Boston Phoenix on new Who songs

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Thu Apr 29 06:18:16 CDT 2004

>From the Boston Phoenix at:

The Who
THEN AND NOW: 1964-2004
3 and 1/2 stars
As a best-of collection, this is pretty serviceable,
with "I Can’t Explain," "My Generation," "Magic Bus,"
"Love, Reign o’er Me," and other killer tunes from the
supergroup’s canon. But what makes it notable is the
first CD appearance of two new numbers by the current
Who line-up of Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey joined
by drummer Zack Starkey, keyboardist John Bundrick,
Simon Townshend producing and playing second guitar,
and bassists Pino Palladino and Emerson, Lake &
Palmer’s Greg Lake.

"A Real Good Looking Boy" is a rambling tribute of
sorts to Elvis Presley, as well as to Townshend’s own
childhood perception of his homeliness. It begins with
Bundrick quoting the King’s "I Can’t Help Falling in
Love with You" on piano. Daltrey brings grit to the
ballad, and Townshend gives his trademark guitar chop
to the choruses. By the time the tune twists to its
end, an affirmation of individuality, it hasn’t
covered much territory, but it certainly sounds like
the Who. And that’s not bad. "Old Red Wine" is also a
tribute, to the band’s late bassist John Entwistle,
who was a wine collector. Coming out of the first
verse, Townshend uses one of his trademark climbing
modulations and the band catch their breath until he
comes on stomping with his guitar. He and Daltrey then
bring this rock-and-roll requiem home, with its
ringing chords and heartfelt lyrics promising yet
another toast among these three friends — and maybe
Keith Moon, too — when they meet again in the great
beyond. It’s proof that the current Who can still rock
in the studio. Perhaps this year we’ll find out
whether they’re able to do it for an entire album. 


-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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