Who (album)

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WHO
WHO (The Who 2019 album).jpeg
Studio album by
Released6 December 2019 (2019-12-06)[1][2]
Recorded3 February 2019 – August 2019
StudioBritish Grove[3] and Metropolis Studios, London, England
GenreRock
Length45:45
57:01 (including bonus tracks)
LabelPolydor, Interscope
ProducerPete Townshend, Dave Sardy, with Bob Pridden and Dave Eringa (Roger Daltrey's vocals only)[4][5]
The Who chronology
The Who Hits 50!
(2014)
WHO
(2019)
Singles from Who
  1. "Ball and Chain"
    Released: 13 September 2019
  2. "All This Music Must Fade"
    Released: 3 October 2019
  3. "I Don't Wanna Get Wise"
    Released: 22 November 2019
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic79/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[7]
Consequence of SoundB–[8]
The Guardian4/5 stars[9]
The Independent3/5 stars[10]
NME4/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[12]
The Telegraph4/5 stars[13]
Variety(favorable)[14]

Who (stylised in all caps) is the twelfth studio album by the English rock band The Who, released on 6 December 2019.[4]

Recording and release[edit]

In January 2019, The Who confirmed that they were working on their first album of new material in 13 years (since their 2006 studio album Endless Wire), due to contain "dark ballads, heavy rock stuff, experimental electronica, sampled stuff and Who-ish tunes that began with a guitar that goes yanga-dang", as Townshend stated.[15] As with previous Who albums, vocalist Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend recorded their parts of Who separately.[16]

"Ball and Chain", released as the first single on 13 September 2019, is a re-recording of a Pete Townshend solo song called "Guantanamo", which was released on his 2015 compilation Truancy: The Very Best of Pete Townshend. A second song, "All This Music Must Fade" was released as a single on 3 October 2019 and a third, "I Don't Wanna Get Wise" received a release on Spotify and iTunes in November 2019.

The album will be supported by their Moving On! Tour.[17] "Got Nothing to Prove", one of the Deluxe edition bonus tracks, was initially recorded as a demo in 1966, but was ultimately discarded by their manager and producer Kit Lambert due to lack of emotional resonance in the lyrics. "Sand" another early demo from 1966 is included on the Japan edition of the album as a bonus track. [18] "Got Nothing to Prove" was later offered to Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, who also declined it.[18]

The album debuted at #2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart for the week ending December 21, 2019.

Cover artwork[edit]

The album cover was designed by pop artist Peter Blake whose work includes the band's Face Dances and The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album covers. It is a patchwork of 25 squares: 22 squares showing different coloured images placed around three squares forming the word "WHO" in the centre of the album cover. The 22 squares depict some of the band's influences and symbols of their career and culture:

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Pete Townshend except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."All This Music Must Fade"3:20
2."Ball and Chain"4:29
3."I Don't Wanna Get Wise"3:54
4."Detour"3:46
5."Beads on One String" (Pete Townshend and Josh Hunsaker)3:40
6."Hero Ground Zero"4:52
7."Street Song"4:47
8."I'll Be Back"5:01
9."Break the News" (Simon Townshend)4:30
10."Rockin' in Rage"4:04
11."She Rocked My World"3:22
Deluxe edition bonus tracks
No.TitleLength
12."This Gun Will Misfire"3:36
13."Got Nothing to Prove"3:38
14."Danny and My Ponies"4:02
15."Sand" (Demo, Japan only)4:27

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from compact disc liner notes and online liner notes.[21]

The Who[edit]

  • Pete Townshend: guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals (tracks 8, 12–14), harmonicas, percussion, synthesizer tracks, violin, cello, hurdy-gurdy, effects, orchestration (6)
  • Roger Daltrey: lead vocals (except 8, 12–14)

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Pino Palladino: bass (1-2, 4-8, 11-12)
  • Zak Starkey: drums (1-2, 4, 7)
  • Simon Townshend: percussion
  • Dave Sardy: percussion, mellotron, synthesizer programming (5)
  • Joey Waronker: drums (5, 8, 11-12)
  • Benmont Tench: organ, mellotron
  • Gus Seyffert: bass (3, 9-10)
  • Carla Azar: drums (3, 10)
  • Matt Chamberlain: drums (6)
  • Josh Tyrrell: handclaps (4)
  • Rowan McIntosh: handclaps (4)
  • Martin Batchelar: programming (6), orchestration (6, 8), orchestra arrangement (8), orchestra conducting (6, 8, 13)
  • Rachel Fuller: orchestration (6)
  • Peter Rotter: orchestra fixer (6, 8, 13)
  • Bruce Dukov: orchestra leader (6, 8, 13)
  • Andrew Synowiec: acoustic guitar (9)
  • Gordon Giltrap: acoustic guitar (11)
  • Fergus Gerrand: percussion (11)

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Who to Release New Album 'Who' in November; 'Ball and Chain' Single Available". Blabbermouth.net. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  2. ^ "WHO". The Who. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Pete: The new Who album: Day 1 at British Grove Studios". 2 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "The Who announce the release of their new album 'WHO' plus UK Tour dates". 13 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Pete: Day 1 - Second Who Studio Sessions". 5 March 2019.
  6. ^ "WHO". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  7. ^ Who at AllMusic
  8. ^ Taub, Matthew (29 November 2019). "The Who Remain Blunt as Ever on Uneven WHO". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  9. ^ Petridis, Alexis (28 November 2019). "The Who: Who review – back and still causing a big sensation". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  10. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (5 December 2019). "The Who review, Who: The fire is still burning". The Independent. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  11. ^ Beaumont, Mark (20 November 2019). "The Who – 'WHO' review: 13 years since their last album, this stands up alongside their classics". NME. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  12. ^ Grow, Kory (5 December 2019). "With a New Self-Titled Album, the Who Have Made Classic Rock Comfort Food". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  13. ^ McCormick, Neil (29 November 2019). "The Who: WHO, review: fierce and uncompromising, this is their best album in 40 years". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  14. ^ Willman, Chris (5 December 2019). "Album Review: The Who's 'Who'". Variety. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  15. ^ "The Who confirm first new studio album in 13 years". The Guardian. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  16. ^ Rodrick, Stephen (25 November 2019). "The Who by Fire". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  17. ^ Snapes, Laura (14 January 2019). "The Who Confirm First New Studio Album in 13 Years". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  18. ^ a b Ivie, Devon (9 December 2019). "The Grooviest Song From the Who's New Album Was Actually Recorded 50 Years Ago". Vulture. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Pete Townshend "This Guitar Has Seconds To Live" The Who Ad". www.feelnumb.com. September 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  20. ^ "The Who – Face Dances (cassette edition)". discogs.com. September 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  21. ^ "The Who - Who". Discogs. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  22. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #555". auspOp. 14 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Who – Who" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Who – Who" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Who – Who" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  26. ^ "The Who Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select {{{date}}} on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Who – Who" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  29. ^ "The Who: Who" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Top Albums (Week 50, 2019)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  31. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Who – Who" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  32. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography The Who". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  33. ^ "Italiancharts.com – The Who – Who". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  34. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2019-12-16" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  36. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – The Who – Who". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
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  39. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  40. ^ Caulfield, Keith (15 December 2019). "Roddy Ricch Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 With 'Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial'". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  41. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2019". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 January 2020.