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My Generation (2002)

The Who
My Generation

MCA Records
088 112 926-2



1. OUT IN THE STREET (Pete Townshend)
Recorded April 12-14, 1965
Originally Decca (U.S.) single 31877 (B-side), November 20, 1965

(James Brown)
Recorded April 12, 1965

3. THE GOOD'S GONE (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 12-13, 1965
Also Brunswick (U.K.) single 05968 (B), November 11, 1966

4. LA-LA-LA LIES (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 12-13, 1965
Also Brunswick (U.K.) single 05968 (A), November 11, 1966

5. MUCH TOO MUCH (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 12-13, 1965

6. MY GENERATION (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 13, 1965
Originally Brunswick (UK) single 05944 (A), October 29, 1965/
Also Decca (U.S.) single 31877 (A), November 20, 1965

7. THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 13, 1965
Also Brunswick (U.K.) single 05965 (A), August 12, 1966
Edited version Decca (U.S.) single 31988, July 1966

8. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (James Brown-John Terry)
Recorded April 12, 1965

9. IT'S NOT TRUE (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 12-13, 1965

10. I'M A MAN (Ellas McDaniel)
Recorded April 12, 1965

11. A LEGAL MATTER (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 12-13, 1965
Also Brunswick (UK) single 05956 (A), March 7, 1966

12. THE OX (Pete Townshend-Keith Moon-John Entwistle-Nicky Hopkins)
Recorded October 12-13, 1965

13. CIRCLES (Pete Townshend)
Recorded January 12-13, 1966
Originally released as Instant Party" on Brunswick (UK) single 05956 (B), March 7, 1966
Also on US The Who Sings My Generation album, April 25, 1966


14. I CAN'T EXPLAIN (Pete Townshend)
Recorded November, 1964
Originally Brunswick (U.K.) single 05926 (A), January 15, 1965/
Also Decca (U.S.) single 31725 (A), February 13, 1965

15. BALD HEADED WOMAN (Shel Talmy)
Recorded November, 1964
Originally Brunswick (U.K.) single 05926 (B), January 15, 1965/
Also Decca (U.S.) single 31725 (B), February 13, 1965

(Otis Blackwell)
Recorded April 12, 1965
Originally Brunswick (U.K.) single 05935 (B), May 21, 1965



1. LEAVING HERE (ALTERNATE)* (Brian Holland-Lamont Dozier-Edward Holland Jr.)
Recorded April 13-14, 1965

2. LUBIE (COME BACK HOME) (Paul Revere-Mark Lindsay)
Recorded April 13-14, 1965

3. SHOUT AND SHIMMY (James Brown)
Recorded April 12, 1965
Originally Brunswick (U.K.) single 05944 (B), October 29, 1965

4. (LOVE IS LIKE A) HEAT WAVE (Brian Holland-Lamont Dozier-Edward Holland Jr.)
Recorded April 12, 1965

5. MOTORING (Ivy Hunter-Phil Jones-William "Mickey" Stevenson)
Recorded April 14, 1965

6. ANYTIME YOU WANT ME (Meade a/k/a Jerry Ragavoy-Garnett Mimms)
Recorded April 13-14, 1965
Originally Decca (U.S.) single 31801 (B), June 5, 1965

7. ANYHOW ANYWHERE ANYWAY (ALTERNATE)** (Pete Townshend-Roger Daltrey)
Recorded April 13-14, 1965

8. INSTANT PARTY MIXTURE* (Pete Townshend)
Recorded January 12-13, 1966

Recorded April 12, 1965

Recorded October 12-13, 1965

Recorded October 13, 1965

(Meade a/k/a Jerry Ragavoy-Garnet Mimms)
Recorded April 13-14, 1965


(Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 12-13, 1965
Originally Brunswick (U.K.) single 05956 (A), March 7, 1966

14.  MY GENERATION (Pete Townshend)
Recorded October 13, 1965
Originally Brunswick (U.K.) single 05944 (A), October 29, 1965
Also Decca (U.S.) single 31877 (A), November 20, 1965

* Previously Unreleased
** Previously Released Only On French E.P


All Tracks Produced by Shel Talmy
All tracks recorded at IBC Studios, London, England except "I Can't Explain" and "Bald Headed Woman," recorded at Pye Studios, London.


