Lifehouse and Who's Next

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By Hunter-Desportes (The Who at Charlotte, NC (1971)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 
 
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Angie Spray's picture
Posted on Wed, 02/11/2015 - 11:28am
by Angie Spray

Member since: Sat, 01/03/2015

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Tommy secured the Who's future, and made them millionaires. The group reacted in different ways—Daltrey and Entwistle lived comfortably, Townshend was embarrassed at his wealth, which he felt was at odds with Meher Baba's ideals, and Moon spent frivolously. Entwistle was the first member of the group to release a solo album, Smash Your Head Against the Wall, in May 1971.

During the latter part of 1970, Townshend plotted a follow up TommyLifehouse, which was to be a multi-media project symbolising the relationship between an artist and his audience. He developed ideas in his home studio, creating layers of synthesizers, and the Young Vic theatre in London was booked for a series of experimental concerts. Townshend approached the gigs with optimism; the rest of the band were just happy to be gigging again. Eventually, the others complained to Townshend that the project was too complicated and they should simply record another album. Things deteriorated until Townshend had a nervous breakdown and abandoned Lifehouse.

Recording at the Record Plant in New York City in March 1971 was abandoned when Lambert's addiction to hard drugs interfered with his ability to produce. The group restarted with Glyn Johns in April. The album was mostly Lifehouse material, with one unrelated song by Entwistle, "My Wife", and was released as Who's Next in August. The album reached No. 1 in the UK and the US. "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are early examples of synthesizer use in rock, featuring keyboard sounds generated in real time by a Lowrey organ; on "Won't Get Fooled Again", it was further processed through a VCS3 synthesizer. The synthesizer intro to "Baba O'Riley" was programmed based on Meher Baba's vital stats, and the track featured a violin solo by Dave Arbus. The album was a critical and commercial success, and has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA. The Who continued to issue Lifehouse-related material over the next few years, including the singles "Let's See Action", "Join Together" and "Relay".

The band went back on tour, and "Baba O' Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" became live favourites. In November they performed at the newly opened Rainbow Theatre in London for three nights, continuing in the US later that month, where Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times described the Who as "the Greatest Show on Earth". The tour was slightly disrupted at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on 12 December when Moon passed out over his kit after overdosing on brandy and barbiturates. He recovered and completed the gig, playing to his usual strength.

 

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