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50 years of Who’s Next

Celebrate 50 years of this classic album with Fopp!

Half a century ago, The Who released Who’s Next, an album that didn’t just shift the tides; it carved a new channel for the river of rock music, steering it into uncharted waters.
We find ourselves bestowed with a remarkable gem: the 50th anniversary edition reissue. Let’s unravel what truly rendered this album exceptional.
release date: 15th september 2023
Fifty years ago, The Who unleashed a sonic earthquake that tore through the fabric of rock ‘n’ roll. Who’s Next wasn’t just an album; it was a revelation, hurled straight into the soul of a world on the brink of musical revolution. As we raise a glass to its 50th anniversary, it is essential to reflect on the profound impact and lasting importance of an album that continues to resonate with listeners of all ages.
In the smoldering wake of their audacious rock opera, Lifehouse, The Who birthed a phoenix of artistic fury, the embers of Lifehouse were lovingly reshaped and polished into the gem that would later grace our ears. Arriving on the scene in the balmy August of 1971, this musical masterpiece found its home in an era where experimentation was the air we breathed and genres collided like playful atoms. It was a time when the shackles of conventional rock were as good as shattered, and the pulse of transformation coursed through every strum of the guitar and every beat of the drum. Who’s Next wasn’t merely an album; it was a testament to the spirit of unbridled musical exploration.
Deep within the heart of the album pulses an untamed vitality and a symphony of inventiveness. The very first notes, heralded by the celestial Baba O’Riley thrust the audience into a universe where the frontiers of rock intertwine with the digital dawn. This audacious overture, a harbinger of the synth-driven symphonies that would ensue, was more than mere music; it was the promise of uncharted territory. The marriage of synthesizers, Pete Townshend’s stratospheric power chords, and the soaring vocal crescendos of Roger Daltrey birthed a soundscape charged with electricity and brimming with heartfelt emotion. Who’s Next isn’t a collection of mere tracks; it’s a grand auditory canvas upon which innovation paints its vivid and exhilarating strokes.
The album doesn’t merely skim the surface; it plunges headfirst into the very essence of identity, rebellion, and societal reflection. Within its tapestry lie gems like Behind Blue Eyes and Won’t Get Fooled Again – intimate musical diaries that invite us to peer into the labyrinthine corridors of human emotion. These introspective verses, like mirrors to our own souls, navigate the intricate paths of self-discovery with a lyrical compass. And then, there’s the primal howl of Daltrey, echoing the disillusionment that resonated within an entire generation, a generation grappling with the turbulence of politics and society. With its chords and cries, it doesn’t just sing; it speaks to the very heartbeat of the era, capturing the unvoiced frustrations and unspoken doubts that lingered in the air like electric charge.
The DNA of the album spread like wildfire, lighting up the minds of countless bands who dared to venture where Townshend and company had tread. And when those power chords met the electrifying spectacle of live performance, a new blueprint was etched – the blueprint of arena rock, a behemoth that roared to life, shattering the boundaries between the stage and the audience. It was here, that the spark of inspiration ignited and set ablaze the panoramic dreams of generations of artists, all seeking to forge connections that echoed through the ages. Its influence is a roaring undercurrent that shaped the very DNA of rock. Those anthemic ’80s choruses? You bet your bottom dollar they’re baptized in the essence of Who’s Next And don’t even get me started on the audacious ’90s, where its experimental spirit coursed through veins of bands pushing boundaries. 
The symphony of innovation and raw emotion housed within its grooves isn’t merely an auditory experience; it’s a spiritual journey. Its resonance lingers, a spectral presence that reminds us that art, when wielded with raw honesty, becomes more than a tune – it becomes a living, breathing entity. The ripples of its influence, like a pebble tossed into the waters of time, continue to unfurl across generations, a testament to the ageless allure of artistic creation. As we celebrate its half-century existence, let it serve as a reminder that brilliance knows no bounds, and creative ingenuity is a force that not even time can erode.

The 50th anniversary edition is available in;

  • 10CD + Blu-Ray & Graphic Novel boxset (pictured)
  • 2CD edition
  • 2LP edition + San Francisco Live 1971 4LP (pictured)
  • transparent Sea Blue Vinyl edition
  • half speed master vinyl edition 
  • standard vinyl edition














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