My Generation (album)
|Studio album by The Who|
|Released||3 December 1965|
|Recorded||April 1965, and
11th to 15th October 1965;
IBC Studios in Central London
|The Who chronology|
|Singles from My Generation|
The Who Sings My Generation
My Generation is the debut studio album by English rock band The Who, released by Brunswick Records in the United Kingdom in December 1965. In the United States, it was released by Decca Records as The Who Sings My Generation in April 1966, with a different cover and a slightly altered track listing.
The album was made immediately after the Who got their first singles on the charts and according to the booklet in the Deluxe Edition, it was later dismissed by the band as something of a rush job that did not accurately represent their stage performance of the time. On the other hand, critics often rate it as one of the best rock albums of all time.
Recording and song info
By 1965 The Who were all set after recruiting drummer Keith Moon and saw their former band name change from The Detours to The Who, after briefly being called The High Numbers. In the spring of 1965, the album was made during The Who's early "Maximum R&B" period and features cover versions of the popular R&B songs I Don't Mind and Please, Please, Please, both originally by James Brown, in addition to the R&B leanings of the tracks written by the band's guitarist Pete Townshend. The vocals on the covers are noted as not sounding like Daltrey.
According to the booklet in the Deluxe Edition, "I'm a Man" was eliminated from the US release due to its sexual content. The US album also used the edited UK single version of "The Kids Are Alright", which cut a brief instrumental section laden with manic drum rolls and guitar feedback before the final verse.
Many of the songs on the album saw release as singles. Aside from "My Generation", which preceded the album's release and reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, "A Legal Matter", "La-La-La Lies", and "The Kids Are Alright" were also released as domestic singles by Brunswick after the band had started releasing new material on the Reaction label in 1966. As they were not promoted by the band, they were not as commercially successful as "My Generation" or the Reaction singles. "The Kids Are Alright" was however a top 10 single in Sweden, peaking at No. 8.
"My Generation" and "The Kids Are Alright" in particular remain two of the group's most-covered songs; while "My Generation" is a raw, aggressive number that presaged the heavy metal and punk rock movements, "The Kids Are Alright" is a more sophisticated pop number, with chiming guitars, three-part harmonies, and a lilting vocal melody, though still retaining the driving rhythm of other Who songs of the period. The album is considered an important forerunner of the "power pop" movement. "Circles" was notably covered by contemporaries of the group, British freakbeat outfit Les Fleur de Lys. The cover version has found some notice after its inclusion on Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, 1964-1969.
The UK release featured a cover image of the band standing beside some oil drums and looking upward to the camera, with splashes of colour added by the red and blue stencilled letters of the title and a jacket patterned after the Union Flag thrown over John Entwistle's shoulders. For the US release this was replaced with a portrait of the band standing beneath Big Ben.
The UK mono album was briefly reissued in Britain in 1979 by Virgin Records, during the height of the country's Mod revival. The bands of that scene owed a direct debt to The Who for inspiration, and the younger generations of their fans were keen to explore those original influences. This pressing of the album went out of print in 1980, meaning there was no official UK edition of "My Generation" again available until the Deluxe edition remaster of 2002.
In 2002 the album was remixed into stereo and remastered for a Deluxe edition. This was the first time any of these songs had seen a stereo release. While sounding clearer in stereo, this edition omits many overdubs that are prominent in the original mono mixes, notably the lead guitar parts in "A Legal Matter" and "My Generation" (though both songs in their mono mixes close disc 2) and the double tracked vocals in "The Good's Gone", "Much Too Much", "La-La-La Lies" and "The Kids Are Alright". In 2008 the album's original UK mono mix was remastered for the Japanese market, appearing in limited numbers as a double-CD box set and a regular single CD album. Both variations included bonus tracks recorded in 1965. In 2012 My Generation was released in mono again in the UK as a single disc.
Reception and legacy
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In his 1967 column for Esquire, music critic Robert Christgau called My Generation "the hardest rock in history". In 1981, he included its American version in his "basic record library". Richie Unterberger hailed the album as "the hardest mod pop" ever recorded in a retrospective review for AllMusic: "At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record." In The Rolling Stone Album Guide, Mark Kemp wrote of the album's legacy and influence:
|“||With its ferocious blend of grungy distortion, rumbling bass and percussion, and brutish vocals, The Who Sings My Generation became the blueprint for much of the subsequent garage rock, heavy metal, and punk. In contrast to debut albums from the Stones (whose take on Southern American rock & soul was fairly earnest) and Beatles (who spread the word of rock & roll through sweet harmonies and easily digestible melodies), My Generation positively shoved at the boundaries of popular music. Townshend's fiercely original guitar experiments here predate the innovations of his later American rival Jimi Hendrix.||”|
In 2003, My Generation was ranked number 236 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and named the second greatest guitar album of all time by Mojo magazine. In 2004, it was #18 in Q magazine's list of the 50 Best British Albums Ever. In 2006, it was ranked No. 9 in NME's list of the 100 Greatest British Albums. In 2004, the title track was No. 11 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. In 2006, "The Kids Are Alright" was No. 34 in Pitchfork's list of the 200 greatest songs of the 1960s. In June 2009, the edited 1966 US version of the album "The Who Sings My Generation" was selected for the National Recording Registry of the US Library of Congress. The album, deemed "culturally significant", will be preserved and archived.
