The Who includes: Pete Townshend (vocals, guitar); John Entwistle (vocals, bass); Roger Daltrey (vocals); John "Rabbit" Bundrick (piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Greg Lake, Pino Palladino (bass); Keith Moon, Kenney Jones, Zak Starkey (drums).
Producers: The Who, Shel Talmy, Kit Lambert, Glyn Johns, Bill Szymczyk.
Compilation producer: Andy McKaie.
Recorded between 1964 & 2004. Includes liner notes by Matt Kent.
This collection commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Who, and covers the entire span of their career. Perhaps even more significantly, though, it includes the first new Who recordings in 22 years. The youthful vibrancy of the band's mid-1960s mod period is represented by the breathless "I Can't Explain," the sneering/stuttering youth-culture anthem "My Generation," and the proto-"All the Young Dudes" camaraderie of "The Kids Are Alright." The collection moves on through the high points of their late '60s output ("I Can See for Miles"), '70s arena rock ("Won't Get Fooled Again"), and the synth-adorned, post-Keith Moon "You Better You Bet."
After the Who's final studio album in 1982, there were sporadic reunions over the years, but no new songs. Following the death of bassist John Entwistle in 2002, there was a flurry of studio activity, as borne out by the two new tracks that close out the disc. While both "Real Good Looking Boy," a meditation on the vanity of youth, and "Old Red Wine," about the value of maturity, find Pete Townshend writing from the wisdom of age (59 in 2004), the classic Who sound is in full effect. With Roger Daltrey's wailing, rock-god vocals and Townshend's churning guitar powerfully rumbling along, these new tracks show a vital rock band far from ready to put a cap on its career.