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Won't Get Fooled Again (Genuine Jawbone Books) Paperback – 1 Feb 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Jawbone (1 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906002355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906002350
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


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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Format: Paperback
This is a very engrossing account of what I regard as The Who's golden era. In the wake of "Tommy's global success around 1969/70 the band, especially Pete Townshend, were clearly at a crossroads personally and artistically. The writer, a rock historian of some pedigree, examines and clarifies what lay behind Townshend's "Lifehouse" rock opera concept (a visual, musical and cinematic depiction of the spirituality and power behind rock music), how those around him found it all rather obtuse and how both band politics and the technological limitations of the time meant that it never came off and had to be shelved in favour of laying down Townshend's best Lifehouse inspired compositions for a conventional album release in 1971 "Who's Next" - arguably, alongside "Tommy", their finest work. The writer draws from his exceptionally well researched source material, mostly contemporary interviews with the rock press and recollections of band members and their immediate circle, to set out the whole fascinating story. And there are plenty of curiosities highlighted throughout, for example why "Pure and Easy" was not included in "Who's Next" even though its lyrics were central to the Lifehouse idea, a decision that Townshend appears now to regret. And why "My Wife" ended up on the album when it bore no relation to LH and why Entwhistle didn't reserve it for his (rather poorly received) solo album at the time. I was rather amused by some of Daltrey's quotes from old interviews, for example when he was asked by Rolling Stone about "Who's Next" scaling back on LH: "..Who's Next holds up much better [than Tommy] but nobody wanted to take it seriously because it was just nine songs and not some great thing about a bloody spastic".Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Goes deeply behind the scenes of the troubled musical project that was Lifehouse, Pete Townshend's planned follow up to Tommy.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well researched and very readable but 2 problems

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!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x99552774) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9968330c) out of 5 stars Outstanding effort 29 Mar. 2011
By Dr. Dream - Published on
Format: Paperback
Another excellent book here by Mr. Unterberger. How does he find all the details? I suspect he was hiding in Pete's speaker cabinet to learn all the information here. I thought I knew a fair bit on The Who, but so much here I'm learning for the first time. Well done. Get this, sit down while cranking Who's Next at volume level 11 and enjoy... I did. Dr. Dream
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99683360) out of 5 stars I tip my hat... 29 April 2012
By kjcheek - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Outstanding book on The Who's epic period. I have always been fascinated with the failed concept of "Lifehouse" after "Tommy" but never could seem to find substantial details about it. I was particularly interested in Pete Townshend's state of mind during this period. What was his primary point? Was "Lifehouse" a story or something more? How involved were Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp with this idea? I have collected Who books for the last 30 years and never seemed to be able to get to the bottom of it. Yes, there is various information out there but Richie Unterberger has uncovered treasure in my opinion. He goes into loving detail regarding Townshend's pitch, execution and ultimate failure of "Lifehouse" as a tangible concept. The band's various attempts to record the material and the experimentation of the Young Vic concerts were particularly interesting to me. Still we all are lucky to have "Who's Next" as a result. The journey is fascinating and Mr. Unterberger has done a masterful job in presenting the facts. I tip my hat.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9968363c) out of 5 stars The Creative Mind At Work 10 Oct. 2011
By DW - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This nice looking book delves deeply into the archives to try to reveal the sources of Pete Townshend's creative genius after The Who's Tommy album. The "universal note", Sufi mysticism, use (and subsequent rejection) of drugs, electronic music, virtual reality, synthesizers, back to nature themes were all mixed up to inspire Who's Next and Quadrophenia albums.

It's too bad Ritchie Unterberger didn't just interview Townshend as a lot of the book deals in supposition and archival material to try to piece together the past.

There are many more details presented here which are not in any other book I've read about Pete Townshend or the Who. Maybe too much for the casual reader.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99683534) out of 5 stars Writing is somewhat disjointed 25 Feb. 2012
By maelje - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the subject matter of this book, but found the writing a bit disjointed.

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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99683720) out of 5 stars Great read 4 Jan. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I bought this book because I am a huge Who & Pete Townshend fan. Quadrophenia is my favorite album and Psychoderelict is in my top 10 with Whos Next.

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.
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