All songs written by Pete Townshend, except where noted.
- Side one
- "Out in the Street" – 2:31
- "I Don't Mind" (James Brown) – 2:36
- "The Good's Gone" – 4:02
- "La-La-La-Lies" – 2:17
- "Much Too Much" – 2:47
- "My Generation" – 3:18
- Side two
- "The Kids Are Alright" – 3:04
- "Please, Please, Please" (Brown, Johnny Terry) – 2:45
- "It's Not True" – 2:31
- "I'm a Man" (Bo Diddley) – 3:21
- "A Legal Matter" – 2:48
- "The Ox" (Townshend, Keith Moon, John Entwistle, Nicky Hopkins) – 3:50
- The Who Sings My Generation
|1.||"Out in the Street"||2:31|
|2.||"I Don't Mind"||2:36|
|3.||"The Good's Gone"||4:02|
|5.||"Much Too Much"||2:46|
|1.||"The Kids Are Alright"||2:46|
|2.||"Please, Please, Please"||2:45|
|3.||"It's Not True"||2:31|
|5.||"A Legal Matter"||2:48|
|6.||"Instant Party (Circles)"||3:12|
- Deluxe Edition
|1.||"Out in the Street"|
|2.||"I Don't Mind"|
|3.||"The Good's Gone" (lacks double-tracked vocals)|
|4.||"La-La-La Lies" (lacks double-tracked vocals)|
|5.||"Much Too Much" (lacks double-tracked vocals)|
|6.||"My Generation" (lacks lead guitar, but is available on disc two in its original mono format)|
|7.||"The Kids Are Alright" (lacks double-tracked vocals)|
|8.||"Please, Please, Please"|
|9.||"It's Not True"|
|10.||"I'm a Man" (complete with ending)|
|11.||"A Legal Matter" (lacks lead guitar, but is available on disc two in its original mono format)|
|12.||"The Ox" (complete with ending)|
|13.||"Circles (Instant Party)" (lacks Entwistle's French horn and double tracked vocals)|
|14.||"I Can't Explain" (lacks tambourine)|
|15.||"Bald Headed Woman"|
|16.||"Daddy Rolling Stone" (Otis Blackwell; alternate version to that found on Thirty Years of Maximum R&B)|
|1.||"Leaving Here" (Holland-Dozier-Holland; alternate version to that found on Thirty Years of Maximum R&B)|
|2.||"Lubie (Come Back Home)"|
|3.||"Shout and Shimmy" (James Brown)|
|4.||"(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" (Holland-Dozier-Holland)|
|5.||"Motoring" (Ivy Jo Hunter/Phil Jones/William "Mickey" Stevenson)|
|6.||"Anytime You Want Me" (Garnet Mimms)|
|7.||"Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" (alternate take) (Townshend, Roger Daltrey)|
|8.||"Instant Party Mixture"|
|9.||"I Don't Mind" (full length version)|
|10.||"The Good's Gone" (full length version)|
|11.||"My Generation" (instrumental version)|
|12.||"Anytime You Want Me" (a cappella version)|
|13.||"A Legal Matter" (mono version with guitar overdub)|
|14.||"My Generation" (mono version with guitar overdub)|
Sales chart performance
|1965||UK NME Chart Albums||5|
|1965||"My Generation"||Billboard Pop Singles||74|
|UK Record Retailer Singles Charts||2|
|1966||"A Legal Matter"||UK Record Retailer Singles Charts||32|
|"The Kids Are Alright"||UK Record Retailer Singles Charts||41|
- The Who
- Roger Daltrey – lead vocals, harmonica
- John Entwistle – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Keith Moon – drums, percussion, backing vocals on "Instant Party Mixture"
- Pete Townshend – six and twelve-string acoustic and electric guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on "A Legal Matter"
- Additional musicians
- Perry Ford – piano on "I Can't Explain"
- Nicky Hopkins – piano (except on "I Can't Explain")
- The Ivy League – backing vocals on "I Can't Explain" and "Bald Headed Woman"
- Jimmy Page – lead guitar on "Bald Headed Woman", rhythm guitar on "I Can't Explain"
- "The Who Official Band Website – Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon , , My Generation". Thewho.com. 1 December 1965. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "The Who - My Generation (album review 2)". sputnikmusic. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- All-Music Guide "Power Pop" Entry
- Andy Neill Deluxe Edition liner notes, p.23
- Unterberger, Richie. "Allmusic review". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Wisnicki, Nathan (8 January 2013). "The Who: My Generation (mono remaster)". PopMatters. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- Kemp 2004, p. 871.
- Christgau, Robert (1967). "Secular Music (2)". Esquire (October). Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "The Fifties and Sixties". Rock Albums of the '70s: A Critical Guide. Da Capo Press. pp. 453, 456. ISBN 0306804093.
- Kemp 2004, pp. 871–2.
- the who sings my generation
- Barnes, Anthony (21 July 2003). "Hendrix heads list of 100 guitar greats with 'Are You Experienced'". The Independent. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- "Q Magazine". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "NME". Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- Pitchfork's 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s
- Metzler, Natasha (9 June 2009). "New National Recording Registry entries announced". Associated Press , San Fransciso Chronicle. Retrieved 10 June 2009.[dead link]
- "The Who at". Chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- Kemp, Mark (2004). "The Who". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.