The Who

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Posted by motoman 04/08/2009 @ 12:07

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The Who

The Who performing in 1975. Left to right: Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend.

The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. The primary lineup was guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They became known for energetic live performances. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility. According to the New York Times, The Who have sold 100 million records.

The Who rose to fame in the United Kingdom with a pioneering instrument destruction stage show and a series of top ten hit singles (including "My Generation") and top five albums, beginning in 1965 with "I Can't Explain". They hit the top ten in the US in 1967 with "I Can See for Miles". The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top five albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), and Who Are You (1978).

Moon died in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the top five Face Dances (1981) and the top ten It's Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material. The plans were delayed by the death of Entwistle in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who. In 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.

In the early days, The Who was a trad jazz band started by Townshend and Entwistle called The Confederates. Townshend played banjo and Entwistle played the French horn, an instrument he had started playing while in the school band. Daltrey met Entwistle walking down the street with a bass slung over his shoulder and asked him to join his band called The Detours. Entwistle suggested Townshend as an additional guitarist. In early days the band was influenced by American blues and country music, playing mostly rhythm and blues. The lineup was Daltrey on lead guitar, Townshend on rhythm guitar, Entwistle on bass, Doug Sandom on drums, and Colin Dawson vocals. After Dawson left, Daltrey moved to vocals and Townshend became sole guitarist. In 1964 Sandom left and Keith Moon became drummer.

The Detours changed to The Who in 1964 and, with the arrival of Moon that year, the line-up was complete. However, for a short period in 1964, under the management of mod Peter Meaden, they changed to The High Numbers, releasing "Zoot Suit/I'm the Face", a single to appeal to mod fans. When it failed to chart, the band fired Meaden and reverted to The Who. They became popular among the British mods, a 1960s subculture involving cutting-edge fashions, scooters and music genres such as rhythm and blues, soul, and beat music.

In September 1964, at the Railway Tavern in Harrow and Wealdstone, London, Townshend's physical performance resulted in accidentally breaking the head of his guitar through the ceiling. Angered by sniggers from the audience, he smashed the instrument on the stage. He picked up another guitar and continued the show. A large crowd attended the next concert, but Townshend declined to smash another guitar. Instead, Moon wrecked his drumkit. Instrument destruction became a staple of The Who's shows for several years. The incident at the Railway Tavern is one of Rolling Stone magazine's "50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll".

The band crystallised around Townshend as primary songwriter and creative force. Entwistle made songwriting contributions. Moon and Daltrey contributed songs in the 60s and 70s.

The Who's first release, and first hit, was January 1965's "I Can't Explain", influenced by the Kinks with whom they shared American producer Shel Talmy. The song was first played in the USA on WTAC AM 600 in Flint, Michigan, by DJ Peter C Cavanaugh where Moon drove a car into a hotel pool during his 20th birthday (Moon claimed it was his 21st so he could drink) . The song was a top 10 hit in the UK and was followed by "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere", song credited as composed by Townshend and Daltrey, though Townshend implied Daltrey assisted in songwriting without credit in the liner notes to Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy.

The debut album My Generation (The Who Sings My Generation in the U.S.) released the same year. It included "The Kids Are Alright" and the title track "My Generation". Subsequent hits, such as the 1966 singles "Substitute", about a young man who feels like a fraud, "I'm a Boy" about a boy dressed as a girl, and "Happy Jack" about a mentally disturbed young man, show Townshend's use of sexual tension and teenage angst. More hits followed, including "I Can See for Miles" and the 1968 single "Magic Bus".

Although successful as a singles band, Townshend wanted The Who's albums unified rather than collections of songs. Townshend said "I'm a Boy" was from a projected opus, the first sign of which came in the 1966 album A Quick One, which included the storytelling medley "A Quick One While He's Away", which they referred to as a mini opera, and which has been called the first progressive epic.

A Quick One was followed by The Who Sell Out in 1967, a concept album like an offshore radio station, complete with humorous jingles and commercials which included a mini rock opera called Rael (whose closing theme ended up on Tommy), as well as The Who's biggest US single, "I Can See for Miles". The Who destroyed equipment at the Monterey Pop Festival that year and repeated the routine on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with explosive results as Moon detonated his drumkit. Supposedly, too much explosive was used in the drum kit, resulting in damage to Townshend's hearing. In 1968, The Who headlined the first Schaefer Music Festival in New York City's Central Park. Also that year, Townshend became the subject of the first Rolling Stone interview. Townshend said he was working on a full-length rock opera. This was Tommy, the first work billed as a rock opera and a landmark in modern music.

In February 1970 The Who recorded Live at Leeds, thought by many the best live rock album of all time. The album, originally relatively short and containing mostly the show's hard rock songs, has been re-released in expanded and remastered versions, remedying technical problems with the original and adding portions of the performance of Tommy, as well as versions of earlier singles and stage banter. A double-disc version contains the entire performance of Tommy. The Leeds University gig was part of the Tommy tour, which not only included gigs in European opera houses but saw The Who become the first rock act at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

In 1970, The Who began 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 are sort of half-way through". But within weeks Townshend wrote "Pure and Easy", which he described as the "central pivot" of a concept album/performance art project called Lifehouse, distracting the band from the album. Lifehouse was never completed in its intended form. Some Lifehouse songs were released as non-album track singles, B-sides and on albums such as 1974's outtakes compilation Odds & Sods and Townshend's 1972 solo album Who Came First. Townshend later reconstructed it as a radio play for the BBC in 2000, and most of the material was on a 6-CD album from Townshend's website shortly after.

Meanwhile, in March 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, with one unrelated song by Entwistle, were released as a traditional studio album, Who's Next, which became their most successful album among critics and fans, but which 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 cited as pioneering examples of synthesizer use in rock music; both tracks' keyboard sounds were generated in real time by a Lowrey organ (though in "Won't Get Fooled Again", the organ was processed through a VCS3 synthesizer). Synthesizers can be found elsewhere on the album, in "Bargain", "Going Mobile", and "The Song is Over". On the 4th November 1971 The Who opened the Rainbow Theatre in London and played for three nights.

