The Who - Then and Now
Right, I'm gonna keep this one nice and short. As a twenty-year-old who associates his childhood years with (rather criminally) the Spice Girls rather than the best bands of past generations, I don't exactly have the credentials to judge a band whose best output was released before I was even the supposed glint in my father's eye. Nah, I'll leave that to the dads, on this Father's Day, who lived through The Who first time round.
However, as any self-respecting young music fan should, I've discovered all the sixties/seventies greats in the past five years in an attempt to define where the music I currently love has its origins. The Kinks, Bowie, Queen, etc. Iconic bands from iconic decades. Well, guess what? This reissued collection, Then and Now, will surely cement The Who's status as one of the best bands Britain has ever produced - not that it needed cementing, of course. The majority of the hits are here; from the Beatles-esque flavour of debut single I Can't Explain to It's Not Enough, a cut from their most recent studio album. All the songs you would expect are present and correct: The Kids Are Alright, I Can See For Miles, Pinball Wizard, Behind Blue Eyes, and so on and so forth. These are songs I daren't critique, as what can one say that hasn't already been said? This is a legacy of great music, and that's something even a non-Who fan must realise.
Alas, I am certainly a fan. My personal fave is, and always will be, Baba O' Riley. In the teenage wasteland of these noughties, the song's arpeggiated synth intro, power chords, and impassioned Roger Daltrey vocal still push all the right buttons. Indeed, if this 'best of' proves anything, it's that these songs are still as relevant and loved as ever. Any youngster who has got on down to the punk spirit of My Generation this weekend will testify: The Who are as much a part of our generation as their own.
Look out for Part 2 of today's Father's Day Special, in the shape of The Police's new anthology being reviewed.