My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Original album is tracks 1-9
Brief Background: Who’s Next was recorded from April to June of 1971 and was released in August of the same year. The album was originally titled Lifehouse and was meant to be a rock opera follow-up to Tommy. The music would have consisted of bio-rhythms input in to computers as data and then translated to music through synthesizers. The heft and complexity of the project led Pete Thownshend to a (near?) nervous breakdown and he was convinced to go with what he had for Who’s Next.
What I think:
This is certainly how I like my Who. I love the big, full sound they achieved with this album (and in my opinion, previously on Tommy as well). There is a lot of bombast in all of the songs and drama everywhere without following the rock opera mold.
“Baba O’Riley” has always been one of my favorite songs and I could listen to it over and over. That song to me is the pinnacle of hard rock. The synthesized backing part is so original and amazing and ultimately perfected here. I’ve always enjoyed “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, and “Going Mobile” have as well. “Getting in Tune” is new to me, but I absolutely adore it. And then you have “Behind Blue Eyes”, which had been ruined for me for the last ten plus years, because of that Limp Bizkit cover. I think I’m ready to re-embrace it though, sure it’s cheesy, but remember it was written with rock opera aspirations. In the end, we have one of the best of the 1970’s.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? For sure, this is one of those no brainers.
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Who’s Next Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (175/220)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 80%