Who's Next was followed by Quadrophenia (1973), which can be seen an autobiographical or social history piece about early 1960s adolescent life in London. The story is about Jimmy, his struggle for self-esteem, his conflicts with his family and others, and his mental illness. His story is set against clashes between Mods and Rockers in the early 1960s in the UK, particularly at Brighton. The US tour featured a 20 November 1973 San Francisco, California concert at the Cow Palace in Daly City where Moon passed out during "Won't Get Fooled Again" and in "Magic Bus". Townshend asked the audience, "Can anyone play the drums? - I mean somebody good." An audience member, Scot Halpin, filled in for the rest of the encore.

The band's later albums contained songs more personal for Townshend, and he transferred this style to solo albums, as on the album Empty Glass. 1975's The Who by Numbers had introspective songs, lightened by "Squeeze Box", another hit single. Nevertheless, some critics considered By Numbers Townshend's "suicide note." A movie version of Tommy released that year was directed by Ken Russell, starred Daltrey and earning Townshend an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. In 1976, The Who played at Charlton Athletic football ground in what was listed for over a decade in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest concert.

In 1978, the band released Who Are You, a move from rock opera towards a radio-friendly sound, though it did contain one song from a never-completed rock opera by Entwistle. The release was overshadowed by Moon's death in his sleep after an overdose of Heminevrin - prescribed to combat alcohol withdrawal - a few hours after a party held by Paul McCartney. The last album cover shows Moon in a chair with the words "not to be taken away"; the song "Music Must Change" has no drum track. Kenney Jones, of The Small Faces and The Faces, joined as Moon's successor.

On 2nd May 1979, The Who returned to the stage with well-received concerts at the Rainbow Theatre in London, at the Cannes Film Festival in France and at Madison Square Garden in New York City. A small tour of the United States was marred by tragedy: on 3 December 1979 in Cincinnati, Ohio, a crush at Riverfront Coliseum killed 11 fans. The band was not told until after the show because civic authorities feared crowd problems if the concert were cancelled.

Also in 1979, The Who released a documentary film called The Kids Are Alright and a film version of Quadrophenia, the latter a box office hit in the UK and the former capturing many of the band's most scintillating moments on stage. In December, The Who became the third band, after the Beatles and The Band, featured on the cover of Time. The article, written by Jay Cocks, said The Who had "outpaced, outlasted, outlived and outclassed" all of their rock band contemporaries.

The band released two more studio albums with Jones as drummer, Face Dances (1981) and It's Hard (1982). Face Dances produced a Top 20 hit with the single "You Better You Bet" and a string of MTV and AOR hits like "Another Tricky Day". Three videos from the album played on MTV the day it took to the air in August 1981. While both albums sold fairly well, and It's Hard receiving a five-star review in Rolling Stone, fans were not receptive to the new sound. "Athena" was a US Top 30 hit and "Eminence Front" charted as well and became a favorite. Shortly after It's Hard, The Who embarked on a farewell tour after Townshend said he wanted one more tour with The Who before turning it into a studio band. It was the highest grossing tour of the year, with sellout crowds throughout North America.

Townshend spent part of 1983 trying to write material for the studio album still owed to Warner Bros. Records from a contract in 1980. By the end of 1983, however, Townshend declared himself unable to generate material appropriate for The Who and left in December 1983. Townshend focused on solo projects such as White City: A Novel, The Iron Man (which featured Daltrey and Entwistle and two songs on the album credited to "The Who"), and Psychoderelict, a forerunner to the radio work Lifehouse.

On 13 July 1985, The Who, including Kenney Jones, reformed for a one-off at Bob Geldof's Live Aid concert at Wembley. The band performed "My Generation", "Pinball Wizard", "Love Reign O'er Me", and "Won't Get Fooled Again" (the band had also intended to play a new Townshend composition, "After the Fire", but was unable to learn it well enough; it became a solo hit for Daltrey that year). Although the BBC's equipment blew a fuse at the beginning of "My Generation", the band kept playing, so most of "My Generation" and all "Pinball Wizard" was missed by the rest of the world.

In 1988 the band was honoured with the British Phonographic Industry's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Who played a short set at the ceremony (the last time Jones worked with The Who). In 1989 they embarked on a 25th anniversary "The Kids Are Alright" reunion tour which emphasised Tommy. Simon Phillips played drums with Steve "Boltz" Bolton playing lead guitar, as Townshend had massive hearing problems and would be relegated to strumming acoustic guitar. A horn section and backing singers were added. Newsweek said, "The Who tour is special because, after the Beatles and the Stones, they're IT." There were sellouts throughout North America, including a four-night stand at Giants Stadium. In all, over two million tickets were sold. The tour included Tommy in New York and at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, with Elton John, Phil Collins, Billy Idol, Patti LaBelle, and Steve Winwood.

A 2-CD live album Join Together had to poor sales in 1990, limping to #188 in the US. Townshend injured himself in Tacoma, WA on when he gashed his hand during one of his windmill moves (he was playing more electric guitar in the latter half of shows). His hand hit the tremolo bar and he started bleeding and went to the hospital.

In 1990, their first year of eligibility, The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by U2, Bono saying, "More than any other band, The Who are our role models." The Who's display at the Rock Hall describes them as prime contenders for the title of "World's Greatest Rock Band". Only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones receive a similar accolade at the Rock Hall.

In 1991 The Who recorded a cover of Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" for a tribute album. This was the last time they released any studio work with Entwistle. Townshend toured in 1993 to promote his Psychoderelict album. One night Entwistle guested at the end of the show. In 1994 there were rumours of a 30th anniversary tour. These never happened but Daltrey turned 50 and celebrated with two concerts at Carnegie Hall. These included guest spots by Entwistle and Townshend. Although original members of The Who attended, they did not appear on stage together except for the finale, "Join Together", with the other guests. Daltrey toured that year with Entwistle and with John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards, Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend filling in for his brother. Pete Townshend allowed Daltrey to call this band The Who, but Daltrey declined. Daltrey Sings Townshend was not a commercial success.

