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The Who   
Then and Now: Maximum Who (Geffen)  

First the bewilderment: another Who best-of? That's
nine by my unscientific count, including 2002's
MCA-released double disc Ultimate Collection, which,
apparently, wasn't. Then and Now contains a scant
twenty tracks, exactly half from the 1960s and only
one from the 1980s ("You Better You Bet," which wasn't
even the best song on Face Dances). Worse, no "Anyway,
Anyhow, Anywhere," the anthem purists prefer over "My
Generation," which turned out to be a lie anyway,
anyhow, anywhere. Then the derision: The disc's out on
Geffen, for whom the band never recorded. God bless
the corporate merger, in which everyone gets a piece
of the myth sooner or later. Then the delight: two new
songs, proof that Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey's
promise to work together wasn't hollow. Then the
horrible reality: These two new songs, one written for
Elvis Presley and one written for John Entwhistle, are
the worst Who songs ever -- tepid and squishy,
pretentious and maudlin. One nicks from "Only Fools
Rush In" -- truer words were never stolen. The other
compares their dead bassist to old red wine. The
question is, "Who is this for?" Who fans don't need
it, and no one else would want it. Not who, then, but

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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