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on 27 December 2012
This review is for the 2012 mono reissue and where it fits into the "Who landscape".

At last we have the original mono mixes!
This sounds exactly the same as my original Brunswick vinyl, minus scratches, so job done there.
Packaging, as others have indicated, is minimal, but the music is what matters most.

This goes some way to redressing the damage done by the 2002 stereo remaster.
(which is still here on my shelves, due to the odd singles, B sides and super packaging)
The yawning gaps & clumsy edits on show here should never have got past "quality control" IMHO.

Couldn't stop myself, sorry, back to the mono CD.

Five star music, four star packaging, three star overall value,
-3 stars because, if you have bought Who LPs & CDs previously, as I have over the years,
you do begin to wonder quite when a definitive edition of anything will ever be delivered!
(three versions of A Quick One, four Tommy's -the list goes on)

I guess, sometime in the future we'll get the combined My Generation stereo/ mono versions bundled into another special pack.
More expense looms!

I won't even try to review this album musically, it was a classic, it always will be.

Perhaps the crucial point for any prospective buyer is, despite the Who's many great albums,
this remains the band at their freshest, bringing their measured mayhem crashing into the 60s scene.
The mono edition is a true reflection of those early days, avoid the stereo edition!

And back to 2012, the usual fast delivery from Amazon.
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on 10 September 2002
As an owner of the previously available CD version it needed something special to persuade me to shell out for the latest offering, despite the extra tracks and remastering.
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!
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on 24 November 2012
I feel the need to clarify to potential purchasers - that this is the single disc mono edition (at least - thats what i received last week!) - so it is as close to the original as you'll ever get!
I wasnt there in '65 when the needle first hit the vinyl - so it is impossible for me to imagine what an impact this album had on people. For me, its very rudimentary Who. Yes, My Generation is incredible, but a lot of the motown/r&b covers on here, with the passage of time, sound fairly awful and vaguely incompetant. I know i'm offending people, but its just what I hear. I am a HUGE Who fan (honest!!) but this album has never done it for me, so fans of the purple patch 1969-73 - could be dissappointed.
However, the sound is crisp, clear, explosive and mono!!! As it should be. So its an essential part of my collection.
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on 22 November 2012
First of all, I've known this album since the Brunswick mono LP repease and loved the Who since the time I saw them explode into 'Anyway. Anyhow, Anywhere' on on of the pre-TOTP B & W mid-60s pop shows.

This is a great remaster, in mono of course. It is vibrant, powerful and true - much better than some of the previous trashy remasterings of early Who material, notably the quite poor job done on the 2-disc 'Deluxe' re-release of 'My Generation' a few years back.

This is the real McCoy (for a CD format) - all the crashing Moon pungency, the arm-swirling Townshend Link-Wray power chords, the surly Daltrey vocal and The Ox's deep bass spaces are there in their primal glory.

Now, the dunces in the marketing depatment should be admonished for missing a great opportunity to make a definitive CD issue even better by getting a few things right about the disc presentation or making the package more comprehensive.

For a start, the 'Brunswick' label on the disc itself is fine in principle - but why mark it as a '45' and make the CD LP look like the centre of the 7" 45 rpm single? Odd!

How come you spelled 'Daltrey' as 'Dultrey' on the rear cover? It wasn't spelt wrong on the original LP (I checked).

Why didn't you add proper little touches like the 'Brunswick' logo on the front and rear? Surely a barcodea and modern (2012) credits ruin the attempt at authenticity?

The booklet is a single-fold with one decent period pic of the band (in front of Big Ben) - but why not more pics? They were an iconic Mod band and lots of great pics exist. The page of sleeve notes are good, informative comments on the group's career to that date (1965).

Anyway, if you love real rock, buy this and play it loud and often.

It is a brilliant, timeless, exciting blast of power pop/blues that infused the era and inspired me to follow the Who for the next 40-odd years and enjoy them as much, if not more, than any other band encountered in my life.
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on 18 June 2012
Please note; This review is for the Classic Records vinyl edition of the album.

As far as modern releases of this album go - across all formats - this is certainly the best yet.

First the good. Despite there only being so much one could do with this album given the original primitive mix, pressing it directly from the original mono masters has made some difference. Not a vast difference, but a difference nonetheless.

This LP sounds a little more open and alive than any other modern version I've heard, with slightly more clarity. There's also a bit more bass. It's an all round positive improvement.

And now, the bad (although I must admit "bad" within this context is too much of an extreme choice of word!).

Because of the freshly unveiled layer of clarity, albeit not that huge, it becomes more obvious with this release than on any other that the songs were recorded at different sessions. On all previous releases the album (being overly compressed, peak limited or slightly murky, depending upon which version you owned) has an overall quality which left it sounding pretty much like the band went into the studio and banged the entire thing out in one go. To be completely fair, the difference here isn't majorly obvious. It probably wouldn't even catch the attention of the average listener, but if you are a serious audiophile you'll probably pick up on it....but maybe it could be considered a good thing rather than bad? It all depends on taste I suppose.