Roger Daltrey - lead vocals
John Entwistle - bass, vocals
Pete Townshend - guitar, vocals
Keith Moon - drums, percussion

Nicky Hopkins - piano (except on "I Can't Explain")
The Ivy League - background vocals ("I Can't Explain" and "Bald Headed Woman" only)
Perry Ford - piano ("I Can't Explain" only)
Jimmy Page - guitar ("Bald Headed Woman" only)


The original British release of "My Generation" LP comprised of tracks 1 to 12 on CD One and was Brunswick Records LAT 8616, December 3, 1965.

The American release was entitled "The Who Sings My Generation" and was comprised of tracks 1 to 9, 11 to 13, CD One. It was issued as Decca DL 4664 (mono) and DL7-4664 (stereo), April 25, 1966.

"Deluxe Edition" Produced by Shel Talmy & Andy McKaie
Stereo Remixes Produced by Shel Talmy

Executive Producers: Bill Curbishley & Robert Rosenberg
The Who Management: Bill Curbishley, Trinifold Management, London, England

Remixed at Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, CA
Remix Engineer: Steve Katz
Digitally remastered by Erick Labson, Universal Mastering - West, No. Hollywood, CA
Art Direction: Vartan
Design: Meire Murakami
CD Label Design: Mike Diehl

Photo Credits: ©David Wedgbury: outer package: cover and all group photos/booklet: cover, back cover, pgs. 2, 4, 7, and 9; ©Colin Jones/idols: pgs. 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 21, and 22; Jean Louis Rancurel: pg. 8 Courtesy of Barry Hansen: 45 single sleeves pg. 24; Courtesy of Matt Kent: release sheets pgs. 25, and 26

Original LP covers: Courtesy of Barry Hansen and Dana Smart

Outer package:
All group photos are from the original LP photo session
Original liner notes from the U.S. LP release complete with misspellings of artists' names
Original master tape boxes from the Universal Music Vaults
Production Coordination: Margaret Goldfarb
Legal Clearances: Kelly Martinez
Great input: Matt Kent, Andy Neill
Thanks to Ed Abbott, Chris Charlesworth, Bill Levenson, Mike Ragogna, Bill Waddell, and Richard Weiner.

© 2002 MCA Records 088 112 926-2



    This is my story, as I remember it.

    It was 1964 and I had been working in the theatre for a couple of years.

    I was a lighting technician at the Hippodrome in Bristol when I got a phone call from my old friend Chris Stamp. He told me that he and a friend called Kit Lambert were thinking of making a film about rock 'n' roll, and they wanted to find a group to feature in the film. Would I like to help them? It seemed a good idea at the time, so I came back to London and took a job at the Lyric Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.

    A few weeks later Chris introduced me to Kit Lambert. Socially they were worlds apart. Chris, the son of a Thames tug-boatman, was a streetwise East-ender while Kit, the son of a classical composer, was Public School and an ex-Army officer. They were both Assistant Film Directors, and they had met on several locations. Besides the cinema, they shared an interest in music, but the bond between them was really their creative vision and energy which led to their desire to make an authentic film on rock 'n' roll. So the quest began.

    But on stage, everything changed. Keith would beat his drums into submission, John's bass was so loud it loosened your fillings, and Peter's screaming feedback could restart batteries. Meanwhile, Roger put all of this raw aggression into words. They were so exciting that Kit and Chris decided to put the film on hold and manage them instead.

    After cutting their hair and smartening them up a bit we found that with good stage lighting they didn't look too bad, so we bought a furniture van, piled them and my lighting rig in the back, renamed them back to The Who and set off down the road.

    It was now 1965, and England was the centre of the universe as far as fashion, art, film and pop music - the soundtrack of our memories - was concerned. Names like Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon, David Bailey, Biba, Jean Shrimpton, Terence Stamp (Chris's brother) and Julie Christie were synonymous with cool, the In Crowd. Tourists came to gape and shop in King's Road and Carnaby Street. London was the place to be. There were nightclubs opening up, The Ad-Lib, The Cromwellian and The Scotch of St. James, where all the celebrities went for late night entertainment and to be seen.

    In the music world, The Beatles were Number One. They were still top of the charts, about to make their second film Help!, and be awarded M.B.E's by Harold Wilson. But the Merseybeat boom was fading, the Northern sound was still there with bands like The Hollies, The Searchers and The Animals, but London was hitting back, first with The Rolling Stones and The Dave Clark Five and now with The Kinks, The Yardbirds, and, fortunately for us, The Who. A newcomer to the charts in '65 was Bob Dylan with "The Times They Are A Changin'." For The Who they certainly were.

