Who's Next is the fifth studio album by English rock band The Who, released in August 1971. The album has origins in a rock opera conceived by Pete Townshend called Lifehouse as an attempt to follow Tommy. The ambitious, complex project did not come to fruition at the time and instead, many of the songs written for the project were compiled onto Who's Next as a collection of unrelated songs. After difficulty with initial recording sessions, events stabilised with the arrival of producer Glyn Johns, who worked on the finished album. The album featured the group's first use of the synthesizer, particularly on the tracks "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again".

The album was a critical and commercial success when it was released, and has been certified 3× platinum by the RIAA.It continues to be critically acclaimed and has been reissued on CD several times, adding additional material intended for the Lifehouse project.

Recording sessionsEdit

  • 1970/71 – Demo sessions at the home studios of Pete Townshend and John Entwistle that produced two reels of songs.
  • January–March 1971 – Live recordings at the Young Vic (mobile Studio).
  • March 1971 – New York sessions at the Record Plant, Lifehouse songs recorded with Kit Lambert and Jack Adams at the desk. These sessions were abandoned, along with the Lifehouse concept.
  • 26 April 1971 – Final Lifehouse concert which was recorded and later released (in part) on disc 2 of the Deluxe Edition of Who's Next
  • May 1971 – Recording at Stargroves Studio London, the sessions were abandoned.
  • May–June 1971 – Olympic Studios in Barnes produced by The Who with associate producer Glyn Johns. The Olympic sessions were used for the original vinyl LP album.

The album has now been re-issued in many countries and remastered several times using tapes from different sessions. The master tapes for the Olympic sessions are believed to be lost or destroyed. Video game publisher Harmonixhad previously announced that Who's Next would be released as downloadable, playable content for the music video game series Rock Band. However, this never came to fruition, since it was discovered that many of the master tapes to the album were missing, as confirmed by Townshend. Instead, a compilation of Who songs dubbed "The Best of The Who," which includes three of the album's songs ("Behind Blue Eyes", "Baba O'Riley", and "Going Mobile"), was released as downloadable content, in lieu of the earlier-promised Who's Next album.

Track listingEdit

All songs written and composed by Pete Townshend, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Baba O'Riley"   5:08
2. "Bargain"   5:34
3. "Love Ain't for Keeping"   2:10
4. "My Wife(John Entwistle) 3:41
5. "The Song Is Over"   6:14
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Getting in Tune"   4:50
7. "Going Mobile"   3:42
8. "Behind Blue Eyes"   3:42
9. "Won't Get Fooled Again"   8:32
1995 reissue bonus tracks
No. Title Length
10. "Pure and Easy" (Original Version) 4:22
11. "Baby Don't You Do It(Holland-Dozier-Holland) 5:15
12. "Naked Eye(Live at the Young Vic 26/4/71) 5:31
13. "Water(Live at the Young Vic 26/4/71) 6:26
14. "Too Much of Anything"   4:25
15. "I Don't Even Know Myself"   4:56
16. "Behind Blue Eyes" (Original Version) 3:25
2003 Deluxe Edition

The first disc of the Deluxe Edition contains the nine tracks from the original album, followed by six outtakes, of which "Getting in Tune" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" were previously unreleased. Each of the six outtakes was recorded during sessions at the Record Plant in New York in March 1971; the group abandoned this material and re-recorded five of the six tracks again in England later in the year.

Disc one
No. Title Length
1. "Baba O'Riley"   5:01
2. "Bargain"   5:33
3. "Love Ain't for Keeping"   2:10
4. "My Wife" (John Entwistle) 3:35
5. "The Song Is Over"   6:17
6. "Getting in Tune"   4:49
7. "Going Mobile"   3:43
8. "Behind Blue Eyes"   3:42
9. "Won't Get Fooled Again"   8:35
10. "Baby Don't You Do It" (Longer Version) 8:21
11. "Getting in Tune"   6:36
12. "Pure and Easy" (Alternate Version) 4:33
13. "Love Ain't For Keeping" (Electric Version, Townshend on lead vocals) 4:06
14. "Behind Blue Eyes" (Alternate Version) 3:30
15. "Won't Get Fooled Again" (Original New York sessions version) 8:48

The tracks on the second disc were recorded live at the Young Vic Theatre, London, on 26 April 1971. All of the tracks were previously unreleased except for "Water" and "Naked Eye". Songs played but not included are "Pinball Wizard", "Bony Moronie", "See Me Feel Me/Listening to You" and "Baby Don't You Do It". (NOTE: The live performance of "Bony Moronie" is available on The Who's 1994 boxset Thirty Years of Maximum R&B).

Disc two
No. Title Length
1. "Love Ain't For Keeping"   2:57
2. "Pure and Easy"   6:00
3. "Young Man Blues"   4:47
4. "Time Is Passing"   3:59
5. "Behind Blue Eyes"   4:49
6. "I Don't Even Know Myself"   5:42
7. "Too Much of Anything"   4:20
8. "Getting in Tune"   6:42
9. "Bargain"   5:46
10. "Water"   8:19
11. "My Generation"   2:58
12. "Road Runner(Ellas McDaniel) 3:14
13. "Naked Eye"   6:21
14. "Won't Get Fooled Again"   8:50
Other Songs

Townshend's "Let's See Action" and Entwistle's "When I Was A Boy" were recorded during the Olympic sessions in May 1971. While neither song was included on the original Who's Next (or any of the subsequent reissues of the album), the songs were released in 1971 as a single (with "Let's See Action" as the A side) and have since been released on compilations. It is believed that two other Townshend songs, "Greyhound Girl" and "Mary", were recorded by The Who sometime during the 1971 sessions, however, only Townshend's demos of the songs have been released.

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