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Monday, August 28, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 6 

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The Who comes to town Tuesday

By Brandon H. Franks
Daily Cougar Staff

The Who, one of the loudest and greatest groups in rock 'n' roll history, will play the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Tuesday night.

It's been nearly 40 years since Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon began changing rock music forever. Being almost superheroes since the time they were The Mods in the mid '60s, The Who managed to combine powerful rock with gritty rhythm and blues with songs like "Can't Explain" and "Substitute."

Truly a spectacle to see in the band's early days, The Who would triumphantly destroy the equipment it played at the end of each show. Smashing guitars, throwing the drum kit into the crowd and windmill guitar strokes were staples of The Who live.

The Who did fairly well in the States, especially with the teen angst song "My Generation," but it wasn't until 1969 when The Who received critical acclaim. 

Townshend's masterpiece, the rock opera Tommy, was hailed by critics, mainly for the simple fact that nothing like it had ever been done before.

With an incredible performance of the album at Woodstock and just as powerful songs like "Pinball Wizard," the masterpiece is The Who's greatest success.

Tommy has been made into a movie and a Broadway musical, which shows how big an effect its music has had.

The Who had just begun. Its next album Who's Next, spawned three major hits that are remembered as The Who's best ever. "Baba O' Riley," in which singer Daltrey belted out, "It's only teenage wasteland." The synthesized rock anthem "Won't get fooled again," and the wonderfully haunting ballad "Behind blue eyes" are still heard plenty on the radio.

The Who's second rock opera, 1973's Quadrophenia, was, although astounding, not really accepted by fans or critics.

The 1978 album Who Are You was the last the foursome did together. A few days before the album was released, Moon, the drummer, died.

It seemed The Who was finished, but surprisingly the group stayed around. Replacing Moon with Kenny Jones, The Who released Faces Dances in 1981 with the ever-memorable hit "You better you bet."

The last studio album by The Who, It's Hard in 1982 was a commercial success but not a fitting end to The Who. It was, however, enough to get a new generation interested in the group.

The tour that followed was supposed to be a farewell tour. The only thing The Who has said goodbye to is new music, by regrouping on various occasions. A few years ago, they revived a small tour of Quadrophenia.

The Who has made so much music that it was able to create a four disc box set in 1994 called The Who: Thirty Years of Maximum R&B. The box set contained rarities and only one new song, a cover of Elton John's "Saturday Night."

With a deaf Townshend and the remaining members aging considerably, it will be interesting to see if the group still has the stuff that made The Who a legendary band. The album being promoted with the tour is the new live album The Who: The Blues to the Bush, available only at MusicMaker.com.

Tickets are still available for Tuesday's show. It's not expected to be The Who from yesteryear, but it should be an incredible experience nonetheless.
 

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