In 1996 Townshend joined the lineup for a concert at Hyde Park. He intended to perform Quadrophenia as a solo acoustic piece using parts of the film on screens. Entwistle and Daltrey agreed a one-off performance. The band was augmented by Starkey, Rabbit on keyboards and Simon Townshend and Geoff Whitehorn on guitars. Jon Carin was an additional keyboard player, a horn section was added alongside backing vocalists and guests played characters from the album. These included David Gilmour, Ade Edmonson, newsreader Trevor McDonald and Gary Glitter. The performance was narrated by Phil Daniels who played Jimmy the Mod in the film. Despite technical difficulties the show was a success and led to a six-night residency at Madison Square Garden. These shows were not billed as The Who.

The success of the Quadrophenia shows led to a US and European tour. Rabbit, Starkey, Simon and Carin remained for the shows. The show was reworked for the tour and included three Who standards as encore. The show was billed under the members' names but later as The Who to aid ticket sales. Among the worst attendances were 7,432 in the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA; 7,346 in Dayton, OH and 6,210 for a show in Las Vegas. Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit drew sellouts or close to it. Idol and Glitter played these dates.

After Quadrophenia, The Who toured in the summer of 1997 in "greatest hits" shows, although they were reprises of the Quadrophenia tour with five Who classics as encore instead of three. P.J. Proby and Ben Waters replaced Glitter and Idol. The European dates ranged from 23 April to 18 May, the US from 19 July until 16 August.

Townshend performed many acoustic shows, Entwistle mounted shows with The John Entwistle Band and Daltrey toured with the British Rock Symphony performing Who and other rock songs. In 1998, VH1 ranked The Who ninth in the 100 Greatest Artists of Rock 'n' Roll.

In late 1999, The Who reformed as a five-piece with Rabbit on keyboards and Starkey on drums and performed seven shows, all but one for charity. Many songs were from Who's Next; others had not been performed for 30 years. The first show took place 29 October 1999 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden. From there, they performed acoustic shows at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA on 30 and 31 October. Next, they played on 12 and 13 November at the House of Blues in Chicago, as a benefit for the Maryville Academy. The first Chicago show was the first of the shows to be booked. Finally, two Christmas charity shows on 22 and 23 December at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London. For these Townshend was again playing electric guitar for the full show and The Who were a five-piece. The 29 October show in Las Vegas was partially on TV as well as the internet and would later see release as the DVD The Vegas Job.

The success of 1999 led to a US tour in 2000 and a UK tour in November. The tour started on 6 June at the Jacob Javits Center in New York to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation and ended with a charity show on 27 November at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer trust. With good reviews all three members of The Who discussed a new album. VH1 placed The Who eighth in the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

The band performed at The Concert for New York City on 20 October 2001, during which they played "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" for the fire and police departments of New York City. The Who were honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that year.

In winter 2002, The Who played five shows in England, in Portsmouth on 27 and 28 January and Watford on 31 January, in preparation for two shows for the Teenage Cancer Trust Benefit at the Albert Hall on 7 and 8 February. Just before a tour in summer 2002, Entwistle was found dead at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The cause was a heart attack in which cocaine was a contributing factor. After a brief delay, the tour commenced in Los Angeles with bassist Pino Palladino. Most shows from the tour were released officially on CD as Encore Series 2002. Before the tour "Real Good Looking Boy" and "Certified Rose" were rehearsed alongside classics such as "I Can See for Miles", but due to the death of Entwistle, they were not performed. In September, Q magazine named The Who as one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die".

In 2004 The Who released "Old Red Wine" and "Real Good Looking Boy" (with Pino Palladino and Greg Lake, respectively, on bass guitar), as part of a singles anthology (The Who: Then and Now), and went on an 18-date tour playing Japan, Australia, the UK and the US. All shows were on CD as part of Encore Series 2004. The band also headlined the Isle of Wight Festival. Also that year, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked The Who #29 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

The Who announced that spring 2005 would see their first studio album in 23 years (tentatively titled WHO2). In March 2005, Townshend's website said release was delayed indefinitely, and explained that tours in summer 2005 were also shelved. Part of this was due to slow recording of new material, and part Starkey's tour with Oasis. Townshend continued working on the album, posting a novella called The Boy Who Heard Music on his blog. This developed into a mini-opera which formed the kernel for the new Who album, and later a full opera which Townshend presented at Vassar College.

The Who performed "Who Are You" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" on the London stage of the Live 8 concert in July 2005. Steve White (drummer for Paul Weller and older brother of ex-Oasis drummer Alan White) took the place of Starkey, and Damon Minchella (Ocean Colour Scene's bassist) filled in for Palladino who was touring for Jeff Beck. The Who were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame.

In 2006, The Who were first recipients of the Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement Award in Live Music at the Vodafone music awards. Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen presented the award. On 3 October 2006, the iTunes Store released two singles in advance of the new album, Endless Wire entitled "Tea & Theatre" (played at the end of concerts during the North American tour) and "It's Not Enough".

Endless Wire was released on 30 October 2006 (31 October in the US). It was the first full studio album of new material since 1982's It's Hard. The album featured songs inspired by subjects such as Stockholm syndrome during the Beslan school hostage crisis ("Black Widow's Eyes"), Mel Gibson's 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ ("Man in a Purple Dress" and "2000 Years") and it contained the band's first mini-opera since "Rael" on 1967's The Who Sell Out. Excerpts from the mini-opera, called "Wire & Glass", were released as a Maxi-single on 17 July on iTunes, and on CD and limited edition 12" vinyl in the UK on 24 July. "Mirror Door" was released in a radio edit and first played on BBC Radio 2, on The Ken Bruce Show at 10 on 8 June 2006. Endless Wire debuted at #7 on Billboard and #9 in the UK Albums Chart.

