- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: HELTER SKELTER PUBLISHING (24 Jun. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1905139268
- ISBN-13: 978-1905139262
- Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 800,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Who By Numbers, The Paperback – 24 Jun 2010
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More About the Author
The authors' enthusiasm for the music burns across every page - an intriguing patchwork of the group's career.
--Record Collector magazine, October, 2010
Another worthy addition to the literature about one of rock's most unique and seminal acts. --Vive Le Rock magazine, December, 2010
Exhaustively researched and crammed with detail; a near essential source of reference for all fans and collectors.
--Shindig magazine, December, 2010
Grantley's insight and knowledge animates the sonic technique and alchemical might of the classic original Who.
--Classic Rock magazine, April 2011
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you like the Who, it's a great book. It is NOT, however, a straight biography, so don't expect one. I don't agree with the authors' assessment of some of the songs (they don't have enough to say about the tracks they too-often dismiss as "poppy," for example, which I found a bit annoying) but as a huge Who fan, I found it a great read. I learned interesting facts about many of my favorite Who tracks. It wasn't as exhaustive as it could have been, but it provides some essential "liner notes" to the Who catalog and some great interview and backstory excerpts that one might not find compiled anywhere else.
Wouldn't recommend for someone who doesn't really know anything about the Who, but for the casual and hardcore fans, it's a good read.
Another great book from Helter Skelter.
This book covers all the tracks & how it was created by the artists, most notable Pete Townshend. It gives a detail explianation of his Lifehouse project which I can understand how everyone around Pete was very confused.
At times they just may mention in a few lines about the solo records if they mention them at all. I notice Pete and Roger's solo records had more copy than John's. They did mention his earlier ones then just skipped over the rest. Of course Moon's only solo had some copy even though not so good reviews. Pete's Iron Man had detail on 2 songs since The Who was invovled in the recording.
I did enjoy reading each Who album and made me appreiciate the creation of these tracks. A lot of Pete's lyrics was his struggle trying to be spiritual from his Meher Baba's teachings and dealing w/ rockstar status. Along w/ the fame and fortune as well as the downfalls of drugs and alcohol.
My favorite section is the making of Quadrophenia album which is my all time favorite Who record. Also found the making of the Tommy movie interesting to read that Pete tossed about names such as Tiny Tim, David Bowie, Mick Jagger or Stevie Wonder as The Pinball Wizard and Lou Reed as The Acid Queen.
This book uses past articles to cover some the records and interviews w/ The Who members living and dead. It was interesting to read what they have to say about the songs good or bad.
It's also good to point out that the authors Steve Grantley is a musician who plays w/ Stiff Little Fingers and the Alarm. Alan Parker is a consultant for EMI Records and Secert Music. His work is also in a number of music publications. So you have an insight from people in the field.
At the end of the book it does give a Discographies all the albums including solo, compilitations, rarities, singles, soundtracks and live.
If you are like me who reads through all the credits and liner notes on each album this book is won't disappoint you.
The Who By Numbers not only covers the band's remarkable recording career, it gives each of the original members a fair division of attention, focusing on the aforesaid Townshend and Moon only when it's actually pertinent. And that means Townshend still gets the lion's share if only because of one unavoidable fact: he wrote most of their stuff. Daltrey, however, gets ample chance to put his two cents in and does, and there is a surprising immediacy to the input of Moon and Entwistle that's included, in spite of the time that has passed since we were last able to hear from them.
Even so, there is a certain attitude exhibited by the authors in terms of which recordings are worthwhile and which aren't. What is particularly unfortunate is how negative they are towards anything that strays from what they regard as The Who's proper musical and lyrical territory. By that reckoning The Beatles should never have ventured beyond Hard Day's Night; The Who may not have been equipped to achieve equivalent heights such as the Fab Four attained in their later years, but what they did do is not really deserving of the dismissiveness and moments of veiled contempt exhibited here.