The Who Biography

The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. Their best known line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. For much of their career they have been regarded as one of the three most important British rock acts along with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and one of the world's best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 100 million records.

The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, before stabilising around a line-up of Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle and Moon. After releasing a single billed as the High Numbers, the group established themselves as part of the mod movement, specialising in auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums onstage. They achieved recognition in the UK after support by pirate radio and television, and their first single as the Who, "I Can't Explain", reached the top ten. A string of hit singles followed including "My Generation", "Substitute" and "Happy Jack". Although initially regarded as a singles act, they also found success with the albums My Generation and A Quick One. In 1967, they achieved success in the US after performing at the Monterey Pop Festival, and with the top ten single "I Can See for Miles". They released The Who Sell Out at the end of the year, and spent much of 1968 touring the US.

The release of their fourth album, Tommy, in 1969 was a major commercial and critical achievement. Subsequent live appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival, along with the live album Live At Leeds, transformed the Who's reputation from a hit-singles band into a critically acclaimed rock act. With their success came increased pressure on lead songwriter Townshend, and the follow-up to Tommy, Lifehouse, was abandoned in favour of 1971's Who's Next. The group subsequently released Quadrophenia (1973) and The Who by Numbers (1975), oversaw the film adaptation of Tommy and toured to large audiences before semi-retiring from live performance in 1977. The release of Who Are You in August 1978 was overshadowed by the death of Moon on 7 September, at the age of 32.

Kenney Jones, formerly of the Small Faces and the Faces, replaced Moon and the group resumed touring. A film adaptation of Quadrophenia was released in 1979 along with the retrospective documentary The Kids Are Alright. The group continued recording, releasing Face Dances in 1981 and It's Hard the following year, before breaking up. They occasionally re-formed for live appearances such as Live Aid in 1985, a 25th anniversary tour in 1989 that drew mixed reviews, and for a tour of Quadrophenia in 1996. The Who resumed regular touring in 1999, with drummer Zak Starkey, to a positive response, and were considering the possibility of a new album, but these plans were stalled by Entwistle's death in June 2002 at the age of 57. Townshend and Daltrey elected to continue as the Who, releasing Endless Wire (2006), which reached the top ten in the UK and US. The group continue to play live on a regular basis, and in 2012 they began a further tour of Quadrophenia.

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The Who News

The Who's Roger Daltrey and 'pals' to launch model railway museum in Kent

Singer says he likes to work on train set while listening to the radio

  • Jul 24, 2014

The Who announce 50th anniversary tour and plans to retire – O2 Priority Ticket details

'This is the beginning of the long goodbye,' says Roger Daltrey

  • Jul 1, 2014

The Who 'hoping' to release new material

Pete Townshend has said he'll be trawling through his archives for tracks for a new LP

  • Apr 17, 2014

The Who's Pete Townshend writes song for US TV show The Americans

The guitarist will soundtrack a scene of "sex and murder"

  • Apr 5, 2014

The Who's Roger Daltrey and Wilko Johnson play one-off show in London

Pair premiere material from their forthcoming joint album 'Going Back Home' at Shepherds Bush Empire

  • Feb 26, 2014

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The Who Music Videos

Garrick Davis-Redhouse Play Video

Garrick Davis-Redhouse

Watch the official Garrick Davis-Redhouse video by Garrick Davis/The Fabulous FunkyBand in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Black Play Video

Black

Watch the official Black video by The-Dream in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Boogie Wonderland Play Video

Boogie Wonderland

Watch the official Boogie Wonderland video by Earth, Wind & Fire in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

September Play Video

September

Watch the official September video by Earth, Wind & Fire in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Let's Groove Play Video

Let's Groove

Watch the official Let's Groove video by Earth, Wind & Fire in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

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The Who Reviews

Who : Tommy / Quadrophenia / The Kids Are Alright (Original Soundtracks)

Who : Tommy / Quadrophenia / The Kids Are Alright (Original Soundtracks)

Perhaps MTV's greatest crime against rock'n'roll is that it finally dissuaded pop groups from making films....

  • Feb 26, 2001

Manchester Evening News Arena

The grown-ups are alright...

  • Nov 6, 2000

The Who : New York Madison Square Garden

Cover your ears everybody, mod's gone prog...

  • Oct 5, 2000

BBC Sessions

The most explosive British rock band of their era, possibly ever, [B]The Who[/B] had more in common with the psyche rock blowouts of the new [a]Primal Scream[/a] album than the dad rock/[B]Weller[/B]/

  • Feb 11, 2000

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