Review Summary: A seminal debut
Very few rock bands will have as lasting impact and legacy as England's cultural icons The Who, with such hit songs such as Pinball Wizard, arachnophobia anthem Boris the Spider and, of course, the title track of their seminal debut My Generation. They are a band who will forever be considered one of the most important 60's rock groups, for a number of reasons, in particular their willingness to ignore the norm and just do things their own way, creating a brash style of rock music that was completely unlike anything ever released before. For this reason alone, their first album remains a timeless classic.
Combining the intricate bass work of John Entwistle with well thought out guitar work from Pete Townsend, iconic vocals from Roger Daltrey and, of course, the drug-fueled madness that was Keith Moon, The Who were unlike any band of their age, and My Generation was soon to take the world by storm. It is a relatively short affair, at 36 minutes, boasting 12 songs, each of which has since become a legendary song in its own right in the British rock scene.
Album opener Out In The Street is an energetic song, that is equal parts catchy and fun to listen to. The guitar work to this song is extremely nicely composed, and Roger puts absolutely everything into this song. This was a great way to open the album, before the flow is slightly interrupted by track two, I Dont Mind. This is a cover of Jamer Brown's 1961 R&B hit, and feels somewhat out of place on the album, despite packing that clear punch that the Who were influenced by.
Skip down three songs to the title track, and here we find the absolute masterpiece of the album. This is a short, fun song, that tells adults to not try and understand the young, and is one of the best songs the band ever put out. Roger Daltrey snarls and stutters his way through this tune, but it is surprisingly the bass work from John Entwistle that steals the show. All the way through this song, it is present and well performed, completing an amazing song.
The Kids Are Alright and A Legal Matter are the other two amazing songs from this release, with the former being a fun, bouncy song that was destined to become the hit it was. A Legal Matter is a little different, being sung by Pete Townshend, and carries that signature The Who sound that would influence and inspire countless young musicians in the future, with some interesting lyrics. The vocals from Pete are very nicely done, and fit the context of the song brilliantly, making this the outright classic it is.
My Generation was a revolutionary album, with many songs on the album being far heavier than what was popular at the time, and therefore being as shocking as The Who's car-crashing, hotel smashing image would suggest. However, it is also a fantastic album to just listen to, and is great fun to have a sing a long to. This is an excellent release, that deserves a listen, if only to sample a piece of history, but is not without its flaws, in particular the cover of I Dont Mind. 4/5.