In advance of the album, and to support it, The Who embarked upon their The Who Tour 2006-2007. First they did a 24-date European tour followed by the rest of the world. These are their first shows since their 2004 world tour and brief performance at Live 8 in 2005. Members of the latest lineup remain, including keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick, bassist Pino Palladino, drummer Zak Starkey and guitarist Simon Townshend, who is also supporting act for The Who with his band the Casbah Club. Other opening acts on the tour include The Pretenders and Rose Hill Drive. Shows are on CD and DVD as part of Encore Series 2006. Starkey was invited to join Oasis in April 2006, and The Who in November 2006, but he declined, preferring to split his time between the two. On 24 June 2007, The Who topped the Glastonbury Festival.

In November 2007, the documentary Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who was released. The two-DVD set included new interviews from Daltrey, Jones, and Townshend as well as Sting, The Edge, Noel Gallagher, Eddie Vedder and Steve Jones. The documentary includes footage not in earlier documentaries, including film from the 1970 Leeds University appearance and a 1964 performance at the Railway Hotel when they were The High Numbers. Amazing Journey was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award.

Daltrey implied that Townshend was working on new material and on 11 February 2008 Townshend confirmed this on the band's website. He said Daltrey was setting up album work. A proposed T-Bone Burnett-produced album of covers of R&B songs was ruled out, however.

The Who were honoured at the 2008 VH1 Rock Honors in Los Angeles. Taping of the show took place 12 July, followed by a network broadcast on 17 July. The Flaming Lips, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Incubus, and Tenacious D played Who songs and the night ended with the band on stage to perform. That same week, a 12-song best-of collection was released for the music video game Rock Band. The Who performed at the Rock Band party at the Orpheum Theater during the 2008 E3 Media and Business Summit. Townshend made a joke regarding the color choices on the game's guitar controller.

In October 2008, The Who embarked on a tour of four Japanese cities and nine North American cities.

An Australian and New Zealand tour was performed in 2009 with the support of Counting Crows, and ran from 21 March in Auckland, New Zealand, continuing through the Australian cities of Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and ended in Perth on 4 April. This tour marked The Who's first concert in New Zealand in 41 years. January 1968 was last time they played New Zealand, where they were accompanied by the Small Faces and Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones.

The Who were recognised in 2008 at the Kennedy Center Honors. Pete Townshend's songs were performed by a variety of artists, including Joss Stone ("My Generation"), Chris Cornell ("Wont Get Fooled Again"), Dave Grohl ("Who Are You?"), Bettye LaVette ("Love Reign O'er Me"), and Rob Thomas ("Baba O'Riley"). Joining them were the New York City Fire and Police Departments, a nod to the 2001 charity concert in New York—The Concert For New York City—where The Who performed "Who Are You", "Baba O'Riley", "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" for them.

The Who are one of the most influential groups in rock music. Their progressive approach to the writing of albums and their live shows are matched by few. The hard rock style they brought to England set the stage for bands from Led Zeppelin to The Clash. The Who sold 100 million albums. The Who's Mod genesis inspired bands of the Britpop wave in the mid-1990s. Blur, Oasis, Stereophonics and Ash draw influence from the band, which, especially with the Mod counter-culture, provided a "Cool Britannia" ideal.

The Who have been called "The Godfathers of Punk" , as well as in Spike Lee's film, Summer of Sam. Part of the foundation of punk rock lies in The Who's aggression, violence and snotty attitude. The Stooges, MC5, Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Generation X and other punk rock and protopunk rock bands point to The Who as influence.

The group has been credited with devising the "rock opera" and it made one of the first notable concept albums. Following Tommy were David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis and Pink Floyd's The Wall in the 1970s. More recent concept albums in the tradition include The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Green Day's American Idiot, and Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals.

In 1967 Townshend coined "power pop" to describe The Who's sixties singles. The guiding lights of the seventies power pop movement, from the Raspberries to Cheap Trick, take inspiration from The Who.

The Who's influence can also be seen in early incorporation of synthesizers, with Who's Next featuring the instrument prominently. "My Generation" is the band's most covered song. Iron Maiden, Oasis, Sweet, Pearl Jam, Patti Smith, Green Day, McFly, Hawk Nelson, Di-Rect and Hilary Duff have recorded it. Oasis used it as their closer during the 2005 tour. The Zimmers, "the world's oldest rock band", made a tongue-in-cheek version as their first single, a hit in Britain. David Bowie covered "I Can't Explain", "Pictures of Lily" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere". The Sex Pistols, the Ramones and Great White covered "Substitute" which was also played by a combined Silverchair and Powderfinger on their joint Across The Great Divide tour in 2007. The Jam and The Breeders have covered "So Sad About Us". The Shadows have done an instrumental medley of "Pinball Wizard" and "See Me Feel Me" on their 1973 album "Rockin' with Curly Leads".

The Clash incorporated the riff of "I Can't Explain" into "Clash City Rockers" and "Guns on the Roof". Pearl Jam performed "Baba O'Riley" and "The Kids Are Alright" during tours in the 1990s and 2000s. Pearl Jam played songs such as "Leaving Here", "Blue, Red, & Grey", "Love, Reign O'er Me" and "Naked Eye". German band Scorpions covered "I Can't Explain" while W.A.S.P. covered "The Real Me". Van Halen covered "Won't Get Fooled Again" on their 1993 live album Live: Right Here, Right Now, describing it as "a tribute to The Who" and in 1995, Phish covered Quadrophenia for their second Halloween tradition of performing another band's album, which was released as Live Phish Volume 14. Phish continued to cover "Drowned" in live performances. The Grateful Dead covered "Baba O'Riley" in the early 1990s, as did Nirvana. "Baba O'Reilly" was also covered by Dropkick Murphys during their tour, "All Roads Lead to Boston" in 2009. Rush covered "The Seeker" on their 2004 "Feedback" EP and live during their R30 tour that same year. The Foo Fighters covered "Bargain" and "Young Man Blues" on tour.

