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Re: The Who's Popularity Peak

> > 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."

Ha!  No, not at all.  You seem confused by the question so I'm trying
to make it more understandable for you.  Let's drop all the excess
baggage.  The question remains:  When did The Who reach their peak in

> 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.

Sure, go ahead, count it.  Even with that parameter the '79 - '82 era
still beats '69 - '71 era because by '79 The Who were much bigger, more
popular, & had a larger fanbase.

> Two-nil.

Two-nil?  Two-six, more like it!

> Even if I concede that they had momentum in 1982, it couldn't have 
> *been* higher than it was in 1972.  

Were The Who more popular in 1972 or 1982?  

> But we stopped talking about momentum because you were getting your 
> ass kicked so bad on that point.

We stopped talking about momentum because it was blocking your under-
standing of the true question:  When did The Who reach their peak in 

You & Mark can't seem to look beyond the band's *artistic peak* & see
that, while that era was huge for the band, they were actually *more*
popular & had *more* fans by the '79 - '82 era.

> > True, true.  That's a valid argument *against* my '79 - '82 theory.
> Three-zip.  


> 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.  

Right!  And like Jon has pointed out, they *still had* that '69 - '71
popularity behind them in '79 - '82, PLUS!!! - PLUS!!! - PLUS!!! - the
legions of new fans they had picked up along the way!!!  Me, you, & Jon


> > 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. 

Your personal feelings aside, the band never announced in 1982 that they
were breaking up.  Pete took care of that a year later.

> > 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.

Another thing you fail to realize is the boost The Who got around the
late '70s from the punk movement (the tail end of it, really).  Fans
of many of those bands (The Clash, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc.) were
also fans of The Who.  The Who was like that *one* dinosaur band that
was credible for a punk, or even a new-waver, to be into.  

> 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, no, no.  The Who gained some *notoriety* from non-rock fans in '69,
that's about it.

> 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.

They may have lost fans with the death of Moon but that was far out-
weighed, I contend, by the influx of new fans from '79 - '82.

> And, this is what this is all about, isn't it?  Your desire to validate 
> the Kenney Jones period of The Who?

Ha!  That statement really reveals *your* desire to *invalidate* the
Kenney era, despite what history shows.  The thought that The Who could
have reached their peak when Pete was writing such crappy songs for their
albums, when he had created such gems as TOMMY & WHO'S NEXT in the past,
makes you ill.  Your personal embarrassment of the Kenney-era *albums*
blinds you to the band's popularity.  You & Mark, I see, are both having
problems separating the two. 

And you are so quick to dismiss the *two* theatrical releases the band
had in 1979.  Can you *imagine* the fans who were created when a friend
took them to see TKAA?  Can you imagine the fans that were created - the
new, fresh, *young* fans - during 1979's Mod revival, helped mainly by
the QUAD film?

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

Bollocks!  '79 - '82 was their peak in popularity!

> I'm just waiting for Kevin to run to your defense.  

We'll probably have to wait till July when more of the snow in VT melts.

> It's not like him to watch you get beat up like this.

Ha!  You've made a strong case but I still think I'm right!

- SCHRADE in Akron

The Council For Secular Humanism