The Who #MusicMonday

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Who

I remember when I was a teenager, I loved everything about the time in which I was "coming of age." I thanked my lucky stars for having been born when I'd been born, for being a teenager in the late '90s, but most of all for having landed me in the same city, the same school, the same grade and classes as the boy I spent most of my high school years lusting after.

Of course, as you get older, things change. You realize that "love" comes and goes, and human nature stays the same. History repeats itself, and beauty doesn't last. I've come to appreciate simpler times, when I was excited to be in the middle of a technological revolution in the late '90s.

What all this has to do with Music Monday is that I have countless times looked at the 1960s with envy. It may have been a complicated time, but it seemed complicated in a much simpler way. It seemed people trusted people, and people could be trusted ... though maybe that's why so many people got into the sorts of trouble they got into.

I don't even think I stumbled upon these Who songs during a '60s binge (latest curiosity: Marianne Faithfull). But The Who formed in 1964 and they're from London, the epicenter of the Swinging Sixties, so I may as well have. I wonder what it would've been like growing up in a big city in the U.S. or the UK in the '60s, and why the mod look hasn't made a real comeback in the past 30 years yet.

As expected, I like the more folk-oriented sound of these two songs, in comparison to the rock music that The Who's usually known for. It's also interesting to look back at what used to be considered "crude" (e.g. Elvis Presley) and "rock music," and see how far we've come (or devolved, depending on where you're standing). The elements of rock music haven't changed all that much, but the sound is really different today, and is generally a whole lot glossier. There are also a ton of sub-genres now that probably didn't exist back in the day, and an artist who might sound very similar to The Who or The Rolling Stones today would likely be relegated to one of these sub-genres. And as someone who was born well after the height of Bob Dylan's fame, I'd label him "folk" when he's often labeled a "folk-rock" artist.

But labels are just labels, aren't they? And the past will always be romanticized -- these are just facts of life.


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