The Who

The Essential The Who

  • Released: 16/10/2020
  • Label: UMC
  • Genre: Rock

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Hailing from West London they began life as The Detours in 1964, became The Who, then briefly The High Numbers before returning to the moniker the world would come to know them so well by. Whilst original songs penned by lead guitarist Pete Townshend featured from the start, early live sets included covers of then current US Blues and R&B stars material too. Coupled with their Mod dress sense and affiliation with the pop art movement it made them a compelling live draw. Lead vocalist Roger Daltrey’s exceptional talent and muscular presence demanded the audience’s attention but Townshend and the group’s drummer Keith Moon, weren’t minded to occupy the shadows. At odds with the statuesque figure which their unique bassist John Entwistle cut, Townshend and Moon would develop a reputation for equipment destroying performances on stage and hotel room destruction off it.  1965’s debut single I Can’t Explain rose to No. 8 on the UK charts and began a run of hit singles that would continue almost unhindered for the next 15 years. Included here are Mod anthem My Generation (UK No. 2), the explosive Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (UK No. 10) and the soaring I Can See For Miles (UK No. 10), together with key tracks from 11 of their 12 studio albums of which 7 made the UK top 5 and all have reached the UK top 20. From Tommy there’s Amazing Journey, Pinball Wizard (UK No.4) and I’m Free. From the UK No.1 album Who’s Next, the distinctive Baba O’Riley and the wonderful Behind Blue Eyes. Slip Kid (from Who By Numbers), Quadrophenia classic 5:15 (UK No.20), Who Are You (UK No.18) and You Better You Bet (UK No.9) continue the hits. Eminence Front proved a balearic classic whilst It’s Not Enough and Old Red Wine complete the studio journey.  Disc 3 underlines why to this day they remain a compelling live proposition. From Leeds to Woodstock, the Isle of Wight to Lyon, the performances are quite incredible. Enjoy.



01: Anyway, Anywhere, Anyhow
02: I Can’t Explain
03: My Generation
04: The Ox
05: The Goods Gone
06: Much Too Much
07: Circles
08: Whiskey Man
09: Run, Run, Run
10: So Sad About Us
11: I Can See for Miles
12: Armenia City in The Sky
13: Tattoo
14. Call Me Lightning
15: Rael (Pt 1 & 2)
16: I’m Free
17: Amazing Journey
18: Sparks


01: Pinball Wizard
02: Here For More
03: Baba O'Riley
04: Behind Blue Eyes
05: Getting in Tune
06: Pure And Easy
07: I’m One
08: The Real Me
09: 5:15
10: Long Live Rock
11: However Much I Booze
12: Slip Kid
13: Who Are You
14: Trick of the Light
15: You Better You Bet
16: Eminence Front
17: It’s Not Enough
18: Old Red Wine


01: Won’t Get Fooled Again live at Shepperton from Kids Are Alright)
02: Amazing Journey/Sparks (Live at Leeds Medley)
03: Magic Bus (Live at Leeds)
04: Summertime Blues (Live at Leeds)
05: Shakin’ All Over (Live at Hull)
06: Naked Eye (Live at per Who’s Next deluxe)
07: Bargain (Live at per Who’s Next deluxe)
08: Pinball Wizard (Live at Woodstock from Kids Are Alright)
09: I’m Free (Live as per Tommy deluxe)
10: Go To The Mirror (Live as per Tommy deluxe)
11: See Me Feel Me (Live at Woodstock from Kids Are Alright)
12: Young Man Blues (Live at the Isle of Wight)
13: Relay (Live at Lyon on deluxe of Endless Wire)