62 Facts About The Who


The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

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The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, and established themselves as part of the pop art and mod movements, featuring auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums on stage.

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Songs from the project made up The Who's Next, including the hits "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Baba O'Riley", and "Behind Blue Eyes".

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The release of The Who Are You was overshadowed by Moon's death shortly after.

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Since Entwistle's death, the Who have continued to perform and tour, most commonly with Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, and Pete's brother Simon Townshend on second guitar and backing vocals.

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The Who had trouble fitting in at the school, and discovered gangs and rock and roll.

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The Who was expelled at 15 and found work on a building site.

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The Who was performing with a semi-professional band called the Beachcombers, and wanted to play full-time.

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The Who decided that the group would be ideal to represent the growing mod movement in Britain which involved fashion, scooters and music genres such as rhythm and blues, soul and Modern Jazz.

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The Who signed them to his production company, and sold the recording to the US arm of Decca Records, which meant that the group's early singles were released in Britain on Brunswick Records, one of UK Decca's labels for US artists.

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In early 1965, The Who made their first appearance on the television music show, Top of the Pops, at the BBC's Dickenson Road Studios in Manchester, with "I Can't Explain".

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The Who were not close friends either, apart from Moon and Entwistle, who enjoyed visiting nightclubs together in the West End of London.

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The Who were signed to Robert Stigwood's label, Reaction, and released "Substitute".

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The Who brought hired equipment to the festival; Hendrix shipped over his regular touring gear from Britain, including a full Marshall stack.

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The Who declared themselves a pop art group and thus viewed advertising as an artform; they recorded a wide variety of radio advertisements, such as for canned milkshakes and the American Cancer Society, in defiance of the rising anti-consumerist ethos of the hippie counterculture.

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The Who had not released an album in over a year, and had not completed the recording of Tommy, which continued well into 1969, interspersed with gigs at weekends.

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Melody Maker declared: "Surely the Who are now the band against which all others are to be judged.

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Tommy tour included shows in European opera houses and saw the Who become the first rock act to play at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

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The Who developed ideas in his home studio, creating layers of synthesizers, and the Young Vic theatre in London was booked for a series of experimental concerts.

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The Who continued to issue Lifehouse-related material over the next few years, including the singles "Let's See Action", "Join Together" and "Relay".

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The Who recovered and completed the gig, playing to his usual strength.

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The Who believed them to be no longer effective managers, which Townshend and Moon disputed.

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Work on Tommy took up most of 1974, and live performances by the Who were restricted to a show in May at the Valley, the home of Charlton Athletic, in front of 80, 000 fans, and a few dates at Madison Square Garden in June.

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Daltrey was grateful that the Who had saved him from a career as a sheet-metal worker and was unhappy at Townshend not playing well; Townshend felt the commitment of the group prevented him from releasing solo material.

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On 6 December 1975, the Who set the record for largest indoor concert at the Pontiac Silverdome, attended by 78, 000.

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The Who discovered that former Beatles and Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein had bought a stake in his publishing company.

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The Who passed out the following morning and was discovered dead later that day.

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On 2 May 1979, the Who returned to the stage with a concert at the Rainbow Theatre, followed by the Cannes Film Festival in France and dates at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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The soundtrack was Jones' first appearance on a The Who record, performing on newly written material not on the original album.

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The Who were not told until after the show because civic authorities feared crowd problems if the concert were cancelled.

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The soundtrack album is a Daltrey solo album, though all members of the Who are included in the supporting musicians, and was his most successful solo release.

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The Who released two studio albums with Jones as drummer, Face Dances and It's Hard (1982).

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The Who was again at odds with Daltrey and Entwistle, who merely wanted to tour and play hits and thought Townshend had saved his best songs for his solo album, Empty Glass.

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In late 1999, the Who performed as a five-piece for the first time since 1985, with Bundrick on keyboards and Starkey on drums.

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The Who played concerts in the UK in early 2002 in preparation for a full US tour.

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The loss of a founding member of the Who caused Townshend to re-evaluate his relationship with Daltrey, which had been strained over the band's career.

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The Who decided their friendship was important, and this ultimately led to writing and recording new material.

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The Who announced in 2005 that they were working on a new album.

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In November 2007, the documentary Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who was released, featuring unreleased footage of the 1970 Leeds appearance and a 1964 performance at the Railway Hotel when the group were The High Numbers.

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The Who toured in support of Endless Wire, including the BBC Electric Proms at the Roundhouse in London in 2006, headlining the 2007 Glastonbury Festival, a half-time appearance at the Super Bowl XLIV in 2010 and being the final act at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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In November 2012, the Who released Live at Hull, an album of the band's performance the night after the Live at Leeds gig.

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In 2010, the Who performed Quadrophenia with parts played by Vedder and Tom Meighan at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust series of 10 gigs.

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The Who experimented with an in-ear monitoring system that was recommended by Neil Young and his audiologist.

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Later that month, the Who announced plans for a world tour with a possible accompanying album.

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The Who headlined 2015's Hyde Park Festival in June, and two days later, the Glastonbury Festival.

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On 6 December 2019, The Who released their first studio album in thirteen years, Who, to critical acclaim.

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The Who have been regarded primarily as a rock band, yet have taken influence from several other styles of music during their career.

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The Who's Next featured Daltrey and Townshend sharing the lead vocals on several songs, and biographer Dave Marsh considers the contrast between Daltrey's strong, guttural tone and Townshend's higher and gentler sound to be one of the album's highlights.

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The Who's playing style evolved from the banjo, favouring down strokes and using a combination of the plectrum and fingerpicking.

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The Who's rhythm playing frequently used seventh chords and suspended fourths, and he is associated with the power chord, an easy-to-finger chord built from the root and fifth that has since become a fundamental part of the rock guitar vocabulary.

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The Who's style was at odds with British rock contemporaries such as The Kinks' Mick Avory and The Shadows' Brian Bennett who did not consider tom-toms necessary for rock music.

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The Who avoided the hi-hat, and concentrated on a mix of tom rolls and cymbals.

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The Who were initially enthusiastic about working with a completely different drummer.

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The Who are perceived as having had a poor working relationship.

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The Who are one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century.

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In 1965, Paul McCartney said the Who "are the most exciting thing around" and was inspired to write "Helter Skelter" in the group's "heavy" style; John Lennon borrowed the acoustic guitar style in "Pinball Wizard" for "Polythene Pam".

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The Who inspired mod revival bands, particularly the Jam, which helped other groups influenced by the Who become popular.

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The Who countered criticism of "selling out" by saying that licensing the songs to other media allows a wider exposure and widens the group's appeal.

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Rock-oriented films such as Almost Famous, School of Rock and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny refer to the band and feature their songs, and other films have used the band's material in their soundtracks, including Apollo 13 and Austin Powers: The Spy The Who Shagged Me (which used a take of "My Generation" recorded for the BBC).

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The Who have received many awards and accolades from the music industry for their recordings and their influence.

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In 2003, Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list included Who's Next at number 28, Tommy at number 96, The Who Sell Out at number 113, Live at Leeds at number 170, My Generation at number 236, Quadrophenia at number 266, and A Quick One at number 383.

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Single "My Generation" and the albums Tommy and The Who's Next have each been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

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