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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Ultimate Collection
Format: Audio CDChange
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2002
The Who were undoubtedly the greatest live rock band of all time, their live performance etched in the memories of all those fortunate enough to see them in their prime. This collection is a timely reminder, to those convinced that modern rock is brilliant, that modern rock has a long way to do before it returns to the classic days of the 60's and 70s. Tracks from every Who album are present here, as well as selected singles, and rarities (actually, most of these are available on the CD reissues of five or six years ago). The first two of the three CDs contains all the hits while the last appears to have videos or 'extra footage' of some of the bands big hits. The first CD is essentially flawless, containing all the singles up to 'Who's Next'. Songs like 'I Can't Explain', 'The Kids are Alright', 'Substitute' and of course 'My Generation' defined an era in the mid sixties. 'I Can See For Miles', often cited as Pete Townshend's favourite Who record, was the tour de force of the magnificent 'Who Sell Out'. 'Magic Bus', with its unusual rhythm, became a Who classic in performance. However, it was with 'Tommy' that the Who became an institution, led by the brilliant single 'Pinball Wizard'. I feel that more songs from Tommy should have been placed on the album, but I admit that it is difficult to pick out five or six from the album. The presence of only three songs from 'Who's Next', probably the Who's finest achievement, is also surprising, but you can't argue with 'Baba O Riley', 'Behind Blue Eyes' (amazingly omitted from The Best of The Who - 1996), and of course 'Won't Get Fooled Again', which ends CD1 on a suitably emphatic note. CD2 begins a little tamely, with some of the songs which formed part of the Lifehouse project. 'Pure and Easy', already available on the reissue of 'Who's Next' is the pick of these songs. Three songs from 'Quadrophenia' are also present: '5:15','The Real Me' and 'Love Reign O'er Me', all terrific songs. Unfortunately, 'Squeeze Box' is the only song present from 'The Who by Numbers'. I would have liked the presence of 'Dreaming from the Waist' or even 'They are all in Love' but I guess you can't have everything. Three songs from 'Who Are You', notably the title track, complete the Keith Moon era, and if the album stopped there, you couldn't complain. There are a few numbers from the final two albums including the excellent 'You Better You Bet', their last hit, and 'Athena'.
All in all, a superb compilation, with a few odd choices here and there, but an essential first album for anyone new to the magic of the Who. Long Live Rock!!!
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
This is the collection all "Who" fans have been waiting for and it's just in time for their Summer Tour. The two CD's contain 35 tracks from 1964's, "I Can't Explain" classic to the show-stopping 1982 cut, "Eminence Front". All the best cuts are represented here including, "My Generation", "I Can See For Miles", "Magic Bus", four cuts from "Tommy", five cuts from the fantastic "Who's Next" and all the under-rated hits from the late seventies and early, early eighties. It's not just good, it is all remastered and even the older remastered cuts sound better.
To beat it all, a bonus CD of four tracks is included with "Substitute" (rare U.S. version), "I'm A Boy" (early version), "Happy Jack" (previously unreleased "acoustic" version) and a U.K. single version of "Magic Bus"! All remastered. It sounds like it was just recorded!
The booklet is great as well. Twenty seven pages of photos, history, album covers and trivia - it satisfies everything. Grab it and go see them this summer.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2014
This collection represents the absolute criminal worst that idiot record companies can do to music. Every track is massively compressed and brick-wall limited and there is clipping (crackling buzzing noises) on all tracks. The dynamic range of 'Won't Get Fooled Again' has been reduced to 2Db - even the Jon Astley 1990's remaster allows it 9Db! This is as monumentally bad as Metallica's 'Death Magnetic' - previously the worst most compressed recoding I owned. Great music destroyed by deaf morons for the sake of "ever hotter records" for the "ipod" generation. Just adds to the criminal handling of the Who's back catalogue. Straight to the charity box this one, have ordered the earlier "Who's Better, Who's Best" collection from the late eighties instead. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. Would give no stars if possible and a kick up the arse of the mastering engineers and record company execs who committed this crime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I had always really enjoyed the haunting song 'Behind Blue Eyes' (which was surprisingly not a hit in the UK), and I'd only heard good things about The Who before I decided to buy a compilation of some of their hits some years ago. This two disc set seemed like the best option, with 40 tracks, it sure looked like it lived up to it's name of 'The Ultimate Collection'. Now that I am more clued up about these guys, I can safely say that it does.