Anyway. If you want the best possible modern vinyl listening experience of this album there is no question this Classic Records release is one you need. If you're not too bothered about the slight improvement in clarity you'll probably be happy with the much cheaper Virgin LP from the 1980s, which itself is slightly better than the original MCA CD.

The biggest annoyance is that this album has never been transferred to CD with the same care and attention seen with this Classic Records issue. That would truly have made for a "deluxe" listening experience!

Now, previously I would have recommended this Classic Records LP over the original 1965 Brunswick vinyl, but the pair now seem to be drifting ever closer when it comes to pricing. So if you have the money to spare you may be better off spending an extra £20 or £30 on the original. If not, buy this. You'll certainly be more than happy with it and probably never feel the need to upgrade again.
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on 26 December 2012
The CD that Universal released in the '80s was pretty much a quick cash-in, which is what the major labels were doing at the time in order to get as much product out there on the market as possible. It was an LP master, sounded OK but not great. In 2002, we got the Deluxe Edition, which was a huge disappointment because of the missing overdubs. At last, we have this edition which was remastered directly from the original mono masters, and sounds exactly as the original album was intended to. While not a perfect album - the lads were really still finding their sound, adding covers amongst Pete Townshend's originals - it is certainly a great mission statement. The original liner notes, of course, tell us of the band's four disparate personalities (Moon's wildman drumming, Townshend's windmill arm and guitar smashing, Daltrey's swagger and Entwistle's calm, eye-of-the-storm presence on bass), and all of that can be heard in the music.

