Hailing from West London they began life as The Detours in 1964, became The Who, then briefly The High Numbers before returning to the moniker the world would come to know them so well by. Whilst original songs penned by lead guitarist Pete Townshend featured from the start, early live sets included covers of then current US Blues and R&B stars material too. Coupled with their Mod dress sense and affiliation with the pop art movement it made them a compelling live draw. Lead vocalist Roger Daltrey’s exceptional talent and muscular presence demanded the audience’s attention but Townshend and the group’s drummer Keith Moon, weren’t minded to occupy the shadows. At odds with the statuesque figure which their unique bassist John Entwistle cut, Townshend and Moon would develop a reputation for equipment destroying performances on stage and hotel room destruction off it.
1965’s debut single I Can’t Explain rose to No. 8 on the UK charts and began a run of hit singles that would continue almost unhindered for the next 15 years. Included here are Mod anthem My Generation (UK No. 2), the explosive Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (UK No. 10) and the soaring I Can See For Miles (UK No. 10), together with key tracks from 11 of their 12 studio albums of which 7 made the UK top 5 and all have reached the UK top 20. From Tommy there’s Amazing Journey, Pinball Wizard (UK No.4) and I’m Free. From the UK No.1 album Who’s Next, the distinctive Baba O’Riley and the wonderful Behind Blue Eyes. Slip Kid (from Who By Numbers), Quadrophenia classic 5:15 (UK No.20), Who Are You (UK No.18) and You Better You Bet (UK No.9) continue the hits. Eminence Front proved a balearic classic whilst It’s Not Enough and Old Red Wine complete the studio journey.
Disc 3 underlines why to this day they remain a compelling live proposition. From Leeds to Woodstock, the Isle of Wight to Lyon, the performances are quite incredible. Enjoy.