    The year had started with Chris going to Norway to work on another film, The Heroes Of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas. He did this to earn some money so that we could pay the group their guaranteed £25.00 a week and to cover our running costs which were pretty high, as the climax of most performances saw Peter smashing his guitar into his speakers and Keith wrecking his drums. Kit would also make what he could at London's casinos. His winnings, plus what the band were earning, just about kept us going.

    Before Chris had left for the fjords, he and Kit had arranged for The Who to do a residency at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street every Tuesday, so each night, Chris, Anya Butler, our secretary and confidante, and I would tour the streets of London, fly-posting the event and handing out complimentary tickets. Within weeks, The Who had broken the box-office record set by Manfred Mann and the music press started to take notice. In an effort to build up a bigger following for the band, we started doing our own promotions, featuring them and a support group at the Florida Rooms in Brighton. To try and encourage East London support, we put them on at the Red Lion in Walthamstow, but this proved too time consuming so we shelved it.

    At around the same time Anya had introduced Chris and Kit to Shel Talmy, an American record producer who was having great success with The Kinks. Chris and Kit played him a song that Peter had written called "I Can't Explain." They knew that if they could get The Who a record deal, everything would escalate. A deal was made with Shel who took their tapes to American Decca. In the U.K. The Who's records would be released on the Brunswick label.

    Things were starting to happen. We started promoting the single with posters and freebies in areas where the group were popular. It was played on Radio Caroline, the pirate station, and Chris and Kit invited Vicki Wickham and Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the producers of the hip TV show Ready, Steady, Go!, down to the Marquee. As soon as the single made the charts The Who were on television.

    With the success of the single, the gigs started to improve. We moved our office from the block where we had shared the lift with Andrew 'Loog' Oldham and The Rolling Stones to an apartment in Eaton Place in Belgravia. Peter moved into a flat just up the road in Chesham Place. After Chris and Kit gave him two Vortexion tape recorders so that he could use double-tracking, he started writing more songs. Once the second single, "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere," was released there was no problem in getting on television as they were such a visually exciting group. They were on Thank Your Lucky Stars, Ready, Steady, Go! and, once it had made the charts, Top Of The Pops.

    We were also working six nights a week, and as I was handling the bookings, I made sure that we rested on the seventh day whenever possible, to get our washing done. With the success of the records, the venues had stepped up a notch. We were now out of the pub circuit and into colleges and up-market gigs, like the Bath Pavilion, the California Ballroom in Dunstable, the Ricky-Tick in Windsor and the Red Shoes Ballroom in Elgin.

    Although things were starting to look good, there was friction within the group. As the audiences got bigger, Peter, John and Keith got louder, much to the detriment of Roger's voice which would often need reviving with a swig of Southern Comfort. It seemed that either they were under the influence of the pills that they were dropping or they were deliberately trying to annoy Roger, but either way it caused many an argument. With "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" having been a hit, we went abroad to do some shows and TV appearances in Holland, Sweden and Denmark. After a gig at The Moo-Cow bar in Hamlet's home town of Helsingor on September 25, 1965, Keith and Roger came to blows. When we came back, Chris and Kit had a group meeting to discuss the various problems, and Roger decided that for the sake of the group's future, he would be Peaceful Perce. For a drop in volume where possible, life would go on.

    All the while Peter had been writing, and with my help he was composing some very good songs, so there were plans to make an album. Chris knew that with the group's success throughout the year there were doors to be opened in America, and this album could be the key. With one song in particular, Chris and Kit knew that Peter was making a real statement about himself, the group and the youth of the day, and this feeling had to come out of the record. This song was "My Generation," soon to become an anthem for young people everywhere, talking 'bout their generation.

    Shel Talmy was a good producer but Kit and Chris wanted The Who's records to have the same feeling that was generated when the band were on stage. So, once Shel had booked recording time for the album, they booked alternative time at the City of London and Lansdowne Studios and rehearsed the new numbers, especially "My Generation," so that The Who knew exactly how they would sound when they went in with Shel.

    The result was this first album from a group that was on the road to becoming one of the greatest rock bands in the world, and it all happened because Chris Stamp & Kit Lambert, a pair of visionaries in the truest sense of the word, wanted to make a rock 'n' roll film.



    "Initially, a young lady named Anya Butler, who was working part-time for me, knew Kit Lambert, and he was interested in meeting me because I'd produced The Kinks who were having chart hits. Anya set up a meeting, and I went to see the band rehearse in a church hall in, I believe, Shepherd's Bush. Right away, I knew I was hearing the hardest, most authentic rock band I'd yet heard in all of England and that I wanted to work with them, so I signed them to my production company.

