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The Who's Popularity Peak
> YOU brought up Rolling Stone giving The Who "band of
> the year" in 1979.
Yes, to prove that The Who were hugely popular in 1979, & to disprove your
assertion that The Who only enjoyed brief super-popularity (?) in the years
after TOMMY & WHO'S NEXT.
> It happens I was reading the Stone at the time, and before Keith died
> they weren't very Who-friendly. If you can find the review for WAY,
> you'll see what I mean. There were plenty of negative articles over
> the years before that, as well.
That's neither here nor there when it comes to The Who's popularity in 1979.
Which was immense. Which is what I was pointing out.
> That's not changing the subject. Sorry. If you bring
> up RS rag, I'm going to call them on their bias.
Oh, I was just bustin' your balls, man. It's cool.
Speaking of all this, I was thinking last night (!) that, arguably, The Who
reached their peak in popularity from 1979 - 1982. Ironically, the Kenney
Jones era!! Anybody wanna argue that?
Let's look at this: The Who were kind of waning by 1978, apart from the
success of the "Who Are You" single. Then, blam! Moon ups & dies.
Horrible tragedy, but....lots of publicity.
Then, The Who announce they're going to soldier on without Moon: more
publicity, more "buzz" in the "rock community."
1979: Enter Kenney Jones. Giant Who tour. Giant. Well-attended concerts.
Plus!.....Who films! The Kids Are Alright movie! Quadrophenia, the movie!
Mod revival, more buzz, many new fans discover the band.
Then!.....more horror. The Cincinnati tragedy. Terrible event which leads
to *more* press & *more* buzz within the "rock community," unfortunately at
a terrible cost.
And this momentum didn't really slow until Pete started his first 6-year
"Who hiatus" in 1983. From Moon's death in 1978 through 1982's Farewell
Tour, *The Who were at their peak in popularity & fame.*
Look at everything that happened in those 3 1/2 years. The triumphs & the
tragedies. This is what I'm talking about when I say The Who were once as
big & massive as the Rolling Stones. *These were the years.*
Sure, there were great years in mid-'70s, great years of popularity; I'm not
saying there weren't. But!.....not as big or great as the years 1979 -
That's why I was surprised when Mark said The Who peaked in popularity only
in the years after TOMMY & WHO'S NEXT. I say their peak in popularity was
the years 1979 - 1982.
And let's not get this confused with *performance* peak or *musical quality*
peak. That's not what we're (I'm) talking about. I'm talking about mass
appeal, mass popularity, amount of fans, projects, tours, band buzz, moment-
Taking all that into effect, one has to agree that The Who reached their
popular peak from 1979 - 1982.
And I'll also claim that that popularity & momentum was still there in 1989
when Pete "allowed" the band to tour again, but the lameness of "The Who On
Ice Tour" &, frankly, Pete's admission that he undertook the tour simply
for the money (remember the Musician magazine Who article & cover from that
year?) was enough to eradicate *most* of the band's momentum & popularity
that the years 1979 - 1982 had established. And a lot of the respect they
enjoyed was lost, too. This is when The Who really became a bit of a joke
in much of the "rock community."
Are my theories rubbish? Am I mistaken? Do my views differ from yours?
I'd like to hear what you have to say about all this.
- SCHRADE in Akron
The Council For Secular Humanism