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Re: The Who's Popularity Peak

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

> > And, you want to talk momentum?  Their momentum at the time was
> > taking them towards Quadrophenia.
> See, that's what I wanted to avoid here.  We're not talking "artistic"
> momentum.  Strictly mass appeal is what I'm after.

You said "I'm talking about mass appeal, mass popularity, amount of fans,
projects, tours, band buzz, momentum, etc."  Fact is, The Who had *no*
momentum in 1982.  They were on a fairwell tour.  The Who in 1972 were on a
big time roll.  Fresh of their *most popular* albums, wildly successful
tours and festivals and had the momentum that made you know they were going
to do great things in the future.  That's not hindsight.

> The greatness in quality of TOMMY (T?), LAL, & WN *cannot* be a factor.
Just as the
> lameness of FD & IH cannot be a factor in the '79 - '82 era.

You don't think Tommy, LAL and WN were more *popular* in their day than FD,
IH & WL?

> And we
> certainly can't give the nod to the '69 - '71 era *just because* that
> era *was leading up to* the QUAD album!

I'm not.  I'm using that as evidence to refute *one* criterion that *you*
laid down, not as the *entire* argument.  If what came next is not
indicitive of how much momentum they had, then what is?

> > Contrast to the Schradeian Epoch ('79-'82).  The Who were certainly
> > popular.  But they had also become something of an anachronistic
> > irrelevance.
> Again, you're taking other factors into consideration, & not strictly
> going by popularity & mass appeal.

No, I'm not.  I'm talking about their popularity.  Sure, lots of people went
to see them and were listening to their albums in those years, but they was
also a lot of opinion that they were over the hill.  That's *not* something
I'm seeing only in hindsight.

> > And their momentum was taking them towards, what?  A 7 year hiatus,
> That's hindsight!  That, like quality of albums, shouldn't be considered.

How is it hidsight if they *announced* they were breaking up?

 > The fans that gave up after the early '69 - '71 peak were *more than*
> made up for by the *new fans* generated in the '79 - '82 era.  And with
> the core Who-Freaks staying loyal throughout, the additional fans gener-
> ated in the '79 - '82 era made *that* The Who's popular peak.

OK, so you've established that there were more rock fans in 1980 than 1970.
But were they more inclined to be fans of The Who, or was there just a new
generation of rock fans who followed the hundreds of acts that emerged in
the 70's as well as the "founding fathers" of the British Invasion?  I think
it's the latter.  So, if your point is that you could find a greater number
of people to describe themselves as fans of The Who in 1981 than 1971, that
may well be true, but I thought you were saying something more significant
than that.

> I still say those types of stats can be deceiving.  "Mass popularity"
> is more of an intangible type thing.  It has to be sensed (?) - argued
> with evidence but not strictly relying on sales statistics, chart numbers,
> etc.

No, it's far better to base your whole argument on one magazine award,
right?  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Jim M