4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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The Who FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Fifty Years of Maximum R&B by Mike Segretto is a 2014 Backbeat publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
There have been books written about The Who as a band, books written about the individual members, and books that are standard biographies, some autobiographies, and after fifty years one might wonder what on earth is there left to know. So, if you are a who fan to the extreme, then you may already know all about the material in this book. I am betting though that even the most die hard fans will learn a few things or will gain a broader perspective. First of all it is important to know two things: 1) This is NOT a biography of the band or it's members and 2) This is NOT a trivia book.
This book is a compilation of facts about the band that covers everything under the sun. Current band members, past band members, clothing styles, album covers, singles, flops, rock opera, influences, bands the group influenced, hair styles, competitions, songs that were not hits, but were really good songs that maybe you want to check out, remixes, EP's ( extended play records),collections, TV appearances, documentaries, movies, politics, fighting with in the band, and websites. This book is one you will want to keep on your device or stored in the cloud for future references. Somewhat encyclopedic and somewhat like a reference book this is a unique take on the band and is chock full of information.
The Who is one on the most enduring and influential bands in rock music. They weathered many trends and failures and losses but still have managed to stand the test of time. This book is essential for fans of the group and for those who are not as familiar with group this is a great way to learn more without having to read through dry biography style history books.
I really enjoyed looking back over the band's career and looking at these obscure album covers and pictures. A fascinating and interesting look back on one of the greatest rock bands of all time!! This one is an A+-- 5 stars.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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This book is ENORMOUS and packed with everything you could ever want to know about the Who. It inclused details on every person involved in their music, including former bandmates, sound guys, and managers. It discusses their influences as well as the bands they influenced. Other topics include abandoned projects, lost material, their most important concerts, the mod movement and the Who's style of dressing, Tv, movies, solo projects, significant others, and Pete Townshend's recent personal problems.
This book would be perfect for the ultimate Who fan who needs to know everything about them! I like how the author touches on every topic possible, but keeps each entry succinct enough to not get boring. Highly recommended!
John L Murphy
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In over three-hundred and fifty pages, Mike Segretto's The Who FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Fifty Years of Maximum R&B remains very even-handed. He praises the band's many triumphs and lists their failures.
Throughout, he sustains a spirited tone. I read this narrative with unflagging interest. Segretto discusses the recordings, the claims of the band, the facts calculated, and the rumors circulated. He analyzes the data, he has listened to every cover version and seen every snip of extant footage, and he reports on it every imaginable aspect of the Who in an educational and entertaining manner. Thirty-five topical chapters, many originating on his Psychobabble website, feature not only his own quarter-century of research, but input from fans who participated in online polls to vote on the band's most overlooked 1960s and 1970s tracks, or the best of the Who members' solo albums.
When I started this, I feared a fanatical tribute in gushing fashion. Instead, in three sittings (it would have been two if I had not had to go to work), I raced through this steady and thoughtful treatment. As many readers will be aware of the basics of "the world's greatest rock and roll band", I will focus this review on representative portions which revealed fresh insights or surprising information, to me as a follower if not a fanatic. The distinction is crucial, for while this will serve as a reference able as Segretto advises to be dipped into at any chapter, reading it in succession deepens the book's impact.
Taking in the contents, cross-references hint at past and future connections, and greater appreciation of the complicated tensions within the band and among those who mythologized or demonized the Who display Segretto's calm judgment of the Who's potential realized, and opportunities squandered.
Surprises await. Early on, singer Roger Daltrey chose the replacement for the late Keith Moon, drummer Kenney Jones ([Small] Faces), at a seance, guided by Keith's disembodied voice. Or so he claims, in one of many tall or possibly apocryphal tales this book reports. On the last album Moon contributed to, 1978's Who Are You, the cover famously featured him straddling a metal chair stenciled "Not To Be Taken Away". We learn that this pose, rather than any eerie prophecy (speaking of seances and spirits), more practically if depressingly had hid Moon's considerable "gut" from view.
