Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CD Review: The Who "Hits 50" With A Different Set Of Their Greatest Singles

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the British rock band The Who and to celebrate, the band released yet another "greatest hits" package. But, this one is a little different. It doesn't contain all of your typical hits and this new release has many different versions of there singles all in one place. The new compilation entitled "The Who Hits 50!" was released on October 28th through the Universal Music Group as a single disc, a deluxe 2CD set, on Blu-ray Audio and on 180 gram double-vinyl. It also features the song "Be Lucky," the first new studio recording by The Who in over eight years.

The first disc begins with the band's first single that was issued back in 1964 when they were billed at The High Numbers. The first half of this disc, showcases The Who's amazing knack for writing catchy, hooked-filled pop/rock songs that have paved the way for what was to come from the band's ultimate rock opera, "Tommy." Many of the early singles ("I Can't Explain," "The Kids Are Alright" and others) appear here in their rare mono versions. A couple of the questionable additions to this first album is The Who's cover of the Rolling Stones classic "The Last Time" and the much underrated and under appreciated single, "Dogs." The rare single edits of versions of "See Me, Feel Me" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are a welcome site for fans and collectors.

The second disc begins with the keyboard run of "Baba O'Riley" as you can fully appreciate the job that was done remastering these songs from their original mixes. Two non-album singles ("Join Together" and "The Relay") are featured here as you recognized the band's over low of songs from the band's 1971 album, "Who's Next." Some of the more obscure songs on this second disc are the additions of the John Entwistle-penned songs "Postcard" from the "Odds N Sods" album and "Trick Of The Light" from the "Who Are You" album. Eight of the eighteen songs that make up the second disc come from the post-Keith Moon era, including the lesser known "Don't Let Go The Coat" and "It's Hard." Finally, we get some new music from Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey with "Be Lucky" which has a late-seventies classic "Who" sound. Daltrey's vocals are still strong and recognizable, while a stand-out solo from Townshend is needed for this song to really rock.

This release has a lot of different elements that many of the other compilations from The Who are missing and should be the new "go to" album for long-time fans and new ones too. To find out more about this new release, please visit thewho.com

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