The Who
Who Are You


3.0
good

Review

by Seafroggys USER (2 Reviews)
December 3rd, 2005 | 44 replies


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist


The Who -
Roger Daltry - Vocals
John Entwistle - Bass Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals
Keith Moon - Drums, Percussion
Pete Townshend - Guitar, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals

It had been three years since The Who realeased their last album, and the amount of tours they were doing were dwindling each year. Keith Moon, rock 'n roll madman, had lived such a rock 'n roll lifestyle that it was taking a toll on him: mentally, physically, and even in his playing. However, one more album had to be made, and it was made.

This album was very different than other Who material (described during the song by song breakdown). It is also the last Who album that has Keith Moon behind the drumset. Around the time of the album's release, Moon died by an overdose of drugs that would help in cope with his alchoholism. In yet another irony, on the album cover of Who Are You, Moon is sitting on a chair that reads "Not to be taken away."

This is Moon's farewell album, yet he doesn't shine anywhere near like he used to, until the final track where he gives it his all. However, in this CD issue, there are numerous bonus tracks that follow the title song, which on the original vinyl release was the last song.

New Song
This song reminds me of a 70s TV show theme song at some parts. Synthesizers dominate the track, and even though Entwistle does lay a nifty bass track, the guitar and drum work seems mediocre compared to regular Who standards. A good song to open the album, considering what the rest of the album is like. The half-time sections are highlights of this sub-par tune.

2/5

Had Enough
Even though it maintains the 70s synthesizer feel of New Song, this song has more of The Who feel to it. It feels more intense, has better playing by Moon, but still seems cheezy and dated. The middle section between verses again feels like a TV show theme song, probably reinforced by the strings.

2.5/5

905
Finally there's some synthesizer action that sounds cool. An Entwistle tune, this song completly overshadows its predescors, and has a cool rock 'n roll feel lacking in the previous two songs. ven though its more simplistic instrumentally, the overall feel just makes me bob my head constantly. The vocals (which sound like Entwistle's) are better then what Daltry has provided thus far on the album.

4/5

Sister Disco
The Who + Disco = Somewhat okay, but should never be done. Even though its still better then many other songs of the era, it just isn't good material in comparison to past albums. Synthesizers and strings completly dominate this tune over Who instrumentation. The bass and drums feel flat in this song, but Daltry does provide some good vocal work.

2/5

Music Must Change
A cool bluesy groove is established at the beginning, reinforced by some smooth vocals. Synthesizers don't come in for quite some time, and don't distract. Despite not being as powerful as earlier songs on this album, its an overall decent tune.

2.5/5

Trick of the Light
Probably the most out of place song on the album, and that's a good thing. Trick of the Light is easily the best song on the album, and I believe one of the greatest Who songs of all time. Its driving, energetic, has awesome guitar, drum, bass, and vocal work, and features Entwistle playing a distorted 8 string bass that provides the sweet riff that appears throughout the song. Odd how the two best songs on the album are Entwistle's compositions.

5/5

Guitar and Pen
A very smooth melodic introduction transfers into an upbeat verse. For once Townshend does some guitar work that actually stands out. Not as much synthesizer as in other songs; the instrumentation is emphasized more on piano and guitar. Even though the beginning seems sub-par to me, as well as the chorus, the rest of the song is actually pretty decent.

2.5/5

Love is Coming Down
I believe that complex string orchestration and The Who shouldn't really mix. The intro and verse has good chord changes and outstanding Daltry vocals, but the strings distract me from the rest of the song.

3/5

Who Are You
The title track of this mediocre album is in no way medicore. You might have heard this song on Gateway commercials about 5 years ago, or as the theme song for the original CSI. Finally Townshend has done something right on this album, and I believe this is one of the better Who songs in their entire discography. Its well composed, has multiple, differing sections, good balance of synthesizer and guitar work, and one of the best Moon drum tracks of all time. Great vocal work by all 3 singers, but my only beef is that Entwistle doesn't shine as much as he should on a song of this calibre. But otherwise great song.

4/5

No Road Romance
A ballad emphasizing on piano and what I think are Townshend's vocals. Not typical Who material, but decent nevertheless. Virtually non-existant drums, some kinda cool bass slides, but no special contributions from the other members. In fact, I just read the booklet, and its pretty much a Townshend demo with his overdubs.

2.5/5

Empty Glass
This is another Townshend demo (later recorded for his solo albums) with overdubs by Moon and Entwistle. Townshend's vocals are pretty weak on this song, and other than the bass guitar work throughout, including the harmonics in the intro, this is another weak song.

2/5

Guitar and Pen (alternate mix)
Practically the same song as before, but with much more prominent guitar work. Sometimes the guitar seems to be overbearing on the vocals, but I think that the added boost in the guitar track makes this mix a better version.

