The Who: Who’s Next (1971)

How many albums can you think of that start off with a classic song  and bookend the record with another all time classic?

“Who’s Next” is that record. Crazy to think that this recording is 51 years old yet Pete Townsend was ahead of the curve and tapped into sonics that still sound relevant today.

A few weeks back I was fortunate to come across a seller at a local Vinyl Fair who was selling “Who’s Next” sealed for a great price.

Have to add I love this cover….

I never have owned a copy of this all time great as I only had a taped copy on cassette tape and that was about 40 years ago!

Every single song on this record is stellar.  Opening with the synth and keyboard driven “Baba O’ Riley”, Townsend was at an all time high creatively and of course having a lead vocalist named Roger Daltry only helps to get the message across lyrically and vocally.

This album is deep with not a dud track on here.  “Bargain” which is one of my faves as Keith Moon is all over the map on his drums, The mid tempo like vibe of  “Love Ain’t For Keeping”, John Entwistle and his Bass drive home the Ox written song “My Wife” which is quite a funny tune lyrically and I’m sure is autobiographical.

Ending Side 1 is the classic “Song Is Over” which is ballad like yet Pete doesn’t make it sappy like and Roger delivers a killer vocal.

Side 2 keeps it going with “Getting In Tune” which is followed by another classic (which never gets talked about) “Going Mobile” (sung by Townsend) and by this point of the album The Who are firing on all 4 cylinders!

As a rock fan who doesn’t love that opening chill vibe of “Behind Blue Eyes” until Moon and The Ox lift off  and this one just tears the roof off until the song ends on how it begins….Chill!

What can you say about the album closer “Won’t Get Fooled Again” that hasn’t been said. This song has been used by many a band as the battle cry to leading a band to the stage (KISS and Def Leppard are two that come to my mind right away that have used this song). How about that scream that Daltry lays down after Moon goes bonkers on his drums.

Holy Moly what a corker of a record!

Once again crazy to think that this album is 51 years young but all the boxes are checked off as Who’s Next is an absolute classic!

deKe’s Vinyl score of Who’s Next…10/10


34 thoughts on “The Who: Who’s Next (1971)”

  1. This is the best Who album to me followed closely by Quadrophenia and Tommy. It’s not a bad song on the album…it a couple of months after this was released…Led Zeppelin released IV. What a great year in albums and this one remains my favorite of 1971.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete took a big chance on that synth if you think about it…. that could have sounded out of date within a year but…here we are and like you said…it doesn’t sound dated.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I just put my old vinyl copy on a few weeks ago. I purchased it in the late 70s when I was in junior high school. And damn if that old vinyl didn’t sound like just new. Killer, killer album. Great deep cuts like “Getting In Tune” and “Going Mobile” rank amongst my favorite Who songs. Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of standards on one LP! ‘going mobile’ is indeed under-rated (I’ve eventually come to realize I like Townshend’s voice a lot more than Daltrey’s) and ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ is a great one too.

    Liked by 1 person

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