The Who

Who's Last

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Once all the dust had settled from the farewell tour, once all the hits compilations were released and every part of America had been conquered, there was only one thing left for the Who to do -- release a live album commemorating that final tour. Who's Last was that album. A double LP filled with all your Who favorites -- which means, of course, not only is there nothing from the Keith Moon-less Face Dances and It's Hard (even though they were purportedly promoting the latter at the time), there are no songs from any album past Quadrophenia, unless you count "Twist and Shout," a cover the Who had never recorded before this record. Sticking to the classics actually works against the band, since these chestnuts simply don't sound as powerful with Kenny Jones behind the drums. Jones, however, shouldn't take the brunt of the criticism -- he's just doing his job -- since Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, and Pete Townshend are acting like professional musicians, not as bandmates. In other words, it's a damn long way from Live at Leeds to Who's Last, and the distance between the two extremes is nothing short of stunning. Who's Last is so lifeless and lackluster that it's hard to believe the same band released both records. It may not be a graceful way to end the Who's career, but it's hard to imagine a better testament to why it was time for the band to come to an end.

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