The Who - Who's Next - 50th Anniversary - New 4LP Box Set

The Who - Who's Next - 50th Anniversary - New 4LP Box Set

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Format: New 4LP Box Set Label: Polydor Cat. No. 35858531 Barcode: 602435858531 Released: 15/09/2023

Remastered 50th anniversary edition. Who's Next is the fifth studio album by The Who, released on 14 August 1971. Its origins lie in an abortive multi-media rock opera written by chief songwriter Pete Townshend called Lifehouse. The album was commercially and critically successful, and became the only one by the group to top the UK charts.

"Baba O'Riley" makes a spectacular opener, with a hypnotic drone disrupted by power chords that are parachuted in off the backs of meteorites. Dave Arbus' subtle then frantic viola solo raises it another gear. There has rarely been a more durably evocative refrain than "teenage wasteland". As ever, Daltrey's ragged voice brings humanity to Townshend's over-thinking. Moon is typically hyperactive: any drummer playing like this today would be ordered to rein it in.

"Bargain" floats on the tension between acoustic guitar and the brave new synth. Like most of the album, it's melodramatic without - as with later Who - fattening into pomposity. "The Song is Over" oozes poignancy and 'Getting in Tune' and 'Going Mobile' are simply great songs. "Behind Blue Eyes" is a soul-searching ballad which bursts into belligerence, reflective then urgent. The climactic "Won't Get Fooled Again" stretches itself and chews its restraints until it becomes much more than a riff and a scream. It's on fire. In "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" it nailed the bleeding heart of protest-pop.