23731-1 It's Hard
Produced by Glyn Johns
Released on September 1982
UK CHART POSITION #11 . . . US CHART POSITION #8 . . . GOLD RECORD (11/3/82)
Find it at GEMM
23731-1 cover  

I t’s hard not to see this as a final waning of the band’s original energy. As good as it is, It’s Hard doesn’t transcend the studio the way a good Who album should. The same could have been said about Face Dances; both felt like the contained creation of an Empty Glass. And in a sense, appreciating this depends on whether you see the glass as half-full or half-empty. The material alone is good enough to warrant the interest: “Eminence Front,” “Cooks County,” “A Man Is A Man,” “Athena.” If you’re soft on Pete Townshend, you’ll fall for It’s Hard. The record sounds like a Townshend solo album for two reasons: (1) the chatty nature of the songs and (2) Roger Daltrey’s perfunctory performance. Townshend has always sounded like a diminished Daltrey (or was Daltrey a superinflated Townshend?), so close your eyes and you’ll swear it’s Pete singing “A Man Is A Man” or “One Life’s Enough.” Of course the two John Entwistle tracks won’t hear of it, and run at full bore until the last inch of highway, especially on “One At A Time” (one of his best songs with The Who). There are a handful of songs on here that I really like, none moreso than “I’ve Known No War” (which recycles the melody from Townshend’s “Stardom In Acton”). Yet it’s the least essential of their studio albums, and arguably less essential than Empty Glass (I haven’t heard Rough Mix, or I might give that the nod too). In 1997, a remastered version was released featuring four live tracks from Toronto. Personally, I’d be interested in that version if only to hear what these songs sound like uncaged on stage.

23731-1 back cover 23731-1 lyric sleeve
23731-1 back cover 23731-1 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. ATHENA    (Pete Townshend)    3:42
  2. IT'S YOUR TURN    (John Entwistle)    3:36
  3. COOKS COUNTY    (Pete Townshend)    3:44
  4. IT'S HARD    (Pete Townshend)    3:40
  5. DANGEROUS    (John Entwistle)    3:15
  6. EMINENCE FRONT    (Pete Townshend)    5:35
  7. I'VE KNOWN NO WAR    (Pete Townshend)    5:45
  8. ONE LIFE'S ENOUGH    (Pete Townshend)    2:18
  9. ONE AT A TIME    (John Entwistle)    2:55
  10. WHY DID I FALL FOR THAT    (Pete Townshend)    3:18
  11. A MAN IS A MAN    (Pete Townshend)    3:48
  12. CRY IF YOU WANT    (Pete Townshend)    4:35

    Expanded reissue bonus tracks...
  13. IT'S HARD (LIVE)
  14. EMINENCE FRONT (LIVE)
  15. DANGEROUS (LIVE)
  16. CRY IF YOU WANT (LIVE)

CREDITS

ROGER DALTREY -- vocals
JOHN ENTWISTLE -- bass, horns, synthesisers
KENNEY JONES -- drums
PETE TOWNSHEND -- guitars, piano, synthesisers, backing vocals
Andy Fairweather-Low -- rhythm guitar (2)
Tim Gorman -- synthesisers, organ, electric piano
Glyn Johns -- engineer
Graham Hughes -- photography & concept

return to THE WHO discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK September 1982 Polydor LP/CS WHOD 5066 lyric sleeve
US September 1982 Warner Bros. LP/CS 23731 lyric sleeve
CAN September 1982 Warner Bros. LP 92 37311 lyric sleeve
GER/NET September 1982? Polydor LP 2311 180 lyric sleeve
JPN 1982 Polydor LP 28MM0220 lyric insert
MEX 1982 Polydor LP LPR-16414  
UK/GER 1997 Polydor CD 537 696 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US 1997 MCA CD MCAD-11635 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN   Polydor CD UICY-2321 digital remix/remaster w. bonus tracks
  2000 Polygram Int'l CD/CS POCP-9208 digital remix/remaster w. bonus tracks

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2004 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.