The Who – Who’s Next (1971)
CSI Miami: both a heck of a show & a major argument against having cable TV.
You see I’ve enjoyed any & every episode I’ve seen but I can’t remember ever sitting down at home and watching it intentionally. It’s the kind of show that comes on after something else, I get drawn in, and then 60 minutes later I realize that an hour has just passed.
Why bring this up now?
For many of those born in the last few decades, the name The Who may not immediately ring any bells.
Play the first few seconds of Won’t Get Fooled Again and that same younger demographic will likely have visions of a red-haired detective dancing in their heads. Or at least, one who is constantly removing his sunglasses while simultaneously delivering a zinger about a gruesome crime scene.
For me, Who’s Next reads like a CSI Miami episode:
1) The dramatic beginning. No dead body per se, but the line “they’re all wasted” could be taken out of context to improve my argument. The similarity instead is that much like the show, the album starts with a bang. Few who have heard the opening track, Baba O’Riley. will forget the “Teenage Wasteland” payoff. Many will forget however that the song is not actually named Teenage Wasteland!
2) The middle 30-odd minutes of interesting twists & turns. Changes in scenery, some plot exposition. Different characters getting some time in the spotlight, sharing lead roles. In this episode, Daltrey handles most of the lead vocals but Townshend (Going Mobile) and Entwistle (My Wife) each get some time front & centre.
3) The big finish. There just aren’t many closers bigger than Won’t Get Fooled Again.
The 44-minute running time also lends itself conveniently to the episode + adverts hour-long TV format.
I’ll spare you my full detective Horatio Caine impression but *sunglasses removed* Who’s Next is a heck of an album but Next to the other Who records from the list, it’s currently holding down the bronze. With Tommy & My Generation still to come.
As of now, I’ll happily consume Who’s Next if it ‘comes on’ but I won’t miss it terribly if it doesn’t.
Just like I haven’t missed cable TV for the last few months.