In their early teens, they played in a Dixieland band, with Entwistle on trumpet and Townshend on banjo. By the end of the year, Townshend had joined as a rhythm guitarist, and in Daltrey became the group's lead vocalist after Colin Dawson left the band.
The group's sound evolved rapidly, influenced not only by American acts such as James Brown, Booker T. Townshend, realizing that approach suited him, became the band's lone guitarist. A name change also followed; with the Beatles burning up the charts, they needed something more striking than the Detours. Daltrey and Townshend settled on the Who, which confused people in conversation initially, but worked memorably on posters.
Amid these changes, original drummer Doug Sandom -- who was married and considerably older than the others -- parted ways with the band just as they were about to attempt cutting a record. The group replaced him with Keith Moon, previously the drummer for the surf-rock group the Beachcombers. As the group struggled to get a break, Townshend attended art school, while the remaining three worked odd jobs.
The band became regulars at the Marquee Club in London and attracted a small following, leading to the interest of manager Pete Meaden. The High Numbers released one single, "I'm the Face. Lambert spotted the group playing at the Railway Hotel in the wake of "I'm the Face" and brought in Stamp.
Lambert and Stamp encouraged them to embrace the mod movement, advising them on what to play and wear, including the target T-shirt that became a visual signature. A temporary stage extension built by the band caused him to hit the ceiling with his guitar; frustrated by the damage, and the crowd's reaction, he struck it until it was in pieces; he was only able to finish the show by using a recently acquired string Rickenbacker.
The following week, he discovered that people had come to see him smash his guitar. He eventually obliged with encouragement from Keith Moon, who attacked his drum kit. At first Lambert and Stamp were appalled, but Townshend soon demolished another guitar as part of Lambert's publicity campaign and it worked, even though the journalist for whose benefit he committed the destruction never actually saw it.
He didn't smash guitars at every show in those days; what he was doing in terms of generating feedback sufficed in most audience's minds.
It did enhance their status with the mods: by latethey'd developed an enthusiastic following: mods loved destruction as part of an act. At the end ofTownshend presented the group with an original song called "I Can't Explain," which owed a little to the Kinks' "You Really Got Me," but had lots of fresh angles, Join Together - Steve Whitney Band - Boys In Blue (CD). Townshend's lyrics gave a vivid impression of teenage angst perfect for Daltrey's powerful vocals and the band's full-bore attack.
The result was equally punchy, sensitive, and macho, with a mean lead guitar and even some harmonies. The band and their managers thought it seemed like a great potential debut single for the newly rechristened Who. Talmy got the band a contract with the American Decca Records label on the strength of "I Can't Explain" and followed it with a contract with English Decca the two companies were separate entities at the time.
The Talmy-produced single arrived to little attention in January Their next single, that summer's "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," declared the mod ethos to the world: "I can go anywhere where I choose.
That fall, "My Generation" climbed to number two on the charts, confirming their status as a British pop phenomenon. Brunswick label. Early in"Substitute" became their fourth British Top Ten hit. Lambert and Stamp also tried to scrap the American Decca deal, but that proved impossible. Starting with "Substitute," the band was signed to Polydor in England, and issued on Reaction.
For a time, there were rival releases on Brunswick and Reaction, but the competition was eventually sorted out in Lambert and Stamp's and the band's favor. During this period, Lambert introduced Townshend to a huge range of classical music that broadened his way of thinking about composition, songs, and subject matter: "I'm a Boy," about a teenage boy forced to dress and act like a girl by his dominating mother, carried an amazing amount of exposition, but left plenty of room for the band's furious attack.
The story in the United States was very different. Even with Decca getting behind "My Generation" for a major marketing push, it only got to number 74, a shadow of what it did in England. British success was all well and good, but it wasn't enough. The instrument-smashing routine and the attendant effects often involving flash-powder and damage to Moon's drums, as well as Townshend's guitars were frightfully expensive, and the band was carrying an ongoing debt that drove expenses through the roof.
