So stoned decision of the day is that I am going to do a write up of every Who album through 1979.
Today we start with "My Generation" (UK)/"The Who Sings My Generation" (US).* https://open.spotify.com/album/6Oc6Ok1Oawu8lRkjmD4mXy The US version had a song that the rest of the world's version did not have: "Instant Party (Circles)." A Bo Diddley cover ("I'm A Man") was on the other release instead. The link takes you to a re-released deluxe version, but this'll focus on the original release.
This 12 track album was released at the end of 1965. The Who were a London band, and many of the London bands in the early 60s were heavily US blues-influenced. You hear that in this album beyond just the covers (they also covered "Please, Please, Please" by James Brown), but also with a heavy distortion (think Link Wray's "Rumble") type of garage sound infused with it. There is also some poppiness to it, but that is usually overshadowed by the title track.
Speaking of the title track... the. bass. solo. I can't think of any other song during that time that had a bass solo in the middle of it. John was amazing.
...and speaking of John, I also want to highlight "The Ox." It's an instrumental that was improvised, and has a mix of sounds. It sounds like a surf song, a garage song, and has fast paced piano playing all in one. It's a trip to listen to.
"Instant Party (Circles)" is also a good John highlight. He had been a trumpet player since childhood and played it on this track. He reprises the trumpet playing through many of their later recordings, but this was the first track he did.
All in all this a good first album. It had the sound of the time but also a taste of the more experimental sounds and depth that was to come later. Not bad for a group of London kids ranging from age 19-21.
* Their first two albums had different names in the US, and they both were not as good as the actual titles.
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