McFly covered "Pinball Wizard" for the B-side to their 2004 single "I'll Be OK", and played the song in their 2005 tour. Fish (ex Marillion) covered "The Seeker" during his Songs from the Mirror period. Many other artists, ranging from Buddy Rich to Richard Thompson to U2 to Petra Haden (who covered The Who Sell Out in its entirety), have covered Who songs. The Smithereens covered "The Seeker" on the album, Live, and released it as a single (this track is also found on the compilation album, Attack of the Smithereens).

The music of The Who is still performed by tribute bands, such as Bargain, My Generation, The Ohm, The Relay, The Substitutes, Townzen in Japan, The Whodlums (UK), The Wholigans, The Who Show, Who's Next USA, Who's Next UK, Who's Who UK. All three versions of the American forensic drama CSI (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY) feature songs written and performed by The Who as theme songs, "Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley" respectively. The CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men once did a brief CSI spoof called Stiffs with the theme song "Squeeze Box".

The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and won the first annual Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement in Live Music Award in 2006. They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. Tommy was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, "My Generation" in 1999 and Who's Next in 2007.

Townshend and Daltrey received Kennedy Center Honors at the 31st annual awards ceremony on 7 December 2008. The Kennedy Center Honors are America's highest cultural honour. The Who are the only rock band to receive the award.

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Endless Wire (The Who album)

Endless Wire cover

Endless Wire is the eleventh album by the English rock band The Who. It was their first new album of original material in twenty-four years following the release of It's Hard in 1982. The album was originally to be released in Spring 2005 under the working title WHO2. Endless Wire debuted at #7 on the Billboard album chart and #9 in the UK. Portions of it have been featured on The Who Tour 2006-2007. Most of the songs from this album were used in the rock musical adaptation of The Boy Who Heard Music which debuted in July 2007 as part of Vassar College's Powerhouse Summer Theater workshop series.

All songs written by Pete Townshend, except where noted.

Recorded at the Vienne Amphitheatre, Vienne, France on 17 July 2006. Included as an extra in Europe, Asia, and at Best Buy stores in the United States.

Recorded at the Vienne Amphitheatre, Vienne, France on 17 July 2006.

The songs "Tea & Theatre" and "It's Not Enough" were released separately as singles on Universal in 2006, and "Black Widow's Eyes"/"It's Not Enough" on Polydor, also in 2006. "It's Not Enough" reached #37 on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.

The only remaining original members of the band are Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. Keith Moon died in 1978, and John Entwistle died in 2002. Kenney Jones, the Who's second drummer, hasn't played with the group since 1988. Entwistle's place is currently being filled by Pino Palladino. Zak Starkey (son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr), Peter Huntington, and Pete Townshend play drums on the album. Starkey, the longest-term fill-in for Keith Moon, has played with The Who since 1996. Additionally Simon Townshend (Pete Townshend's brother) and Billy Nicholls (who has played with both Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend on solo albums and tours, and provided backing vocals during The Who's 1989 reunion tour) are providing some backing vocals for the album, with John "Rabbit" Bundrick playing some of the keyboards.

Palladino has worked on some of Pete Townshend's solo projects. When Entwistle died unexpectedly on the eve of the Who's 2002 tour of the United States, Palladino was called in, and the new group were performing within days. Palladino has remained with the Who since, and played on the 2004 track "Old Red Wine".

Most of what is known about the development of the album has come from Pete Townshend's website. On 21 March 2005, Pete Townshend officially announced the postponement of the new Who album. On 24 December 2005, Townshend announced that manager Bill Curbishley had introduced a "great scheme" to allow the band to tour in Summer 2006 in support of new material, even if Townshend did not have "a full thirty tracks ready to go." On 20 March 2006, Daltrey announced that he and Townshend were making progress with the album and that Townshend had written a song about Stockholm Syndrome, entitled "Black Widow's Eyes". Daltrey also said that Townshend is playing some bass on the album .

On 28 March 2006, Townshend announced through the diary portion of his website that a mini-opera, entitled "The Glass Household" now forms the core of the album. It is based on his novella "The Boy Who Heard Music". He also announced plans to have a shortened version of the opera released this summer, prior to the release of the full album. This diary entry also confirmed the current lineup of the band: Pino Palladino on bass, Pete Townshend on guitars, his brother Simon Townshend is helping on backing vocals, and John "Rabbit" Bundrick is tackling keyboards. Peter Huntington, from Rachel Fuller's band, is on drums because Zak Starkey was still on tour with Oasis.

On 9 April 2006, Townshend announced that the shortened version of "The Glass Household" has been played to executives at Polydor, and a release date has been set for June, with a tour of Europe following, and the album in September . On 3 May 2006, Pete Townshend posted on his diary page that the mastering for the new EP, titled Wire & Glass, is complete and that the tracks will soon be sent to Polydor. Townshend anticipated a mid-June release for the EP, and a mid-September release for the full album. He has also announced that in 2 weeks The Who would begin rehearsing for their tour, during which time Townshend would finish recording the rest of the album with Roger Daltrey .

On 13 May 2006, Pete Townshend reported that his daughter is helping find a video director, but there may be some problems with releasing the mini-opera in North America at the same time as the rest of the world. However, he said he was certain "the Who have a new record in the can - almost finished, and it will be a good one," . On 10 June 2006, Pete Townshend revealed that songs rehearsed for the upcoming tour would include "Cry If You Want" (last heard in 1982 and apparently requested by Roger Daltrey), "I Don't Even Know Myself", "Relay", "Getting In Tune", "The Seeker", "Another Tricky Day", "Naked Eye", "Bargain", "Pure and Easy", "I'm a Boy", "Tattoo", and "Let's See Action", while the North American shows will also get Roger Daltrey's second self-penned song, "Here for More", and The Who by Numbers track "Blue, Red and Grey", to be performed by Townshend on ukulele. He also mentioned the truncated rock opera, Wire & Glass, will be rehearsed and includes the following titles: "Sound Round", "Pick Up the Peace", "Endless Wire", "We Got a Hit", "They Made My Dreams Come True", and "Mirror Door" (the latter which has been getting radio play in the UK).

