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Then And Now

Then And Now

1 Jan 2004
4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Don't get me wrong, this is a great who compilation. Brilliant tracklisting, but with a few obvious omissions: Acid Queen (Understandable) and Anywhere Anyhow (Start wondering...) and Baba Oriley( OH.MY.GOD).

Now, my point. The Ultimate Collection (also available from amazon) has loads more tracks (double CD)and costs about the same. So, if your going to buy a who compilation, buy that nit this. Simple.
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Format: Audio CD
A fairly representative and cheap 'best of collection', with thoughtful packaging, but there are far better 'greatest hits' sets on sale. The only point of interest this time out is the inclusion of two new songs.
These new songs seem to have been included in order to milk the die hard, completist fans, who need another greatest hits CD as much as Townshend needs tinnitus. These two rather lame tracks sound more like outtakes from the tail end of the band's productive career in the early 80s. Weak musical vehicles that have been revamped and given new lyrics, rather than classic tracks in waiting. There's a raucous enough delivery, but what used to be direct and visceral now just meanders. Both songs are instantly forgettable save for Daltrey's vocals and his range is dropping ever more noticeably. In truth, it no longer sounds like The Who and anybody could have been playing Townshend's workmanlike guitar parts. It sounds more like a Daltrey solo record (and not as good as many of his actual solo albums.) I hope that the other songs being recorded for the new album to follow are stronger and that the band hits its stride and sounds more interesting. If the name 'The Who' is going to be anything more than a cynical marketing brand then they need to do better. As his solo records document, Townshend's songwriting has been on a downward trajectory for many years. He still seems to have something to say, but unless the songs are better why should anybody stop to listen?
In a recently published Q magazine special edition, Daltrey gives some background to the two new songs. Apparently Townshend was reluctant to record them and the duo succumbed to record company pressure to get two new tracks completed to include on this compilation.
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Format: Audio CD
'Then And Now' is a superb collection of most of The Who's finest work, and hearing it from start to finish tends to make this listener think that The Who were Britain's best rock band after The Beatles. What grabs you is the musicianship, Roger Daltrey's flexible vocals, the diversity of the songs, and the witty and intelligent lyrics of Pete Townshend, notably on 'Substitute' and 'I'm A Boy'.

We are taken through The Who's Mod beginnings, via 'I Can't Explain' and 'My Generation (though that could be said to be a punk record ten years before its time)', and the sweet pop sound of 'The Kids Are Alright'. Then it's psychedelia with 'I Can See For Miles', followed by the eccentric 'Magic Bus', then a dip into the concept album 'Tommy', with 'Pinball Wizard' and the emotional, uplifting, but very simple 'See Me, Feel Me' - a contender for their best creation. A raw version of Eddie Cochran's 'Summertime Blues' captures the energy and power of their vaunted live sound, and, from the acclaimed 'Who's Next' album, 'Behind Blue Eyes' sees Daltrey stretch his vocal range, as he shows his prowess for switching from balladeer to rocker, and back again, effortlessly. 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is a song for our times. Beginning in a prog rock style it then really rocks, and is arguably the defining song for The Who, and the musical talents of Daltrey, Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Townshend's guitar work coruscates, perfectly complemented by Entwistle's looping, pleasant, melodic bass, and it's a song made for Keith Moon to go on the rampage, attacking the drums as if they're his worst enemy. Daltrey delivers one of the great vocal performances in rock history, and, as a teenage brat, I remember scaring my Grandmother by playing her Roger's horror film scream...several times.
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Format: Audio CD
18 'classic' Who tracks from 1965 to 1981 the two new ones. This album provides the fan with a watered down version of the Ultimate Collection from 2002, which had 40 tracks.
Of the two new tracks, Real Good Looking Boy, seems to be the 'A' side, with Old Red Wine as the 'B' side. Real Good Looking Boy has some very catchy lyrics, especially 'Don't you know you're an ugly boy'. Old Red Wine, on the other hand, seems like one of those early 80's tracks you wouldn't listen too very often. Written, apparently, because John Entwistle liked drinking old red wine (did he drink anything else?), the song has a slow opening and wouldn't be amiss on Face Dances, or even The Who By Numbers.
In all, it's nice to see two new songs from the band (well, Roger and Pete), and I hope I enjoy their forthcoming album as much as I enjoyed these two new songs.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I might be an old rocker, but how could the who ever have been classed as mods? Have you seen how many metal bands have covered their songs?

Anyhow, top quality as always, keep up the good work...
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Format: Audio CD
A fairly representative and cheap 'best of collection', with thoughtfulpackaging, but there are far better 'greatest hits' sets on sale. The onlypoint of interest this time out is the inclusion of two new songs.
These new songs seem to have been included in order to milk the die hard,completist fans, who need another greatest hits CD as much as Townshendneeds tinnitus. These two rather lame tracks sound more like outtakes fromthe tail end of the band's productive career in the early 80s. Weakmusical vehicles that have been revamped and given new lyrics, rather thanclassic tracks in waiting. There's a raucous enough delivery, but whatused to be direct and visceral now just meanders. Both songs are instantlyforgettable save for Daltrey's vocals and his range is dropping ever morenoticeably. In truth, it no longer sounds like The Who and anybody couldhave been playing Townshend's workmanlike guitar parts. It sounds morelike a Daltrey solo record (and not as good as many of his actual soloalbums.) I hope that the other songs being recorded for the new album tofollow are stronger and that the band hits its stride and sounds moreinteresting. If the name 'The Who' is going to be anything more than acynical marketing brand then they need to do better. As his solo recordsdocument, Townshend's songwriting has been on a downward trajectory formany years. He still seems to have something to say, but unless the songsare better why should anybody stop to listen?
It says something thatThe Who still manages to impress audiences with just two surviving membersand very competent, but uneventful sidemen. Undeniably a very goodnostalgia band, but long past being the great band that they once were.Remarkable for their age, but no longer simply remarkable. They hit rockbottom with the Face Dancs and It's Hard albums and, on the strength ofthe 2 new tracks on this compilation, they may simply not be capable ofanything better. However, I would love to be proved wrong!
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