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Really should have been so much better
on 18 March 2012
Apologies for a non-snappy title, but it sums up my thoughts.
When originally released in late 1965, this album was chucked out to try and cash in on The Who's third & biggest single-hence it being called My Generation. In those days, making an album still remained a secondary ambition for nearly every group, bar the Beatles & the Stones, because the emphasis was on cramming hits into the top 20 or perferably top 10, and touring, touring,touring.
Before this album, The Who, like the then-breaking Small Faces, had been hyped into singles stardom by Radio London. Once the album came out, they were suddenly seen as a seriously talented, dynamic band;that's how good the original was, even if most of us had to "endure" the mono version on bloody over-heating Dansette record players.
Well, it's probably impossible to recreate that era, but WHY wasn't this put together with a bit of real thought? From that era & just after, The Small Faces, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers & Traffic have ALL had double CD's out cheaper than this one, with the original mono mix/release FOLLOWED by the stereo mix or remix.
Sometimes, this is on CD 1, sometimes the stereos go on CD 2. As My Generation album is around 37 mins, it would have made sense to put mono, then stereo, on CD 1 & dedicate CD2 to bonus tracks. How difficult is it, eh? Then MY generation, and YOUR generation could decide which was better, or if both were just too crash hot to choose.
And the bonus tracks are very variable in applicability. What the Hell is Circles(masterpiece though it is) even doing here? It was part of Ready Steady Who EP, which would fit a hell of a lot better with the bonus track edition of A Quick One, where the other four tracks from that great EP are.
Principally, the 2nd CD ought to consist of the 3 Brunswick singles B-sides, plus the original mono single versions of Can't Explain & Anyhow, plus the rejected originally-mooted album tracks, and a few live tracks from that era, or from The Beeb sessions etc. Chucking the stereo mixes of the original 12-track UK release across both CD's is messy and unfocused.
The 2-stars is for the inherent wonderfulness of that original LP;I just wish a hell of a lot more of it had been allowed to permeate this dog's breakfast.