MCA2-8018 Who's Last
Produced by Cy Langston
Released on November 1984
UK CHART POSITION #48 . . . US CHART POSITION #81
Find it at GEMM
MCA2-8018 cover  

A final curtain call that ignores the band’s last two albums, opting instead to surge through their back catalog like electricity through a wire. Live At Leeds it ain’t, but Who’s Last at least ends things on a classy note. The performances are predictably explosive if tarnished by age, shy of a second wind but no depressing last gasp of air. The mix is a little sloppy, failing to put Daltrey’s voice up front where it belongs (high notes or not) and sacrificing some clarity while allowing the audience to become something of a fifth member. This approach captures the celebratory nature of The Who’s final concerts, which weren’t intended to be the definitive take on these songs by any measure. These shows were about hearing songs like “Baba O’Riley,” “My Generation” and “Love, Reign O’er Me” one last time before the band put their collective legacy to bed. As it turned out, the aging players did get up a few times in the night, performing concerts in 1989, 1996 and 2000. But where these shows were a case of disinterring old ghosts, Who’s Last was the Irish wake we wanted. The energy that still bristles during performances of “Who Are You” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” shows that the band’s glory days weren’t so far behind. The track selection is interesting in spots: “Dr. Jimmy” and encores of “Summertime Blues” and “Twist & Shout” (the latter inexplicably selected as the single) are unexpected, but I’m sure that playing the same songs over and over again wears thin after a while. Ultimately, this is something of a bookmark in the band’s discography that indicates where the original story ends. Much posthumous product has flowered from the fragrant corpse of The Who since 1984, some of it edifying and much of it unnecessary. Before you pluck these impoverished posies from the ground, you might want to plunk down some green for Who’s Last. It’s clearly not the first Who album you need to own, but it’s no candidate for the POTS (Play Once, Then Store) pile either.

MCA2-8018 inner gatefold MCA2-8018 back cover
MCA2-8018 inner gatefold MCA2-8018 back cover

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. MY GENERATION    3:23
  2. I CAN'T EXPLAIN    2:27
  3. SUBSTITUTE    2:46
  4. BEHIND BLUE EYES    3:30
  5. BABA O'RILEY    5:12
  6. BORIS THE SPIDER    (John Entwistle)    2:29
  7. WHO ARE YOU    6:28
  8. PINBALL WIZARD    2:50
  9. SEE ME, FEEL ME    4:09

    record two
  10. LOVE REIGN O'ER ME    4:39
  11. LONG LIVE ROCK    3:35
  12. REPRISE    1:30
  13. WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN    10:03
  14. DR. JIMMY    4:35
  15. MAGIC BUS    6:49
  16. SUMMERTIME BLUES    (E. Cochran/J. Capeheart)    2:59
  17. TWIST AND SHOUT    (B. Russell/P. Medley)    3:58

    All songs written by Pete Townshend unless noted

CREDITS

ROGER DALTREY -- vocals
JOHN ENTWISTLE -- bass, vocals
KENNEY JONES -- drums
PETE TOWNSHEND -- guitar, vocals
Cy Langston -- engineer, mixing

return to THE WHO discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1984 MCA 2LP/2CS WHO1 gatefold cover, picture sleeves
US November 1984 MCA 2LP/2CS MCA2/MCAC2-8018 gatefold cover
JPN 1984? MCA 2LP P-6197/8 gatefold cover, insert
YUG 1985 MCA 2CS MCA 4-1 picture sleeve
US December 1988 MCA CD MCAD2-8018  
JPN   MCA 2CD UICY-2322  

 

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