A version of "It's Not Enough" was released online at "It's Not Enough" has tentatively been announced as the first single off the album, to be released simultaneously.

On 3 October 2006, "It's Not Enough" was made available on iTunes. "Tea & Theatre" was also made available. Then on 14 October 2006, Polydor built a website for the album. It was announced from Pete Townshend's website.

On the website samples of the songs "We Got a Hit" "Endless Wire" "It's Not Enough" "Black Widow's Eyes" "Mike Post Theme" and "Man in a Purple Dress" are available to listen to, but not to download.

As of 23 October 2006, the entire album is available to stream on

Endless Wire debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200, selling about 81,000 units in its first week of release.

On 6 September 2006, the track listing for the album was released on Pete Townshend's personal website . On 27 September 2006, a press release was issued which featured track-by-track commentary by Pete . All songs written by Pete Townshend except as noted.

This song is based on one of the very first experiments by Lawrence Ball, a composer I commissioned to create a system, and software, that would recreate the 'Method' music (music accurately reflecting an individual via a website) described in my three interlocked rock-opera projects: Lifehouse (The Who 1972); Psychoderelict (Pete Townshend solo 1993); The Boy Who Heard Music (Weblog Novella 2005-2006). In The Boy Who Heard Music, a group of three young people form a band – The Glass Household – and their first big hit is this song.

This song was performed live throughout the 2006 US tour.

After watching Mel Gibson's harrowing 2004 film The Passion of the Christ I immediately wrote three songs. This was one of them. It is not so much a rail against the principles of justice through the ages, but a challenge to the vanity of the men who need to put on some kind of ridiculous outfit in order to pass sentence on one of their peers. It is the idea that men need dress up in order to represent God that appalls me. If I wanted to be as insane as to attempt to represent God I’d just go ahead and do it, I wouldn't dress up like a drag-queen.

Another song performed throughout the 2006 US tour, Pete and Roger also appeared on the David Letterman Show on 14 September 2006, to perform the song, though it was reduced by two verses.

Who songs have been used recently for TV shows. I thought a lot about why there are people who feel that isn’t a cool thing to do. Mike Post is a man who has written a number of TV themes that I feel have created a kind of regular sparkle in my life – they have reminded me that life comes one day at a time, and that it is truly the little things in life (like Soap Operas on TV) that help ease the big troubles. The larger theme in the background of this song is the statement that we are no longer strong enough or young enough to love. In a very real way, movies, novels and TV series do help us to express selfless emotions as we once did when we were in love. Men cry quietly watching TV and movies, women maybe a little more openly, but when we do that we are reconnecting with our innocent and free-flowing feelings. If only we could still do that with the principle lover in our lives.

In addition to the mini-opera, "Mike Post Theme" was debuted live at their Leeds University gig on 17 June 2006. When announcing the song, Roger said that it hadn't been recorded yet, leading fans to believe that it wouldn't appear on the album despite being a favourite among those who had heard it. It appears that a version was recorded during a brief break in the tour.

In my Novella The Boy Who Heard Music the narrator is Ray High, a rock star whose drug-abuse has led him to a sanatorium. While there he learns to meditate and begins to sense that someone is interfering with his quietude up in the place where he allows his mind to go. It seems almost as though they are using a Ham Radio, and old fashioned long-wave radio that was the specialist precursor to the modern internet Chat-Room. He may sense another presence, but this song reinforces how lonely it is to be .spiritual.. If the intention of the spiritual aspirant is to 'become one with the infinite', and yet life is almost the universally finite antidote to the infinite, isn't he likely to get very lonely?

Debuted live by Pete at a solo gig for the Poetry Olympics at the Royal Albert Hall on 25 September 2005. The song was later released as a download on Pete's website, but fans were put off by Pete's strange vocals, reminiscent of Tom Waits, and Roger reportedly passed over singing the song for the album.

A love song. We sometimes fall in love when we do not want to, and when we do not expect to. Suddenly. Foolishly. This song is about the man holding a child in the Beslan massacre who described the female terrorist who blew herself up, killing the child he held, as 'having the most penetrating and beautiful eyes'.

Roger talked about this song in an interview in the spring of 2006, saying it was written about Stockholm syndrome and quoting it as one of his favourite tracks on the album. The song was performed infrequently on the 2006 US tour.

This is one of the three songs I wrote after watching The Passion of the Christ. This one is about the fact that Judas may not have been acting to betray Christ at all, but precisely following his instructions. He waits two thousand years for us to consider this a possibility. We wait two thousand years for the New Christ. We need a lot of patience.

Pete debuted this song on the In the Attic programme in 2005.

Very simple song. God is asleep, before Creation – before the Big Bang – and gets the whim to wake, and decides it could be worth going through it all in order to be able to hear some music, and most of all, one of his best creations, Marty Robbins.

Pete had recorded an instrumental demo simply titled "Marty Robbins" in June 1984, which was released on his 2001 Scoop 3 album. He later debuted the song at an Internet-only streaming concert titled the Basement Jam on 4 December 2005.

I wrote this a few minutes before appearing on my partner Rachel Fuller's In the Attic Live webcast show from my studio in London. I had nothing new to play, and decide to write a song. This just came out. It is for her, and for Roger, for believing in me, and standing by me when I have been completely out of order. It could be for many of my family, friends and fans who have done the same. I have often been a very tricky man to live with.