A breakthrough for the Who in America, or in the album market in a major way, was essential. For their second album, Lambert, Stamp, and the band had a more ambitious agenda. Townshend's success at writing singles inspired the Who's managers, and it was decided that this time, every member of the band would contribute songs to generate more revenue. Although this meant A Quick One was uneven, Lambert's presence allowed Townshend to write the title track as a ten-minute mini-opera.
Getting dedicated rockers Daltrey and Entwistle to throw their full talents into the music, and the track's successful extended narrative, Join Together - Steve Whitney Band - Boys In Blue (CD), showed Townshend and company that this idea had potential. A Quick One also provided a canvas for Entwistle's blossoming songwriting: His macabre humor shone through on the catchy "Boris the Spider" and "Whisky Man," the latter showing off his skills on the French horn. Moon's "Cobwebs and Strange" was also a suitable moment of light humor, and even Daltrey -- whose Join Together - Steve Whitney Band - Boys In Blue (CD) aspirations never rated much of his attention -- contributed "See My Way.
Upon its release, A Quick One became another British hit, and also provided a minor American breakthrough. Retitled Happy Jack, its title track reached the Top 40 in early To do that, the Who played the U.
Their next major U. For that occasion, they had a problem that was the reverse of the Murray the K performances: the latter had been too slight at 15 to 20 minutes, but their usual minute sets were too short for the Fillmore.
After the Fillmore gig in Junethey played their most important American show yet, the Monterey International Pop Festival, which put them in a duel with labelmate Jimi Hendrix to see who could end their set more outrageously.
Hendrix won with his incendiary performance, but the Who acquitted themselves admirably with a dramatic destruction of their instruments. Reverting to their old stage antics was especially awkward, as they'd finished an album and single that represented a new phase. Constructed as a mock-pirate radio broadcast, The Join Together - Steve Whitney Band - Boys In Blue (CD) Sell Out was a concept album and a loving tribute to England's pirate radio stations, which had been closed in a government crackdown.
The group threw everything they had into the album in order to solidify their position in England and finally crack the U. Daltrey's performance was the best of his career to date, matched by Townshend's slashing guitar, Moon's frenetic drumming, and Entwistle's anchor-like bass. It took a lot of work at three different studios -- including Los Angeles' Gold Star -- on two continents and two coasts to get that sound; as a consequence, it was so difficult to perform that it became the only hit that they abandoned playing live.
It became their first Top Ten hit in America, and reached number two in England, but that wasn't sufficient for what the band or their management needed. The group spent much of seeing the singles "Call Me Lightning," "Magic Bus," and "Dogs" -- inspired by Townshend's interest in dog racing -- fail to meet expectations. Track Records, squeezed for cash even with Hendrix's burgeoning sales, assembled Direct Hits, which compiled the band's recent singles minus the Shel Talmy-produced Brunswick sides.
In the United States, Decca Records -- with only two actual "hits" by the group to work with, plus "Magic Bus" which did unexpectedly well on that side of the Atlantic -- released Magic Bus, an unacknowledged compilation album built around the hit and drawn from U. It was misleadingly subtitled "The Who on Tour," and that's a lot of what they did inespecially in the United States, but not the way they did in ; this time, they were playing places like the Fillmore East, where they recorded one show for a possible live album.
This plan went awry when the show wasn't quite good enough to represent the group, and was abandoned entirely with the vast changes in their songbook in While making their first serious long-term headway in the U.
However, it was still unfinished; the band wanted to add more instruments on certain songs, and Entwistle was particularly upset at the bass sound on the released recording. But they were out of money and options, so Tommy was released as a work in progress. And for the first time, the stars lined up in the Who's favor, especially in the United States. The serious rock press seized on the album as a masterpiece, while the mainstream press started to take rock music seriously.
The Who were new and fresh enough, and Tommy ambitious enough, that it became one of the most widely reviewed and written-about albums in history. Tommy climbed into the American Top Ten as the group supported the album with an extensive Join Together - Steve Whitney Band - Boys In Blue (CD) where they played the complete opera.
In some respects, Tommy became too successful. Audiences expected it to be done in its entirety at every show, and suddenly the Who were routinely playing for two hours at a clip. The work soon overshadowed the Who; it was performed as a play, redone as an orchestrated all-star extravaganza starring Daltrey and featuring Townshend's guitarand would eventually be filmed by Ken Russell in the movie starred Daltrey.
