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Keith Moon's Swansong - He Went Out On A High Number,
This review is from: Who Are You (Audio CD)
To me as a dedicated Who fan, The Who By Numbers was a bit of a let down, following on from Who's Next and Quadrophenia. Then came this album - a true return to form. Pete Townshend's songs were a return to the style that made Who's Next so superb. And the unusual arrangements on songs like Guitar And Pen just serve to show the maturity in his songwriting. Not to be outdone, John Entwistle provided three songs for this album one of which, Trick Of The Light, is (for this reviewer) the greatest highlight of the album.
Roger Daltrey's vocals on this album are rough and raucous without degenerating into a growl.
It has been written that Keith Moon was threatened with having one item of his drum kit removed from the studio every time he made the drumming over-complicated. This shows most on 905: when I first heard the drumming on this song I wondered if they'd brought in a session drummer, the drumming was so tame! Never mind "give the people what they want": give the people what the producer wants.
The bonus material starts with No Road Romance, a pleasant song sung by Pete, but not really up to the standard of the songs on the original release. This is followed by Empty Glass, which subsequently became the title track of Pete's next solo album. This version sounds as though Keith was hearing it for the first time, as his drumming starts maniacally, only to calm down after a few lines (unless someone had removed some of his drum kit while he was playing!). Then come three alternative versions of songs on the original album: Guitar And Pen, Love Is Coming Down, and Who Are You. Musical arrangements are slightly different and Who Are You has a verse not contained in the original. The bonus material doesn't add much to the original, but the fact that this still merits four stars gives an indication of how good the original album is.