Who, The - The Ultimate Collection

Year of Release: 2002
Label: MCA/UTV Records
Catalog Number: 088 112 877-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 128:37:00

First and foremost, I must say may the good lord take care of John Entwistle, the late, great bassist for The Who that passed away just a few weeks ago, one day before opening night of their reunion concert tour. It's so sad, two of the greatest British rock groups, The Who and The Beatles now have two surviving members left. It's a hard dose of reality and it reminds us all of our mortality. What we do have and always will is all the great music that Ox helped to make. The Ultimate Collection is an authoritative Who set that gives a more than adequate overview of their career spanning from the 60s through the 80s.

The Who were one of the first essential rock mods (slang for moderns) from the shores of Great Britain along with The Kinks and those wonderful mop tops. They were also the creators of one the first ever rock operas, Tommy. Peter Townshend was the musical genius behind a majority of their work, while Roger Daltry was the sexy bare-chested lead singer that made all the girls swoon. Keith Moon was the classic rock 'n' roll maniac, taking life to its very end at a very young age due to all the excesses that a music career can manifest. I remember watching Moonie play a maniacal drum solo on a set of clear drums with goldfish in them on the Ed Sullivan Show many years ago. The Ox, as he was lovingly referred to by many friends, was the stoic other half of the rhythm section, the complete opposite of his counterpart. The stories of the infighting and hotel destructions by the group are legendary, but once they got on stage or in the recording studio magic happened. Some of the greatest rock music ever recorded was the end result. Personalities may have clashed, but as a group they were unique. Something has to be said for their longevity and ongoing popularity despite all the problems and breakups.

All compilations claim the status of being the quintessential collection of recorded works, if this isn't, it's damned close, and I don't know what else is. It's not as all encompassing as their career spanning boxed set, although it compacts most of their best work into two discs. Inevitably there are some of the favs missing, but that's what the boxed sets and other collections are good for, filling in those gaps. A lot of the most memorable Who music is found on Who's Next, with the unforgettable shot of the boys walking away after pissing all over a cement monument of some sort, each leaving their mark, just like a pack of dogs. I can picture Townshend doing his trademark windmill guitar gyrations playing "Won't Get Fooled Again" every time I hear it. "Eminence Front" (It's Hard, 1982) was always one of my favorite songs as well along with the irresistible "Squeeze Box" (By Numbers, 1975). And how can one forget Daltry singing "Who the fuck are you?" on "Who Are You" (Who Are You, 1978), it;s just classic rock at its very best.

So if you are looking for a complete and "best of" set that does The Who justice, you are probably wondering if this is the ticket then aren't you? I have one thing to say..."You Better You Bet" it is. Long live rock, be it dead or alive.

[Some editions of this release come with a bonus disk that contains 4 tracks: "Substitute" (rare US single version), "I'm A Boy" (early version), "Happy Jack" (acoustic version, previously unreleased), and "Magic Bus" (UK single version). Only 150,000 of these editions were made.

My anecdote to add to this review is twofold. Whilst shopping at local warehouse store, there were hundreds of copies of this CD on display; I remember wondering why for a few seconds -- that is, why such a big push -- and then I realized, "oh yeh, they're touring." The next day or so, we learned that Entwhistle had died. The second part of this anecdote is, the sticker affixed to the package included a mention on the order of "'Who Are You' as heard as the theme music for C.S.I." My thought, "The Who must be turning over at that," fully aware that, at the time, none of the current members were deceased. As I said, a day or two later... Fortunately, C.S.I. is a good show to be associated with, and the music does, words alone, fit the theme. -wordy ed.]

Disc One: I Can't Explain (2:05) / Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (2:41) / My Generation (3:19) / The Kids Are Alright (2:46) / A Legal Matter (2:48) / Substitute (3:48) / I'm A Boy (2:37) / Boris The Spider (2:28) / Happy Jack (2:11) / Pictures Of Lily (2:45) / I Can See For Miles (4:07) / Call Me Lightning (2:21) / Magic Bus (3:22) / Pinball Wizard (3:01) / I'm Free (2:40) / See Me, Feel Me (3:26) / The Seeker (3:12) / Summertime Blues [Live] (3:25) / My Wife (3:35) / Baba O'Riley (5:00) / Bargain (5:35)

Disc Two: Behind Blue Eyes (3:43) / Won't Get Fooled Again (8:32) / Let's See Action (3:59) / Pure And Easy (5:22) / Join Together (4:22) / Long Live Rock (3:54) / The Real Me (3:34) / 5'15 (4:50) / Love Reign O'er Me (5:51) / Squeeze Box (2:42) / Who Are You (6:21) / Sister Disco (4:21) / You Better You Bet (5:37) / Eminence Front (5:37)

Roger Daltrey - harmonica, vocals
Pete Townshend - guitar, keyboards, vocals
John Entwistle - bass, vocals
Keith Moon - drums
Kenny Jones - drums

