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The Who - My Generation (1965)



Released in December 1965, the first Who album was later dismissed by the band as a rush-job that did not accurately reflect their early stage show, but for connoisseurs it's is still regarded as one of their most important albums.

'The Kids Are Alright' - also released as a single - was an early example of Townshend’s ability to give a voice to a generation that was only just finding its identity. Its chiming guitars, soaring harmonies and infectious vocal melody a shining example of the guitarist's early writing prowess. The sprightly ‘A Legal Matter’ and ‘La-La-La Lies’, meanwhile, were also minor hits in the UK.

‘The Good's Gone’ is perhaps the most intriguingly overlooked track on the album and one of the earliest examples of Townshend’s desire to stretch the band’s musical scope with a number written specifically not as a single but an all-encompassing album track. ‘I’m A Man’ gave a nod towards the band's heavier R&B tendencies and was originally excluded from the American release of the album due to its ‘sexual content’.

That My Generation contains the stuttering, bass-driven classic title track (which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and closed the London Olympics in 2012) is almost unimportant here. This album should be seen as a statement of intent - a blueprint for what was to come. While it's not a groundbreaking LP, and some of the tracks are poorly recorded and simply not on a par with 'My Generation' or 'The Kids Are Alright', the ball was rolling and it was rolling very nicely indeed.

TRACKLIST:

Out in the Street / I Don't Mind / The Good's Gone / La-La-La Lies / Much Too Much / My Generation / The Kids Are Alright / Please, Please, Please / It's Not True / I'm a Man / A Legal Matter / The Ox

KEY FACTS:
  • Despite its appearance on recent reissue, The Who's classic singles 'I Can't Explain' was not on their debut and instead was a stand alone single. 'Substitute' and 'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' were also non-album singles, even though they sandwiched the single release of 'My Generation'
  • In the US the album was released as The Who Sings My Generation. It had a different album cover and featured the song 'Instant Party (Circles)' on the tracklist instead of 'I'm A Man'.



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