Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

The Who The Kids Are Alright (1979)


The year after Keith Moon died, The Who released a movie that they had been working on for awhile, entitled “The Kids Are Alright.” The movie was a documentary, and it featured live films, interviews, and promotional films from 1965 until 1978. Along with the movie, they released a soundtrack with some of the songs from the movie. This is the soundtrack to the famous documentary, and most of the music is from live shows that the band did. (There are only a few songs on here that are studio.) Since it is The Who, some of the music is mind boggling awesome. Other songs aren’t as good as others, but are still exceptional. Nonetheless, every song on here is special in its own way.

My Generation
The soundtrack immediately starts with one of The Who’s most famous tracks, My Generation. The track starts with Tommy Smothers talking to each of the 4 band members. (They’re on The Smothers Brothers TV show.) The song is a lot like the studio version. John has a nice bass solo, Keith has a few good drum fills, and Roger’s vocals flow smoothly with the band’s playing. There is also a big explosion at the end of the song, with the effect of Pete Townshend going partly deaf for about twenty minutes after the show. I’m sure that most people who read this know My Generation, so we will move on.

I Can’t Explain.
This is from an early show that they played. It doesn’t have the best quality, but it’s still good nonetheless. The drum part is exceptional, and the vocals are crisp as well. Not the best version of I Can’t Explain, but still a good tune.

Happy Jack
This is one of the only songs on this album that is not on the movie. The guitar is pretty notable on this, and the drum part is as well. Townshend has some great backing vocals on this song, and the rest speaks for itself.

I Can See For Miles
The only other song on the soundtrack that isn’t on the movie, I Can See For Miles is the first song from the studio off the album. The vocals are probably the hook on this song, as Daltrey’s vocals on this are clear and strong, and the guitar playing is exceptional. Even though this song is a bit repetitive, it is another classic.

Magic Bus
Another Who classic. Magic Bus is a concert essential, no wonder it is on this live disc. The use of percussion equipment on this is great, and the music blends smoothly together. The lyrics in this song are interesting the way they are arranged, “I don’t want to cause no fuss, but can I ride your magic bus.” which adds another aspect to Magic Bus.

Long Live Rock
Probably the least well known song on the compilation, Long Live Rock features Pete Townshend on vocals for the first time on this album. The guitar part is very well balanced in this song, and also has a good keyboard part thanks to Jon Carin. Long Live Rock also has a nice blues feel to it. Some weak lyrics on this song, but aside from that, another good song. (I don’t think this was on an album.)

Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
An alright track. Pete and Roger both collaborated to write this song. This song has a call and response, which was common in early Who songs. As you may tell, this was from an early show, so it is a bit worn. There is a lot of feedback in this song, and has some messy lyrics. Not the Who’s best song.

Young Man Blues
A nice change of pace, Young Man Blues is different then every song on this album so far. From the start of this track, you can tell it is going to be a heavy blues song. The Who recorded this at the famous Live At Leeds concert. This was originally supposed to be on their first epic rock opera Tommy, but they cut it out. The bass and guitar both go well together in this song, as both Pete and John have good parts. Roger’s vocals are very loud and powerful as well. You can see why The Who are one of the best live bands ever from the way they perform this song.

My Wife
This is a great live version of My Wife, written by John Entwistle. John sounds great as he sings lead on this song. The bass line is probably the hook on this song, as well as the great guitar part that Townshend dishes out. Another great aspect of this song is the drum part. This version of My Wife is definitely better than the studio version.

Baba O’Riley
Upon first note of this song, whether you have heard The Who or not, you will defiantly know this song, being that it is one of the most popular songs of all time. The highlight of this song is probably the great organ/keyboard part. John messes around with the bass part on this song, while Roger’s lyrics are very emotional and strong, which is probably the hook to this song The lyrics are another strong point of this song. The studio violin solo is a harmonica solo on here. A great version of Baba O’Riley.

A Quick One, While He’s Away
A Quick One was the first rock opera that Pete Townshend ever wrote. The story is about a girl who has not seen her lover for a year. When he finally comes home, he sees the girl with an engine driver named Ivor. This song is my favorite on the album, as it has many different parts, a great bass part, and catchy lyrics, which are all hooks on this song. The vocals are strong, as Pete and Roger each contribute, and there are a few great guitar riffs as well.

Tommy Can You Here Me?
This is an extended version of Tommy Can You Here Me?, because Daltrey says Tommy at the end of the song a few times. After he says after awhile, Townshend shouts hello. Aside from that, it’s basically the same.

Another one of my favorite who songs, this version of Sparks is from Woodstock. This is the only song on the album that doesn’t have Daltrey singing, and boy, do the instruments make up for him not singing, with a few crescendos and decrescendos. Even though its cut short at the beginning, they make up for the loss with some great riffs, and a few powerful drum fills. After awhile, the song gets really loud and rocking, and then quickly gets quieter and fades out. The song goes along smoothly and quickly, and is a must listen track.

Pinball Wizard
Another one of the most famous who songs. Pinball Wizard’s hook is with no doubt its guitar part. John shows us how good off a bass player with a powerful bass riff. The lyrics in this are unbelievable, and the singing by Daltrey is great. Just like My Generation, one of The Who’s best known songs.

See Me, Feel Me
See Me, Feel Me starts off a lot slower than the other tracks. This is one of the most underrated Who songs. See Me, Feel Me is their final track from Woodstock on this album, and probably the best and most beautiful. The bass part again sticks out, while the guitar part moves the song along. Even though the lyrics are repetitive, they are some of the best that Townshend ever wrote. A truly fabulous and moving song. It’s sad that people don’t appreciate the lyrics.

Join Together/Roadrunner/My Generation Blues
This is my least favorite track on the album. These combined songs are all blues, which is interesting to see, because Join Together and My Generation weren’t originally blues. Roadrunner is a cover that the band did. This song has a good bass part, and Roger does a great job with lyric, but this song just doesn’t do it for me.

Won’t get Fooled Again
Obviously, The Who saved the best for last on “The Kids Are Alright”, that being the enthralling Won’t Get Fooled Again. Even though this isn’t my favorite song on the album, it is certainly the most powerful song. The song starts with a ridiculous synth part, that everyone who listens to this song will have heard before. After the synth intro, everyone comes in, and the song really takes off from then on. This is the best bass part played by The Ox on this album, making a tough bass part sound so simple. Pete has a fantastic solo, and Roger’s vocals are more powerful and crisp on this track than on any other. The hook to this song has to be the synth, with a great intro, and an even better solo at the end of the song. Roger lets out one of those awesome yells towards the end of the song, and after a few more lines of lyrics, the song is over, ending this great soundtrack.

I think that The Who are one of the best live bands of all time, and this album backs my opinion up in the fullest. This album is excellent, and gets a 4.5/5. You have to hear this album to truly understand and appreciate The Who’s talent of performing live.

February 28, 2013 - Posted by | The Who The Kids Are Alright |

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: