A Guide to The Who's Best Albums of All Time
Sorting out the Who's best efforts is a heady task given their vast repertoire, but we thought that since they're kicking off their upcoming Quadrophenia tour right here, we'd take it on.
Narrowing down their musical arsenal into the five most essential albums was no easy endeavor... and given that their 1973 rock opera is getting the full spotlight this time around, we're aiming that light elsewhere to get us in the mood.
The Who Sell Out
A concept album of sorts, scored as a mock BBC radio playlist, (complete with original jingles segueing between songs), it marked Townshend's emergence as a songwriter capable of channeling both urgency and intelligence.
Cover photos of the band members in mock adverts caused an initial stir, but it was the songs -- sweeping in dimension and wholly infectious -- that made Sell Out the most consistent set of their early era. (Choice tracks: "I Can See For Miles," "Tattoo," "Mary Ann With The Shaky Hand.")
Though not the first, it's arguably the best, and most resilient, rock opera of all time (having mutated into both film and stage adaptations). Tommy is also the work that established Townshend as an astute visionary who gave new dimension to the rock 'n' roll experience.
A formidable part of their stage show from Woodstock until now, its impact remains as potent as ever. (Choice tracks: "Pinball Wizard," "I'm Free," "Amazing Journey," "We're Not Gonna Take It," "See Me/Feel Me/Listening To You.")