Considered by many to be The Who’s masterpiece, Who’s Next is an album I refrained from buying for quite some time. I don’t have a large collection of albums by The Who – the ones that I own include Tommy, Live At Leeds, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy and the soundtrack to The Kids Are Alright. I like parts of Tommy and Live At Leeds, but found both of these CDs patchy overall. Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is a collection of early Who singles (which are brilliant) while The Kids Are Alright is a so-so compilation.
When I saw Who’s Next on sale at a very reasonable price, I decided to give it a try. I found the album surprisingly listenable and much more consistent as an album than Tommy. Radio staples like Baba O’Reily and Won’t Get Fooled Again are indeed exceptional cuts, but I ended up being most impressed by Behind Blue Eyes.
Verdict : the essential The Who album to own.