A fairly representative and cheap 'best of collection', with thoughtfulpackaging, but there are far better 'greatest hits' sets on sale. The onlypoint of interest this time out is the inclusion of two new songs.
These new songs seem to have been included in order to milk the die hard,completist fans, who need another greatest hits CD as much as Townshendneeds tinnitus. These two rather lame tracks sound more like outtakes fromthe tail end of the band's productive career in the early 80s. Weakmusical vehicles that have been revamped and given new lyrics, rather thanclassic tracks in waiting. There's a raucous enough delivery, but whatused to be direct and visceral now just meanders. Both songs are instantlyforgettable save for Daltrey's vocals and his range is dropping ever morenoticeably. In truth, it no longer sounds like The Who and anybody couldhave been playing Townshend's workmanlike guitar parts. It sounds morelike a Daltrey solo record (and not as good as many of his actual soloalbums.) I hope that the other songs being recorded for the new album tofollow are stronger and that the band hits its stride and sounds moreinteresting. If the name 'The Who' is going to be anything more than acynical marketing brand then they need to do better. As his solo recordsdocument, Townshend's songwriting has been on a downward trajectory formany years. He still seems to have something to say, but unless the songsare better why should anybody stop to listen?
It says something thatThe Who still manages to impress audiences with just two surviving membersand very competent, but uneventful sidemen. Undeniably a very goodnostalgia band, but long past being the great band that they once were.Remarkable for their age, but no longer simply remarkable. They hit rockbottom with the Face Dancs and It's Hard albums and, on the strength ofthe 2 new tracks on this compilation, they may simply not be capable ofanything better. However, I would love to be proved wrong!