In their youth, before the operas and the arenas, the Who were an electric-soul band. Maximum R&B: That's what they called the music on that famous Marquee Club poster, and they meant it literally. On the original 1965 U.K. and '66 U.S. versions of My Generation, their debut album, the Who's savagings of Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" and James Brown's "I Don't Mind" and "Please, Please, Please" underscored the R&B roots of Pete Townshend's warrior-mod anthems ("Out in the Street," "A Legal Matter," the title blast). This two-CD reissue, with seventeen related singles and outtakes, adds more black lightning — torched-Motown covers; more JB ("Shout and Shimmy"); the brisk sass of "Daddy Rolling Stone," an Otis Blackwell bullet rescued from a '65 B side — and doubles as a thundering monument to the late John Entwistle, whose hard, deep bass attack brought new meaning to the word bottom.
From The Archives Issue 469: March 13, 1986