THE WHO – Who’s Next

THE WHO - Who's Next
  • 6.5/10
    THE WHO - Who's Next - 6.5/10


Eagle Rock Entertainment
Release date: October 3, 2006
Run Time: 60 minutes (approximately)

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Eagle Vision (a division of Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd.) has decided to put together and market a DVD rockumentary series featuring some of the greatest Classic Rock albums of all time. One of the featured albums on the docket is Who’s Next by The Who … and the timing couldn’t be better as Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry have decided to pick up the pieces and embark on a 2007 Tour.

Back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, The Who was truly a revolutionary band. They combined well-conceived (bordering on Progressive, if you will) music with poetic lyrics that had bite and social/political awareness. When they performed their songs, you couldn’t help but believe and buy into their message … especially with the energy and defiance displayed by Daltry and Townshend, respectively, and the antics and bizarre demeanor of Keith Moon. Top all of that off with Tommy from 1969, perhaps still the best-conceived Rock Opera in the history of Rock ‘N’ Roll, The Who, collectively and as individuals, were/are nothing short of iconic.

With that said, a rockumentary covering the making of Who’s Next is clearly apropos. The Who had finished up the aforementioned Tommy project and were considering another called Lifehouse, and that left the band in a bit of a quandary. Townshend envisioned a host of big plans for performing and marketing these Rock Operas, and although his mates were supportive of his ideas, The Who began to show signs of distress within the band. Townshend states during an interview within this DVD that he feared Keith Moon was becoming a Junkie and that the band lacked conviction to follow through on plans and potential. Townshend also felt a bit isolated because he felt those close to him didn’t understand his concerns, ambitions, and dreams.

So, to deal with the stress and disappointment felt at that time, Townshend basically locked himself in a cutting-edge studio of that era and began to put together Who’s Next. As such, the message ringing true from this DVD is very much that Who’s Next was nothing short of “Pete’s Album,” filled with Townshend’s emotions, disappointments, and concerns about the future. Songs like “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and “Song Is Over” magnificently capture Townshend’s despair and apprehensions, while also showing incredible songwriting and lyrical talent. The album reached #1 on the U.K. charts and #5 on the U.S.A. charts, and has been voted by many sources as one of the best Classic Rock albums of all time.

As shown in this DVD, Townshend became a bit reclusive during the creative process of Who’s Next, but this produced great results, especially from an instrument experimentation standpoint. Having a few new studio tools to work and play with, Townshend incorporated some very cutting-edge use of synthesizers, keyboards, and acoustic guitars … all ideas and methods that still withstand the test of time and raised the bar for all other bands out there in the 70’s.

This DVD includes some never-before-seen live footage of The Who during their heyday and interview excerpts with Roger Daltry and John Entwistle (r.i.p.), along with several people in The Who camp that were close to the band. There’s interesting, if not humorous, discussions about Keith Moon and his cavalier and bizarre actions and some great acoustic solo performances by Townshend recorded especially for this DVD. Overall, though, since this was Townshend’s album, this DVD is also heavily weighted towards Townshend’s perspectives on Who’s Next.

For huge fans of the band, this DVD would be a great asset to have in your collection. Townshend’s insights regarding his instrument experimentation and lyrical compositions definitely make you hear this album in new ways. Like many rockumentaries, after you know more about the “true story,” you leave with a greater appreciation for what was accomplished and what it took to get to that point. There are a few downsides to this DVD, however. First, the run time is just about 1 hour, and too much “prelim” discussions transpire about the Tommy project and where that left the band. In fact, about the first 15 minutes are devoted to that topic … that would have been fine if the DVD run time was 90 minutes, but leaving only about 45 minutes to the actual album being featured seems a bit thin, especially when only a handful of the songs from Who’s Next were afforded in-depth discussion. Without a doubt, all 9 tracks deserved thorough attention. Secondly, the DVD is void of any bonus features … not necessarily a “bad” thing, as this does indeed make owning this DVD very affordable (you can probably find it for less than $10.00 USD), but perhaps actually including the full album in DVD format would have gone over well.

Regardless, though, Who’s Next found Townshend and the band at their creative peak, and this DVD further emphasizes and highlights what a stellar accomplishment this album really was … The Who were on the fringe in 1971 … if anything, Who’s Next reinforced the notion that many things could and should be “next” for this legendary band.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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