BTW, this is a straight remaster of the original album - no bonus tracks, non-LP singles or outtakes - so if you were hoping for any of that, you'd best pass on this and go for the Deluxe Edition. But if all you want is the Who's 1965 debut, straight no chaser, this will hit the spot for you.
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on 14 February 2005
Shel Talmy has done a fantatstic job of re-mixing the original master tapes. Normally when old tapes are re-mixed producers tend to mix them using modern digital studio equipment and you end up losing a lot of the original sound.
This sounds like Shel has re-mixed the tapes using authentic 1960's equipment and has pushed the EQ right up to "11".
You feel as if you are sitting right in the middle of the studio.
It sounds like 1965 but oh so much clearer and louder
A fantastic job.
I wish Shel had re-mixed "A quick one" and "Sell out" as their re-mixes sound wishy-washy.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2005
The Who's 1st LP, originally released in the UK on Brunswick, one of Decca's group of labels, had been unavailable in the UK for decades, due to a legal matter involving the group's defection to their manager's new Reaction label, and the ownership of the album master tapes by their former producer, Shel Talmy. Thirty-five years later, after they had almost ended up auctioned on E-bay, the 3-track masters were re-mixed by Shel Talmy into true stereo for the first time and eventually released in a lavish 2CD set, overflowing with bonus tracks of unreleased out-takes and alternative versions. It seemed too good to be true, when first announced, but it almost isn't. The stereo sound is incredibly vibrant and powerful and the Who crackle with a raw energy and with a righteous commitment from each to outdo all the others, a clash of ambition and ego which provides glorious results.
There were slight variations between the UK track-list and its US release, The Who Sing My Generation, which came out later. I'm A Man was replaced by a newer recording, Circles, from 1966. This had been recorded as their intended fourth single, but had been abandoned when the band left the label (Brunswick cheekily released it later as the B-side to A Legal Matter, which was lifted off the album; they mistitled it Instant Party). Both items are included on Disc One, which also houses both sides of their first single and the UK B-side of their second (Anyway Anyhow Anywhere), which was the Otis Blackwell song Daddy Rolling Stone, covered first by Jimmy Ricks and the Ravens but known to the Who from a Sue label single by the Jamaican former-Top Note and Raven, Derek Martin. All of these are also mixed in stereo.
Disc Two begins with "additional bonus tracks", the first twelve tracks comprising material unreleased at the time, though some have subsequently appeared on 1980s compilations such as Who's Missing. Exceptions to this include the James Brown song Shout And Shimmy which became the UK B-side to My Generation, and Anytime You Want Me (Garnett Mimms and the Enchanters), unreleased in the UK at the time but found on the US B-side of Anyway Anyhow Anywhere. An a cappella version is also included, as is the instrumental version of My Generation.
It was the practice of the time to include well-known songs on albums and the Who's set was full of R&B, soul and Motown covers, many of which were recorded for their debut album, although Shel Talmy says in the notes that he was admirer of Pete Townshend's writing and would have been happy to include only original material. When early acetates of the sessions went out for review, the paucity of new material was commented on by Beat Instrumental reviewer John Emery, and so the release date was put back while some covers were replaced with Townshend songs: La-La-La-Lies, Much Too Much, It's Not True, A Legal Matter (featuring an early Pete Townshend lead vocal) and The Good's Gone.
The replaced tracks included, as well as those mentioned, Leaving Here (a Motown cover, originally by Eddie Holland), Lubie (Come Back Home) (an adaptation of Paul Revere and the Raider's Louie Go Home), Heat Wave and Motoring (both from Martha and the Vandellas), all collected here. Leaving Here exists in a number of different forms: a 1964 demo appeared on the expanded CD version of Odds And Sods, a version from April 1965 appeared on Who's Missing, and it was also recorded for the BBC's Saturday Club programme the following month (available on The BBC Sessions). The version here is an unknown alternative take from the April 1965 session. Heat Wave was re-recorded for the album A Quick One, copying the arrangement used by the Everly Brothers, whereas its clear from this earlier version that its genesis in the Who cannon was the Motown original.
Instant Party Mixture was recorded at the same time as Circles and was to have been its flipside. Circles was later re-recorded for the Ready Steady Who EP but Instant Party Mixture never saw the light of day until this release.
Full length versions of two of the album tracks follow. Their version of I Don't Mind is considerably adapted from James Brown's original, whether by design or out of necessity for a 3-piece group and a singer, and benefits from the extra minute or so, while what The Good's Gone owes to its inspiration, The Kink's See My Friends, is made much clearer by the guitar on the extended fade. Incidentally, See My Friends and other Kink titles were produced by Shel Talmy on 14 April 1965 at Pye Studios, while the Who were at IBC Studios cutting Anyway Anyhow Anywhere and several tracks for this album with the same producer. He must have been quite busy.
The band's extraordinary second single, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, is unfortunately not included, but a rare early version with a slightly different title, which was released by accident on a French EP in 1966, takes its place. Apparently it was impossible to include a stereo mix of the released version as the vocal overdubs had been performed directly onto the final mono mix-down, a common practice at the time in order to minimize tape hiss.
This same practice affects the stereo presentation of a number of the album tracks, which are missing those final touches that were added at the mixing stage. These include vital guitar parts and some back-up vocals on My Generation and A Legal Matter, John Entwistle's french horn playing on Circles and vocal overdubs for La-La-La Lies and Much Too Much. This is partially addressed by the final two tracks on Disc Two, which are "monaural versions with guitar overdubs" (the great original mono versions of A Legal Matter and My Generation), and is made up for by the chance to hear these historic tracks in full stereo for the first time.
All of what is found here is so important and so fantastic to hear after all this time, and in such high quality sound, that one really doesn't want to carp. However, it would surely have been a good idea to have the entire original mono album on the second half of Disc One, with its three bonus tracks added to the second disc, along with the original mono version of Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, a top ten hit in the UK after all, and perhaps the Who's Missing version of Leaving Here. Maybe next time
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on 10 September 2002
This deluxe edition of the first Long Player by 'The Who' should tantalize the tastebuds of anyone who professes to love Britpop. The simple truth is that without this album The Jam would still be playing working mens clubs and Noel Gallagher and his cohorts would still be standing in the Kipax wondering why Peter Reid had to go.
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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'Explosive Debut' is the kind of buzz phrase that gets bandied about a lot in the Music Industry - as does the tag 'Bad Boys of Rock'. But one look at this group of terribly nice, well-groomed and exquisitely well-mannerly British youths - and you just know you should lock up your virginal daughters and padlock the drinks cabinet. Even now - from the safe distance of nearly 50 years - The Who's debut sounds snotty and wild - like it's going to use a Royal Corgi for bow and arrow target practice. And that's before we even talk about Keith Moon. It's fabulous stuff. Here are the Union Jack Blazers and the Swinging Fa-Fa-Fa-Fade Away Microphones...

Released September 2002 (reissued 2012) - "My Generation" is a 2CD DELUXE EDITION on MCA/Chronicles/Universal 088 112 926-2 (Barcode 008811292621) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 - The Original Album in Stereo - 50:23 minutes:
1. Out In The Street
2. I Don't Mind
3. The Good's Gone
4. La-La-La Lies
5. Much Too Much
6. My Generation
7. The Kids Are Alright
8. Please, Please, Please
9. It's Not True
10. I'm A Man
11. A Legal Matter
12. The Ox
13. Circles

The UK album was issued 3 December 1965 in MONO only on Brunswick LAT 8616 (Tracks 1 to 12 above). The American version was released 25 April 1966 entitled "The Who Sings My Generation" on both Decca DL 4664 (Mono) and Decca DL7-4664 (Stereo). To sequence the US STEREO album use tracks 1 to 9 and 11 to 13. Note: only the STEREO mix is provided.

