The Second Disc

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“The Who Hits 50!”

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Who 50Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, the last men standing of the original Who, have confirmed that they won’t be spending their 50th anniversary lying down.  The Who will be embarking on a celebratory jaunt, The Who Hits 50, beginning in November in Glasgow, and will be releasing a double-disc retrospective to tie in with the tour.  The new compilation is set for U.K. release on October 27 and U.S. release one day later on October 28.

The Who Hits 50 follows such past Who anthologies as 2002’s The Ultimate Collection, a 35-track collection on 2 CDs, 2004’s 20-song Then and Now, and 2009’s Greatest Hits with 19 songs.  This set is more expansive than The Ultimate Collection, offering two CDs packed with 42 songs including the premiere release of “Be Lucky,” the band’s first recording since 2006’s studio album Endless Wire.  The set begins in 1964 with the single A-side “Zoot Suit” from Daltrey, Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon as The High Numbers, and other than “Be Lucky,” concludes with “It’s Not Enough” from Endless Wire.  In between, the collection features songs from every one of the band’s studio albums plus various singles, tracks from compilations and a live recording from 1970’s seminal Live at Leeds.  You can expect the standard fare with “Pinball Wizard,” “My Generation,” “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere,” “Bargain,” “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Who Are You” plus comparatively deeper cuts like The Who’s 1967 non-LP single of The Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time,” the Entwistle-penned “Trick of the Light” from Who Are You, and the band’s final U.K. Top 40 single, “Athena” from It’s Hard.

Roger Daltrey told Rolling Stone earlier this year that the band is likely to return to the studio to cut more music; however, he believes the anniversary tour could be The Who’s final large-scale outing.  The vocalist was quoted as confessing, “We intend to go on doing music until we drop, but we have to be realistic about our age…The touring is incredibly grinding on the body and we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. This will be the last old-fashioned, big tour.”

After the jump, we have the complete track listing for you with discography, plus pre-order links!

The Who Hits 50 arrives in stores on October 27 in the U.K. and October 28 in the U.S. from UMe’s Geffen Records label.  A vinyl edition, single-CD highlights edition and Blu-ray Pure Audio version (likely with stereo mixes only, but this is still to be confirmed)  will also be available.  You can peruse the track listing for the 2-CD version and pre-order below!

The Who, The Who Hits 50! (Geffen/UMe, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

1-CD Highlights: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Blu-ray Pure Audio: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Disc 1

  1. Zoot Suit – The High Numbers
  2. I Can’t Explain
  3. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
  4. My Generation
  5. Substitute
  6. The Kids Are Alright
  7. I’m a Boy
  8. Happy Jack
  9. Boris the Spider
  10. Pictures of Lily
  11. The Last Time
  12. I Can See for Miles
  13. Call Me Lightning
  14. Dogs
  15. Magic Bus
  16. Pinball Wizard
  17. I’m Free
  18. The Seeker
  19. Summertime Blues (Live At Leeds)
  20. See Me, Feel Me
  21. Won’t Get Fooled Again (Single Edit)
  22. Let’s See Action
  23. Bargain
  24. Behind Blue Eyes

Disc 2

  1. Baba O’ Riley
  2. Join Together
  3. Relay
  4. 5:15
  5. Love Reign O’er Me
  6. Postcard
  7. Squeeze Box
  8. Slip Kid
  9. Who Are You
  10. Trick of the Light
  11. You Better You Bet
  12. Don’t Let Go the Coat
  13. Athena
  14. Eminence Front
  15. It’s Hard
  16. Real Good Looking Boy
  17. It’s Not Enough
  18. Be Lucky

Disc 1, Track 1 from Fontana single TF 480, 1964
Disc 1, Track 2 from Brunswick single 05926, 1965
Disc 1, Track 3 from Brunswick single 05935, 1965
Disc 1, Tracks 4 and 6 from My Generation (Brunswick, 1965)
Disc 1, Track 5 from Reaction single 591001, 1966
Disc 1, Track 7 from Reaction single 591004, 1966
Disc 1, Track 8 from Reaction single 591010, 1966
Disc 1, Track 9 from A Quick One (Reaction, 1966)
Disc 1, Track 10 from Track Record single 604002, 1967
Disc 1, Track 11 from Track Record single 604006, 1967
Disc 1, Track 12 from The Who Sell Out (Track Record, 1967)
Disc 1, Tracks 13-14 from Track Record single 604023, 1967
Disc 1, Track 15 from Magic Bus: The Who on Tour (Decca (U.S.), 1968)
Disc 1, Tracks 16-17 and 20 from Tommy (Track Record, 1969)
Disc 1, Track 18 from Track Record single 604036, 1970
Disc 1, Track 19 from Live At Leeds (Track Record, 1970)
Disc 1, Tracks 21 and 23-24 and Disc 2, Track 1 from Who’s Next (Track Record, 1971)
Disc 1, Track 22 from Track Record single 2094-012, 1971
Disc 2, Track 2 from Track Record single 2094-102, 1972
Disc 2, Track 3 from Track Record single 2094-106, 1972
Disc 2, Tracks 4-5 from Quadrophenia (Track Record, 1973)
Disc 2, Track 6 from Odds & Sods (Track Record, 1974)
Disc 2, Tracks 7-8 from The Who by Numbers (Polydor, 1975)
Disc 2, Tracks 9-10 from Who Are You (Polydor, 1978)
Disc 2, Tracks 11-12 from Face Dances (Polydor, 1981)
Disc 2, Tracks 13-15 from It’s Hard (Polydor, 1982)
Disc 2, Track 16 from Then and Now (Polydor, 2004)
Disc 2, Track 17 from Endless Wire (Polydor, 2006)
Disc 2, Track 18 is a new track