The Who were, and still are a great rock-and-roll band, with many hits to their name, including 'My Generation' and 'I'm a Boy', both of which just narrowly missed the top spot in the UK. This set contains all of these hits, along with other songs and a few little rarities, including a live 'Summertime Blues', all in chorological order, allowing the listener to be able to hear how the band processed, as the arrangements got bigger over time. These classic recordings span the lengthy period of 1965 to 1982, and as The Who have only released one more album since then, 'Endless Wire' in 2006, this therefore remains almost fully comprehensive. Packaged with a chunky, 28 page booklet, with informative liner notes, excellent pictures and memorabilia, it's a nice little collector's piece in it's own right.

If you are a new fan, I would certainly recommend this superb double collection to anyone who hasn't really listened to The Who's music before. For fans of The Rolling Stones and The Kinks.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2003
This contains a lot of the Who's best stuff but like one of the other reviewers I would question why stuff like 'Had Enough' and Sister Disco are included while brilliant tracks from The Who By Numbers' such as 'Imagine a Man' or 'Dreaming From the Waist are left out.Its a great collection but if you like this then also get the Who's most underrated album 'Who By Numbers'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2014
A superb collection from a real class act.The Who have always been one of my favourite bands,and this double cd set has almost everything a fan could want.The first disc is pretty damn near perfect,all the famous classics are here.The second disc,while still very good,has some weaker tracks,that even a diehard Who fan would regard as filler.Personally i would have included more tracks from Quadrophenia,definately sea and sand for one,i would have also loved to see the relay and naked eye included too,both longtime faves of mine.There are 5 or 6 tracks here i could easily live without boris the spider,happy jack,eminence front,etc.I would really rate this compilation 4 1/2 stars if possible,what could have been perfect is still brilliant,fantastic songs in one convenient package.If you buy this and enjoy it,i would also urge you to get Who's Next and Quadrophenia,cos they are both awesome classic albums.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2002
What can I say but wow. All the Who's best songs on three CD's. The bonus CD is very cool with different versions of their totally amazing rock and roll songs. If you want some of the finest who songs in one box set than this is the set for you, amazing so go and get it if you havn't already!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2009
I love The Who. I really do. And this is a great compilation. It has lots of the well-known stuff, interspersed with less well-known numbers.

I must take issue with "A Customer" whose review is headed "I don't like The Who". I can't understand why you would bother to buy and then review an album of a band you don't like! Seems a bit pointless to me.

Anyhow, for those who would like an introduction to "the 'orrible 'Oo" this is as good as any. I recommend you dip your toes in further. Still waters run deep, and The Who are deep and fast-flowing. Get caught in the current and go on an Amazing Journey. You won't regret it.
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on 9 August 2010
Ok, so John Entwistle (rock's finest bass player) practically invents rock in 1965 by secretly turning his bass amp up and thus forcing his band mates to do the same resulting in a volume based approached which required more powerful playing and has a distorted sound. Fact. Im reviewing my top 200 albums and The Who have to be in there and this comp is as intelligent a rounding up of their highlights thus far as you'll get. There's broadly 5 phases to the great bands career. The 1st 10 tracks brilliantly demonstrate the three-minute pop gems of their early days. My Generation is a special case being the 1st time that the new rock dynamic came together properly on record. Next we have the band's coming of age where they pen a number of their classics including key track from Tommy: I Can See For Miles, Pinball Wizard, See Me, Feel Me and The Seeker speak for themselves. Then the peak/the sweet spot - Who's Next. Yes, staggering to think that Baba O'Riley, Bargain, Behind Blue Eyes & Won't Get Fooled Again are all from one album. Quadrophenia can be seen as a phase in its own right and as an rock opera/fil soundtrack difficult to pick stand alone tracks from. However, The Real Me, my single favourite Who song is the bollocks and is here. We're then into phase 5, the late 70s singles where the band go back to pop sensibility of their youth post punk and pre-80's synth pop: Squeeze Box, Who Are You, You Better You Bet and the excellent Eminence Front which feels like a reprise of Baba O'Riley. Essential.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2003
Although the Who's catalogue has already produced several retrospectives, this cockily titled collection more than manages to live up to its name, offering what may well be the most complete and compelling look at this legendary band's career. Completely remastered, 'The Ultimate Collection' takes in everything from he band's early Mod singles, right through to their more bombastic but still thrilling stadium-rock concoctions - including classics such as 'My Generation', 'Pictures Of Lily', 'The Kids Are Alright' and many, many more. This UK edition of 'The Ultimate Collection' includes extended sleeve notes and 5 extra tracks than the US version: 'Athena', 'Another Tricky Day', 'The Quiet One', 'Don't Let Go The Coat', and 'Had Enough'
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