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Here are some reviews of this album:
For a debut album, this one's very good--although with better
planning, it could have been one of the best first albums ever, which in terms of content, it isn't. But in terms of influence, it rates even
higher, because it ended up being a huge influence for punk bands both in the U.K. and America years later.
The best thing about the album is the raw energy on several tracks, notably the opener, of course "My Generation," "Kids," and "The Ox." "A Legal Matter," "La La Lies," "Circles," and the "Good's Gone" are also very good.
But why in the world "I Can't Explain," and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" weren't included I'll never know, especially when you consider
albums back then were mostly a collection of a band's singles. Those two songs should have been on the album, with the mediocre James Brown
covers taken off. The it would have been truly great.
Even so, The Who's debut showcases the band's raw energy and awesome overall talent that we would see for the next dozen years.
As a debut release this is a stunner.
The album is raw, unpolished as a porcupine's backside and I
wouldn't change a thing!. Music like this today doesn't exist!,
everything is polished refined and over-produced to the point of
being antiseptic. This is not.
The band have gone into the studio and QUICKLY fired out an
album. I love to hear music made this way. There is a raw nervous
energy about the whole that is very infectious. My Generation ,
of course a Who standard is perfect by its very imperfections.
The album might be called 'The Who Sings My Generation' but it is
ironic because the singing is so bad!. That's what I love about
it, full of mistakes.
It reminds me of The Clash's brilliant debut album some 12 years
after this one.
Standout tracks? My Generation, The Kids are Alright, A Legal
Listen to this album to remember where The Who came from. Such an
explosive debut that would lead to their more mature period some
four years on.
Good tracks: "Much To Much," "My Generation," "Please
Please Please," "The Kids Are Alright," "The Ox," and
Right from the opening bars of 'Out in the street', this really does become the
definitive Mod experience! I can remember donning my parka and going down to the 400
ballroom (giddy heights!) with this Lp burning a hole through my turntable during the lengthy 'choosing of the clothes' time.
The thing with the oooooo is, and maybe this is my age (33), that most of their albums sound like many bands 'Greatest Hits'.....That's the quality of not only the music or lyrics.....but the feel.
MY GENERATION.......THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT...youth statements if ever I heard one! This stuff should be played in schools.
At the age of 15, Legal Matter was just a great song....at my present age, it's a
reality. That's the difference with the Who...they meant it! ps. Keith Moon's drumming on the 'OX' is the first time I thought of the drums as a solo instrument.
This debut album is sensational and truly
announces The Who to the world in a manner that was befitting
their ultimate status. While The Who were "late to the
scene" with this album (already well behind the Kinks,
Stones, and Beatles with their debut's), the wait may well be
what distinguishes this album -- and the band -- from their
cohorts on the British scene.
The legendary Shel Talmy's (legendary for good and
bad reasons) production gives The Who an unusually strong and
thick wall of sound that the Yardbirds, and Pretty Things only
were able to grasp in moments of brilliance. Keith's drums and
Pete's early bar chord guitar riffs are in full force and sound
superb (cleaner on the British pressing I might add). The only
quibble I have with production is the occasional reticence to
really embrace John Entwistle. While he is prominent in songs
such as My Generation (obviously) and The OX, his playing is
relegated to background for many other fine songs such as
"Out in the Streets" and Kids Are Alright.
To the songs themselves: Pete shows himself early
as a brilliant and clever songwriter. While his lyricism is yet
to blossom fully (wait for Sell Out for that!), his chord
construction and courage to create aggressive songs mixed with
beautiful melodies is a real harbinger for The Who fans. Every
Townshend penned song is worthy of praise in its own way. Of
particular note, My Generation's out and out aggression and
defiance; The Kids Are Alright's sweet melody (and contrary
lyrics) should have been the follow up single to Generation and
pushed hard by the label; The Good's Gone opening Rickenbacher
riff (foreshadowing the Byrds) and (on the American version)
Instant party (aka Circles in European EP release) brilliant song
construction are enough for the album to be great. But for sure,
the country-esque Legal Matter, Out In the Streets, Much Too Much
and so on are all there just for added enjoyment. Each of these
are a must for any person trying to learn how to play like Pete!
My only complaints with the album -- making it a
4.5 star and not five star -- are the covers. Roger's
over-the-top machismo vocals are a little too much for my taste.
Plus, who plays a Who album to hear covers? The American version
comes with two James Brown covers. Both fine, but really who
cares? The Brit version has an interesting but in the end
unconvincing version of Bo Diddley's I'm a Man. Great musical
break in the middle, but again, Roger's vocals are just
ridiculous. Luckily an early review of the album (by MNE?) panned
the first version of this album's song choices (which contained
many more covers) as out of date and boring. That sent Pete back
to the tape machine where he penned three last minute additions:
La la la lies, the brilliant It's Not True, and The Ox (a wild
and barely recognizable cover of the Safari's Wipe Out) which is
actually not penned so much as performed (with vigor). Nicky
Hopkins piano work is brilliant on this.
The forgotten covers are apparently one more James
Brown cover (name escapes me) that they performed on BBC, Lubie,
and the Vandella's Motoring. All good, but not as good as a Pete