    "We reviewed a lot of songs before we chose the one we wanted to record for the first session. The one I really liked was 'I Can't Explain,' but the demo was only a minute and a half long, so when we rehearsed it, I had them add another chorus and guitar break. At the time, the band weren't handling the backing vocals very well, so I brought in the Ivy League, a 3 piece harmony group who had a record in the charts.

    "The band was great in the studio. We recorded live of course and got the tracks down in very few takes, as they were that good. I still think that Keith Moon was the greatest rock drummer of all time and combined with John Entwistle's great bass work, Pete's signature guitar licks and unique sound and Roger Daltrey's outstanding vocals, it was obvious they were going to be a superstar band.

    "I first took the single to British Decca, but just like they did when I'd previously brought in Manfred Mann and Georgie Fame, they passed!

    "Then I got a contact to U.S. Decca, which was a completely different company to the British label, and played it for them and they 'liked' it.

    "I have to interject here that U.S. Decca was run by all these older gentlemen, in their '60s and 70s, who were extremely nice and desperately trying to 'get with' what was happening in rock at the time. I doubted they knew what they were buying and had little or no understanding of the music, but they were so eager for it to succeed, I agreed to the deal.

    "Ironically, in the U.K., they were distributed by British Decca via the Brunswick label, so you can imagine the chagrin at British Decca when The Who were a hit band and the label was left with egg on its face once again.

    "We next delivered the 'Anyway Anyhow Anywhere' single, and they then wanted an album.

    "In those days, the labels required that the group record familiar, well-known songs (like 'Heat Wave,' 'Please Please Please,' etc.), to be included on the LR I went along with it, but I was particularly enamored with Pete's songs, and I would have been happy to do the entire LP with just them. I always said that, along with Lennon and McCartney, I was lucky enough to have the two best songwriters of the time - Pete and Ray Davies (of The Kinks)."



    My Generation surely ranks as the most explosive rock 'n' roll debut album ever committed to plastic. Recorded hit and run style on two separate occasions in 1965, its 12 tracks ooze the kind of unique Who sturm und drang which had been consolidated over a 16-week Tuesday night stretch at London's Marquee Club.

    Like most mid-'60s debut albums, its conception was familiar enough. After the requisite hit single, group enters studio shattered from road fatigue, hammers out stage repertoire with maximum gusto (to minimum expense) for mercenary record company to have said product on the shelves before the brats find something else to spend their bread on. My Generation was no exception, but The Who were fortunate to have a maverick producer like Shel Talmy at the controls.

    An American ex-pat Talmy first saw The Who going through their paces at a Shepherd's Bush hall towards the end of 1964. "You just listened to them for five minutes, and you knew these guys had something," he told Bob Edmands. "Their energy, their attack - which groups (in Britain) did not have then." Originally from Chicago, Talmy started his recording career at Conway Studios in Los Angeles, working as an engineer on records by The Checkmates, The Marketts, Little Richard and Billy Eckstine, among others. Arriving in England in 1962, he talked his way into a job with Decca and his first production for the company - "Lollipops And Roses" by Doug Sheldon - was followed by The Bachelors hit, "Charmaine." On the lookout for the right act he had unsuccessfully offered Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames and Manfred Mann to Decca before being successfully vindicated with The Kinks, recording them as an independent for Pye Records.

    It was Talmy's work with that North London four-piece that initially aroused the interest of The Who's management team, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. A friend of Anya Butler (Lambert's personal assistant) worked part-time for Talmy, therefore paving the way for their divergent paths to cross.

    "When we recorded, I just tried to get down to translating their live sound to record..." Talmy remembers. "I heard 'I Can't Explain' as a one minute 30 second demo (cut at the Marquee studios and played down the phone to him by Who associate Mike Shaw)."

    Pete Townshend later admitted he structured The Who's first single as a Kinks derivative to attract Talmy's interest. "He (Talmy) came down, heard 'I Can't Explain' and said that's the one. We did other numbers, but that was the only real original we had and he wanted something original." Upon entering Pye Studios in November 1964, the group found hired session musicians on hand, including Birmingham vocal trio The Ivy League who contributed the high back-up harmonies. "Jimmy Page was there to play lead. He nearly played the solo on the A-side but it was so simple, even I could play it," Townshend asserts. (Talmy says that Page was never there to play lead, only additional rhythm.) According to John Entwistle, Pete played his Rickenbacker 12-string on "I Can't Explain" while the single's B-side, "Bald Headed Woman," features Page's fretwork due to his refusal to lend Townshend his fuzzbox. (The aural evidence from this new remix confirms this version of events with Page's licks particularly audible on the extended fade. Ivy League member Perry Ford's piano part on "I Can't Explain" can now be heard more clearly also.)

