Happy 50th Birthday to My Generation!

My-Generation

Fair use, good faith rationale to illustrate the subject

The Who released their début album, My Generation, on 3 December 1965 (the same day Rubber Soul was released). It came into my life on 30 January 2001, as my seventh Who album, bought in the same Newbury Comics expedition as A Quick One. Given the date, the album I got was the U.S. repackaging, The Who Sings “My Generation,” not the British original. Due to disputes with their original producer Shel Talmy, there was no proper CD remastering until 2002.

After how embarrassed I was to discover the audiomaniac fanatics were completely wrong about the 2001 deluxe remastering of Live at Leeds, I paid them no attention when they began bitching about the upcoming remastered MG. Normal people don’t care about minute differences in sound, nor do they have access to all these different versions and overdubs to compare and contrast. We just care about great music, not nitpicky, anal-retentive excuses to whine and pretend we could’ve done such a better job.

The main difference between the U.S. and U.K. releases was that the U.S. version ended with the beautiful, haunting “Circles” and removed “I’m a Man.” Honestly, by modern standards, the “offending” lyrics are so tame: “All you pretty women/Stand up in a big long line./When I get you in bed, darling,/Gonna make love all the time.”

The track listing:

“Out in the Street”
“I Don’t Mind”
“The Good’s Gone”
“La-La-La-Lies”
“Much Too Much”
“My Generation”
“The Kids Are Alright”
“Please, Please, Please”
“It’s Not True”
“I’m a Man”
“A Legal Matter” (sung by Pete)
“The Ox” (instrumental)
“Circles (Instant Party)”
“I Can’t Explain”
“Bald Headed Woman”
“Daddy Rolling Stone”

Bonus disc:

“Leaving Here”
“Lubie (Come Back Home)”
“Shout and Shimmy”
“(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave”
“Motoring”
“Anytime You Want Me”
“Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” (alternative version)
“Instant Party Mixture”
“I Don’t Mind” (full-length version)
“The Good’s Gone” (full-length version)
“My Generation” (instrumental version)
“Anytime You Want Me” (a cappella)
“A Legal Matter” (mono)
“My Generation” (mono)

Though I don’t feel moved to listen to it that often, it’s a great album, made even greater with the two-disc deluxe remastering. In 2014, there were new remasterings in both mono and stereo, but that’s not something I’m interested in purchasing. I’m not an audiomaniac like certain infamous people on the Odds and Sods mailing list (which I unsubscribed from years ago due to these audiomaniacs and their outrageous behavior, which went far beyond just throwing tantrums over minute sound differences).

It’s a raw, gritty album, rather sounding like an unrefined garage band with deep roots in R&B. They were still finding their style and didn’t yet write all their own material. As for Roger, he was literally finding his own voice. If you compare MG and anything from Live at Leeds onward, the difference is like night and day. In this earliest album, Roger sounds so unformed, without much range. However, that works great for a song like “I’m a Man” or “Bald Headed Woman.” They weren’t yet making songs which required tons of range and emotion. Touring Tommy all over the world gave him a huge boost of self-confidence, and his vocal prowess went through the roof.

My favorite track is “Circles.”

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One comment on “Happy 50th Birthday to My Generation!

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    Hardly seems that long. Guess the title should be changed to “My Geriatric Generation”.

    Arlee Bird
    Wrote By Rote

    Like

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