Tuesday, January 20, 2009


No, it's The Who. And in my humble opinion they are the most underrated classic rock band around. When most people think "classic rock" they think of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles. But considering how revolutionary and influential The Who were they definitely need to be included in this list. Some excerpts from Wikipedia claim say they were the "Godfathers of Punk," created the idea of a rock opera with "Tommy", and pioneered the use of synthesizers in rock music. You want one of the most energetic front man in music, with a voice to die for? You can't get better than their lead singer Roger Daltrey. What about face melting solos and riffs that make you smile because they're that damn good. Pete Townsend has those in spades. How about one of the finest bass solos ever heard? Well John Entwistle on "My Generation" has something he'd like to show you. And because the world's craziest, best drummer (Animal from The Muppets was based on him)? Well hello there Keith Moon.

Just like a lot of other bands, my interest in The Who was re-invigorated with "Won't Get Fooled Again" being included on the first Rock Band. And then Rock Band 2 had "Pinball Wizard." And then a whole downloadable album (including the always classy "Behind Blue Eyes.") Kate borrowed their movie "Tommy" from the library and few months ago, and while it probably would have been better if we were tripping on mushrooms or something, it was still pretty neat. And then last night I began watching the VH1 Rock Honors The Who, and it's a great loving tribute to the band, with some great covers of classic Who songs by Foo Fighters, Incubus, Pearl Jam and Tenacious D.

(As a sidenote: I didn't realize it at the time, but when we saw the Foo Fighters play this summer they did a cover of "Young Man Blues" during the show. Must have liked playing it so much at the big show they added it to their setlist.)

The two surviving original members, Daltrey and Townshend, recording a new album in 2006 which was pretty good, and they were cool enough to play for the makers of Rock Band at a special concert in 2008. Want to know more about The Who? Check 'em out here, Youtube their videos, and download some of their songs on Rock Band. I bet you'll like them.


BLaZE said...

I think if you ask people our age about classic you get answers like Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, etc.

If you ask someone who is old and was in their prime back then they seem to mention The Who a lot more often.

So it's probably "in the list" depending on who you ask.

Well, imho.

Ric said...

I agree with Blaze. If you ask anyone older than 30 which classic rock they appreciate, 9 times out of 10 they'll mention the Who. I think our generation has started to lump bands together as they become more unfamiliar with music decades older than them.

And it pisses me off when "artists" begin looking for inspiration and claim that bands like Fall Out Boy or Nickelback harness the creativity to influence today's music.


Alright... I'm getting off my soapbox.

Gregor said...

I don't talk to old people, they frighten me.

Belle said...

Well, on top of that, they smell. But I would agree with both Blaze and Ric, to an extent, but I love The Who and have since high school.

Granted I don't like them as much as Zeppelin or Floyd, but I do like them a lot.

I think it has to do with younger people who want to appreciate older music but not live with classic rock alone grab the obvious biggies and integrate it into current music favorites.

People that live for the Classics and only the classics prolly would mention The Who...and smelly older people.