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Re: The Who's Popularity Peak
----- Original Message ----- From: "Schrade, Scott"
> And let's not get this confused with *performance* peak or *musical
> 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,
> um, etc.
It would be hard to beat the projects, band buzz and momentum that existed
in the period Mark's talking about ('69-'71). Tommy was huge. Woodstock
was huge and The Who were the stars of it. Live at Leeds and Who's Next
were universally hailed. The Who were considered the pre-eminent stage act
in rock. And, you want to talk momentum? Their momentum at the time was
taking them towards Quadrophenia.
Contrast to the Schradeian Epoch ('79-'82). The Who were certainly popular.
But they had also become something of an anachronistic irrelevance. Their
albums were purchsed by fans mostly of the Tommy-Quad music and the shows
were attended to hear that, not Face Dances and It's Hard. And their
momentum was taking them towards, what? A 7 year haitus, followed by the
'89 tour and 6 more years of semi-retirement.
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. Anyone know how
the numbers stack up? But, be careful. I think some things, concert
attendance in particular, were just bigger in 1980 than they were in 1970.
It doesn't reflect on The Who in particular, but the nature of rock concerts
> Taking all that into effect, one has to agree that The Who reached their
> popular peak from 1979 - 1982.
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. But, from the things I've read (and you've read a lot more than I
have, so set me straight), The Who were huge around 1970.