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Discography > Albums > My Generation
Here are some reviews of this album:
I'm going to be reviewing the American version of this album since I don't have the British version which puts on "I'm a Man" in place of "Instant Party (Circles)." This is a very good debut album, as good of a debut album, I think, as Please Please Me. This was the seventh Who album I listened to (as I also bought AQO during the same visit to the music store but played MG first), and my first impression was that it was pretty good, and I had been really surprised to find it, since it's so rare despite not being out of print, and it was only $7.99! It might have been a different first listening experience if there had been liner notes to go along with the songs, or even some bonus tracks, but then I decided to give it a listen with an open mind and listen to it how it was originally created, only a dozen tracks and no fancy liner notes and bonus tracks, things which never even existed back in 1965! Instead of being like a flowery concept album or a pop extravaganza, this is straight R&B with an infusion of rock. And as a debut album, there can't be any unfair comparisons to later albums the way some reviewers have been doing with other albums, since if an original fan first heard the album when it came out, then s/he wouldn't have had any knowledge of the later albums to compare them favorably or unfavorably! Some people could criticize this album for not having much or any vocal range or any complex songs, but that's all part of the band's history and it really isn't fair to compare the album of a band just starting out to one of their later albums, one with greater vocal range and songs with deeper meanings and themes. There are a lot of really great mostly-unknown gems on this record, like "La La La Lies," "Out in the Street," "It's Not True," the James Brown covers, and my favorite, "Instant Party (Circles)," in addition to the old standbys of the title track and "The Kids Are Alright." Since this was a d?but album, I don't see the harm in recommending it as a possible first album for a fan, since this was the first Who album for many of the older fans, instead of like newer fans today being able to choose from any number of different compilations and albums, and if a band's debut album is a new fan's first, they'll be able to experience the band for the first time the way many of the older original fans did!
This is my favourite album of all time. I cant believe that people complain about its choice of material or quality of vocals or
pete's 'unmatured' songwriting. This album is everything that British guitar music needs and lacks at the moment, pure excitement, freshness, rawness, perfect pop tunes and raw R n b.
Keith's drumming is like one huge drum solo, Pete's guitar is innovative as ever without all that self
indulgent Isle of White type rubbish, Johns bass playing is innovative and original, Rogers vocals are young and
aggressive and full of emotion and its all stuck together with fantastic hooks, sweet harmonies and fantastic pop songwriting. Kinda like the Beatles on French Blues. Out on the
street - awesome powerful aggressive opener, I Don't Mind, great soul stuff, Goods Gone - moody pop sounds, La la Lies is a great jaunty pop song nice sound, Much too Much is a great
piece of pop music, almost exhilarating, My Generation (well you know what THAT is), Please Please Please is a nice change of pace after the
positive craft of 'kids', Its Not True is a pointer to Where Pete's natural quirkiness
as a songwriter was going, same with A legal Matter, I'm A Man - great bit of R
'n' B and then the Ox which is great fun and a nice powerful finish. No mature songwriting? Bah humbug, go and dig your Led Zeppelin albums out and forget what is like to be a young. I love this album. At 18 people think
I'm a bit odd.
