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The Who

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Uploaded on Feb 17, 2008

The Who' are an English rock band that first formed in 1964 and grew to be considered one of the greatest[1] and most influential[2] bands in the world. They are also famed for their prowess as a live band - winning awards[3] and being described as "possibly the greatest live band ever."[4] The primary lineup consisted of Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. The Who rose to fame in the United Kingdom with a pioneering instrument destruction stage show, as well as a series of top ten hit singles (including the celebrated "My Generation") and top five albums, beginning in 1965 with "I Can't Explain". They first hit the top ten in the USA in 1967 with "I Can See for Miles". The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top five albums for the group in the USA, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), and Who Are You (1978) among others. Keith Moon died in 1978, after which the band released two more studio albums, the top five Face Dances (1981) and the top ten It's Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before officially disbanding in 1983. They reformed on several occasions to perform at special events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia revival tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members began to discuss the possibility of recording an album of new material. These plans were delayed following the death of John Entwistle in 2002. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey continue to perform as The Who. In 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the USA and UK. 1970s Lifehouse & Who's Next Also in 1970, The Who began work on a studio album that was never released. At the Isle of Wight Festival in August, Daltrey introduced "I Don't Even Know Myself" as "off the new album, which we're sort of half-way through". But within a few weeks of that concert Townshend wrote "Pure and Easy", a song which he later described as the "central pivot" of what became an ambitious concept album/performance art project called Lifehouse, distracting him and the band from work on the album in progress. Lifehouse was never completed in its intended form. Some Lifehouse songs were released as non-album-track singles, b-sides and on various albums over the years, such as 1974's outtakes compilation Odds & Sods and Townshend's 1972 solo album Who Came First. Townshend would later reconstruct it as a radio play for the BBC in 2000, and most of the material was released on a 6-CD album from Pete Townshend's website shortly after. Meanwhile, in March of 1971, the band began recording the available Lifehouse material with Kit Lambert in New York, and then restarted the sessions with Glyn Johns in April. Selections from the material, along with one unrelated song by Entwistle, were released as a traditional studio album, Who's Next, which became their most successful album among both critics and fans, but which effectively terminated the Lifehouse project. Who's Next reached #4 in the USA pop charts and #1 in the UK. Two tracks from the album, "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again", are often cited as pioneering examples of synthesiser use in rock music; ironically, both tracks' distinctive keyboard sounds were actually generated in real time by a Lowrey organ[11] (though in the case of "Won't Get Fooled Again", the organ's output was processed through the filters of a VCS3 synthesiser). However, synthesisers can be found elsewhere on the album, playing a prominent role in "Bargain", "Going Mobile", and "The Song is Over".

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