Analog Planet Rated 11/10 Music, 9/10 Sound!
Michael Fremer Rated 10/10 Music, 8/10 Sound!
Half-speed mastered version of the album, housed in the original jacket with a printed sleeve and pressed on 180 gram black vinyl. This has been cut at Abbey Road Mastering Studios by acclaimed engineer Miles Showell from tapes prepared by Jon Astley.
Who's Next is the fifth studio album by English rock band The Who, released on August 14, 1971. At the beginning of the '70s, the impact of Tommy weighed heavily on Pete Townshend's shoulders. How on earth would he and the Who top such a successful and important album? The guitarist-songwriter felt he had to take his music and its conceptual strains one step further. He began writing a futuristic fable that would transcend itself beyond the usual conventions of modern music. Intended to be a film, a play, a concert, a mega multimedia and cerebral experience — Townshend called his new project Lifehouse. And although Lifehouse would stay frozen on the blocks for another 30 years, its seeds sprouted the Who's most cohesive and consistent effort, Who's Next.
How Townshend's ambitious follow-up ended up as Who's Next isn't easy to discern. After several false starts and a break with Who manager/mentor, Kit Lambert, the record was eventually rescued and shaped by producer/engineer, Glyn Johns. Much of Townshend's vision was contained within his extensive demos — bits and pieces of a loosely constructed storyline set against experimental melodies and basic backbeats. The album's opening track, "Baba O'Riley," was originally an elongated cycle of synthesizer loops. What it became was an anthem, highlighted by a tumultuous build, Dave Arbus' rambling violin and Roger Daltrey's acclamation of a "Teenage Wasteland." The thunder is sustained by the contagious "Bargain" — now, like so much of the Who's music, a commercial jingle. "Love Ain't for Keeping" chugs away against a fierce acoustic rhythm while John Entwistle's sole contribution of "My Wife" remains one of his most electrifying songs. "This Song Is Over" features Nicky Hopkins' incomparable piano work and ends with a chorus pulled from "Pure and Easy," the central number of Lifehouse that failed to make the final cut, but would resurface three years later on the Odds And Sods compilation. The theme is maintained on "Getting in Tune," reintroduced during the Who's most recent tour, and "Going Mobile," a track with Townshend on lead vocals that recounts a couple of Lifehouse's characters cruising the streets in a Cadillac.
For all the sorrow and heartbreak that runs beneath the surface, this is an invigorating record, not just because Keith Moon runs rampant or because Roger Daltrey has never sung better or because John Entwistle spins out manic basslines that are as captivating as his 'My Wife' is funny. This is invigorating because it has all of that, plus Townshend laying his soul bare in ways that are funny, painful, and utterly life-affirming. That is what the Who was about, not the rock operas, and that's why Who's Next is truer than Tommy or the abandoned Lifehouse. Those were art — this, even with its pretensions, is rock & roll.
their best studio album
The combination of a great original recording captured and mixed by Glyn Johns, bringing Pete Townshend's musical visions to life, coupled with sympathetic remastering from Close To The Edge's Jon Astley, plus an exacting half-speed lacquer cut by Abbey Road Studios' Miles Showell combined with Jamie Howarth's Plangent Processes restoration technology have made an already fabulous recording sound even better. In fact, I like this new edition so much that think I might get rid of my original U.S. Decca pressing once and for all. After all, I have no need to listen to it ever again, now that I have this 180g 1LP masterpiece edition of Who's Next in my collection. Time now to get yours.
- 180g Vinyl
- Black Vinyl
- Tapes Prepared by Jon Astley at Close to the Edge
- Cut at Half-Speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios
- Original Jacket with OBI Strip
- Printed Sleeve
- Made in Czech Republic
- Baba O'Riley
- Love Ain't for Keeping
- My Wife
- The Song Is Over
- Getting in Tune
- Going Mobile
- Behind Blue Eyes
- Won't Get Fooled Again