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4.7 out of 5 stars218
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 31 August 2009
`Pick up my vinyl and play, just like yesterday'

Have collected so many versions of this album over the years (CD & vinyl) as it is one of my favourite albums. Even after 38 years I still enjoy hearing it, a true sign of a timeless, classic album. I still have my original vinyl copy from 1971 on the Track label (total 122g weight pressing). I wanted a new vinyl version as I suspected after all the years playing it had lost significant audio quality. I first purchased the 2003 Deluxe Edition; re-mastered box set vinyl (3 discs) but was very disappointed and sent it back. It exhibited very high surface noise, several loud audible clicks and very poor sound quality for vinyl (certainly not recommended). The CD version is much better and recommended for the extra tracks available and excellent booklet.

This 2008 Polydor version is far superior in sound quality to the 2003 deluxe vinyl version. Pressed on 180g vinyl (this copy 186g total weight) and is part of the `Back to Black Vinyl' series. There is very little surface noise and the sound is very clear, and crisp. It is very difficult to believe the album was made back in 1971. A magnificent example of how vinyl should be re-issued. It just contains the original 9 tracks and is presented in a single sieve cover (identical to the 1971 version). The paper record sleeve has a plastic film inner cover and two corner vents. This is my favourite inner sleeve design for reducing the risk of damaging the disc when removing.

I always benchmark versions of this album by comparing the sound quality of the tracks: Baba O' Riley, Behind Blue Eyes and Won't Get Fooled Again. I think these three tracks test the audio performance of the recording really well. On the 2008 version they sound absolutely amazing. The synthesizer and violin on `Baba O' Riley' sound so fresh, vibrate and alive. The drum patterns are clear and intense pushing the song along perfectly. The bass and vocals give a perfect balance and depth to the song. The acoustic guitar during the intro to `Behind Blue Eyes' sounds so crisp and the dynamic range in the vocals is pure magic. The synthesizer break towards the end of `Won't Get Fool Again' really hits the high frequencies with intense detail, then the drums come thundering in with excellent stereo separation. It overall sounds very much better than my original vinyl version, which in fairness I conclude has lost audio performance with the extensive playing. If you still collect vinyl and you want to hear a real classic rock album in full, glorious audio quality then this is the version for you.
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on 17 February 2008
The Who's zenith, and probably still unsurpassed for rock musicianship, cohesion, total sound, and explosive creativity by all four musicians. And Pete Townsend singing his patented lyrical interludes in so many of the songs, bookended by Roger Daltry's raw, gut-wrenching vocals. (Are these interludes something completely unique in Rock 'n Roll? I can't think of any other band that used the technique. In any case, they are are showcase for Townsend's amazing musicality that was equalled by few others, maybe only McCartney from that era). Plus we hear the entire, amazing, and deeply spiritual "Pure and Easy", which is only quoted at the end of "The Song is Over", both in studio and live. Pete's guitar is on fire in "Best I Ever Had", and the album would be classic if it it only had any one of "Baba O'Riley", "Won't Get Fooled Again", and "Behind Blue Eyes." This one had all, and then some. The album was and still is the soundtrack of its time for many of us old timers.

Has there since been a better Rock album? I can't think of one.

Do pop musicians still create at this level? I'm not hearing it.

What's Next? If it's anything like Who's Next, I can't wait to hear it.
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on 19 May 2006
Before buying this album it's important to consider that the Deluxe Edition contains a live disk which history may judge to surpass Live at Leeds, as great as that is. The two main things going for it -- it goes without saying that the band are on the top of their form -- are (i) the quality of the songs (the best of Who's Next, apart from Baba O'Riley, along with equally great songs from Lifehouse that didn't make it onto that album, above all Pure and Easy, but also Naked Eye, Water, I Don't Even Know Myself), and (ii) the quality of the sound, thanks to the Rolling Stones mobile. This remastered edition is great: the Deluxe Edition is incomparably greater.
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2006
A record that has `Baba O'Riley' and `Won't Get Fooled Again'; two songs that defined a new era in Rock n' Roll with new sounds and melodies that will destroy and rip your heart apart.

This is THE record to start with the Who, it is a ride of different songs that never stops, from moody tunes to changing the dynamics getting unexpected melodies and rock riffs.

The songwriting of this record is a landmark in rock music, don't miss it.

Let the music play!
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on 24 May 2008
I was a very young man when I fisrt bought my copy of "Who's Next", and it is an album that has stayed with me for over 30 years, one that I come back to time after time. Why is that? Well, it's a very simple question to answer, this is the epitome of a seminal album. It is The Who at their absolute peak.

I have a very wide ranging musical taste, taking into scope blues / rock / pop / jazz / big-band swing / electronica / indie and Lord knows what, and I would be very hard pushed to nail down a favourite album, but this would be well foward in my thinking. Even more so, I would be hard pushed to nail a favourite song, but "Baba O'Riley" is certainly up there, and it is this opening tune that sets the tone for the album.

If you fail to be uplifted by the impassioned wail of Roger Daltery on "Baba O'Riley", fail to connect with the thunderous drum track provided by Keith Moon and you don't feel the hairs on your neck stand up at this wonderous tune, you have no soul.

"Bargain" "Behind Blue Eyes" and the thought provoking and truly cacophonus "Won't Get Fooled Again" are obvious high points of this album and it showcases Townshend's prowess as a songwriter and also as a musician.

