One listen was enough convince me! The sound is truly superb - crystal clear and just leaps off the CD to invade your space and leave your senses reeling. I was particularly taken with the awesome drumming of Moony - you can almost see him laying into the drumkit. Roger's vocals and John's bass are equally clear and impressive. Shel Talmy has achieved what sounds to me like the perfect mix. Startlingly good!
Two minor gripes - some might find the more restrained Pete Townshend sound takes a bit of getting used to, with his guitar lower in the mix and overdubs missing from a couple of tracks. However this is compensated for by including the original mono versions of "A legal matter" and "My generation" for comparison.
Also, some of the material on the second CD has previously been available and is of variable quality, although some of its belting - the previously unreleased a cappella version of "Anytime you want me" is fantastic.
If you're a Who fan who hasn't heard the 'My Generation' album (or even a non-Who fan!) then this is an absolute must, and for those of you who are already in love with the original, this is still well worth shelling out for - the sound is incredible!
There is a poignant quality that it should be released now so soon after the untimely death of the greatest English Rock Bass player, John 'The Ox' Entwhistle.
Just in case you need reminding,John transformed the bass guitar into a lead instrument here. There are no less than 3 separate versions of 'My Generation'. Marvel at the musical athleticism of his bass solo on a paired down, backing track version that hardly misses the infamous D-D-D-altrey vocal at all. More striking is the sheer funk he brings to Godfather James Brown covers 'Please, Please,Please','Shout and Shimmy' and 'I don't mind' that were a staple of their live set at that time.
This extended package is also bang on the money as an historical document, conveying as it does a great sense of time and place: 'Swinging London' when time was money and the royalty rates were costed in farthings. If this really is the sound of four socially incompatible young men steering their weary way through a succession of low big city dives, it makes for some great music.
Of course when you record in hours rather than months or years you retain a certain spontaneity, an endearing roughness that is never crude but always energetic. The whole thing bulges with blue beat majesty.
The reputed organised chaos is here in an alternate version of 'Anyway, anyhow, anywhere' where Moon is in a galaxy all of his own but still comes back on a crescendo of feedback to nail a beat as tight as the checks on Daltrey's jacket. Ah yes, Mr Daltrey - sir to me and you - tough as teak with the original cockney blues voice at full throttle and tough enough to make you believe they really do have cotton fields in Shepherds Bush.
The real maestro in the ensemble is of course Pete Townshend...the creative leadership of the group. God he was only 20 when this record was made! As were they all... but consider the perception, the tenderness and the bile he brings to his compositions. Anthem for 'My Generation', 'kids are alright' 'The good's gone' Truth is Townshend really could explain and does so with an inarticulate eloquence that lets you know he thinks feeling is better than thinking.
The guitarplaying featured here is not that of a virtuoso, no Pete is a working man using the tools of his trade and woe betide those 12 strings if they fail him by the end of the night......The informative sleeve has a terrific picture of a deadpan Pete flanked by the casualties of battle, a gallery of Beautiful but wrecked Rickenbackers.
So I tell no la-la-la-lies when I say forget all substitutes -'My Generation' is my album of the year, 1965 and 2002.
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