3/5

Love is Coming Down (early mix)
A cut made early in the mixing process. Slight differences here and there, but nothing of substantial difference to the rest of the song.

2.5/5

Who Are You (different 2nd verse)
The same exact song with a different 2nd verse. Frankly it doesn't make a difference to me, so I won't rate this version.

OVERALL: Who Are You has not aged well. Even the older mod era Who of the mid 60s sounds more modern than most the material on this record. For a fan of that 70s disco, synthesizer-laced sound, this is probably the best record you can have in your collection. For your typical classic rock fan, you might not get into it at all, but at least there are some rocking songs on here that would suit your tastes. A definite album for any avid Who fan, but you should probably pick up their earlier albums first before you invest your money in this. If you want to get into The Who, this is not a good gateway album.

PROS:
Some really rocking tracks (Trick of the Light, Who Are You, 905)
Entwistle really shines as a composer
Very different sound, not regurgetated Who material

CONS:
New Song
The bonus track demos are weak
Very dated sound
Almost over-produced with strings, horns, and synthesizers
Moon's performance is very substandard throughout (with the exception of the title track)

OVERALL: 3/5


user ratings (462)
Chart.
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
December 3rd 2005


2647 Comments


I dislike tbt reviews, but you did a good job. You might want to edit this because it is very hard to read because of all the   crap.



Seafroggys
December 4th 2005


60 Comments


yeah i wrote this in notepad since i was offline, and i double space sentances, so when i moved over it got all messed up...how do you edit reviews?

(also, whats tbt)

Rudd13
December 4th 2005


952 Comments


That would be track-by-tracks. It's okay to do them, as some people have different opinions. And to edit, go to the top of your page under the Sputnik home page banner, and click on your USER CP link.

Zebra
Moderator
December 4th 2005


2647 Comments


tbt = track by track

To edit your reviews click on your username and on the left hand side click Edit My Reviews.

Rudd13
December 4th 2005


952 Comments


Beetcha.

DesolationRow
December 4th 2005


833 Comments


Not my favorite of Who albums. There isn't really anything exceptional on here, and even the title track is a bit bland. Good review, though. And your ratings are about right.

Seafroggys
December 4th 2005


60 Comments


meh i fixed the spaces but then the paragraphs disappeared, so I had to copy from my source text again, and didn't bother with any of the bolding or italics or anything like that....so hopefully its still okay

thanx for the responses

DownPaymentBlues78
December 5th 2005


278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Honest review, though i disagree with some ratings (I like New Song alot). Clearly not the best Who album, but they tried new things and Who Are You is a classic.

masada
December 5th 2005


2733 Comments


It's Hard is better.

ZoolanderHotept
January 20th 2006


33 Comments


I acctually thought the title track was really bad. Roger sings with pure bombast and no emtions and its has a real phoned-in sound. Probably because most of the sections of the songs were recorded at different times.This Message Edited On 01.25.06

DownPaymentBlues78
January 20th 2006


278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't really like ROGER's voice on the title track, i prefer it on The Kids Are Alright.

robo2448
January 21st 2006


132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review. This is probably the worst album by The Who out there (along with It's Hard). I like a few songs from it, but the synthesizers just sound awful and really dated as you pointed out.

I wouldn't recommend this album except for huge fans of the Who.

JohnXDoesn't
January 27th 2006


1393 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

My least favorite Who album. Damn thing is drowning in overdone synths. WTF? Sounds much better on vinyl where the poorer fidelity actually helps. And the remasterd version of this album should just be destroyed. Not without it's good moments such as 905, Guitar & Pen, Trick of The Light, etc. And of course Who Are You. But other then those it's pretty much mega-meh...This Message Edited On 01.27.06

DownPaymentBlues78
January 27th 2006


278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, let's put it as the worst of the Keith Moon albums. I can't get into Face Dances or It's Hard.



That said, a lot of it is real catchy and the Entwistle songs are a pleasant addition to it.

chic_n_stu_36
February 4th 2006


19 Comments


I wasn't very happy with this album. All around pretty boring, but still not terrible..

BludgeonySteve
February 4th 2006


558 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quite a good album. But it's nowhere near as good as their other stuff which I would easily give 4.5 or 5/5s.

Med57
Moderator
February 5th 2006


1002 Comments


The title track from this is great, but the rest of it really doesn't live up to a lot of the other albums that The Who made during their career. I have an irrational dislike for the production of it as well.

sabbath-fan-666
February 27th 2006


31 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great Review, but its an ok album, not one of The Who's best, but it has some awesome songs on it

Ephemeral
March 5th 2006


144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

An alright album. The synths were sometimes a little to much for my tastes though.

tom79
April 29th 2006


3653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sister Disco wasn't that bad. The album was not that bad either, but not their best work, as many people already said.

Digging: Frog - Whatever We Probably Already Had It



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