The Who Sings My Generation (1965/2002 (dlx))
A Quick One (Happy Jack) (1966)
Happy Jack (1967)
The Who Sell Out (1967)
Magic Bus (1968)
Direct Hits (1968)
Magic Bus (1968)
The Who/The Strawberry Alarm Clock (1969)
Tommy, Pt. 1 (1969)
Live At Leeds (1970/1995/2001 (dlx))
Backtrack 1 (1970)
Backtrack 2 (1970)
Backtrack 3 (1970)
Backtrack 4 (1970)
Backtrack 5 (1970)
Backtrack 8 (1970)
Backtrack 9 (1970)
Backtrack 10 (1970)
Backtrack 11 (1970)
Backtrack 12 (1970)
Backtrack 13 (1970)
Backtrack 14 (1970)
Greatest Rock Sensation (1970)
Who's Next (1971)
Golden Double Album (1971)
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (1971)
Tommy - As Performed By The London Symphony Orchestra (1972)
Tommy, Pt. 2 (1972)
Quadrophenia (1973)
Perfect Collection (1973)
A Quick One (Happy Jack)/The Who Sell Out (1974)
Magic Bus/My Generation (1974)
Odds & Sods (1974)
The Who By Numbers (1975)
Best of 1964-1974 (1975)
The Story of the Who (1976)
Who Are You (1978)
Musical Biography with Alison Steele (1978)
The Kids Are Alright (live) (1979)
Live at Leeds/Who Are You (1980)
Who Are You/Live at Leeds (1980)
Face Dances (1981/1997)
Filling in the Gaps (1981)
Filling in the Spaces (1981)
Hooligans (1982)
Phases (1982)
It's Hard (1982/1997)
Rarities, Vol. 1: 1966-1968 (1983)
Rarities, Vol. 2: 1970-1973 (1983)
Who's Greatest Hits (1983)
Who's Last (live) (1984)
The Who (1985)
Who's Missing (1985)
Two's Missing (1987)
Two's Missing (1987)
Who's Better, Who's Best (1988)
Join Together (live) (1990)
Who Collection (1991)
Thirty Years of Maximum R&B Live (dlx ed. 2CD) (1994)
Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (1994)
Rarities 1966-1972, Vols. 1-2 (1994)
My Generation: The Very Best of the Who (1996)
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 (1996)
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of The Who (1999)
BBC Sessions [Bonus Disc] [live] (2000)
The BBC Sessions [live] (2000)
The Blues to the Bush [live] (2000)
Live: Tinley Park, Illinois, August 24, 2002 (2002)
The Ultimate Collection (2002)
The Singles (2003)
Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2003)
Then and Now: 1964-2004 (2004)
First Singles Box (2004)
The Early Collection: Magic Bus/Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy/Who's Missing (2004)
I'm A Boy (2006)
Special Box Set (2006)
Live From Toronto (2006)
Endless Wire (2006) Paper Sleeve Box (2007)
Audiobiography (2007)
View From A Backstage Pass [live] (2007)
Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who (2008)
My Generation [Box Set] (2008)
At Kilburn 1977 [live] (2008)
Greatest Hits (2009)
Greatest Hits & More (2010)
Greatest Hits Live (2010)

Quadrophenia (VID) (1979)
The Kids Are Alright (VID) (1979)
Tommy (VID) (1982)
Who Rocks America (VID) (1983)
Who's Better, Who's Best: The Videos (VID) (1988)
Live: Featuring Rock Opera Tommy (VID) (1990)
Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B Live (VID/DVD) (1994)
Who's Tommy: The Amazing Journey (VID) (1994)
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 (DVD) (1998)
The Vegas Job: Reunion Concert Live In Vegas (DVD) (1999)
Who's Next (DVD) (2000)
Listening To You: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 (DVD) (2000)
Live At The Royal Albert Hall (VID/DVD) (2001)
Quadrophenia (DVD) (2001)
Live In Boston (DVD) (2004)
Tommy And Quadrophenia: Live (DVD) (2005)
Tangled Up In Who (DVD) (2005)
The Moon Years (DVD) (2006)
Quadrophenia Live (DVD) (2006)
In Their Own Words (DVD) (2006)
Music Box Biographical Collection (DVD) (2006)
20th Anniversary Reunion Concert (DVD) (2006)
Die Keith Moon ?ra (DVD) (2006)
Live from Toronto (DVD) (2006)
Purple Hearts and Power Chords: The Who on Film 1965-1969 (DVD) (2006)
Videobiography (DVD) (2007)
The Up Close & Personal (DVD) (2007)
Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who (DVD) (2007)
The Who & Friends (DVD) (2008)
In Houston 1975 (DVD) (2008)
Live At Glastonbury 2007 (DVD) (2008)
Retrospectives (DVD) (2008)
At Kilburn 1977 (DVD) (2008)
Maximum R&B Live (DVD) (2009)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: July 30th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.thewho.com
Hits: 475
Language: english


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