in hindsight.. (an opinion piece)

Fri Mar 27 08:05:26 UTC 2009

A Story Of Stripes, Springsteen And The "Bloody 'Oo"

I recall before "Endless Wire" was released (a few years before it was 
released actually), Pete Townshend in an interview said something to the effect of, 
"Watch out Jack White!" Meanwhile, in a separate interview, speaking about 
Pete's current songwriting skills, Roger Daltrey said that Pete has the best 
ability to write about growing old, and made some comments about Bruce 
Springsteen.  "He's good, but not as good as Pete", was basically his point. 

So, a few years go by, 2006, the first Who album in 14 years, "Endless Wire", 
was finally released, and while some "Wholigans" dug it, this one (the one 
typing all this gobbly-gook) considered it to be probably one of the worst 
albums ever released by a major band. To make matters worse, Pete didn't even use 
the current "Who" touring band on the bulk of the album. Basically, we ended up 
with, what I call, a Pete Townshend solo album with Roger as a guest 
vocalist.  If it was billed as such, I probably would've liked it better. Maybe.. 

What REALLY chaps my... you-know-what, is Pete through the years stating that 
he didn't want to do another Who album, and then the idea in 2000 to tour and 
write new material, which was fine but never amounted to anything, and then 
Entwistle dies, and then all of a sudden, talk of a new Who album emerges 
full-force and an actual album is being recorded and later released. Not to 
mention, the band going out on their biggest world tour in years in support of it. 
Where was this rolling ball when John was still alive? I'm sure we all would've 
loved to have heard a new Who album with Entwistle's constantly improving bass 
playing on it. And with that tour they did, and John's love for the road and 
playing with a band, would've been right up the ol' Ox's alley.   Dare I say 
it, it was like they waited for him to go before they felt it was OK to do a 
new album. I know that sounds incredibly morbid and unfair to say, but somewhere 
in the back of my sub-conscious, that feeling is there.  But, in the end, I 
felt it was best to take a deep breath, give the benefit of the doubt, and wait 
and hear the new album when it was released. For the rest of the story, just 
read the previous paragraph.

Anyway, one year later, 2007, The White Stripes (featuring Jack White on lead 
vocals and guitar) release their album "Icky Thump", and Bruce Springsteen 
releases his first album with The E Street Band in five years, "Magic". I heard 
both albums, it was quite a year to say the least. The end result: I felt both 
albums were absolutely incredible and featured both acts at the top of their 
respective games. 

The title track "Icky Thump" alone was enough to make me stand at attention. 
I remember first hearing it on "Little Steven's Underground Garage" and was 
practically rolling on the couch at how great the track was. The rest of the 
album was just as good and interesting and, in my opinion, was their best since 
2001's "White Blood Cells" (so far, the album is their last since Meg White's 
acute anxiety and Jack's playing with two other bands).  

I remember breaking out in tears at how beautiful "Girls In Their Summer 
Clothes" off "Magic" was when I first heard it (again, on the Underground Garage, 
my only refuge for good music in today's "no fun, no quality, no excitement" 
society). The entire album was probably Bruce's finest since either "Born To 
Run" or "The River". It seems like I'm comparing current albums with albums from 
the past, but I think it's actually quite difficult for anyone to be around 
for, in Bruce's case, over 30 years, and in the Stripes' case, 9 or 10 years, 
to perform such a feat, but they did it.

So, when I think about Pete saying, "Jack White, watch out" and Roger saying, 
"Bruce is good, but not as good as Pete", I have to sort of chuckle and roll 
my eyes a bit. Maybe they were a bit TOO confident in my opinion. Like the 
phrase, "Eyes bigger than your stomach", or, "Don't count your chickens before 
they hatch". Maybe I hoped for too much out of The Who myself. But then again, 
it's the bloody 'oo right?! You mean I should expect less? "Who's Next", 
"Quadrophenia", "My Generation", "The Who Sell Out", OF COURSE I wanted this album 
to be great. I wanted to love it, I wanted to praise it. "THE WHO ARE BACK!" 
etc.   But instead, I came on this list in disgust over it. 

Springsteen released yet another album this year, "Working On A Dream", and, 
although in my view, it's not as good as "Magic" (I think if the KISS-sounding 
"Outlaw Pete" was left off, I would like it better), it still holds up quite 
well. And yes, Bruce is starting to write lyrics dealing with old age 

Now, I know there will be many on this list who will chime in and disagree, 
and I welcome them all, but it's something that's been on my mind for quite 
some time. (Actually, I've been hesitant to post this at all. Let's see what 
happens. Ha.)


Free Credit Report and Score Tracking! Get it Now for $0 

More information about the TheWho mailing list