Record of the Day - 07/14/2022
Pete Townshend in the earlier years of his career was part rowdy guy who drinks heavily, part sensitive genius, part experimental visionary - a multi-faceted generational talent who takes his music very seriously. He wanted to follow up the bombastic rock opera “Tommy” with an album even more ambitious, preliminarily titled “Lifehouse”. The pressure was so big that he had a nervous breakdown and cancelled the project. Instead, their producer Glyn Johns convinced him to write a “regular” album. A wise decision. “Who’s Next” - our Record of the Day - became an all-time classic and is widely considered their finest hour. Many of the songs were originally meant to be part of “Lifehouse”, but canning the burden of an overarching concept freed them from their shackles and it resulted in an album that showed Pete’s (and for one song John’s) exceptional songwriting talent at its most cohesive. The Who explored what rock can do, pushing the style’s boundaries without ever losing sight of its gritty core and they never found a better balance than on this timeless masterpiece.