The Who – Who Are You (1978/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Who – Who Are You (1978/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 59:01 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Geffen

By the end of the ’70s, the original version of the Who was reaching the end of its tether (Keith Moon was nearing the end of his life). „Who Are You“ can be seen as something of a swan song for the spirit that ignited the rock & roll juggernaut that was the Who in its prime. The increased prominence of synthesizers here (the electronic flavoring of the title track recalls ‘Baba O’Riley’) points towards the direction the post-Moon ’80s version of the band would take. Instead of casting aspersions on socio-political ills, Townshend was casting glances askance at current musical trends (‘Sister Disco’) and his own occupation (‘Guitar and Pen’). Entwistle’s bass still rumbles melodically through the tunes in the grand style, and Daltrey’s wounded-beast roar is at its most impassioned on such songs as ‘Had Enough.’ The end of an era was just around the corner, but the band blazed away regardless, making WHO ARE YOU the last must-have Who album.

‘Music must change,’ sings The Who in the song of the same name, and yet it is ironic that while the mainstream of rock is moving toward a harder sound, The Who, considered the quintessential hard rock band, has chosen to sweeten its mix with strings and synthesizers in this, the band’s first LP in over three years. Nevertheless the LP is unmistakably The Who. As so often in the past, this LP reflects Peter Townshend’s preoccupation with the state of current pop culture and his and the band’s place in it. Side One is the softer side with the band rocking a bit more on the flip side. Despite the strings and synthesizers, the arrangements are always spare and to the point, with flashes of old power and moments of instrumental brilliance belying any thought the band may be past its peak. The title song is a pop masterpiece. Best cuts: ‘Who Are You,’ ‘Guitar And Pen,’ ‘Sister Disco,’ ‘Love Is Coming Down.’ (Billboard)

On the Who’s final album with Keith Moon, their trademark honest power started to get diluted by fatigue and a sense that the group’s collective vision was beginning to fade. As instrumentalists, their skills were intact. More problematic was the erratic quality of the material, which seemed torn between blustery attempts at contemporary relevance (“Sister Disco,” “New Song,” “Music Must Change”) and bittersweet insecurity (“Love Is Coming Down”). Most problematic of all were the arrangements, heavy on the symphonic synthesizers and strings, which make the record sound cluttered and overanxious. Roger Daltrey’s operatic tough-guy braggadocio in particular was beginning to sound annoying on several cuts. Yet Pete Townshend’s better tunes — “Music Must Change,” “Love Is Coming Down,” and the anthemic title track — continued to explore the contradictions of aging rockers in interesting, effective ways. Whether due to Moon’s death or not, it was the last reasonably interesting Who record. –Richie Unterberger

01. The Who – New Song (04:22)
02. The Who – Had Enough (04:30)
03. The Who – 905 (03:58)
04. The Who – Sister Disco (04:23)
05. The Who – Music Must Change (04:38)
06. The Who – Trick Of The Light (04:24)
07. The Who – Guitar And Pen (05:47)
08. The Who – Love Is Coming Down (04:03)
09. The Who – Who Are You (06:26)
10. The Who – Guitar And Pen (Olympic ’78 Mix) (06:05)
11. The Who – Love Is Coming Down (Work-In-Progress Mix) (04:01)
12. The Who – Who Are You (Lost Verse Mix) (06:19)

Roger Daltrey, vocals, percussion
John Entwistle, bass, backing vocals, synthesizer, brass, vocals
Pete Townshend, guitars, vocals, piano, synthesizer
Keith Moon, drums, percussion
Rod Argent, synthesizer, keyboards
Ted Astley, string arrangement
Andy Fairweather-Low, backing vocals
Billy Nicholls, backing vocals
Michael Nicholls, backing vocals


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