While Tommy kept the band busy touring for almost two years, how to follow it stumped Townshend. As he worked on new material, the group released Live at Leeds in which yielded the hit single "Summertime Blues"as well as the single "The Seeker," giving them some breathing room. Eventually, he settled on Lifehouse, a sci-fi rock opera strongly influenced by the teachings of his guru, Meher Baba, that pushed the group into new sonic territory with electronics and synthesizers.
The rest of the Who weren't particularly enthralled with Lifehouse, claiming not to understand its plot, and their reluctance contributed to Townshend suffering a nervous breakdown. Once he recovered, the group picked up the pieces of the abandoned project and recorded Who's Next with producer Glyn Johns. The Who's Next tour solidified the band as one of the two top live rock attractions in the world along with the Rolling Stones. Suddenly their history was of interest to millions of fans; Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, a song retrospective of their singles, also sold in massive numbers.
The success of Who's Next spurred Townshend to attempt another opera. With Quadrophenia, he abandoned fantasy to sketch a portrait of a '60s mod. He stopped working with Kit Lambert, who lost influence with the group in Tommy's wake; the band also left Lambert and Stamp's management.
As Townshend wrote the album inhe released Who Came First, a collection of private recordings and demos he made for Meher Baba. Entwistle began his own solo career with Smash Your Head Against the Wall, which he followed with Whistle Rhymes, released the same day as Townshend's album.
A double album, Quadrophenia sold extremely well, but it proved to be a troublesome concert piece. It was difficult to play live, and few outside of England were familiar with its mod subject matter. It soon became clear that Join Together - Steve Whitney Band - Boys In Blue (CD) hadn't had the time to familiarize themselves with the work, leading to a lukewarm response on tour. After some retooling, the group performed an abbreviated version of Quadrophenia with some success.
The Who began to fragment after Quadrophenia's release. In public, Townshend fretted over his role as a rock spokesman; in private, he sank into alcohol abuse. Entwistle concentrated on his solo career, including recordings with his side projects Ox and Rigor Mortis. Meanwhile, Daltrey approached the peak of his powers: he had become a truly great singer and was surprisingly comfortable as an actor as he alternately pursued a film career and solo albums. Moon continued to party, celebrating his substance abuse and releasing the solo album Two Sides of the Moon.
Meanwhile, Townshend worked on new songs, resulting in 's disarmingly personal The Who by Numbers. The album was a hit, though its number eight placement in the U. But at the time I was still very doubtful about bringing in the synthesizer. I felt that, with a lot of songs, we'd end up spending so much time creating these piddly one-note noises that it would've been better just doing it on guitar. I mean, I'm a guitar man. I love the guitar; to me it's the perfect rock instrument.
I don't think Pete did much with those sequencing things that he couldn't have done on his guitar anyway. A video shot in June shortly after completing the song featured The Who miming to playback in front of an excited audience. Roger Daltrey and Keith Moon play Jew's harps and Pete Townshend and John Entwistle play chord and bass harmonicas respectively to mime to all those instruments played by Townshend. Also during the video, Townshend and Daltrey's hands are bandaged.
The song was first performed live in their tour and touralbeit more bluesy and abbreviated while attached to " My Generation "; it was played in this same arrangement early in the tour. It was performed once on the tour as well, tagged on to the end of " Magic Bus ". It has also been played at almost every show of their The Who Hits 50! From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Who Associate producer : Glyn Johns.
The Hypertext Who. Archived from the original on 6 June
Opa Walzer - Loyala Kapall - Trompettes DAlsace (Vinyl, LP, Album), Γιατί Βρε Άνθρωπε Κουτέ, Graind - Lithops - Scrypt (CD, Album), Sing A Happy Song - The OJays - Anthology (CD), Labyrinthus Noctis - Forever Fallen Darkness (CD, Album), Tears Wont Put Out The Fire - Anna Marie - Anna Marie (Vinyl, LP), Aint It Grande - Gerald Brown (2) - Heartbreaker (CD), One By One - The Mighty Lemon Drops - World Without End (Vinyl, LP, Album)