The first song from Wire & Glass, a 'Mini-Opera', ten songs that comprise the principal music composed so far for the novella The Boy Who Heard Music. A young man (the young Ray High) is driving a large camper bus with extreme air-con around an Estuary close to a large Power Station. He can see that the sea is swarming with a plague of jellyfish encouraged by the over-heated sea water (this is based on something that happened around 1971 in the Blackwater Estuary in Essex). He stops and looks at the water, throws a stick for his dog, who he has to rescue. In the sky he sees the future – nothing ecological or apocalyptic, more a vision of a society strangled by wire and communications.

Reportedly, this track, the following track ("Pick Up the Peace"), and an unreleased track titled "Ambition" (see below) were written in 1971. The character of Ray High also appeared as the protagonist of Townshend's solo album Psychoderelict.

Ray High, now an old '60s rocker, is meditating in what looks like a cell in a secure hospital. He sees three teenagers from his neighbourhood getting together as kids do, playing, flirting, talking, and forming a band. Then he has an intuition that they are going to become stars. They are Gabriel, Josh and Leila. (They call their band The Glass Household). In striking contrast he sees scenes from his own childhood in the same neighbourhood, bombed buildings and old soldiers.

The three kids are from very different families. Gabriel is from a show biz family of lapsed Christians. Josh is from a fairly devout Jewish family (they observe Sabbath) who have suffered a tragedy, the loss of their father in an incident in Israel. Leila, from a Muslim family who have also suffered a loss: that of her beautiful and charismatic mother who died when she was very young. They each share fantasies, and afflictions, gifts and ideas, and become deeply committed friends. Like urchin-angels they share their secrets: Gabriel hears music; Josh voices; Leila can fly.

To date, this was only performed on three occasions throughout the US 2006 tour (Philadelphia, Wantagh, and Calgary).

Josh's widowed mother vests all her hopes in her brother Hymie becoming a great man. He falls in love with Trilby, Gabriel's goofy blonde Aunt. Trilby is the one who has nurtured Gabriel's great musical talent, unnoticed by his preoccupied mother. The kids decide to put on a musical play at Leila's father's studio featuring this song, and it finally breaks Josh's mother's resistance to the love match. The song is sung by Gabriel. The play is a naiive children's effort, but with a grand proscenium stage (like a large Victorian puppet theatre) a stairway and a cherub and angel filled backdrop.

At some point in their rehearsals for the play, the three teenagers unearth documents that turn out to have belonged to Ray High, Leila's father’s old studio partner. The documents refer to a crazy scheme to use the global wire network Ray saw as a young man to spread unifying music to everyone. (This matches my own vision for the Lifehouse Method, a computer-driven website through which people can commission their unique musical portrait.) They pore over the plans and realize that his scheme might be something they can make happen.

Pete performed this song solo at Joe's Pub on 14 September 2006. The Who had also performed it live in full in Berlin on 12 July 2006, separate from the mini-opera, which wasn't performed that night. On both occasions, when not performed with the mini-opera, the full version with a reprise of the first verse and an additional chorus was played; Pete has said this variation is one of two bonus tracks that will feature on special editions of the album.

A stripped version of FRAGMENTS to show off the Method music.

In a series of intense discussions the three metamorphose from kids to adults and expert media and internet manipulators and we see them performing a hit on TV, radio and stage. The hit referred to in the lyric is FRAGMENTS.

Another song that was "extended" for a special edition of the album, with an additional verse not heard on the mini-opera version.

Still in his cell, Ray High can observe the kids' rise to fame while meditating. He foresees a tragedy, someone at the band’s biggest ever, and last, concert will die. He rues the fact that the rock industry seems unable to change. What is never clear is whether the concert he foresees ever takes place in reality, or actually remains a dream forever.

The three pursue their own dream: to perform an extraordinary elaboration of their children's play in Central Park in New York that is webcast to the entire world for charity, and during which they demonstrate Ray's idea to 'turn everyone into music'. Where there was once a small puppet theatre stage, there is now a massive one; where there was once a small stairway to the back of the stage, there is now a stairway hoisted by blimps that seems to reach into the heavens. The band play, it becomes clear that there are terrorists on the streets trying to distract from the celebration, but the show goes on. At the top of the stairway appear gathered a series of legendary singers from popular music, all dead. A shot rings out and the tragedy is established. Josh, a paranoid schizophrenic, has stopped taking his medication and grabbed a pistol from someone and shot Gabriel. We cannot help our own. He ascends the stairway to join the dead. Even now, it is not clear whether this particular series of events actually takes place.

It will be noted that one of the listed names of deceased singing geniuses (Doris Day) is still alive. In show-biz heaven, behind the ‘Mirror Door’ no one ever really dies (it is rather like an after-show pub gathering). FRAGMENTS, the kid's biggest hit, becomes a moment to look back and celebrate life, death, breath, creation, science, physics, maths, literature and growth.

This song was released to the radio stations ahead of the mini-opera in June 2006, but was remixed for the Wire & Glass release later in July.

Years later Josh and Leila – now old - take tea together. Coincidentally Josh's protective sanatorium cell is next to Ray's and they have just – together – revived once again the children’s play, this time with the inmates of the sanatorium. They reflect on their career and lives together. The inference here is that perhaps, just maybe, Ray (the narrator) has confused the play he just saw in the Sanatorium with the one they all hoped to see happen one day in New York, in the sky, and up into the universe.

Fans have interpreted this song as being about the death of John Entwistle and Pete's and Roger's decision to carry on as The Who, though Pete refuted this in interviews, saying that it was the concluding track of The Glass Household, but that he was pleased that people interpreted it differently. "Tea & Theatre" was the final performance of The Who's concerts throughout the US 2006 tour, with just Pete (on acoustic guitar) and Roger at the front of the stage; the studio version utilizes a drum machine and bass guitar.

An asterisk (*) denotes songs included on the Wire & Glass EP.

There are two special edition versions: One contains a Bonus DVD with 5 live songs: "Mike Post Theme", "Baba O'Riley", "Who Are You", "Behind Blue Eyes", and "Won't Get Fooled Again". The second version contains a Live CD from Lyon 2006: "The Seeker", "Who Are You", "Mike Post Theme", "Relay", "Greyhound Girl", "Naked Eye", and "Won't Get Fooled Again".

