|The Who – ‘Greatest Hits & More’ (Geffen Records)|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Friday, 12 February 2010 10:04|
"People try to put us d-down (talkin' bout my generation)"
"Just because we get around (talkin' bout my generation)"
Those words may have originally been written back in 1965, but are still as relevant today as they were then. Of course, I'm talkin' 'bout The Who here, and if I'm making no sense to you, go and stand in the corner and don't come back until this review is over.
Released to tie in with their recent worldwide TV appearance at half time during this year's Superbowl, here comes 'Greatest Hits And More'. Yet another hits package I hear you bellow? Well wait a god damn second, as this is a double disc affair, with the second CD banging out some all too familiar tunes live from throughout the Shepherd's Bush mods illustrious career.
With various original versions, single versions and original mono versions herein, any fan old or new will want to jump onto their scooters and pick themselves up a copy.
Encapsulating the band's studio career, CD One brings you nineteen tracks that include such classics as 'I Can't Explain', 'Behind Blue Eyes', 'I Can See For Miles', 'Squeeze Box', and the 'The Kids Are Alright', alongside Eighties tracks like the fabulous 'You Better You Bet' and 'Eminence Front.' The Quadraphonic jigsaw puzzle also comprises modern tracks 'It's Not Enough' and 'Real Good Looking Boy', bringing any casual listener looking in right up to date with the band.
I personally could never tire of the eight minute plus 'Won't Get Fooled Again' or 'Baba O 'Riley' with the early innovative electro experimentation from Pete Townshend. 'Who Are You' is still a beautifully crafted track, mixing rock and electro with one of the greatest vocal performances from Roger Daltrey and rounded off with some quite stunning backing vocals. And then of course there's 'My Generation' with The Ox, John Entwhistle sadly gone but always remembered, for that bass line that will live on forever.
Moving to the CD Two, and this is where this collection really stands out from all the many others that line your supermarket shelves, As the much loved and missed madman drummer, Keith Moon holds court on thirteen of the sixteen tracks here.
Consisting of live versions of the classic tracks spanning from a 1965 BBC Performance ('My Generation') to a Hull City Hall 1970 concert ('Happy Jack' and 'I'm A Boy'), through 1971 and San Francisco's Civic Auditorium (with 'I Can't Explain' and 'Substitute'), whilst not forgetting Swansea Vetch Field from 1976 ('Pinball Wizard', 'I'm Free' and 'Squeezebox'). This is truly the sound of The Who at their best, live and unshackled.
This live disc, just like the preceding studio collection is brought bang up to date with an 'Endless Wire' track, and this time it's a great version of 'A Man In A Purple Dress' from a Nassau Coliseum show in 2007.
'Greatest Hits & More' then may not be the completist's dream collection, but it is THE Who collection for all you Mods and Rockers out there looking for a weekend of fun.
See you on the beach.