    Talmy signed a one-off deal to record The Who for American Decca, with Brunswick as their British outlet. With the eventual Top 10 success in Britain of "I Can't Explain" (#8 in April '65), the producer put The Who through their paces over successive afternoons in preparation for an album's worth of material. "I would go to the rehearsal and work out the arrangements there and then," Talmy confirms, "because time was money, and I was paying for everything."

    For his engineer, Talmy had the right man in Glyn Johns, a singer with the London group The Presidents and a soloist for Decca, who produced the Rolling Stones' first demo tape at IBC Studios, on Portland Place, where Talmy did most of his work. Augmenting the group was 20-year old pianist Nicky Hopkins who had played stints with Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages and the Cyril Davies R&B All-Stars (alongside Jimmy Page) until (like Page) frail health moved him into the busy session world.

    Recording for the proposed Who album started at IBC on Friday 19 March, continuing again between 12-14 April. The programme featured material from the cream of US soul and R&B: Bo Diddley's "I'm A Man," radically revamped and elongated from Bo's original arrangement and a platform for experimental feedback techniques and autodestruction when the group performed it live; "Shout And Shimmy," "Please, Please, Please," and "I Don't Mind" (the full version of the latter is included as a bonus track) by James Brown (a particular favourite of singer Daltrey); "Daddy Rolling Stone," originally performed by its composer Otis Blackwell but The Who's cover was based on Derek Martin's version; and Garnet Mimm's "Anytime You Want Me," also included as a bonus a cappella vocal track (a revelation in that Roger could handle such expressive material with confidence, while giving the lie to his own harsh assessment of his early vocal abilities). John and Pete's backing vocals have also improved - no need to enlist The Ivy League on this occasion! The Tamla-Motown so beloved of The Who and other London mod groups was represented by Martha and the Vandellas' "Heat Wave" and Eddie Holland's "Leaving Here" (included with an alternate vocal to the version first released on the 1985 MCA compilation Who's Missing). "Louie Go Home," an obscure Paul Revere and The Raiders song amended to "Lubie (Come Back Home)," and a Townshend original, "You're Going To Know Me" (retitled "Out In The Street"), completed the picture.

    In the April 17th issue of Record Mirror, Kit Lambert announced "the album will be released as soon as possible by Decca in the U.S.A. and may be split into EPs by Polydor for release in France. The next single has been cut and is due for issue in late May." That single - another UK Top 10 hit - was "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" - a highly idiosyncratic record by the standards of 1965. (The version included as a bonus track inadvertently slipped out on a French EP release, and features markedly different lead and backing vocals.)

    For the "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" session Talmy recalls, "I used three mikes to ensure that I could capture the natural room reverb and signal delays; one right on the amp, one three to four feet away and another angled way back into the room. Then I mixed the inputs to mono and compressed it. When I sent the tape to Decca in America, they said I delivered a faulty master because there were all these strange noises on it. I had to assure them that this was the way it was meant to sound!"

    The intended July release of the album in America was subsequently postponed after a disparaging review appeared in the monthly musician's magazine Beat Instrumental. Columnist John Emery was played a nine-track acetate, emanating from the March-April sessions. Emery's adverse comments about the paucity of original material were taken to heart. The tapes were placed on the back burner while The Who took stock of the situation. In a burst of bravado, Lambert told Disc: "The Who are having serious doubts about the state of R&B. Now the LP material will consist of hard pop. They've finished with 'Smokestack Lightning.'" Lambert encouraged Pete to come up with original material, frequently checking into the guitarist's Belgravia flat to offer opinions on the compositions Townshend was starting to prolifically pen.

    It wasn't until October 12th that a two-day session at IBC was booked to remake the album. With the same team of Talmy, Johns and Hopkins, the group cut Townshend originals "La-La-La Lies" (tailored to sound similar to the light, Latin-style hits written by Chris Andrews for UK singer Sandie Shaw), "Much Too Much," "It's Not True," "A Legal Matter" (sung by Pete, either because Daltrey found the vocal line above his range or possibly due to the protagonist's predicament closely mirrored his own real life marital discord too closely!), "The Good's Gone" who's ringing chords were inspired by the droning sound of The Kinks' "See My Friends" (the extended, hypnotic coda has been restored as a previously unreleased bonus track), and "The Ox," a pounding surf instrumental inspired by The Surfaris' "Waikiki Run," where the worlds of foam and feedback collide in one glorious din.

