released prior to Who's Next, it contains none of the group's album rock hits, but that's for the best -- their '60s singles have a kinetic, frenzied power that the louder, harder AOR cuts simply couldn't touch. Also, there is such a distinct change in sound with Who's Next that the two eras don't quite sound right on one greatest-hits collection, as My Generation and Who's Better, Who's Best proved. By concentrating on the early years -- when the Who were fresh and Pete Townshend was developing his own songwriting identity -- Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is musically unified and incredibly powerful. This is what the Who sounded like when they were a great band. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 4, 1982 | Geffen

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Rock - Released August 18, 1978 | Geffen

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