Graham Reid | | 1 min read
In a classic cover -- bassist John Entwistle sporting the famous Pop Art-referencing "Union Jacket" -- the Who's debut album of '65 captured the youthful energy, anger, self-doubt and generational unity of the moment.
There had been a massive socio-cultural shift with the success of the Beatles and all who followed in their wake: London was the centre of popular culture for musicians, artists, designers and photographers; regional and working class accents replaced the Queen's English; young people drove the consumer society and grey Britain of the post-war period was replaced by something much more colourful and outward looking.
Into this stepped the Who, a band which as the High Numbers, knew its audience of young Mods: It spoke from them and for them.
Songwriter Pete Townshend captured it in the classic singles from this solid debut (the title track, The Kids Are Alright) but also dealt with adult matters (the theme of divorce on Legal Matter) and delivered almost throwaway pop which were much more than just album fillers (The Good's Gone, Much Too Much, It's Not True) which appeared alongside soul covers (James Brown's I Don't Mind and Please Please Please) as well as a crowd favourite (I'm a Man) . . . and of course Entwistle's announcement of his formidable style on The Ox.
And it comes with a download code.
But wait, there's more.
For the same price is the Who's final album with their eccentric and hyperactive drumer Keith Moon.
Who Are You released in '78 was in part Townshend's response to punk and a bid for relevance in the new era.
But at the same time he was still pushing the parameters of the possible in the pop-rock he knew.
So an album of mixed results but also one of their best sellers. Perhaps sales given a push by the sudden death of Moon less than a month after its release.
Everyone was quick to note the writing on the chair he's sitting on for the cover shot.
Two Who on new vinyl (with download codes) at bargain prices.