The Who's Masterpiece?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Scope J, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Cimrya Deal

    Cimrya Deal Forum Resident

    The Who Sell Out, definitely!
    The songwriting is stellar, the concept is fun and unpretentious and cover art is great.
    The ensuing rock operas are really good but Sell Out's the winner for me!!
  2. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    I've always been a Who's Next guy and I always will be. But every one on that list is fantastic.

    In addition to By Numbers, I would also say Who Are You is badly underrated. Sure, some cracks were showing, but The Who at 80% is still better than 99+% of the bands out there.
    Sci-Flyer and SKean like this.
  3. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Forum Resident

    SIlver Spring, MD
    I would say quad and sell out but it's not hard for me to pick quad over sell out. I also wouldn't have an argument against who's next and Tommy, but quad and sell out are clearly more appealing to me. Hell, I think you can make an argument for Who by Numbers. -E
  4. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    Casual fan, so I go for Meaty Beaty... what a killer set of 60s singles!

    That said their true albums are quite astonishing and so distinct... a unique 60s concept album with Sell Out... then a rock opera with Tommy... then the greatest live album of all time with Leeds... then a monster 70s stadium album with THAT SCREAM... and then the definitive tale of 60s mod life with Quadrophenia. Honorable mention to the early and later material that surrounds that classic run too. No other band like them.
    2141 likes this.
  5. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

  6. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Not long ago, I would have picked any of the alternatives to Quadrophenia including Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy but now Quadrophenia does it for me as the band's most fully realized album and concept.
    Loved it as a teenager and have come back to it now.
    Wagnerian as Townshend once described one of the songs.
  7. Odysseus

    Odysseus Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA
    Who's Next is greater than Lifehouse could've ever hoped to be be.

    But that's something Pete Townshend will go to his grave being ignorant of.
    Jimmy B. likes this.
  8. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    It has gained in stature through the years....

    As the years pile on (me) this record is more relevant. It’s a member of my three most played who records: Quad, Leeds and this one.
    Chrome_Head likes this.
  9. joepepitone

    joepepitone I wonder in the dead of night, how do I rate.

    Odds and Sods.
    uzn007 likes this.
  10. gonfishn

    gonfishn Forum Resident

    Sandwich Mass
    I chose "Who's Next" and I believe that "Quadrophenia" is every bit the album Who's Next is but it just didn't translate well in this country. I realize that is a different topic but I do feel "Quadrophenia" would be there seminal album if not for the whole Mod's & Rocker's thing. People in this country just didn't identify with the story line. IMO.
    Odysseus likes this.
  11. Scope J

    Scope J Senior Member Thread Starter

    Fullbug and acetboy like this.
  12. samthesham

    samthesham Forum Resident

    Moorhead MN
    My top 5 in order of preference...

    1.The Who Sell Out (1967)...ICSFM was worth the price of admission alone & if the Who could have slipped themselves payola they would have done that also - A+

    2.My Generation (196)...a record album that was so far ahead of its audience that by the time Who listeners began catching up with it the band had already moved on & in reality the core audience never did catch up with MG

    3.MBB&B (1971)...still the definitive early Who collection

    4.Peter Townsend / Who Came First (1972)...over dubbing himself as a one man band Townsend found the delicate balance of brutality & beauty that he had been seeking lo all those years & on side 1 out classed every 70s Who effort

    4.Quadrophenia (1973)...although Moons contributions were beggining to wane this record contained the premier 70s Who as a group music

    5.The Kids Are Alright (1979)...Who were always the definitive live act of the 60s & 70s, this soundtrack was a perfect document of that fact

    Honorable : Townsend & Lane / Rough Mix (1977)
  13. samthesham

    samthesham Forum Resident

    Moorhead MN
    No actually many early 1970s American twenty somethings identified quite well with the aspect of multiple personalities as the record concept, at least in my part of the country

    & as original Who audience from the 60s we were all very aware of the Mod & Rocker scene, there was in fact a small Mod movement (music & fashion) in the states during the 1960s of course spearheaded by the Who
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  14. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    Listening to the entirety of Quadrophenia tonight on vinyl--I seem to catch something new every other time I hear it. I never realized the refrain of "5:15" has the same melodic figure found in "Drowned".

    "Is It In My Head?" and "Sea and Sand"--wow, two very powerful, moving, superb songs by Townshend. Knockouts.

    What an album.
  15. jmxw

    jmxw Fab Forum Fan

    They are all good, but for me Quad is the best. It hangs together musically better than the others with its repeating themes & motifs. YMMV.
  16. astro70

    astro70 Forum Resident

    Carbondale, IL
    I went with Tommy. I think it's the most creative and best put together who album, it's not my personal fav of the above. (Sell Out is) but I think looking at Tommy in the context of 1969, it's the winner here. For me personally, after Tommy, The Who just got to be a bit too much. This is one of those artists I have a firm cutoff for. I do own Who's Next and even Quadrophenia, but I seldom listen to them, usually I reach for Tommy, Sell Out, or even Magic Bus before those 2.
    tages and mbleicher1 like this.
  17. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    I believe I bought the soundtrack used on CD first, then saw the film (which I taped off of TV and watched repeatedly), then heard the 1973 album proper after all that. It was the same theme they'd been doing since the beginning (albeit filtered through a very British subculture), singing about the life and times of an angry young man. Not hard to identify with at all IMO, but seeing the film first probably helped.
    uzn007 likes this.
  18. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Forum Resident

    Sell Out is the most fun. Perhaps the most original too.
    It is retrospectively increasing in stature so that is the one I have gone with, close call that it is.
    Mark J and rockerreds like this.
  19. originalsnuffy

    originalsnuffy Socially distant and unstuck in time

    Guess if I really have to narrow it down its Quadrophenia or Who's Next. Went with Quadrophenia first but then I realize I play Who's Next even more. So it had to be that. But darn it there are so many worthy Who albums.
  20. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Orbiting Sgr A*
    WHO (2019) ..

    .. if I'd voted "other", which I didn't ..

    so .. Sell Out,
    as it has existed since 1995 on CD,
    with the complete set of all 23 tracks.

    Who's Next if the original vinyl 12" LP version of Sell Out is the only edition of that album which counts for the purposes of this thread. It's too bad in a way that they didn't just release the complete Sell Out sessions as a double album back in '67. It just doesn't feel complete to me in its original truncated vinyl edition.
  21. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    City of Angels
    Lifehouse did not get a completed anything, so no masterpiece there sad to say. I would say that The Who’s Next album and a good 5 additional songs from the era or project like Long Live Rock or Join Together form pretty much musical and artistic success, and come to think of it “commercial” as well. There is just nothing to dislike there.
    deekmon likes this.
  22. Jon-A

    Jon-A Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    The raging beast of live Maximun R&R? Live At Leeds. The short one. That studio band with the ambitious ideas? Oh, Who's Next maybe.
    Blue Note likes this.
  23. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    shocked at the love for 'quadrophenia" over "tommy".
    Fullbug likes this.
  24. kozy814

    kozy814 Forum Resident

    I voted for Quadrophenia. I'm writing Who's Next here. That covers me.
    Bender Rodriguez likes this.
  25. Love ' Tommy ' but I found over the years I was skipping over some of the 'lesser' tracks. ' Quadrophenia' still holds my interest from start to finish.
    J_D__ and Bender Rodriguez like this.

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