What The Eye Doesn’t See

If I ever forget how good the Who are, I listen to Naked Eye.

Pete’s guitar (especially combined with Entwistle’s bass and Moons drums) seems to describe the surfaces and layers of what’s underlying everything and his lyrics place words on them.  The effect is of an overall structure that closely matches reality – as if he has dragged the whole structure up from the depths intact.....while most other guitarists spike reality like a park keeper’s litter stick, coming up with a few out-of-context fragments.  They have to play ever quicker or more complex licks to create some transient emotional response (which soon dulls), while Pete provides something lasting for the intellect and the emotions.

The 1973 Cow Palace version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B92DK5zoH8) is one of my favourites (when Moon had to be replaced by Scott Halpin out of the audience – Moon had done some Ketamine and had to be trolleyed off the stage and Pete had to ask the audience if anyone could play drums), though Daltrey’s voice and his mike were both off (too much would-be Robert Plant going on).  The awesomeness from 3:10 to around 5:00 gets even better when you realise this is ironic: the tight, heavy power-chords and macho windmilling at 4:06 to 4:19 (how the hell does he produce such a coordinated sound?) are then put into perspective by Pete’s vocal from 5:16.  It’s as if he’s saying (like he does with a lot of his music), “This is what testosterone is for, you wankers….mix it with a more feminine element if you want to get closer to understanding reality”.

Then there’s the Who’s Next (extended issue) version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bETMEfUs79Q), recorded live at the Young Vic in London in 1970.  Daltrey sounding like he gets it this time and Pete’s delicacy and his use of feedback at it’s best.  There’s so much going on in there.

1970 Isle of Wight and the 2006 and 2007 versions are the same but different yet again.

Biffo2 Biffo2
51-55, M
2 Responses Feb 14, 2010

Glad we agree they rock. Have to agree to disagree about Tommy - though I can see how it might sound like a bit of a joke - the meaning is all in the structure of it all. Funnily enough, Townshend himself didn't think much of Pinball Wizard - thought it was just window dressing

they RoCK!