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My Generation.
The Who Sings My Generation.

My Generation is the debut studio album by The Who, released in 1965. The US version of the album was released in 1966 under the name The Who Sings My Generation.

Although it was a success on the charts and acclaimed by critics — even being included on Greatest Album lists regularly — the band themselves are dismissive of this album, considering it to be a rush job not representative of their music at the time. Stylistically, the LP falls between two stools; it originally was to have consisted of primarily R&B/soul covers but after a preliminary track listing was disclosed in BEAT INSTRUMENTAL magazine many of the tracks were scrapped for Townshend-penned numbers. Some of these discards ended up on 45 and CD releases (e.g. WHO'S MISSING; TWO'S MISSING); all are curated in one place on the 2016 5-CD box set. Nevertheless, the entire album was listed at #233 in Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and in 2008 inducted into the National Recording Registry for its "historical, cultural, and aesthetical importance."


Hits and fan favourites include the title track, "The Kids Are Alright," "La-La-La-Lies," and "Instant Party (Circles)."


Side One

  1. "Out in the Street" (2:31)
  2. "I Don't Mind" (2:36)
  3. "The Good's Gone" (4:02)
  4. "La-La-La-Lies" (2:17)
  5. "Much Too Much" (2:47)
  6. "My Generation" (3:18)

Side Two

  1. "The Kids Are Alright" (3:04)
  2. "Please, Please, Please" (2:45)
  3. "It's Not True" (2:31)
  4. "I'm a Man" (3:21)
  5. "A Legal Matter" (2:48)
  6. "The Ox" (3:50)


Tracklist (The Who Sings My Generation):

Side One

  1. "Out in the Street" (2:31)
  2. "I Don't Mind" (2:36)
  3. "The Good's Gone" (4:02)
  4. "La-La-La-Lies" (2:17)
  5. "Much Too Much" (2:46)
  6. "My Generation" (3:18)

Side Two

  1. "The Kids Are Alright" (2:46)
  2. "Please, Please, Please" (2:45)
  3. "It's Not True" (2:31)
  4. "The Ox" (3:50)
  5. "A Legal Matter" (2:48)
  6. "Instant Party (Circles)" (3:12)

Principal Members:

  • Roger Daltrey - Lead vocals, harmonica
  • John Entwistle - Bass, vocals
  • Keith Moon - Drums, percussion, vocals
  • Pete Townshend - Guitar, backing and lead vocals

The Tropes Are Alright:

  • Alliterative Title: "Please Please Please," "The Goods Gone," "La La La Lies," and "Much Too Much."
  • Angrish: The stuttering in "My Generation" is meant partly to evoke this, and partly to invoke a pill popper who can't control his speech because he's high on amphetamines.
  • Break Up Song:
    • "Please Please Please:"
    Baby, you know you broke my heart when you went away
    • "A Legal Matter:"
    You ain't the first and you ain't the last
    I gain and lose my women fast
    I never want to make them cry
    I just get bored, don't ask me why?
    • "Much Too Much:"
    There was a time I could give all I had to you
    But my enthusiasm waned and I can't bear the pain
    Of doing what I don't want to do
    Much too much to bear
    • "The Good's Gone:"
    The good's gone out of our love
    I know it's wrong
    We should enjoy it, but the good's gone
    • "I Don't Mind:"
    I know, said, baby, I know
    You gonna miss me
  • Continuity Nod: The song "Helpless Dancer" from Quadrophenia ends with a brief fragment of "The Kids Are Alright."
  • Confession Cam: The British album cover shows the band photographed from above.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: "The Kids Are Alright" is a pop song about a man who has to leave his girlfriend because she'll be better off without him. Beginning in 2000, the live performances of the song worked in an extended freestyle section which varied from show to show, where Townshend and Daltrey described how their lives and their perspectives on life had changed between now and when they first sang the song.
  • Cover Version: "I Don't Mind" and "Please, Please, Please," both by James Brown. Also, "I'm a Man," originally by Bo Diddley.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: In the US the album was released as The Who Sings My Generation in 1966, with a slightly altered track listing.
  • Dark Reprise: "The Kids Are Alright:" The middle two sentences ("I know, if I go, things will be a lot better for her. I had things planned, but her folks wouldn't let her.") change the meaning of repeated verse.
  • Disappeared Dad: The narrator of "A Legal Matter" is a dad who disappears because "marryin's no fun."
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The American cover of this album plays upon the fact that The Who are British by having them pose next to the Big Ben, because Britain Is Only London as we all know.
  • Face on the Cover: Both the American and European cover feature a group shot of the band.
  • Gossip Evolution: "It's Not True," where the protagonist denies all the preposterous rumours told about him:
    You say I've been in prison
    You say I've got a wife
    You say I've had help doing
    Everything throughout my life
    I haven't got eleven kids
    I weren't born in Baghdad
    I'm not half-Chinese either
    And I didn't kill my dad
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: "The Kids Are Alright:"
    I know if I go things would be a lot better for her
    I had things planned, but her folks wouldn't let her
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In "My Generation:"
    Why don't ya all f-f-fade away?
  • Love Will Lead You Back: "Instant Party (Circles):"
    Everything I do, I think of you
    No matter how I try, I can't get by
    These circles, leading me back to you
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: "A Legal Matter:"
    I gain and lose my women fast
    I never want to make them cry
    I just get bored, don't ask me why
    Just wanna keep doing all the dirty little things I do
    And not work all day in an office just to bring my money back to you
    Sorry, baby
  • Mistaken Nationality: "It's Not True:"
    I weren't born in Baghdad
    I'm not half-Chinese either
  • One-Man Song: "I'm a Man."
  • Porky Pig Pronunciation: Roger Daltrey does this several times in "My Generation:"
    Why don't you just all f-f-f-f-fade away?! (Talkin' 'bout my generation)''
    And don't try to d-dig what we all s-s-say! (Talkin' 'bout my generation)''
    I'm not trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Talking' 'bout my generation)''
    I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)''
  • Protest Song: "My Generation" was an anthem for the disgruntled youth of the 1960's, who felt angry about the older generation looking down upon them.
  • Runaway Fiancé: "A Legal Matter," where the protagonist doesn't want to get married, despite everything already being taken care of.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Spitting Image did a sketch in the 1980's where they had puppet caricatures of John Entwistle and Pete Townshend sing a parody of "My Generation," which had the basic message that "their" generation were now old farts:
    Talkin' 'about degeneration!
    • "My Generation" has been used in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
    • Kurt Cobain sarcastically quoted from "My Generation" in his suicide note:
    Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Pete Townshend sings lead vocals on "A Legal Matter."
  • Title Track: "My Generation."

Alternative Title(s): The Who Sings My Generation


Example of: