The Who, one of the seminal rock bands to emerge in the 1960s, and one of the best stage performers ever, are expected to electrify the upcoming Super Bowl half-time show and to mark the event, the band is releasing a Greatest Hits Live album.
The 22 recordings include the band’s biggest and best known hits many of which are newly remixed. The song’s have all been picked form live sessions that span the band’s career.
Singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon, perform their signature hit, “My Generation,” at an early BBC Radio session in 1965.
The songs “Happy Jack,” “I’m A Boy” and “Magic Bus” are from live sessions in 1970 at City Hall in Hull, England.
From a concert at the San Francisco Civic Center the following year, the album includes “I Can’t Explain,” “Substitute” and the melancholy “Behind Blue Eyes.”
Also from the ’70s are a medley of “Naked Eye/Let’s See Action/My Generation” played the Charlton Athletic Football Club in 1974; “Pinball Wizard,” “I’m Free” and “Squeezebox” from Swansea in 1976; and “5.15” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” from a concert at the Capital Centre in Largo, Md.
Moon, who was known for his exuberant and innovative drumming style and notoriety for his self destructive behavior, died in September 1978 from a drug overdose.
Often called “Moon the Loon,” he’d joined The Who in 1964. He played on all albums and singles from their debut, 1965’s I Can’t Explain, to 1978’s Who Are You, which was released three weeks before his death.Five recordings are from the ’80s –“I Can See For Miles,” “Join Together,” “Love Reign O’er Me,” “Baba O’Riley” and “Who Are You.”
All were recorded at a legendary performance at the Universal Amphitheatre in California during the band’s triumphant 1989 reunion tour, with Simon Phillips on drums. The band also added a horn section.
The following year, The Who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The track “The Real Me” was performed in Watford in 2002, a Royal Albert Hall benefit performance. Also from that year is a version of “The Kids Are Alright.” With Moon’s death, Zak Starkey played on drums.
The concerts were also among the final performances with Entwistle, who pass away in June of that year. The Who were on the verge of splitting up forever and had reunited only because Townshend agreed to hit the road to help the bassist out of debt.
Entwistle died on the eve of the tour from a cocaine induced heart attack, but the turn of events brought Daltrey and Townshend back together after years of estrangement.
“John’s death in 2002 was a factor in the return to serious touring. That 2002 tour was the last I ever intended to do with the band, and my mission was to make enough money for John so that he could get out of debt,” the guitarist said in an interview.
Entwistle was considered one rock’s best bassists and his shoes were filled by bassist Pino Palladino.
Palladino plays on the most recent tracks, “A Man In A Purple Dress” from a 2007 show at the Nassau Coliseum in New York and a scorching “Eminence Front” (with ) in Brisbane, Australia, in March 2009.