Pete Townshend, launching high with his windmill power chords played on his guitar, popularized for rockers worldwide Doc Martens. He chose them so they'd protect his toes on landing, after they gave him the extra bounce needed, both from their patented soles. Image mattered for this band, and some of Segretto's best moments come when he explicates how their album covers, dress sense, and media savvy combined to deliver a consistent message. Keith's R.A.F. target shirts, Pete's Union Jack coat (and later more workmanlike white boiler suits to allow efficient guitar playing if as bold a presence on stage), Roger's leonine mane and buckskin wear, and stoic bassist John Entwistle's morbidly odd skeleton suit or flashy attire all accentuated on video and in concert their characteristic personae.
Therefore, each of this fractious foursome stood out. They (like the Beatles) closed ranks against outsiders, but they (like the Beatles again) often contended amongst themselves as to direction. Segretto does not make many parallels to the Beatles or Stones, but the Who sold itself as being a quartet with distinctive types, on vinyl and in person. Segretto shows how from their childhoods, each chose to tinker with instruments or try out attitudes contributing to their characters in the band.
"Roger the tough guy, Keith the lunatic, John the closet romantic, and Pete the spiritual seeker." They were modified by manager Pete Meaden during their early stint as the High Numbers into Mods, but Segretto proves this was a eager manager's choice rather than a philosophical commitment by the members. While they grew rapidly beyond limits of both "maximum R&B" and Mod, that slogan stuck and its iconography endured; the appeal of Quadrophenia throughout the 70s sparked a Mod revival and ensured that unlike many 60s "classic rock" bands, the Who were liked by punks.
After all, the Who courted the public less avidly than did cuddly Beatles or the smirking, sexy Stones. The Who "were notoriously negative, combative menaces who spoke openly about their drug use and sang songs about transgender children or masturbation". "I'm a Boy" and "Pictures of Lily" featured among stunning singles in the mid-60s which dazzled with their lyrical daring and musical shifts. These ambitions carried the band rapidly, despite a late start on record as part of the British Invasion, into the top ranks. As with most music back then, their songs may have imitated their forebears, rivals, and colleagues, but as the introduction here by Dave Davies of the Kinks attests, these British musicians shared an affectionate spirit of competition, pushing song limits in terms of themes and styles. In turn, as a deft section documents, later bands incorporated elements of the Who into their own innovative songs. For instance, Segretto hears in "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "New Year's Day", and "Pride (In the Name of Love)" by U2 musical and lyrical echoes of "Let's See Action", "Join Together", and "Relay", some of the groundbreaking singles released by the Who a decade earlier.
A chapter on covers of Who tunes reveals Segretto's keen ear. Such influence can transcend cover songs. The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a clever Swedish group who can channel the spirit of the Who's golden era without slavishly imitating them and worthy peers, may well be the "greatest cover band ever to play original material". As for influence, Johnny Lydon of the Sex Pistols was director Franc Roddam's first choice to star in Quadrophenia; sadly he was rejected after the distributor balked at the insurance it figured would be needed to protect him. The Who did invite its own menace.
As for anxiety, the band's own excess found them often at odds with one another, given each of their tetchy temperaments. Segretto maps out each member's relationship to the other three, and this goes beyond the usual Roger vs. Pete depictions peddled by the press and probably the band themselves. Segretto calls out members who in interviews often have trafficked in their own mythmaking, and as with Roger claiming that Jimmy Page played on "I Can't Explain", Segretto even corrects the band.
Such expertise proves endearing rather than annoying, for the author maintains a command of the material and tone. Dealing with the decline of Moon, the infidelities of Entwistle, the irritation of Daltrey, or what for discretion regarding Townshend I will refer to as related to the sting titled Operation Ore (details can be found herein or online), he handles sensitive material adroitly. Illustrating the legacy of the band by their pop culture references, he uses a 2000 Freaks and Geeks episode to show its appropriate musical and script use as "reflecting the alienation, identity crises, fraught adolescent sexuality, and profound desire for love and acceptance" within the band's core.