Written by Joe Marchese

October 3, 2014 at 12:43

Posted in Compilations, News, The Who

14 Responses

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  1. Interesting lineup: “Zoot Suit” but no “I’m The Face”; and only two songs from the underrated Who Are You album. I would have liked to see the original mix of “Music Must Change”, perhaps in place of the repetitive “Let’s See Action”. (The deluxe “Who Are You” had a different guitar solo that, to my ears, did not flow as well as the original.) But nice to see such somewhat deep tracks as “Don’t Let Go The Coat” and “Slip Kid”. Long live the ‘oo!

    Mark Zutkoff

    October 3, 2014 at 14:50

  2. Athena? Really?? Easily their worst song ever. I’ll take early period Who any day.


    October 3, 2014 at 15:12

  3. The emphasis seems to be on single A-sides; even “Postcard” has that distinction. They aren’t saying that “Love Reign O’er Me” is the single edit, which is fine by me because that edit is horrific. Nice to see “Relay” getting some love after its omission from “The Ultimate Collection” (the UK version of which is, overall, my favorite Who comp). I am guessing that “I’m A Boy” and “Magic Bus” are the standard single versions rather than the variants on “Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy.”

    Steve Bruun

    October 3, 2014 at 16:47

    • I recently found out that “Magic Bus” is in fact the long version, with alternate vocal, that first appeared on the vinyl version of “Meaty, Beaty…” I think “…Hits 50” is the first U.S. CD compilation to include that version. It’s in mono on the new collection, whereas it was first released in fake stereo.

      Steve Bruun

      October 28, 2014 at 21:49

      • Thanks for sharing, Steve!

        Joe Marchese

        October 29, 2014 at 10:34

  4. I think it’s metaphysically impossible to underrate Who Are You, which conformed that the dream was over with By Numbers. Two from WAY is plenty for me.


    October 3, 2014 at 20:07

    • Make that confirmed. Sorry!


      October 3, 2014 at 20:08

    • Spot on. Who Are You is a sub-par Who effort. Face Dances was better.


      October 7, 2014 at 18:41

  5. Yup, it’s Friday: time for another Who compilation!


    October 3, 2014 at 23:23

    • The booklet accompanying the original VHS release of “Thirty Years of Maximum R&B Live” includes this telling passage: “If we forget the reunion tours, the 1975 film of Tommy and the countless compilations we can see The Who as a . . . band with little commercial compromise.” Which is a little like saying “if we forget the years they spent as studio hermits, Steely Dan, XTC and the Beatles were diehard touring outfits to the bitter end.” Don’t get me wrong – I like the Who, and I might even pick up this compilation, but this is a band that has celebrated, not shunned, commercialism (to the point of releasing an album called “The Who Sell Out” which featured advertisements for real products). They should release triple-disc definitive versions of every album. Instead, they’ve issued “deluxe” editions with bonus content, followed by “super deluxe” versions with different bonus content so you have to hang on to the “deluxe” version. Or else a mammoth expansion of “Odds and Sods” (maybe six discs ought to do it) to put all of the rarities in one place.

      Steve Bruun

      October 4, 2014 at 17:56

  6. I’m getting this to replace my “Ultimate Collection” Set. This has a better and more extensive track listing, although the single version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is sure to bother me.


    October 4, 2014 at 05:53

  7. I’d love to see more Legacy/Deluxe Editions from The Who catalogue. There are sooooo many compilations of the same hits I am rarely interested. I’d rather see remasters of Meaty or Magic Bus lps.

    Bradley Skistimas

    October 4, 2014 at 13:04

  8. I’ll stick with my UK pressing of “Ultimate Collection.” I don’t see THAT many imaginative choices on this one.

    Chief Brody

    October 4, 2014 at 16:33

  9. I have every Who studio album (including the abominable Endless Wire), but only one comp in The Ultimate Collection which was good, but mastered too loud and missed a few songs (the UK version was the one to have with the extra 80’s tracks).
    Clearly, this comp features almost every single released and I love the 80’s Who as much as the 60’s or 70’s so “Athena” one of my favorites and their last Top 40 hit is here (as it was on Ultimate Collection). The new song is shockingly good.
    Focusing on singles is why no “Sister Disco” or “Another Tricky Day’ or others, but a few non-album singles still appear.
    No need for another Who comp, but if there was to be one to celebrate their whole career at least this is a very good one. A few absent singles off the top of my head are “The Real Me” and “Long Live Rock”.


    October 6, 2014 at 14:37

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