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Reviews: The Who: My Generation

Reviews: 6

Review by bdautch July 15, 2003 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Ah, the strange and legendary sound of The Who's "My Generation." It is perhaps one of the most difficult SACD recoveries of all time. Sonically, I'd say that the "unique" nature of My Generation has been preserved and enhanced, which is no small feat. Far more important, though, is the whopping 30 tracks that appear on this SACD. Take the entire original lineup from My Generation, add a number of B-sides and previously unreleased material, and you've got 2 and 1/2 dozen of The Who's earliest efforts. If you can even fathom this, the band covers such tunes as "(Love is Like a) Heat Wave" and James Brown's "Shout and Shimmy." Before The Who found their original voice, they performed variations on the R&B they often listened to. Still, gems such as "The Kids Are Alright," "I Can't Explain," and, of course, the title track give the listener a glimpse into the great journey the band was about to embark upon.

While the material on this disc may not be ideal for those who own some sort of "The Who's Greatest Hits" compilation, their true fans are likely to find the material priceless and the sonics pleasantly familiar.

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Review by vonwegen September 14, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
I'd like to add that bdauch's review is spot on; also that the bass and drums sound fabulous, considering the vintage of the recording (3-track). Vox and guitars are also fine indeed.

John Entwhistle used to complain about the Who's early records sounding like Keith Moon was playing on a set of biscuit tins--no more! Moon the Loon has never sounded more explosive than here.

And 90 minutes playing time! Makes one wonder just how much you can put on a SACD--it'd be nice to know just how much 2.0 and 5.1 capacity there really is.

vonwegen

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Review by tfkaudio January 30, 2004
Performance:   Sonics:
Listening to it right now. It's one hell of a disk. In typical Who style, they've given a push at the boundaries (of CD this time!). 91+ minutes of material! My guess is that SACDs will likely continue to hover around the 75 minute limit, simply so record companies can sell 2-SACD sets for twice the price, when it could have fit on 1 SACD.
I won't go into the music itself, everything's been said already. It's a classic and a must have for Who fans.
4 Stars for sound. It's not the best sounding SACD you'll hear, but it's a sonic revelation for those who have lived with prior CD issues of this material. It's all I could have expected from a 1965 recording of a yet-to-be established band, made on a tight budget!
4 Stars for performance. It's great, but (in case you were unaware) they got better. Chuckle, Chuckle...

Enjoy.

Tom

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Review by Stratman672001 July 1, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A classic finally rears it head after seven years of waiting. I've had to put up with a very bad sounding MCA vinyl with mock stereo for many years so this is a breath of fresh air (I don't think I would have been as quick to get this if I had an original mono Brunswick pressing). The performance is, of course, stellar. The sonics... Well... While not terrible anren't as good as they could be. The SACD at least doesn't suffer from the horrible digital compression that plagues the standard redbook. The problem is more with the mix. The stereo image is so narrow I wonder why Shel even bothered to remix. It may be a more technically correct mix but it isn't historically correct. In '66 it was either hard left, center, hard right or mono and it would be more representative to reflect that ethos. The digital delay on certain trcks makes the remix even more pointless. The original mono, although a bit grungy, still sounded very immediate and powerful.

Also with the stereo mix you lose alot of overdubbed parts (which were done direct to mono) like the lead guitar on "My Generation" and "A Legal Matter", the doubletracked vocals on "The Good's Gone", "La La La Lies", "The Kids Are Alright" and "Circles" and the horn on "Circles".

There are also tracks here that are just superfluous as well. Although the instrumental of "My Generation", the acapella version of "Anytime You Want Me" and the full length "I Don't Mind" and "The Good's Gone" are cool to hear but they are just taking up space here. The ideal here would have been to stetch this one out to two SACD's, have the original mono album and singles on the first disc and have the stereo remix and bonus tracks on the second disc... But then again, I'm not Shel Talmy and it's his baby and it's better than nothing.

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Review by Tom August 8, 2006 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I'm somewhat biased. I saw The Who live in 1968 and have always liked them.

Still, I've never owned this album -- until now.

Unbelievable 13 cut album -- with 17 bonus cuts!

I'm impressed with the clarity of the music. You can easily hear the individual instruments. It's not a crystal clear recording, but it's one of the best "rock" recordings in regards to clarity. The dynamics, however, are only average.

The performance reveals the blues influence of The Who's early days -- like most other rock British bands of the era. I don't like all the songs -- some are a little too traditional blues for me, but overall I like this album.

Also comes with a 30 page, readable and interesting booklet.

I'm disappointed that this SACD is not a hybrid. I cannot listen to it in my car.

I judge the performance as a 4, but added .5 extra credit because it has so many bonus cuts.

I judge the sonics as a 4 as well, but added .5 extra credit because very few rock albums are better and because of the age of its master circa 1965-1966. The Rolling Stones SACDs, however, are better.

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Review by trich727 May 15, 2010 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
What impresses me most about this sacd release it that with the WHOPPING number of bonus tracks included, the cd still flows naturally. On most recordings this old, bonus tracks are sub-par recordings that don't sound anything like the original album, and to me, don't belong on the same disc. But on this one, if you weren't raised on the My Generation vinyl, you would be hard pressed to guess what the original tracks were. That is saying A LOT.

I can say with NO DOUBT that I really wish SACD had lasted long enough to give the rest of The Who catalog this same treatment. And.. the Yardbirds, 13th Floor Elevators, the early 1970's Stones releases, Jimi Hendrix, and hundreds of other great albums. In my opinion, Sony pulled the plug on SACD just as it was taking it's first breath. A huge mistake, but it's not like Sony hasn't done this before. Just look up the L-cassette, I had one! A reel to reel tape in a Beta sized housing, so you didn't have to handle or load the reel. A great idea that should have taken off, but Sony wimped out on backing that one too.

I really think Sony needs someone to help them separate their farts from their innovations. Mini disc, a fart. SACD is the best digital version of music, ever, if done correctly. All the new carbon fiber, polished with moon dust, etc... substrates that reveal nothing more that a standard Redbook layer below? Who's kiddig who?

Anyway, I got off the subject. Other than the last 2 tracks on this SACD, it is great! Get it while you can. Tom

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