The Kids Are Alright: The Who’s “My Generation” Reissued on CD
“Belgravia, a rich neighbourhood where women in fur coats shoved me out of line as if I didn’t exist, only made more starkly apparent the generational divide I was trying to describe…The feeling that began to settle in me was not so much resentment towards those Establishment types all around my flat in Belgravia as fear that their disease might be contagious,” Pete Townshend writes in his new memoir, Who I Am, about the song “My Generation.” He continues, “What was that disease? It was actually more a matter of class than of age. Most of the young people around me in this affluent area of London were working on transforming themselves into the ruling class, the Establishment of the future. I felt that the trapping sof their aged customs and assumptions were like a death, whereas I felt alive, not solely because I was young, but really alive, unencumbered by tradition, property and responsibility.”
When Townshend’s band The Who released that sneering, stuttering salvo with its shocking credo “Hope I die before I get old,” its rebellious message was not heard just by the group’s audience of so-called mods, but by angry, disaffected youth everywhere. The No. 2 U.K. single soon provided the title to very first album by Messrs. Townshend, Daltrey, Entwistle and Moon. My Generation (issued in the U.S. by Decca Records in slightly altered form as The Who Sing My Generation) was released in December 1965, and blended Townshend originals with R&B covers from James Brown and Bo Diddley. It remains a striking document of The Who’s primal power, and has been routinely recognized as one of the greatest albums of all time by sources on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Mojo, Rolling Stone, Q and NME. The original British mono version, however, has been out of print for over three decades in both Britain and America, but that’s soon to change with Universal U.K.’s My Generation mono CD, due in November.
What’s different about My Generation in mono? Hit the jump for more details, plus the track listing and pre-order links!
When My Generation was given the Deluxe Edition treatment from MCA/Chronicles in 2002, it marked the album’s reappearance on the British market for the first time since 1980. Its tracks were mixed into stereo for the very first time, but many of the vocal and instrumental overdubs unique to the mono album versions went unheard. Only two mono tracks were included on the Deluxe Edition, “A Legal Matter” and “My Generation.” Other tracks (including “The Good’s Gone,” “Much Too Much,” “La-La-La-Lies” and the album’s other stone-cold classic, “The Kids are Alright”) had rather different mono versions, too. In 2008, this was remedied when the Japanese arm of Universal remastered the original U.K. mono mix. (It should be noted that the mono album mix of the American version of the album has long been available on CD from MCA, as the tracks weren’t mixed into stereo until 2002.) The Japanese reissue was available in single CD, SACD and box set formats (with bonus tracks and in the case of the box set, nifty replica paper sleeves). But the upcoming U.K. CD appears to be a straight reissue of the original 12-track Brunswick LP.
Even if it doesn’t include any bonus material, the mono My Generation looks to be a bargain (the best you ever had?). At the time of this writing, the disc is selling at Amazon U.K. for a mere £5.00 while the U.S. price is just $13.91. It’s scheduled to arrive in the U.K. on November 19 and in the U.S. on November 27. You can order at the links below!
- Out in the Street
- I Don’t Mind
- The Good’s Gone
- La-La-La Lies
- Much Too Much
- My Generation
- The Kids Are Alright
- Please, Please, Please
- It’s Not True
- I’m a Man
- A Legal Matter
- The Ox