In 1965 there was no group who could meet the rawness of the Who and
I expect that when this was released everyone had high expectations for it. Its a good enough debut, but talk of it been better then the Beatles and
Stones debuts are nonsense. This album has several weak cover tunes. For example, the James Brown song "Please Please Please" and early Pete Townsend
compositions such as "Out In The Street". They just don't seem to quite connect with me. But wait, "My Generation" is on it. This simplistic song is
pure Mod and its directed at youth. "I hope I Die Before I Get Old" is in my opinion one of the greatest lines in rock history. Surely they were to young
to be thinking about death? No, not Mr. Townsend. Sadly, the reality of the phrase showed it ugly head 13 years later when Keith Moon lost his life. He
was 32 years old. Another fine stand out is "The Kids Are Alright". I reckon this is the best song on the album. Again its forceful, directed at youth
and hits home. The way Townsend's Rickenbacker just chops through all the early Who songs is superb. Evan on the ones
I don't like. How it didn't reach the top ten, let alone the top twenty when released in the UK,
I will never know. Unlike their counterparts, The Beatles, Stones, Kinks and so on,
The Who never really sustained consistent chart success during their career. Perhaps
I shouldn't neglect the fact that The Kinks lacked chart success in the late 60s, and in the 70s after they left Pye. This album also has
several other good and half decent songs. You have "La La La La Lies" and a freak out instrumental jamming thing going on, on "The Ox" Mr. Moons
rumbling on the drums is the driving forces behind this number. The album closes with another Townsend number, "A Legal Matter" This is okay
I suppose, I think its Townsend doing the singing too. Again it deserved to be a top twenty hit. Though it would be a bit unjust if it cracked the top ten.
All in all, The Who's debut is worth getting. Though id recommend starting off with
something else like their second album "A Quick One". I bought this yesterday and
I'm hooked already. Although I haven't yet heard it, I suppose I would have to recommend
"Who's Next". "Won't Get Fooled Again" is pure rock mayhem and "Behind Blue Eyes" is
considered to many to be the first power ballad. I don't know about that, but its a good song. Well, the Who are a
good group, so what do you expect. Its just that this albums a bit rushed, and perhaps if more time was spent recording or getting
together better songs, it would be a masterpiece. Just like the deserve.
The Who showed what a powerful band they were from day one.
Out On The Street is an awesome song. Its too bad it often gets overlooked.
Myself I think its one of their best early songs. My other favs on here are
"I Don't Mind", "It's Not True", "My Generation",
"The Kids Are Alright" and "The Ox." Also of note is the
intense James Brown cover "Please Please Me". Roger unleashes his
famous growl on that one and the whole song just rocks. I hope I get to see the
day where this is properly reissued. I got the cheap bargain bin 1980's c.d.
version, which actually doesn't sound too bad, but I'd drop it in a second if a
deluxe version came along. Especially if one of the bonus tracks was
"Motoring" which is a great drumming showcase for Keith. I think we
also deserve to finally get a full version of "I'm A Man." That said,
I think "Circles" would be nice to have on there too because it really
signals towards the sounds they reached later on on "Sell Out" and
"Tommy." The Who's My Generation is an amazing and powerful debut
album. It deservers a lot more respect and a better pressing on C.D. than the
one now available. Come on Shel Talmy, what gives?
The Who's debut is raw, brutal, exciting
proto-punk that ranks as one of the most exciting statements made
by a rock band up to that point in time. Although not the best
album of 1965 (that honor is held by either "Bringing It All
Back Home" or "Rubber Soul") it is certainly the
most fun. The only downers are the covers (especially the James
Brown ones), which do not fit in with the overall sound and prove
that Daltrey was unable to sing soul music at this point.
Otherwise, the album presents one great song after another: the
all-time classic "My Generation", the anthemic
"Kids Are Alright", the powerhouse feedback
instrumental "The Ox", the mysterious, Kinks-inspired
"Good's Gone", and the perfect harmony pop of "La
La La Lies" are reason enough to buy the album. The album
lacks the sophistication and maturity of later efforts but works
instead as an unadulterated statement of youthful aggression.
Additionally, the band's playing is far beyond what other groups
could muster at the time; Moon and Entwhistle amaze and along
with Townshend's experiments in feedback on "Out In The
Street", "The Ox" and "My Generation",
give the group the sound of an electronic roller-coaster ride.
The basic sound of the album would be gloriously refined and
expanded on as the years went by--and the covers would thankfully
be abandoned--but as a whole "My Generation" is a
worthy start. Now, if only Shel Talmy would allow it to be
remastered with bonus cuts like the rest of the catalogue...