The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, and have sold over 100 million records worldwide. Their contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall Stack, large PA systems, the use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon’s influential playing styles, Townshend’s feedback and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera. They are cited as an influence by many hard rock, punk rock and mod bands, and their songs still receive regular exposure.
The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, and established themselves as part of the pop art and mod movements, featuring auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums on stage. Their first single as the Who, “I Can’t Explain” (1965), reached the UK top ten, and was followed by a string of hit singles including “My Generation” (1965), “Substitute” (1966) and “Happy Jack” (1966). In 1967, they performed at the Monterey Pop Festival and released “I Can See for Miles”, their only US top ten single. The group’s 1969 concept album Tommy included the single “Pinball Wizard” and was a critical and commercial success.
Further festival appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight, along with the concert album Live at Leeds (1970), established their reputation as a respected rock act. The success put pressure on lead songwriter Townshend, and the follow-up to Tommy, Lifehouse, was abandoned. Songs from the project made up Who’s Next (1971), considered by many critics to be the band’s best work, which included such hits as “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, “Baba O’Riley”, and “Behind Blue Eyes”. The group released another concept album, Quadrophenia (1973), as a celebration of their mod roots, and oversaw the film adaptation of Tommy (1975). They continued to tour to large audiences before semi-retiring from live performances at the end of 1976. The release of Who Are You (1978) was overshadowed by Moon’s death shortly after.
Kenney Jones replaced Moon and the group resumed touring, and released a film adaptation of Quadrophenia and the retrospective documentary The Kids Are Alright. After Townshend became weary of the group, they split in 1983. The Who occasionally re-formed for live appearances such as Live Aid in 1985, a 25th anniversary tour in 1989 and a tour of Quadrophenia in 1996–1997. A full reunion began in 1999, with drummer Zak Starkey. After Entwistle’s death in 2002, plans for a new album were delayed until 2006, with Endless Wire. Since Entwistle’s death, the Who have continued to perform and tour, most commonly with Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, and Pete’s brother Simon Townshend on second guitar and backing vocals. In 2019, the group released the album Who and toured with a symphony orchestra.
Live at the Fillmore East 1968 is a live album by the English rock band The Who. It was recorded at the Fillmore East, New York City on Saturday 6 April 1968 and released on 20 April 2018 as a double album on CD, and a triple album on LP. (wikipedia)
Heavily bootlegged, the tapes featured on Universal’s 2018 release Live at the Fillmore East 1968 were originally recorded by the Who’s manager Kit Lambert with the intention of releasing a live album between The Who Sell Out and Tommy. Both nights of the band’s tour-closing stint at the Fillmore on April 5 and 6, 1968 were recorded but the equipment malfunctioned on the first night, so Lambert abandoned the plan, leaving the tapes to bootleggers to mine over the years. The long-delayed 2018 release from Universal restores the tapes from the second night so the music leaps from the speakers — which is needed, as the Who were on absolute fire this evening, as they tore through first airings of Sell Out songs, a dynamite “A Quick One (While He’s Away),” a half-hour “My Generation,” the anti-smoking obscurity “Little Billy,” and no less than three Eddie Cochran covers.
Caught somewhere between mod and prog, the Who sound as if they’re at the peak of their powers. Unlike many classic official Who live records, there’s no lengthy Tommy digression and, in a way, that’s preferable, as the group hunkers down into its pop-art, making sure that it explodes in every imaginable color. That sustained ferocity is why Live at the Fillmore East 1968 could conceivably be called the definitive Who live album: it may not have the classic status of Live at Leeds, but the group never sounded as explosive as it does here. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Roger Daltrey (vocals)
John Entwistle (bass, background vocals)
Keith Moon (drums)
Pete Townshend (guitar, background vocals)
01. Summertime Blues (Cochran/Capehart) 4.15
02. Fortune Teller (Neville) 2.38
03. Tattoo (Townshend) 2.58
04. Little Billy (Townshend) 3.38
05. I Can’t Explain (Townshend) 2.29
06. Happy Jack (Townshend) 2.19
07. Relax (Townshend) 11.56
08. I’m A Boy (Townshend) 3.23
09. A Quick One, While He’s Away (Townshend) 11.15
10. My Way (Cochran/Capehart) 3.17
11. C’mon Everybody (Cochran/Capehart) 1.55
12. Shakin’ All Over (Kidd/Robinson) 6.55
13. Boris The Spider (Entwistle) 2.35
14. My Generation (Townshend) 33.03