The Who - Who's Next

 (Remastered Half-Speed Master)

180-gram vinyl

Remastered by Jon Astley at Close to the Edge from the original tapes

Half-speed lacquer masters cut by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios

Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time — rated 77/500!

Half-speed mastered version of the album, housed in the original jacket with a printed sleeve and pressed on 180-gram black vinyl. Lacquers were cut at Abbey Road Mastering Studios by acclaimed engineer Miles Showell from tapes prepared by Jon Astley.

Who's Next is the fifth studio album by The Who, originally released in 1971. The album has its roots in the Lifehouse project, a science fiction rock opera intended as a follow-up to Tommy. The ambitious, complex project did not come to fruition at the time and instead, many of the songs written for the project were compiled onto Who's Next. The album features the singles "Baba O'Riley", "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Won't Get Fooled Again," making it one of The Who's most critical as well as commercially successful records.

Lifehouse was Pete Townshend's futuristic fable that would transcend itself beyond the usual conventions of modern music. Intended to be a film, a play, a concert, a mega multimedia and cerebral experience — how Townshend's ambitious follow-up ended up as Who's Next is complicated.

Several false starts and a break with Who manager/mentor, Kit Lambert resulted in the record being eventually rescued and shaped by producer/engineer, Glyn Johns. Much of Townshend's vision was contained within his extensive demos — bits and pieces of a loosely constructed storyline set against experimental melodies and basic backbeats. The album's opening track, "Baba O'Riley," was originally an elongated cycle of synthesizer loops. What it became was an anthem, highlighted by a tumultuous build, Dave Arbus' rambling violin and Roger Daltrey's acclamation of a "Teenage Wasteland."

"I like synthesizers," Townshend said, "because they bring into my hands things that aren't in my hands: the sound of the orchestra, French horns, strings.... You press a switch and it plays it back at double speed."

The thunder is sustained by the contagious "Bargain" — now, like so much of the Who's music, a commercial jingle. "Love Ain't for Keeping" chugs away against a fierce acoustic rhythm while John Entwistle's sole contribution of "My Wife" remains one of his most electrifying songs. "This Song Is Over" features Nicky Hopkins' incomparable piano work and ends with a chorus pulled from "Pure and Easy," the central number of Lifehouse that failed to make the final cut, but would resurface three years later on the Odds And Sods compilation. The theme is maintained on "Getting in Tune," reintroduced during the Who's most recent tour, and "Going Mobile," a track with Townshend on lead vocals that recounts a couple of Lifehouse's characters cruising the streets in a Cadillac.

Side A
Baba O'Riley
Love Ain't for Keeping
My Wife
The Song Is Over
Side B
Getting in Tune
Going Mobile
Behind Blue Eyes
Won't Get Fooled Again

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