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3.9 out of 5 stars
25
3.9 out of 5 stars
It's Hard (Remastered)
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Price:£7.19


on 12 October 2017
Great
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on 16 August 2014
My cassette version of 'It's Hard' went out of the door years ago due to the fact that the tape had become unlistenable. Not because I had played the cassette too much, mind you! The quality of my cassette - an official release, not a copy - was dubious from day one. Maybe Polydor wasn't into high quality tapes......
Replacing the tape with a vinyl album or CD wasn't high on my priority list. There were more important Who albums to buy and replacing It's Hard was something of an afterthought.
But recently I could get my hands on the 1997 re-release for only € 5,-- and that was it. I went home a happy with my newly aquired CD.
After listening to it several times I must say I have to say the album isn't bad at all. Not their best I admit. But comparing it with something out of the Who catalogue with a better reputation I would say I find It's Hard as a whole more enjoyable to listen to than Who Are You, and that includes Kenney Jones' drumwork on It's Hard, which is imho superior to Keith Moon's drumming on Who Are You. In fact, Kenney Jones did an outstanding job on It's Hard. When my oldest son heard It's Hard, he recognized it as The Wo immediately. And why? Because of the drumming which he thought was Keith Moon's.
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on 24 November 2014
This album took a hammering from the critics when it came out but I have always liked it from the start.

Granted, it's not their best but it is still a good album. There are some great compositions here and Daltrey's vocals are fine; in fact the band are on great form.

This closed their career at the time, but thank goodness there was more to come!

The re-issue comes with additional live tracks
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on 24 November 2014
This album took a hammering from the critics when it came out but I have always liked it from the start.

Granted, it's not their best but it is still a good album. There are some great compositions here and Daltrey's vocals are fine; in fact the band are on great form.

This closed their career at the time, but thank goodness there was more to come!

The re-issue comes with additional live tracks
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on 23 June 2006
When THE WHO released this cd in 1982, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, were under heavy self impossed pressure because they also recorded and released their respective good solo albums "All the Best Cowboys have Chinese Eyes" and "Too Late the Hero".

So they wrote, recorded, rehearsed and released this collection of songs very fast(except for the Steve Lilywhite produced "Assention part I" recorded in 1982 and included on a Peter Gabriel produced collection).

The problem with this collection is the same one that the "Who are You" LP had, and its in my opinion, the wrong order of the continuity of the songs. The first one, the single, "Athena" followed by John Entwistle s`"It is your turn" and then "Cooks County" and "It s Hard" creates the problem, because those songs are the weaker ones. So to re-review this cd one should begin with "I ve Known No War", a great song comparable to the material and production of Who s` Next, THE WHO s'best album ever. Follow this song with John Entwistle s'"Dangerous" or Pete s` "Why did i fall for that" and then with "A man is a Man", and you have a better cd. There are very good songs on this cd such as the hilarious John Entwistle s' "One at a time" the sister song to "My Wife", and also "Dangerous", a song that seems written with Pete Townshend in mind (the same subject as "The Quiet One"). "I ve Known No War" is in my opinion, the best song here and also "Eminence Front" and "Cry if you want", a song the band tries with energy and abandon, as good rock should be.

The weakest songs on IT S HARD are in order: "Cooks County" and Entwistle s'"It s your turn". "Cooks County" is boring and goes nowhere except in the guitar break, and "It is your turn", sounded dated then in 1982 and still.

By the contrary, "A man is a Man" is as beautiful as "Behind Blue Eyes", and the same goes for the very quiet and piano driven "One life is enough".

This is by no means a bad collection of songs, and deserves a second chance, mainly on those days that THE WHO2 will be re-including on their live set two songs from it: "Eminence Front" and "Cry if you want".
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on 14 May 2009
I have always liked The Who since the sixties, and have been gradually building up a complete collection of their studio albums. This album almost completes the collection ('My Generation' is not on my wish list and the only remaining item is 'Odds and sods' which mostly duplicates tracks I already have).

Since I starting collecting and listening to Who albums I was not previously familiar with, my appreciation of The Who has increased.

