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Talking ‘bout my generation

By: Natasha Smith

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ARGUABLY THE greatest live band ever, The Who has stood the test of time. Famously controversial, the members smashed their instruments on stage and trashed hotel rooms in true rock and roll style. More importantly, they changed the face of the music industry with their innovative style and techniques.

For 10 years, The Who was in the Guinness Book of Records for giving the loudest concert ever. In the first year of the band’s eligibility, it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has also been on the cover of Time magazine. The band was awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Grammys and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Their most famous line-up, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon and John Entwistle, defined a generation and became one of the most popular bands among the Mods in Britain in the 60s.

The Who’s first hit was I Can’t Explain in 1965 and My Generation, the band’s debut album, is considered to be one of its most famous. Other successful singles include Pictures of Lily and I Can See For Miles, which was The Who’s highest selling single in the US.

Tommy was released in 1969 and signalled a defining moment in the development of the rock opera. They played excerpts of it at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival later that year. Tommy was later made into a film, directed by Ken Russell and Townshend was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Who are you?

When Live at Leeds was released in 1970, many considered this to be the greatest live rock album ever. Their next release, Who’s Next, became one of the band’s most successful albums.

Quadrophenia, a social commentary about life in the UK during the 60s, depicted adolescent angst and music as a definition of identity. These issues were brought to life on film in 1979, with a recreation of the famous clashes in Brighton between the Mods and Rockers.

In 1978, the band released Who Are You?, but it was eclipsed by the death of Keith Moon from a prescription drug overdose. Tragedy struck again, the following year, when The Who played at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio. Eleven people were crushed to death as fans scrambled for seats.

Throughout the decades, the band broke up and reformed a number of times. The most recent line-up includes Simon Townshend and Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr’s son, along with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. Last year, the band released its latest album, The Endless Wire, which has been critically acclaimed.

The Who changed the face of the music industry by using techniques such as synthesisers and creating the rock opera. Many of the greatest bands today pay homage to the creative genius of the band members. The Who broke down the boundaries of genres and defined modern music.

You can see The Who on May 16, at 8.30pm, at Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon. Ticket prices start from 30 euros and can be purchased at

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