While a few flaws surfaced (Davies makes an elementary grammatical mistake in his introduction; the Union Jack does not use in its design "Ireland's St. Andrew's" blue but St Patrick's red "saltire"; and I note as a native that "South" California is not exactly local lingo), this remains a valuable contribution for fans and fanatics. Summing up this book, a mention of Segretto's rhetorical range deserves its own moment. He can be funny and he can move you, without straining (much) for attention. A typical aside comes during his dissection of a movie I resisted seeing in junior high. I will doubtless continue to avoid it after Segretto's review. Ken Russell's 1975 Tommy has many awful moments, apparently. One of many, given my affection for the advertising parodies cover of Sell Out, speaks for the rest. "Then there's Ann-Margret's infamous swim in a puddle of baked beans and hot fudge. At least it stops her from singing." P.S. She earned one of the film's three Oscar nominations.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
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When the Who exploded on the rock music scene some 50-odd years ago, they were truly one-of-a-kind. Over the years, the 'Maximum R&B' quartet dazzled fans with their dynamic and ever-evolving music and behavior, on stage and off. There have been dozens of books published charting the band's history, Mike Segretto's being the latest. Rather than a conventional group bio, THE WHO FAQ is an 'Odds 'n' Sods' portrait "of the enigma that is the Who."
A 2014 Backbeat Books release, THE WHO FAQ examines various elements of Who history: bios of Pete, Roger, Keith and John; Who managers/producers/mates/wives/girlfriends; Who style; the Who and the Mod Movement; the Who as musicians; Underrrated Who songs of the 1960s and '70s; Who Flop singles; Abandoned projects/Unrecorded songs/Lost tapes; the Best Who compilations; Milestone Concerts; the Who on TV and in the Movies; Solo albums; and the Who as mates and foes; easily the best chapter in the book!
Segretto, a long-time Who fan, does a fine job of relating the life and times of "the World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band." His book is a critical yet affectionate look-back at all things Who. I especially liked his wicked sense of humor; to wit: "...the Eagles, a group that made boring records so polished you could ice skate on them."
Interspersed throughout the book are photographs of the group, album covers, show posters, etc.
Rock music fans will enjoy this latest dip into the Who well. While some of the material might be old news to dedicated Wholigans, THE WHO FAQ makes for a fun, interesting read. Recommended.
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I have to admit, I was skeptical when I picked this up. How could anyone possibly think that any one book could contain all the awesomeness, all the pop-art destructionism, all the balls-to-the-wall rocking of the world's greatest rock band, The Who? My skepticism didn't stop me from opening up the book and starting to look around. Then I started reading it. Then I started reading it to the exception of most other kinds of activities.
"The Who FAQ" is the perfect go-to reference stop for all Who fans, even the most knowledgable ones. It's chock full of info both familiar and unknown. Perhaps the book's greatest service is to address the band not just during their 1965-1978 heyday (before the tragic demise of mad-man Keith Moon) but also post-1978, up to date and including information about John Entwistle's death in 2002 and how the band has continued on as a two-piece with just Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. There's loads of trivia here for the neophyte and the learned fan to consider, and it's just a fantastic way for a dedicated fan of the band to spend a few (or several) hours of their life.
Many frequently asked questions are answered, many great songs that weren't hits are given their due, and we get some clarification on the Townshend child-porn scandal of 2003. Most of all, we get just a little bit more of a ride on that Magic Bus that is the story of the Who, from their Mod days as the High Numbers right up until their Super Bowl performances and shows after Hurricane Sandy. It's a love letter to a band that wasn't about love, at least not the usual kind you find in pop music. The Who are deserving of every fevered moment you'll spend reading this, even if you're pretty sure you've heard that one fact before (turn the page and you'll come across something you didn't know, or consider). This is just fun for Who fans, pure and easy.