14. I Can't Explain
15. Bald Headed Woman (14 and 15 are the A&B-sides of a UK 7" single released 15 January 1965 on Brunswick 05926 and USA 7" single released 13 February 1965 on Decca 31725). Both tracks feature THE IVY LEAGUE on Backing Vocals while "I Can't Explain" only features PERRY FORD on Piano and JIMMY PAGE on Guitar.
NICKY HOPKINS plays piano on all tracks except "I Can't Explain"

16. Daddy Rolling Stone (non-album track, B-side to the UK 7" single of "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" released 21 May 1965 on Brunswick 05935)

Disc 2 ADDITIONAL BONUS TRACKS - 65:23 minutes:
1. Leaving Here (Alternate)
2. Lubie (Come Back Home)
3. Shout And Shimmy (non-album track, B-side to the UK 7" single "My Generation" released 29 October 1965 on Brunswick 05944)
4. (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave
5. Motoring
6. Anytime You Want Me (non-album track, B-side of the US 7" single "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" released 5 June 1965 on Decca 31801)
7. Anyhow, Anywhere, Anyway (Alternate)
8. Instant Party Mixture
9. I Don't Mind (Full Length Version)
10. The Good's Gone (Full Length Version - 4:30 minutes, original 4:00 minutes)
11. My Generation (Instrumental Version)
12. Anytime You Want Me (A Cappella Version)

13. A Legal Matter
14. My Generation
Tracks 1 and 8 to 12 are Previously Unreleased, 7 is Previously Unreleased in the USA (only available on a French EP)

The outer plastic slipcase has the track titles on the rear and it houses a four-way foldout digipak with the artwork for the US Decca Records cover on the inner flaps (the British sleeve is used on the front). Beneath each see-through tray are those elusive I.B.C Sound Recording Studios tape boxes dated 13 October 1965 (nice). The oversized 28-page booklet inside the right flap features three histories of what happened - first by MIKE SHAW their first Production Manager - then SHEL TALMY the Producer of the "My Generation" Sessions and finally an appraisal called "About My Generation" by ANDY NEILL. There are a few Decca Adverts for American 45s, great live photos of the band in full microphone swing as well as extensive reissue credits.

But the big news (for British fans in particular) is the STEREO versions - available for the first time in decades after protracted legal hassles (resolved for this reissue). Remixed by Shel Talmy (the original Producer) and Universal's Andy McKaie from the original three-track master tapes - the overall remaster has been carried out by one of Universals most trusted and respected engineers - ERICK LABSON. And what a stonking audio marvel all three have produced. This thing rocks - with the instruments and vocals as clear as you could ever hope for. There's no doubt it might have been smarter (and more accurate) to include the MONO mix of the album - and even the MONO singles surrounding it - but what is here is superb.

The opening treated guitar and growling Roger Daltrey vocals of "Out In The Street" come as something of a shock having heard them in Mono for so long. But it's not until you get to the superb "The Good's Gone" that it all comes together - the fabulous remaster making each instrument stand out in a song that has the real menace of The Who. The Acapella beginning of "Much Too Much" is incredibly clear and then we're hit with the anthem - "My Generation" - and all resistance is futile. What a song - and in truth - it stands head and shoulders above most of the other tracks on the album - I hope you don't die at all mate never get old. Both "The Kids Are Alright" and "It's Not True" show Townshend's double-edged songwriting talent - catchy tunes about social and personal hurt.

Outside of "My Generation" - their wild version of Bo Diddley's "I'm A Man" is a real indication of just how incendiary they could get (even in the studio). The other two covers are both stabs at James Brown - "I Don't Mind" and "Please Please Me" - but in truth they sound like lukewarm filler - or worse - plain out of place. Back to madness with the instrumental finisher "The Ox" - Nicky Hopkins on Piano trying to keep up with the full-speed-ahead drumming of Keith Moon and heavy riffage of Townshend. It's a great way to finish the album and is rightly credited to four composers - Townshend, Moon, Entwistle and Hopkins.

Amongst the unreleased "Leaving Here (Alternate)" shows off Moon's great drumming where the band sound like they've soaking up too many Marvin Gaye Motown singles. For some reason the Alternate take of "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" is credited as "Anyhow, Anywhere, Anyway" and has a wilder guitar sound (very cool) while the Long version of "The Good's Gone" extends the album cut from 4 minutes to 4 and a half - it's excellent. The unreleased instrumental of "My Generation" has studio chatter "mucking about" and that huge bass run by Entwistle. Even cooler is the Mono version of it that ends Disc 2 - it has extra guitar overdubs that come in over the bass solo - what a blast.

"People try to put us down..." - in the case of The Who - I doubt they're going to succeed...
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