Sunday, February 08, 2004


I recently checked the Who's "best" album, Who's Next, out of my local public library, and listened to it a couple of times. Of course, I'd heard the better-known songs on it many times before. And I have to ask: why is this album so acclaimed? To me, it represents the triumph of rock music as Important Statement over the vision of rock music as pop art which had informed Townshend's work through The Who Sell Out (Tommy being an attempt to combine these two approaches). And this Significance was apparently incompatible with such frivolous things as hooks: musically, it's a dull album. As for its "revolutionary" use of synthesizers, it may not have used them to imitate an orchestra, but the way it did use them was no more appropriate to rock. I'll grant that "Won't Get Fooled Again" is a good song, though inferior to most of the songs on Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy. But it's eight minutes long, and the instrumental parts are wastes of disc space.

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