The Who Over/Under posted reply

Toby Elwin telwin at
Mon Sep 21 19:34:27 UTC 2009

I love this group.  Thanks for keeping involved with all the happenings.  I
thought I'd share a comment to the interesting blog I was hipped to from
Magnet, on The Over/Under: The Who

Toby Elwin <>

Posted September 14, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink
While I am all for stirring the pot, and in a blog medium stirring the pot
is a good way to drive comments and search engine optimization, I think this
post feels a bit dashed off and not as articulated as it could be.

I don¹t think you can hold any band responsible for radio saturation. There
is a difference between overrated and overplayed. ³Behind Blue Eyes² and
³Who Are You² might be overplayed, but overrated, who are the raters? The
public? Good lord if we hold a public competition we are back at American
Idol or the Eurovision competitions.

Has anyone ever written a doctor¹s thesis on ³Squeezebox²? It is a silly
song and music is also allowed to be silly. Don¹t fault the band for tossing
away a couple of light-hearted songs ­ this is not prog rock or fusion here.

The Who mostly took a track of their own design. Just a chronological review
or album momentum is a case for brilliance: The Who Sell Out, Tommy, Live at
Leeds, Who¹s Next, Quadrophenia, and The Who by Numbers are a
back-to-back-to-back series few bands could achieve. Each album pushed the
rock genre beyond the day¹s formula for success. Within each is a tip to
humor to not take themselves as serious as others might. Each album hits a
lyric, musicianship, and track consistency few bands could put on one album,
let alone a majority of 5 studio releases. Each album is a snapshot in
musical transition: the band that made Sell Out has little resemblance to
the sound of the band that made Quadrophenia; the band that made Tommy has
little resemblance to the sound of band that made By Numbers. The same can
be said for most of the songs within. Few bands, save the Beatles and a
period of Stones work can compare.

This over/under rated list should not be a collection of hits against a
collection of b-sides or unreleased songs, because that is a list of
over-played/under-played and comes across as a contest of who can name the
most obscure, not the most brilliant.

Both the Beatles (though I hesitant to compare The Who to the Beatles) and
The Who transitioned from a singles-based, pop band, to an album-based,
full-picture band. Your list of Who overrated songs miss the point of
context, plus Tommy is an album, not a song.

Good blog premise, however, I think the people who posted comments struck a
better position.

Toby Elwin

More information about the TheWho mailing list