Reviews: The Who

Pound for 500 ENGLISH POUNDS, the greatest instrumental rock band of all time.

Now see kids, The Who is what I'd like to call the total package. Not only do you have some of the greatest and most heartfelt rock songs ever written, but also the most superlative combination of guitar, bass, and drums you'll ever find. Having one of the most versatile rock singers out there is nothing to scoff at either. Exactly how those things all come together to play music that can both lift you up above your paltry mortal coil with The Power of Rock, or knock you to the ground like a a crying bitch with existentalist ruminations on life, is one of those things science or wise men just can't explain. Suffice to stay, the stars aligned (at least, for a time), and rock was never to be the same.

People who view The Who as simple, if effective, power chord rock with a hyperactive, superhuman drummer and what is invariably (and justifiedly) considered one of the greatest bass players of all time, are most likely either people who don't care to look deeper, or just plain don't listen to the lyrics (which is an all-too-common problem these days)... because, even their hits tend to burn with undertures of Pete Townshend's tortured soul. Tommy tackles subjects like child abuse, psychosomatic trauma, and cult worship at a time when other mainstream artists were still singing about listening to the flower people. Quadrophenia is an album that understands your adolescent pain and being torn twixt good and evil; it'll help make it through the bad times, in some form or another, just as surely as it did me.

The next time you hear "Won't Get Fooled Again" on the radio (and preferably, before you inevitably get gobsmacked by the ultimate Metal Scream and stand there paralyzed until the song ends) just listen and you'll find the altruistic Values Resonance is just as relevant today as it was decades ago, if not moreso. "My Generation" isn't a rebellious youth anthem; it's about how age is a state of mind. "Squeeze Box"? FUCKING BOOBIES. Though often disregarded as "tough guy" rock, The Who are capable of eliciting just as much human emotion as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, or Pink Floyd, without ever leaving their lovable rock-solid foundations.