Like many of the bands that sprang up in England during the first half of the ’60s, the Who were heavily influenced by American R&B music. But they had something most of them did not: a guitar-slinging songwriter whose aspirations went beyond the usual songs about cars and girls. Pete Townshend first revealed his intentions on the Who’s 1965 single ‘My Generation,’ which became a timeless anthem for kids who didn’t want to end up like their parents. Over the next few years, the songs got bigger and more ambitious, culminating in 1969’s ‘Tommy,’ a hugely influential rock opera. They followed it up with one of rock’s true masterpieces, ‘Who’s Next.’ By the end of the ‘70s, drummer Keith Moon was dead and the group’s classic era closed.
Were you always a little lost within the big-concept narratives of the Who's rock operas? Scared to admit that you really had no idea what Pete Townshend was getting at with 'Tommy' or 'Quadrophenia,' iconic though they may be? You're not alone: Who frontman Roger Daltrey, in fact, admits to some initial confusion, as well.
By the time the Who called it quits in 1983, singer Roger Daltrey had already been a part-time solo artist for a decade. But when he entered the studio to record his fifth album, 'Parting Should Be Painless,' things were undeniably different.
The unlikely partnership of Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, the managers of the Who in their early days, is the subject of a new documentary. 'Lambert & Stamp' had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah earlier this week.
We've all been disappointed by a late-period record by one of our favorite bands, and to one extent or another, we've all engaged in an endless debate over whether it's better to burn out or fade away. For Buzz Osborne of the Melvins, the answer is neither; creativity takes effort, and he expects great artists to keep trying.
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