The Who – My Generation (1965)

My Generation is the debut studio album by English rock band the Who, released on 3 December 1965 by Brunswick Records in the United Kingdom, and Festival Records in Australia. In the United States, it was released on 25 April 1966 by Decca Records as The Who Sings My Generation, with a different cover and a slightly altered track listing. Besides the members of the Who, being Roger Daltrey (vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums), the album features contributions by session musicians Nicky Hopkins (piano) and Jimmy Page (guitar) and vocal group the Ivy League.

The album was made immediately after the Who got their first singles on the charts and according to the booklet in the Deluxe Edition, it was later dismissed by the band as something of a rush job that did not accurately represent their stage performance of the time. While it didn’t sell as well as later albums, peaking at #5 on the UK charts and failing to chart in the US, critics have since retrospectively rated it as one of the best rock albums of all time, especially noting its hard sound unusual for the time, and presaging various hard rock styles such as punk and heavy metal.

Track Listing:

Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Out in the Street” 2:31
2. “I Don’t Mind” Brown 2:36
3. “The Good’s Gone” 4:04
4. “La-La-La Lies” 2:16
5. “Much Too Much” 2:44
6. “My Generation” 3:20
7. “The Kids Are Alright” 3:07
8. “Please, Please, Please” Brown, Terry 2:46
9. “It’s Not True” 2:32
10. “I’m a Man” Diddley 3:21
11. “A Legal Matter” 2:50
12. “The Ox” Townshend, Moon, Entwistle, Hopkins 3:53
13. “I Can’t Explain” 2:05
14. “Bald Headed Woman” Talmy 2:10
15. “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” Townshend, Daltrey 2:41
16. “Daddy Rolling Stone” Otis Blackwell 2:48
17. “Anytime You Want Me” Mimms 2:36
18. “Shout and Shimmy” Brown 3:18
19. “Circles (Revised)” 3:13
20. “Leaving Here” (erroneously credited to the High Numbers) Holland, Dozier, Holland 2:49
21. “Lubie (Come Back Home)” Revere, Lindsay 3:37
22. “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” Holland, Dozier, Holland 2:41
23. “Motoring” Hunter, Jones, Stevenson 2:49
24. “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” (French EP Mono Version) Townshend, Daltrey 2:44
25. “Instant Party Mixture” 3:26
Total length: 72:57

Review: An explosive debut, and the hardest mod pop recorded by anyone. At the time of its release, it also had the most ferociously powerful guitars and drums yet captured on a rock record. Pete Townshend’s exhilarating chord crunches and guitar distortions threaten to leap off the grooves on “My Generation” and “Out in the Street”; Keith Moon attacks the drums with a lightning, ruthless finesse throughout. Some “Maximum R&B” influence lingered in the two James Brown covers, but much of Townshend’s original material fused Beatlesque hooks and power chords with anthemic mod lyrics, with “The Good’s Gone,” “Much Too Much,” “La La La Lies,” and especially “The Kids Are Alright” being highlights. “A Legal Matter” hinted at more ambitious lyrical concerns, and “The Ox” was instrumental mayhem that pushed the envelope of 1965 amplification with its guitar feedback and nonstop crashing drum rolls. While the execution was sometimes crude, and the songwriting not as sophisticated as it would shortly become, the Who never surpassed the pure energy level of this record. — Richie Unterberger

Schill Score: 8.75/10

Listen to Album on Spotify

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