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.
- Formed: 1964
- Selected Discography: ‘Who’s Next’ (1971), ‘Tommy’ (1969), ‘The Who Sell Out’ (1968)
- Related Artists: Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend
- Further Reading: Top 10 Who Songs, Top 10 Who Songs of the ‘60s, Top 10 Who Songs of the ‘70s