The question about his album is whether it can really be"The Who" without Moon. The distinctive fills are certainly missing, but otherwise the sound and songs fit into The Who mould. Therefore, while this album is not one of their best, it is a worthwhile addition to The Who catalogue. It should not be dismissed and it should not be ignored. If it had been released by a group without The Who's background, it would probably have been declared a triumph. That said I would rate Tommy (preferably SACD if you play it back in surround) and Who's Next as better. For a live album - the Deluxe edition of Live at Leeds (which largely duplicates Tommy - showing they could do it live).
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on 9 October 2015
The cover really says it all,4 band members staring to the front/future and clearly trying to leave the pinball wizard as depicted in the photo,behind them.
.
It's always amazed me how Daltrey can belittle people he works with/come in to the WHO FAMILY.to the detriment of his and the bands future..in this case Kenney Jones,who was in the impossible position of "do I play like Moonie,or do I play my way.."either way it seems would have upset Daltrey..He has also over the years has bad mouthed producers (Glyn Johns) and basically any backing vocalist,or other musician that has tried to broaden the sound.
This was and continues to be a good solid mixed album..which sadly most Who fans weren't that keen on..It really must do Townshends nut in..trying to expand the breadth of the Who's songs,and at the same time for some reason stay loyal(ish) to the original fans.Why is beyond me..as I only came to the WHO with WHO'S NEXT,..Live at Leeds and then worked backwards..until I was well acquainted with them,and upto date when Quadrophenia came out,which I loved and still do,same to varying degrees the not too
many albums,like this that have come since...Tommy I can take or leave..(GASP).
Poor Townshend for years he has been stuck in the situation where when other bands sound like/remind listeners of the Who..that sound is missed..Yet when they try and do something Who'ish people say they should move on sound different,..yet when they do..it gets slated as this did..Seems that Townshend is stuck between wanting to expand the type of songs the Who do..and keeping his favoured singer happy..sort of stuck between a FACE and a hardcase.
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on 26 May 2000
This album has been rubbished and castigated nearly as many times as Kenney Jones, the drummer who succeeded the late, great Keith Moon in The Who. However, it's not really fair. Like Jones, much of the album is not worse, just different, in comparison with what came before.
Sure, there are some below-par tracks, "Cook's County" being one I was not too enamoured with. Concentrate on the album's high points, though, and there are some crackers. "A Man is a Man" and "One Life's Enough for Me" are tear-jerkers with messages, and Roger Daltrey proves he is as adept at putting feeling into softer, slower songs, as he is on the all-out rockers.
John Entwistle's three contributions would all slot into the latter category. They all have their merits. "It's Your Turn" unsentimentally hands the baton to younger rock stars, "Dangerous" sounds like it was written about the group, and particularly the insecure but brilliant Pete Townshend. "One At a Time" sees Entwistle on vocals, on a song which sound a lot like a faster version of "My Wife", his song on "Who's Next", no bad thing. Like the 1971 song, this one focuses on marital infidelity.
Finally, there is the anthemic "Cry if you Want To", which, in spite of its melancholy title, sees Roger Daltrey belting out a bittersweet review of The Who's career. The song proves you can bow out in style.
The extra live tracks added to my enjoyment, in particular the recording of the jazz-funk-inspired "Eminence Front", which sounds punchier than the studio version, and is sung with gusto by Pete Townshend. Watch out for Roger Daltrey's monologues, too.
All in all, I have heard the Who on better form, but this should not distract from the fact that "It's Hard" is a very good rock album, with changes of pace and musical intelligence aplenty.
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on 10 September 2000
Perhaps the snooty british music press at the time decided The Who had been around for too long and were due a slating. I never agreed with one word written about this album. It's great. Maybe not a 5 star classic, but much better than the stodgy, hamfistedly produced 'Face Dances'; and if tracks like A Man is a Man and I've Known No War had been released 10 years earlier they would have been acclaimed. In a perfect world the title track would have been a no 1 hit. The only downside is Eminence Front, which I always hated - nearly as bad as Don't Let Go The Coat. In favour of the album is the number of tracks (greater than average), the 5 or 6 potential hit singles, some interesting brass arrangements, the usual excellent musicianship, a higher Entwistle input (particularly One At A Time. Few can surpass a vengeful Ox!)and the overall sound - it's hard! Most of the tracks were reportedly the best of Pete's then current demos, written on subjects suggested by the rest of the band. Pity there won't be an It's Harder.
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on 24 March 2006
The Who knocked out a couple of the best rock albums in history, like Who's Next, Tommy and Quadrophenia. But It's Hard reeks of contractual obligations. Uninspired tunes, not particularly well performed and an album that has aged badly. Just take a look at the arcade cover (especially the cheesy back-cover), it signals dread all the way.
Eminence Front kind of saves it from being completely rotten.
By the way, this is compared to the rest of The Who's catalogue. Several other artists would have been proud to put out this.
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