Music today was keeping it sixties with the first Who album My Generation (1965). Starting with the classic beat group sound of the sixties and Out In The Street showcasing Pete Townshend’s writing skills and his standout tremolo guitar. Lots of Daltrey shouting, Pete harmonies and pickup switch-flicking, mad drums and bass, even then. I Don’t Mind is a James Brown song, there are those harmonies again, Nicky Hopkins on piano. The Good’s Gone is next with a sparkling Rickenbacker arpeggio. The song was apparently inspired by The Kinks‘ See My Friends (1965). The catchy sixties La-La-La-Lies, followed by the more Stones sounding Much Too Much. This song and The Good’s Gone has Daltrey singing in a lower voice in the verses and sound American – that was the influence then. Throughout Keith Moon’s drumming, smashing those tom-toms is exemplary. The greatest song of youth ever written is next with My Generation (a UK No. 2) with its theme, tone and, wait for it, bass solos! The brilliant stutter, the stops, the backing vocal and key changes. The mad last minute of the song is fantastic.
Side two opens with another Who classic, The Kids Are Alright, Beatlesque melodies, sparkling arpeggios again and later thrashing chords, dynamic drumming. Is that a Beach Boys melody in the middle? It’s harmonies again, perhaps an overlooked and important element of the band. James Brown (and Johnny Terry) makes another appearance in the songwriting department for Please, Please, Please, I suppose that’s the music (R&B) that they were listening to and was inspiring them at the time. It’s Not True is next with its lyric denying rumours, its strongest asset. Bo Diddley’s I’m A Man is next with brilliant crackling guitar, jamming with Nicky Hopkins in the middle, John Entwistle pulsating. A Legal Matter with its classic riff (and breakup lyric) and a great vocal by Pete. The album ends with The Ox, a rollicking instrumental.
Pre-album singles were Zoot Suit as The High Numbers in 1964, as The Who, I Can’t Explain was released in 1965 making it to No. 8 in the UK with that trademark lead vocal and answer, harmonies, catchy tune with relentless drumming and Rickenbacker. It was produced by Shel Talmy, influenced by The Kinks – what’s not to like? Traditional blues song on the B-side, Bald Headed Woman, Jimmy Page on lead guitar.
The second Who single, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, a UK No. 10, is actually a Townshend/Daltrey composition, lots of switch-flicking between pickups on this one, the classic lead vocal and answer vocals, relentless drumming, harmonies. Otis Blackwell’s Daddy Rolling Stone on the B-side. The Who had arrived…
Music Of The Daze
The musical musings in this post are an excerpt from my daily blog, TO WHERE I AM NOW, featured on my main website. See more pictures and read the full post here.