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Super Bowl Bound, The Who Release Greatest Hits Live Album

the-who-2009The 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.

The Who, circa 1965

The Who, circa 1965

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.

  • FullaRachel

    Child abuse charities in the US have protested Townshend’s appearance at the Super Bowl. They say his registration as a sex offender in the UK should ban him from entering the country. He was placed on the registry after admitting to Scotland Yard that he used his credit card to view kiddie porn. Townshend points to the WHO’s charitable work as vindication. It is interesting to note that the WHO have been sponsoring anti-drug organizations since the sixties. Yet, since that time, two of their members have died of drug related illness. This shows an impulse to fight an evil with the left hand and actively engage in it with the other.

  • Whofan

    FullaRachel makes a very good point, about the Who sponsoring anti-drug organizations but two of them died from drug related illnesses. From what I’ve read, however, Townshend’s association with child pornography problem is somewhat different. Not only is he involved with children’s charities, he made a point to tell his local police station that he would be viewing child pornography on the web as part of a research project and they said no problem, go right ahead (or words to that effect). Then when his credit card showed up in the sting operation no record of that conversation with the police could be found. Four years later after an exhaustive investigation, when the police could not find one single thing to charge him with, the police were mysteriously able to find a record of that previous conversation after all. Furthermore, an independent watchdog organisation, unhappy at the prospect that a celebrity might have eluded justice, launched their own investigation into the case. Much to their surprise they concluded that “Mr. Townshend appears to have confessed to something he didn’t do” because the evidence showed that he only paid to enter the first portal of a child pornography site which did not have any pictures of children on it. He would have had to pay an additional fee to go to the next portal and see pictures, which he did not do. It amazes me that so few articles and blogs bother to carry these two small, but all-important facts. Ah well…it’s only a man’s reputation, family, and livelihood at stake.

  • mooney

    its so typical of people to believe the headlines and not listen to the truth !!!!!

  • cgries

    The Who rocked tonight! I want to thank Whofan for setting the record straight. It is amazing that a lot of people never want to dig deep and really find out what is going one. Much easier to believe a headline!

  • gw

    FullaRachel; it is appalling that people like you feel that you have the right to besmirch a man’s reputation in the most terrible and damaging way without putting any serious effort into researching the facts. As Whofan pointed out all investigators in numerous exhaustive investigations agreed that Townshend’s actions were innocent. People like you, FullaRachael, are ‘witch-hunters’; you pick up issues that the public in fervant about and you throw around rightous-sounding destructive accusations. This is a human being, wrongly living with the worst of accusations and the reputation that goes with it. Wake up to yourself, FullaRachael; if you are going to judge (never a wise decision at the best of times) check the facts, lest you cause the damage and pain that you so smugly accuse others of causing.