Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Music: Baba O'Riley



The Who's gift from 1971: the rock anthem of rock anthems.

It, along with the rest of The Who's Greatest Hits, has been in regular rotation on Aesop's drum kit for the last 4 years. Sadly, the original drummer is long gone, but if Roger and the boys ever decide to try one last tour, I'm fully prepared to pick up my sticks and ascend to the Keith Moon Spastic Piledriver Of Rhythm Throne, and crank this one out every night for as long as needs be, with fidelity to the original performance.

This piece is why your amp should go to 11.

17 comments:

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Another favorite on my phone play list.

T-Rav said...

I guess it's pretty sad, but I only know this song because it was the theme music for "CSI:NY."

I'll see myself out.

Ned2 said...

Keith Moon was my idol as a young drummer. Unfortunately, so was his lifestyle. But that's all in the past now.

show me one socialist success in world history said...

Ditto. But, we're still here!

Tal Hartsfeld said...

That's how people wore their stereo systems out "before their time" back in the '70s and '80s.
Any time someone still "had the same stereo 20 years later and it was still performing like new" it was because they were more disciplined and conservative about how they used it.

Those who "had to" crank it up---they probably spent a fortune in repairs and purchasing new sets of loudspeakers.
"Loudspeaker" translates to "loud enough for listener to hear over environmental noise", not "advertise your personal taste in music to the whole neighborhood" (especially since no-one's "buying" and "selling" such anyway).

The volume levels "1" thru "5" exist for a reason. The whole purpose of a good sound system is just that----GOOD SOUND. An audio system that sounds accurate and as close to realistic as one can get from commercially produced audio recordings
...and not for the user to attempt a faux "coup d'etat" like they "decided to take over the whole block one decibel at a time".

Tal Hartsfeld said...

That said. The Who are also among my favorite of the mid-to-late-'60s "British Invasion" period.

A lot of people forget this group started out as a singles band, with 45-RPM songs like I CAN'T EXPLAIN, MY GENERATION, SUBSTITUTE, I CAN SEE FOR MILES (/MARY ANN WITH THE SHAKEY HANDS), MAGIC BUS, PINBALL WIZARD (/DOGS PART 2) and the like.

Their "gutsy" style later got them pegged as being among the "progressive rock" category (later referred to as "album rock" or "AOR"---then, as the decades rolled on, into the "classic rock" category)
A lot of people forget they made their debut back when AM radio ruled and singles-oriented top-40 was still the norm for pop and rock.

Anonymous said...

This brought back some memories. Baba O'Reily was used in one of the greatest opening scenes of Miami Vice in one of the show's greatest episodes (Out where the buses don't run).

Opening scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkI8ZemTgGM

Badger said...

From memory (not the dust jacket protecting the vinyl being protected downstairs), a hat-tip to Novi (?) for the beautiful gypsy-esque Viola work.

@Tal Hartsfeld: Yup. It's the reason my Marantz is still a reproducer par excellence into the connected Advents & Polks. Late in the barracks at night? Hell, that's what the nice set of Koss headphones are for.

Robohobo said...

Saw the reconstituted band in 2000 in Albuquerque. They were:
Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, Zak Starkey & John Bundrick

Townsend and Daltrey sung high praises of Zak Starkey and his playing.

They deserved all the super star status conferred.

Nori said...

Saw them live,once with Moon,then once without. Out of a mind-blasting field of Brit bands,they blew me away. Their music is’nt nostalgic,it’s as real today as it was then.
Daltrey was recently confronted by a reporter after a soccer match,asking his views on Brexit.He gave it to her both barrels:”Oh dear! As if we did’nt tour in fucking Europe before the EU.Oh,give it up!”
“If you want to sign up to be ruled by a fucking mafia then YOU do it!!”

England lives.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I loved this cut so much back in college that it is the reason my hearing started sliding! Amped up high end speakers, laying down between them, just drifting among the stars...

Rollory said...

But I am assured that rock is the devil's music, and is satanic, and will lead me unto perdition.

" I loved this cut so much back in college that it is the reason my hearing started sliding!"

And you're not doing a great job of making the opposing case. I read (in one of those down-the-rabbit-hole excursions following links one day) that that's one of the major characteristics of rock music and especially rock concerts and especially more recent ones: that they are trying to substitute the detail of the auditory experience with simple power; just turning up the volume on everything, rather than making and playing music in such a way that the details can be heard at an ordinary level. And that this is why increasing numbers of rock fans are going hard of hearing.

Me, I keep a spare set of earplugs in my car. Occasionally I find I need them. When I go for a walk in the forest, I can hear everything. When I start up an MP3 I like in the late evening, I can have the volume down around 20%, I'm not disturbing anyone else in the house, and I can still hear and enjoy it clearly.

Not seeing the "amp up to 11" argument, either.

James said...

Great album but me favorite was actually their last as original band,Who Are You,favorite track was Trick Of The Light,blasted at 11 thru Kilps in my Keith Moon phase of life!

Ned2 said...

Well, you turn it up to 11.
It's one more in'it.

Anonymous said...

the who are putting out a new record soon and will tour England and America for the next six months

Dinochrome One said...

I used to hear this stuff all the time, from the dopers across the passageway at Barracks 14, NCS Kodiak. I retaliated with my friends Mozart, Wagner, Rossini, Verde, and the big gun himself, Ludwig Van Beethoven. By the way, the Sansui AU-555A Amplifier and Kenwood KL-777 speakers I bought at the Exchange at Subic Bay in 1972 are still with me. They've been used with vinyl, reel-to-reel tape, cassettes, and now CDs.

Bezzle said...

"Baba O'Riley" ain't bad, but Tommy Bolin's "Post Toastee" is my go-to 1970s pulse-pounder. It's nine minutes of sublime bliss, the last three-quarters of it exquisite instrumental extravagance.

And almost nobody knows of it.