On August 14, 1971, The Who would release their fifth studio album, the follow-up to their rock opera, Tommy. Who's Next would feature many iconic songs, win Album of the Year, and is considered the best album in the band's discography.
The Who formed in 1964, featuring the original line-up vocalist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon (1964-1978). The band would become one of the most influential of the 20th century.
Who's Next would release two years after the rock opera Tommy, a double album mainly composed by Townshend. The original plan was to release an album titled Lifehouse, a multi-media rock opera that was scraped due to the complexity and conflicts with the band's manager Kit Lambert. This proved to be the right decision as Who's Next would make rock and roll history.
"Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley," are two singles from the album which featured prominent use of a synthesizer and would become two songs fans love to hear performed live. The only song on the album not intended for the Lifehouse album was Enstwistle's "My Wife," which is also the only song not written by Townshend.
Edited down to three and half minutes (from 8:32), "Won't Get Fooled Again" would top the US charts at No. 15 and the UK charts at No. 9. Other popular singles from the album include "Baba O'Riley" and "Behind Blue Eyes." In 2003, the album would rank No. 28 in Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The cover art (see below) features the four members of the band next to a cement piling in the middle of a slag heap located between Sheffield and Leicester. The image looks as if they urinated on the piling, but only Townshend actually did; the other marks were made with rainwater. The sky would be added by John Kosh, director of art, giving it another world quality. The inspiration for the cover art came from a discussion of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey between Entwistle and Moon. In 2003 VH1 named Who's Nex as one of the greatest album covers of all time.
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