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Re: The Who's Popularity Peak

> It would be hard to beat the projects, band buzz and momentum that 
> existed in the period Mark's talking about ('69-'71).  

Yeah, that's the era that's gonna give my "1979 - 1982" theory the 
biggest challenge.  Or maybe the "1975 - 1976" era, with all the
touring & the Tommy film.

> And, you want to talk momentum?  Their momentum at the time was
> taking them towards Quadrophenia.

See, that's what I wanted to avoid here.  We're not talking "artistic"
momentum.  Strictly mass appeal is what I'm after.  The greatness in
quality of TOMMY (T?), LAL, & WN *cannot* be a factor.  Just as the 
lameness of FD & IH cannot be a factor in the '79 - '82 era.  And we 
certainly can't give the nod to the '69 - '71 era *just because* that 
era *was leading up to* the QUAD album!

> Contrast to the Schradeian Epoch ('79-'82).  The Who were certainly 
> popular.  But they had also become something of an anachronistic 
> irrelevance.  

Again, you're taking other factors into consideration, & not strictly
going by popularity & mass appeal.  Sure, by the early '80s The Who
were "artistically" on the decline - but I'm arguing that their "mass 
popularity" was peaking at his time.

> And their momentum was taking them towards, what?  A 7 year hiatus, 

That's hindsight!  That, like quality of albums, shouldn't be considered.

We can address your concern by asking the simple question:  Were The Who
more popular around '69 - '71, or '79 - '82?  I say they were much
bigger in the '79 - '82 era.  

The fans that gave up after the early '69 - '71 peak were *more than*
made up for by the *new fans* generated in the '79 - '82 era.  And with
the core Who-Freaks staying loyal throughout, the additional fans gener-
ated in the '79 - '82 era made *that* The Who's popular peak. 

> I guess, if you want to put some value on their popularity at any given
> time, we have to look at the same old measures nobody here really cares
> about.  Record sales, chart success and concert attendance.  

I still say those types of stats can be deceiving.  "Mass popularity"
is more of an intangible type thing.  It has to be sensed (?) - argued
with evidence but not strictly relying on sales statistics, chart numbers,

> I think that's easy for guys like you and me to think, because we 
> remember it.  We weren't around to experience the Woodstock era buzz 
> surrounding The Who.  

Good point.  That's why I'm trying to get some feedback on this question.

- SCHRADE in Akron

The Council For Secular Humanism