The whole album has been recorded with flair and with perfection in mind and it shows. This set was originally released in 1971, and has not dated one tiny bit. It still sounds fresh and urgent and more importanly, relevant. If you only own 1 album by The Who, own this one....magnificent!!
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on 17 May 2008
This is a more technical comment on this re-release - obviously this is a full five star album, genius at its very height, etc.

However having listened closely to the "Deluxe" (2-CD) version of Who's Next against the earlier 1995 "Remixed and Digitally Remastered" (1-CD) version (which this 1999 CD is likely the same as - it has the same running order/extras, etc.) - they ain't the same (if you use iTunes, use Apple Lossless - you'll never go back to MP3, BTW - or FLAC with other players). The track lengths give this away, but on a good system, and particularly with good headphones, you will be able to tell the difference easily. Essentially the Deluxe sounds like a remaster only - i.e. taken from the original stereo master tapes, and a harsh one at that - whereas the 1995 version is clearly a remix from the original multitrack master.

OK, so what? Well, in almost every case (every case in my own view) the remixed versions - while sticking closely to the original mixes and overall production quality (and quite rightly so, this recording was also Glyn Johns' own masterpiece) have a clearer and more transparent quality that makes the vinyl/Deluxe versions sound sonically limited. Subtle details in the mix, tambourines, vocal inflections, even creaking studio chairs and background whispers become clear on the 1995 remix versions - it's uncanny, and for music/Who fans who really care about this album the effect is much like the (also remixed/remastered) 2-CD Tommy - which is frankly breathtaking and sounds like it might have been recorded last week. Studio technology was quite advanced from the sixties onwards, only the need to adjust things for vinyl messed up the sound quality. Revisting the master tapes allows modern listeners to hear what Glyn Johns would have heard in the studio. That is a precious thing for an album as important as this one and John Astley did an impressive job on the 1995 remix version - to my mind the Deluxe version lacks this added magic. So, my recommendation is buy both versions and check out the differences (and enjoy the additional live tracks on the Deluxe version, some of which are on the 1995 CD as well) - but if you only buy one, and for the original album, then get the 1995 1-CD version. It's subtle, but it takes this beautiful recording to another level.

Addendum: I recently got and compared the infamous Steve Hoffman-mastered MCA Canada CD version for comparison (available on Amazon.ca) - all of the above still stands true and the 1995 Remix/Remaster is still the best overall, however the MCA remaster is way better than the Deluxe CD1 version, more true to the original LP sound (and much clearer) but very organic, and is probably the best way to hear the original mix of the album in all its glory. It's certainly a great companion to the 1995 remix. Personally I can't listen to what they've done on the Deluxe version any more - most of it sounds hard compared to either of the other versions. Thank God for choice, eh?

Thanks for reading.
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on 27 May 2009
After I have seen The Woodstock film in 1970, I was impressed by bands like Ten Years After, Santana and The Who. I know that The Who have had records on the charts a long time before the Woodstock festival. But it was in the 70's I was aware of the band. Many people was thinking about The Who as a part of the mods, I was thinking about The Who as a rock band.

Pete Townshend is a good guitarplayer, but I think he is a better songwriter than a guitarplayer. Keith Moon was a great drummer with lots of energy. And the man in the front, mr. Daltrey is a good singer. But today I'm most impressed by John Entwistle's bass playing. What a great bass sound, and the playing... superb. The original vinyl album, "Who's next", was especial and a great album. The album contains many good songs and the cover is cool. Baba O'Riley, Going mobile, Behind blue eyes and Won't get fooled again, have been on The Who's setlist for years, probably the best songs on this album. The CD contains 16 songs including 6 unreleased tracks. This reissue have a very good sound, great.

If you just wanna buy one CD of The Who, it must be this one, "Who's next".
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on 29 July 2015
Who's Next originally began life as the Lifehouse project ,yet another Who concept album and the follow up to Tommy.But in the end it got shelved and what was left was a handful of songs plus a couple of new ones and the result was the greatest of all Who albums, indeed it could be argued the greatest of all rock albums.From the opening note on Baba O' Reilly The Who are totally in charge and tear through an incredible selection of songs like Bargain,Going Mobile, Getting in Tune and of course the aforementioned Baba O' Reilly.The playing throughout is phenomenal with Entwistle proving he was one of rocks best bassists,Townshend equally adept on guitar as well as synthesizer, Moon playing like his life depended on it and Daltrey showing that he was rock music's hardest vocalist.But just in case you think it's all rock , we get the tender Behind Blue Eyes and John Entwistles amusing My Wife.But the best is saved till last.Won't Get Fooled Again closes the album and is quite simply the greatest rock song of the 70's-'nuff said.The cover incidentally has the four urinating on a replica of the monolith from 2001; A Space Odyssey!
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on 10 January 2013
This is definitely one of The Who's greatest albums as well as a top rock classic. It sounds a lot more dynamic, fresher and mature than the group's previous works. Townsehend's use of synthesisers and modified keyboard effects on several songs became very influential, notably on the opener "Baba O'Riley" and the ballsy epic "Won't Get Fooled Again" which is quite progressive work.

The songwriting is superb throughout. Other than the main highlights mentioned above, some favourite blinders include "Bargain", the piano driven "The Song Is Over" and the rock ballad "Behind Blue Eyes". The rest of the tracks are also very good.

There isn't really anything more for me to say that hasn't been said already. "Who's Next" is a great rock album and would be a very worthy part of your collection
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on 20 March 2013
I can't really say much about this album that the other reviewers haven't already said, but I just wanted to say that Baba O'Riley is the only high-energy rock song that has ever brought a tear to my eye, and Behind Blue Eyes also does that to me every time. Mr Townshend I love you.
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