The Who - Who's Next Deluxe Edition (1971)

2cds boxset edition
Who's Next is The Who's tightest album and their best lyrically. Pete was forced to abort a concept album titled lifehouse due to burnout, but many of the tracks make up this classic. As usual, the band brims with energy, sending pounding chords and drums cascading through your head. However, this release shows the band exuding some restraint, and it is definitely an improvement. It is also the frist Who record without any filler, other than Live at Leeds which doesn't really count.

The timeless synth riff of "Baba O'Riley" opens the album and gives way to one of the band's most epic anthems. Pete's windmilled chords are furious, and Roger's voice is heavenly. The lyrics, dealing with disilusionment, are Pete's best since My Generation. "Bargain" has some tneder lyrics delivered with Daltrey's tremendous power. "Love Ain't For Keeping" is the only track that isn't an instant classic, but it's certainly not filler. "My Wife" is one of those all too rare Entwistle-penned tunes, and it's probably his second best next to Heaven and Hell. Keith Moon shows that he doesn't just bash away at random with his great perfomance here. "The Song Is Over" features lead vocals by Townsend, while Roger belts the chorus. Often overlooked, this is an stunning song and one of my favorite Who tracks. "Getting In Tune" displays more of the band's newfound sense of restraint with great bass from Entwistle (as if he can be anything but amazing). "Going Mobile" lets Moonie let loose and provides a great contrast to the more melodic previous songs. "Behind Blue Eyes" eases right back off the throttle and it is one of the best ballads ever. Despite the presence of some many great songs, one truly stands out: "Won't Get Fooled Again." Pete captures all of the rage that the hippie generation felt but did not outwardly display as he addresses the counterculture's hatred of the status quo. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" reflects Pete's view of the banality of Establishment life. It features a great synth break and some jaw- dropping yells from Roger. This is The Who's best song.

When Who's Next was remastered, a number of essential bonus tracks were added. "Baby Don't You Do It," "Water," and "Naked Eye" are some of the band's best songs, with killer performances from everyone. The grandeur of this album can easily match that of an ELP record, and it is infinitely more enjoyable. In the list of greatest rock albums of all time, this would be in the top five. Progressive elements, such as the extensive use of synths and the epic scale of the album, make this a must for proggies. - Review by 1800iareyay (Jake Cole)

Track Listings

1. Baba O'Riley (5.08)
2. Bargain (5.32)
3. Love ain't for keeping (2.10)
4. My Wife (3.40)
5. The Song is Over (6.13)
6. Getting in Tune (4.50)
7. Going Mobile (3.42)
8. Behind Blue Eyes (3.41)
9. Won't Get fooled again (8.32)
10. Pure and Easy* (4.19)
11. Baby don't you do it* (5.13)
12. Naked Eye* (5.22)
13. Water* (6.25)
14. Too Much of Anything* (4.24)
15. I Don't Even Know Myself* (4.54)
16. Behind Blue Eyes (alt. take)* (3.25)

- Roger Daltrey / Vocals
- John Entwistle / Bass, Brass, Vocals & piano on "My Wife"
- Keith Moon / Drums, Percussions
- Pete Townshend / Guitar, VCS3, A.R.P. Synthesizer, vocals and piano on "Baba O'Riley"
- Nicky Hopkins (guest) / Piano
- Dave Arbus (guest) / Violin
- Leslie West (guest) / Lead Guitar on "Baby don't you do it"
Releases information

Remastered by Polydor in 1995 with 7 bonus tracks noted with * in track listing

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