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Re: The Who's Popularity Peak

----- Original Message ----- From: "Scott Schrade"

> OK, OK.  Maybe we shouldn't get too hung up on "momentum."  Let's
> stick with the phrase "peak of popularity."

In other words, "you win that point, Jim."

> > You don't think Tommy, LAL and WN were more *popular* in their
> > day than FD, IH & WL?
> No, I don't mean that.  I'm just saying that popularity of a particular
> upon its release doesn't always correlate to a band's *overall

How about the popularity of *all* of the albums released during the periods
in question.  It's not the whole story, but it's got to count for something.

> Maybe "potential momentum" is clearer.  The Who *could have* gone on
> to even greater things after 1982.  The potential momentum was there.

Even if I concede that they had momentum in 1982, it couldn't have *been*
higher than it was in 1972.  But we stopped talking about momentum because
you were getting your ass kicked so bad on that point.

> > they [they?] was also a lot of opinion that they were over the hill.
> True, true.  That's a valid argument *against* my '79 - '82 theory.


> Many loyal Who fans were outraged when
> TOMMY came out.  Gone was their loveable "singles WHO."  Like
> OX said, they became snob-rock.  So that's one of *my* arguments
> against the '69 - '71 theory.

Possibly, but we're talking about *overall popularity*, as you keep
reminding me.  Tommy was their worldwide coming out party.  It opened them
up to fans across the globe and garnered them praise and attention rivaling
any band on Earth.  Any popularity they lost was far outweighed by the new
fans they gained.

> They never announced they were breaking up in '82.  They said they were
> going to no longer engage in long, drawn-out touring.

All I know is that when I saw them in 1982, I considered it to be my final
opportunity.  They were certainly sending out the message that they were
slowing down, if not stopping entirely.

> I think more fans were inclined to get on The
> Who bandwagon from '79 - '82 because - A. The band had a lot going
> on in those years, more so than most,

Compared to '75-'78, sure.  But '69-'72?  No way.

> & B. Yes, there *were* more rock
> fans around by '79 to get *into* The Who.  So, I guess it's a mixture of
> both your assumptions.  More inclination & more fans.  But the inclination
> is key.

I'd argue that in '79 they were pulling in fans that were already fans of
the genre.  In '69 they were making new rock fans.  That's an entirely
different level of popularity, in my book.

> No, actually number of fans is closer to what I meant.


>That & what the band had going on at the time.

It is impressive.  I'd argue the more conventional stance that Keith's death
limited their popularity and that it would have been even greater if he had
survived.  And, this is what this is all about, isn't it?  Your desire to
validate the Kenney Jones period of The Who?

> Remember the *other* evidence I gave:
> 1. Death of Moon
> 2. Decision to carry on
> 3. Giant '79 tour
> 4. Tragedy in Cincinnati
> 5. TKAA movie released
> 6. QUAD movie released
> 7. Giant Farewell tour

Well, 3 & 7 are evidence of popularity as are Woodstock, Isle of Wight and
their Tommy tours.   5 & 6 are evidence of something.  Pete certainly didn't
have much luck getting financing for the Lifehouse film, so I'll concede a
point for the films.  What's that, 3-1?

1 & 4 are not so much evidence as explanations of why you think they got so
popular.  You can say, "look, they had 40 sold out shows in '79 and 50 in
'81/'82", and that would be evidence.  You can't say, "Keith Moon died, so
they must have been popular!"  2 is only evidence if you can establish that
they carried on *because* they were popular.

My conclusion:  1979-1982 was the *second* most popular phase of The Who's

I'm sure AEB would have something to say for the '65-'67 period, but he must
have started his new job, or be too busy bonking to Underture to respond.

I'm just waiting for Kevin to run to your defense.  It's not like him to
watch you get beat up like this.

Jim M