Legacy and influence

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Posted on Wed, 02/11/2015 - 1:03pm
by Angie Spray

Member since: Sat, 01/03/2015

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The Who are one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century. Their appearances at Monterey and Woodstock helped give them a reputation as one of the greatest live rock acts and they have been credited with originating the "rock opera". As of October 2014, the group has sold over 100 million records worldwide.

The group's contributions to rock include the power chord, windmill strum, the Marshall Stack, the guitar smash, and the use of non-musical instrument noise. The band had an impact on fashion from their earliest days with their embrace of pop art and the use of the Union Jack for clothing. The guitar-smashing incident at the Railway Hotel in 1964 is one of Rolling Stone magazine's "50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll".

Pink Floyd began to use feedback from their early shows in 1966, inspired by the Who, whom they considered a formative influence. Shortly after arriving in London in 1966, Hendrix visited Marshall's music shop demanding an amp setup like Townshend's and manipulated electronic noises in ways that Townshend had pioneered. Hendrix's drummer, Mitch Mitchell had auditioned for the Who at the same time as Moon, and he joined the Experience knowing it would be competitive. The Beatles were fans and socialised with Moon in particular during the mid-1960s. In 1965, Paul McCartney said the Who "are the most exciting thing around" and was inspired to write "Helter Skelter" in the group's "heavy" style; John Lennon borrowed the acoustic guitar style in "Pinball Wizard" for "Polythene Pam".

The loud volume of the band's live show influenced the approach of hard rock and heavy metal, Proto punk and punk rock bands such as the MC5, the Stooges, the Ramones the Sex Pistols, the Clash and Green Day cite the Who as an influence. The Who inspired mod revival bands, particularly the Jam, which helped other groups influenced by the Who become popular. In the mid-1990s, Britpop bands such as Blur and Oasis were influenced by the Who.

The Who have inspired many tribute bands; Daltrey has endorsed the Whodlums, who raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Many bands have covered Who songs; Elton John's version of "Pinball Wizard" reached No. 7 in the UK.


During the Who's hiatuses in the 1980s and '90s, Townshend developed his skills as a music publisher to be financially successful from the Who without recording or touring. He countered criticism of "selling out" by saying that licensing the songs to other media allows a wider exposure and widens the group's appeal.

All three versions of the American forensic drama CSI (CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationCSI: Miami, and CSI: NY) feature Who songs as theme songs, "Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley" respectively. A fourth version of the drama CSI has been announced for the 2014–15 television season entitled CSI: Cyber, using "I Can See for Miles". The group's songs have featured in other popular TV series such as The Simpsons, and Top Gear, which had an episode where the presenters were tasked with being roadies for the band.

Rock-orientated films such as Almost FamousSchool of Rock and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny refer to the band and feature their songs, and other films have used the band's material in their soundtracks, including Apollo 13 (which used "I Can See For Miles") and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (which used a take of "My Generation" recorded for the BBC). Several of the band's tracks have appeared in the video game Rock Band and its sequels.



The Who - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Who http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/