MCAD-11269 Who's Next
Produced by The Who
Released on August 14, 1971
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #4 . . . GOLD RECORD (9/16/71) . . .
3x PLATINUM RECORD (2/8/93)
Find it at GEMM
MCAD-11269 cover  

A s the ‘70s dawned, rock & roll was entering its golden age. Paranoid, American Beauty, Who’s Next, Sticky Fingers, The Yes Album -- some of the greatest stuff ever committed to vinyl. They’re what I call uber-albums, so solid from top to bottom that they serve as a kind of greatest hits overview. Certainly some of The Who’s greatest moments reside here: the epic “Baba O’Riley,” the bitter “Bargain” and “Behind Blue Eyes,” the breezy “Going Mobile.” The closing “Won’t Get Fooled Again” might be one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded. Entwistle’s “My Wife” might be his best song with The Who. The lesser-known tracks are hardly slouches, instead offering a respite to buffer the intense emotions. The countryish “Love Ain’t For Keeping” still has a sharp edge underneath its soft exterior, while the vulnerability seen on “The Song Is Over” and “Getting In Tune” helps us understand the outrage behind the innocence. What’s always impressed me about Who’s Next is the way the roles are defined here: Daltrey as the band’s heart, Townshend its brains, and the rhythm section of Entwistle and Moon the lungs and nervous system. Here was a band whose greatness rested on the sum of its parts. And those parts were constantly busy, the four members bathed in a shared spotlight, playing at 100% all the time as if the light were shining on them alone at that moment. It’s what makes a song like “Going Mobile” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again” so much fun, because your ear can wander from bass to drums to guitar to vocals and get lost in each for a moment. That’s often the case with trios out of necessity (Cream, Rush), but it’s an exponential increase in pleasure when another instrument or two is added (Yes, Gentle Giant). In 1995, MCA released an expanded, remastered edition that atoned for their historically cheap repackages. I’m not sold on the idea of attaching inferior work to superior masterpieces, but the live version of “Naked Eye” alone justifies the exercise. Also included are generous liner notes, which I’ll have to read someday.

MCAD-11269 booklet photo MCA-5220 front cover MCA-5220 back cover
MCAD-11269 booklet photo MCA-5220 front cover MCA-5220 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. BABA O'RILEY    4:59 (5:08*)
  2. BARGAIN    5:33
  3. LOVE AIN'T FOR KEEPING    2:11
  4. MY WIFE    (John Entwistle)    3:35 (3:40*)
  5. THE SONG IS OVER    6:16
  6. GETTING IN TUNE    4:49
  7. GOING MOBILE    3:40
  8. BEHIND BLUE EYES    3:40
  9. WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN    8:31

    Expanded reissue bonus tracks
  10. PURE AND EASY (ORIGINAL VERSION)    4:19
  11. BABY DON'T YOU DO IT    (Edward Holland, Jr./Lamont Dozier/Brian Holland)    5:13
  12. NAKED EYE (LIVE)    5:22
  13. WATER (LIVE)    6:25
  14. TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING    4:24
  15. I DON'T EVEN KNOW MYSELF    4:54
  16. BEHIND BLUE EYES (ORIGINAL VERSION)    3:25

    All songs composed by Pete Townshend unless noted. (*) indicates where CD track time differs notably from LP timings.

CREDITS

ROGER DALTREY -- vocals
JOHN ENTWISTLE -- bass, brass, vocals, piano (4)
KEITH MOON -- drums, percussion, producer
PETE TOWNSHEND -- guitars, VCS3 organ, A.R.P. synthesiser, vocals, piano (1)
Dave Arbus -- violin (1)
Nicky Hopkins -- piano
Al Kooper -- organ (16)
Leslie West -- lead guitar (11)
Glyn Johns -- associate producer, engineer, mixing
Kit Lambert -- executive producer, producer (16)
Chris Stamp -- executive producer
Pete Kameron -- executive producer
Ethan A. Russell -- photography
John Kosh -- design

return to THE WHO discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US August 14, 1971 Decca LP DL7-9182  
UK August 1971 Track LP 2408 102  
EUR   Polydor LP 2480 056  
JPN   Polydor LP 23MM0069  
JPN   Polydor LP MPX-4022 lyric insert
MEX 1971 Polydor LP 16053 gatefold cover
US 1974 MCA LP MCA-2023 black rainbow label
US 1977 MCA LP MCA-3024 tan label reissue
US   MCA LP/CS MCA/MCAC-1691  
UK November 1983 Polydor LP/CS SPELP/SPEMC 49  
US   MCA LP MCA-5220 blue rainbow label
CAN   MCA LP/CD/CS MCA/MAD/MCAC-37217  
US June 1995 MCA CDX/CSX MCAD/MCAC-11269 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
EEC 1995 Polydor/Universal CDX 527 760 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US August 29, 1995 MCA CD MCAD-11312 24k Ultimate Master Disc
JPN   Polydor CDX UICY-2314 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US 1999 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-754 gold disc remaster
UK 2003 Polydor 3LP 761761 Deluxe Edition
UK 2003 Universal 2CD 113056 Deluxe Edition

 

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