Reportedly written in 1971 for the Lifehouse concept, Pete debuted this song on In the Attic in 2006.

Another song that was debuted by Townshend on In the Attic in 2006. It was recorded in the studio with Zak on drums, and Roger on vocals, but Pete expressed doubt on whether it would make it on the album or not when he first played it on In The Attic, and it wasn't included. However, it did make an appearance in the Vassar College workshop performance of the rock musical The Boy Who Heard Music.

Here is a film I made of a working day developing a demo of a song for the next Who album called "How Can I Help You, Sir?" I have played this in raw form on Rachel Fuller's IN THE ATTIC and last night on her Pay For View Christmas Special. That is the way it sounds played acoustic. What you can hear here is the way it is beginning to evolve as a rock track. Adding Roger's voice will increase the edge.

In a very real sense every song I write when I sit at home with an acoustic guitar has two distinct lives. The acoustic version may seem to be softer and more intimate. But in this case - in a song about a sick person's refusal to allow anyone to help them, a lonely person refusing to allow anyone to get close - the acoustic version has more bite. The rock version seems altogether more jolly, almost a throwaway. It will be interesting to see how it sounds when Roger and I get it into the studio together.

A Roger Daltrey-penned song, rehearsed with John Entwistle on bass, was rumoured to be recorded for the album. It was also supposed to include a bass line from Entwistle that had been recorded at a soundcheck or a rehearsal, though this has not yet surfaced.

At least three other songs were demoed, rehearsed, or recorded for the album. According to a Mojo article by Dave Marsh, the titles were "Cinderella" (about a friend of Townshend's who was abused as a child), "He Said, She Said" (about a relationship told through the views of both the man and woman), and "There's No Doubt" (based on something said to Townshend by The Who's manager Bill Curbishley when asked if his new wife was "the one").

Poems were posted on Pete's site throughout the spring of 2006 leading up to his 61st birthday, which fans thought could turn into song lyrics; indeed, Pete had posted an entry which gave lyrics to a song titled "You're Useless, but You're Mine" (about Townshend's dog) which were later removed. Fans thought Pete removed the lyrics because it was going to be recorded as a Who song but it's likely the song wasn't recorded; no explanation for the removal was ever given.

The song "Real Good Looking Boy" was previously issued on The Who's compilation album Then and Now. The song "I Can Fly" was previously issued on Fuller's EP Shine.

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Substitute (The Who song)

“Substitute” cover

The concept for the song was supposedly originally inspired by Townshend’s idea The Who were a “substitute” for the Rolling Stones (Townshend had been particularly impressed by The Stones' hit "Satisfaction" and was determined to come up with a memorable riff in response), though it was later described as a comment about the blurring between image and reality. The title was also inspired by Townshend's admiration of The Miracles' 1965 song, "The Tracks of My Tears", in particular, writer Smokey Robinson's use of the word "substitute" in one of the verses. The song is notable not just for the clever lyrics, but also the intense bass of John Entwistle (reportedly Entwistle turned his bass as high as possible for the recording, without the band's knowledge). The song was a fan favorite and was played at almost every concert that The Who performed - this, "I Can't Explain," and "Heaven and Hell," in varying orders, have served as The Who's opening numbers for over forty years. It appears on the Live at Leeds album as well as Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Also in a BBC radio appearance Pete Townshend stated that Substitute simply "was about nothing" and it "had no hidden meaning".

For the American release of the single, the “controversial” lyric “I look all white but my dad was black” was changed to “I try going forward but my feet walk back”.

Punk rock group The Ramones covered the song on their "Acid Eaters" album, and it was also released as a single by the Sex Pistols. English rock band Blur also covered this song in a 1994 tribute album to The Who called Who Covers Who?

A snippet of this song can be heard in the movie School of Rock.

It was also covered by metal band Great White.

The song is currently being played as a collaboration between Silverchair and Powderfinger at the end of their concerts on the Across the Great Divide Tour.

A memorial plaque for Keith Moon at Golders Green Crematorium reads "There is no substitute", a possible reference to the song.

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I'm Free (The Who song)

In 1975, the song was reintegrated into The Who's setlist. The version played at these shows featured more raucous vocals and a reworked guitar riff.

It was later released as a single.

In 1997, the Christian rock band Geoff Moore and the Distance covered this song, on the album Threads.

The song has been used in a Nissan commercial.

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BBC Sessions (The Who album)

BBC Sessions cover

BBC Sessions by The Who was released 15 February 2000 on Polydor Records and MCA Records. It contains 24 tracks and 2 jingles recorded live at the BBC studios in London.

With the exception of the jingles being used to bookend the album, and the third track being misplaced, The Who's recordings are presented here in chronological order.

NOTE: Due to publishing restrictions, the US version dropped 'Man With The Money' and edited out the few lines from 'Spoonful' contained in 'Shakin' All Over'.

Tracks 2, 4 & 5 recorded 24 May 1965 at Aeolian Hall, London.

Track 3 recorded 15 June 1965 at Aeolian Hall, London.

Tracks 6, 7 & 8 recorded 22 November 1965 at Aeolian Hall, London.

Tracks 9, 10 & 11 recorded 15 March 1966 at Aeolian Hall, London.

Tracks 12 & 13 recorded 13 September 1966 at the BBC Playhouse Theatre, London.

Tracks 14, 15, 16 & 17 recorded 17 January 1967 at the BBC Playhouse Theatre, London.

Tracks 1, 18, 19 & 26 recorded 10 October 1967 at De Lane Lea Studio, Kingsway, London.

Tracks 20, 21, 22 & 23 recorded 13 April 1970 at IBC Studios, London.

Tracks 24 & 25 recorded 29 January 1973 at the BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, using previously recorded backing tracks.

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Source : Wikipedia