    Remarkably, two of the strongest songs on the album (and indeed within The Who's canon) - "My Generation" and "The Kids Are Alright" - were recorded in an overnight session on October 13th. Stories are legion surrounding the creation of "My Generation." Originally a Jimmy Reed-influenced demo, the song was nearly passed over until Chris Stamp spotted its potential. Over the course of several rehearsals and demos, it altered into its recognizable form complete with stutter and upward key changes. The final session was a costly one for John Entwistle. "I bought this Danelectro bass and it had these tiny, thin wirewound strings on. They were so thin, they sounded just like a piano, an unbelievably clear sound. The only thing was that you couldn't buy these strings. When we recorded 'My Generation,' I ended up with three of these Danelectros just for the strings. The last one I had, the string busted before we actually got into the studio to re-record it, so I did it on a Fender Jazz in the end with tape-wound La Bella strings."
    As always, the band started by cutting the basic track, and this is presented as a bonus in its raw form, proving that the Who's inimitable ensemble precision was fully interlocking from that first take. While Daltrey added his suitably snarly, stuttering vocal and John and Pete, the backing refrain and handclaps, Pete set up his speaker stack and added additional guitar overdubs. (Unfortunately many of his edit pieces appear lost and therefore weren't available for this remix. To remedy the situation, the original mono mixes of "My Generation" and "A Legal Matter" have been added as 'compare and contrast' bonuses.)

    On October 29th, "My Generation" was released, reaching #2 in the British charts, being kept off the coveted pole position by The Seekers lachrymose ballad "The Carnival Is Over." The My Generation album belatedly reached record stores on Friday December 3rd, and eventually reached #5 on the LP charts. As well as the fruits of the October sessions, Talmy elected to include "Out In The Street," "I Don't Mind," "Please, Please, Please" and "I'm A Man" from the original scrapped album. At the time, the group felt the album represented a past phase in their development and were less than charitable in the music press (although, with hindsight, this may have also had a lot to do with their growing disenchantment with Talmy.) In Record Mirror Townshend took the opportunity of a track-by-track breakdown to lambast it at every turn, while in Disc, Moon stated "I particularly like 'Kids,' 'The Good's Gone,' 'It's Not True' and 'La-La-La Lies.' Some of the old tracks are disgusting though." In 1971, Daltrey told Gary Herman, "That (album) was after playing blues for two years... and it was very scrappily done... It wasn't like we were on stage... That album was recorded very quickly and very cheaply, and it wasn't really what we we're all about."

    In the New Year, The Who set about recording their proposed fourth single, "Circles", with "Instant Party Mixture" - a Dion & The Belmonts/Bobby Boris Pickett-style pastiche with in-joke references to pot, pills and "sausage and mash" - London rhyming slang for a certain substance - intended as it's throwaway B-side (released here for the first time). Talmy was still on board, but thanks to a personality clash with Kit Lambert and the group's displeasure with their royalty situation, his days were increasingly numbered. On February 12th Melody Maker reported that "Circles," intended for release the following day, had been withdrawn and the following week, the paper reported that The Who had jumped ship from Decca/Brunswick to Robert Stigwood's Reaction label. Talmy immediately claimed breach of contract - one of his arguments being that he'd produced only hits for the band.

    On March 4th, "Circles" became the subject of a very real legal matter when a re-recorded version crept out as the B-side to two different releases of The Who's new single, "Substitute"; one of which was confusingly credited as "Instant Party". Talmy claimed ownership of the track in the High Court, and the record was injuncted temporarily. The Talmy-produced version was released in England as the B-side to Brunswick's loss-cutting single release of "A Legal Matter" - an ironic choice - and in America, added to The Who Sings My Generation album (in place of "I'm A Man," possibly due to the latter's line "when I get you in bed darling" which was cut from certain overseas pressings).

    The various legal disputes have been at the core of the absence of My Generation from The Who's reissue programme for some time, but with all parties on board, this Deluxe Edition is the first time that the tracks have been remixed into stereo from the original three-track master tapes. While the band themselves originally disowned it, My Generation remains, for many, the ultimate Who album and the closest to encapsulating that early rawness that was effortlessly unleashed on stage night after night. Play It Loud!


(co-author, with Matt Kent, of Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle Of The Who 1958 -  1978, published 2002 by Barnes & Noble).
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