Tunes for Tuesday: Who are you?

The Who are a British rock band that formed in London in 1984. The original line-up consisted of Roger Daltrey (Vocals), Pete Townshend (Guitar, Vocals), John Entwistle (Bass), and Keith Moon (Drums).

The Who performing a full live set in front of 600,000 people at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970 at 2:00 a.m. on August 30th. It was one of the most memorable concerts of their career.

Pinball Wizard (Live at the Isle of Wight, 1970)

The Who were one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and releasing countless amazing songs.

I saw The Who at the Frankfurt Festhalle in April of 1980. It was one of the most amazing concerts I have ever attended. There was no warm-up band. It was two-plus solid hours of The Who, and there was not a bad song in the set. You literally could not sit down! Kenny Jones was the drummer by this time … almost two years after Keith Moon’s tragic death.

Take a look at the set list. Do you see a bad song

  1. Substitute
  2. I can’t Explain
  3. Baba O’Riley
  4. My Wife’
  5. Sister Disco
  6. Behind Blue Eyes
  7. Dreaming From The Waist
  8. Drowned
  9. Who Are You
  10. 5.15
  11. Pinball Wizard
  12. See Me Feel Me
  13. Long Live Rock
  14. My Generation
  15. Sparks
  16. I Can See For Miles
  17. Won’t Get Fooled Again
  18. Summertime Blues
  19. The Real me

My favorite Album has always been Who’s Next. There is not a bad song on it. Just one great number after another. This has always been one of my favorites.

Behind Blue Eyes (Kilburn 1977)

The Who performing Won’t Get Fooled Again at Live Aid in front of 72,000 people in Wembley Stadium, London, on July 13, 1985. The event was organized by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the Ethiopian famine disaster. Broadcast across the world, the concert was seen by approximately 40% of the world’s population.

Won’t Get Fooled Again (Live Aid 1985)

The Who’s many significant contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall stack, large PA systems, use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon’s unique playing styles, Townshend’s feedback, and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera.

Who Are You (LA Second Set, 1989)

Tommy was perhaps the most famous rock opera written by The Who. And it was undoubtedly remarkable. However, I think a lot of its popularity stemmed from appearances by Elton John and Tina Turner.

My favorite rock opera was always Quadrophenia, the story of a young working-class “mod” named Jimmy who likes drugs, beach fights, and romance, and finds himself in a real struggle … searching for a sense of self-worth. A lot of great music came out of Quadrophenia. This was one of my favorites.

Love Reign O’er Me (Live at Shea Stadium, 1982)

It just doesn’t get too much better than that!

4 thoughts on “Tunes for Tuesday: Who are you?”

  1. Great post about a great band that forged the way for so many others. Although they cannot claim the “first” rock opera, their mindful production of “Tommy” helped other bands to see that devoting an entire studio session to a thematic premise was not only viable, but lucrative. Well written and much enjoyed!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. And while there were certainly earlier attempts at rock operas in the mid to late 60s, such as The Story of Simon the Simeopath and S.F. sorrow, none of them achieved the success of Tommy. Thanks for the great comment.

  2. Great piece! Isn’t it amazing that you can listen to a song like Behind Blue Eyes, that you haven’t heard in maybe 30 years, and sing along with every word? Classic!

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