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Won't Get Fooled Again (Genuine Jawbone Books) Paperback – 1 Feb 2011
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Won't Get Fooled Again: The Who From Lifehouse to Quadrophenia follows Townshend's burning ambition to compose rock operas in the wake of Tommy. The first was stillborn, but led to the phenomenal Who's Next. The now legendary 1973 double-album Quadrophenia, inspired by friend Irish Jack and the early days of the Shepherd's Bush mod scene, followed soon after. Although first dismissed as a Tommy-wannabe, it saw The Who gain new levels of fame and success throughout a period that saw in band fighting, management problems and Townshend's growing obsession with the synthesizer. --Shindig! magazine, March 2011
About the Author
Richie Unterberger is an acclaimed author and music historian, renowned for his meticulous research. A regular contributor to the All Music website, Mojo, Record Collector and many other publications, he has also written hundreds of liner notes for CD reissues of classic albums of the 1960s and 1970s. His previous books include Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll; the two-part 1960s folk-rock history Eight Miles High and Turn! Turn! Turn!; White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day; and The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film, which won a 2007 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.
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It shows how Pete Townshend attempted to sell the project to the rest of the band, the press and fans. Ultimately it was a doomed project but out of the ashes came possibly The Who's best two albums -Who's Next and Quadrophenia.
1) It was written before the Quadrophenia box set came out so doesn't quote any of Townshend's essay. Hopefully this will be rectified in a future edition.
2) Some coding problems with the Kindle edition (words without spaces etc)
BUT please do buy this anyway!!!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I'm not a big reader of rock histories but I really had trouble putting this book down. Mr. Unterberger did a great job explaining Townshend's inspirations and aspirations, the challenges the band faced both technically and personally at the time, and how their efforts were received by the press. If not for the footnotes and attributions you'd think you were reading a compelling novel.
An earlier reviewer lamented that Pete was not directly interviewed for this work and that is true. I don't see this as a great loss though as Unterberger reminds us time and again that the band's predictions & recollections changed and morphed through many interviews over time. The author uses previous interviews and statements to support the narrative. I can't see how yet another rehash 40 years later would produce anything other then another hindsight-enabled perspective.
If you are a Who or Pete Townshend fan buy this. If you're looking for an entertaining read I'd recommend it as well.
Note: I got the kindle edition and in some spots in the middle "wordsrantogether" which kept making me think of the title of Pete's first best of album.
That said, anyone fascinated with Pete Townshend's music for The Who during the band's fertile middle period should enjoy this. After "Tommy," Townshend was seeking to write another rock opera, but "Lifehouse" never made it to record as he intended. Part of the problem was the plot, one element of which has the Who finding the "eternal note" and, with its audience, simply disappearing into musical bliss.
Instead, the Who ended up with "Who's Next," perhaps the greatest single album of its career, and Townshend reloaded to compose "Quadrophenia," a two-disc set about mods, rockers and, yes, the transcendence of music in the mid-1960s in England.
The author does a great job of covering the events that led through these recordings, though again, I found his prose to be choppy at times. More importantly, he gets into the band's collective head to find out why one rock opera was rejected and another ultimately recorded. As much as anything, this book is a fascinating depiction of the collective creative process.