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Who By Numbers Original recording remastered

24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 27 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000002P2W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,935 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Slip Kid
2. However Much I Booze
3. Squeeze Box
4. Dreaming From The Waist
5. Imagine A Man
6. Success Story
7. They Are All In Love
8. Blue, Red, And Grey
9. How Many Friends
10. In A Hand Or A Face
11. Squeeze Box (Live)
12. Behind Blue Eyes (Live)
13. Dreaming From The Waist (Live)

Product Description

Product Description

This deluxe reissue includes three bonus live tracks taken from their historic 1976 performance at the Swansea Football Ground!

This 1975 collection excels in large part due to its modest goal. It's the Who's singer-songwriter record. Without the ostensible shield his "rock operas" provided, Pete Townshend's personal demons strut about nakedly. Not a pretty sight, but an involving spectacle nevertheless. "They Are All in Love" and "How Many Friends" are forgotten Who songs, but they've aged beautifully. John Entwistle's "Success Story" sequences nicely with the rest of the album. And "However Much I Booze," "Dreaming from the Waist," and "In a Hand or a Face" are great decade-early exercises in mid-life self-pity. There are only three bonus tracks here--live versions of "Squeeze Box," "Dreaming from the Waist," and the earlier "Behind Blue Eyes"--but By Numbers is such a cohesive collection that they're less welcome extras than annoying distractions. Still, By Numbers now stands as one of the linchpins in a great band's catalog. --Steven Stolder

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wandering Brain on June 8 2004
Format: Audio CD
I never understood why this album never got a fair shake. What always made the Who special to me was not just the aggressive, bombastic musical approach that was so influencial, but Pete Townshend's allowing his deep emotions to shine through in his songwriting. This album continues the soul searching that was so powerful on Quadrophenia. Here, if Pete had an issue, he wrote a song about it. His drinking was a problem: witness the harrowing "However Much I Booze"; despite (or maybe because of) his Rock star status, Pete never felt truly connected with women: "The Are All In Love", "Dreaming From The Waist", "In Hand Or Face". He never felt like he had TRUE friends: "How Many Friends" ("..he's really just after my ass)+ ("we talk SO much (...)behind each other's backs"), his life was falling out from under him in the extremely powerful "Slip Kid". Entwistle's "Success Story" adds a little comic relief and sarcasm to the mix, unfortunately, the label also wanted a hit single, so "Squeeze Box" is thrown into the mix (a quality song, don't get me wrong, but) which doesn't even come close to fitting the mood of the rest of the collection, it just affects the flow of self depricating midlife crisis songs that give the album it's theme. Easily up there with other " hold on for dear life" albums such as: Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band", Harry Nilsson's "Pussycats", Big Star's "Thirds/Sister Lovers", Roger Water's "the Final Cut", etc.. So, don't pass this one up due to the mindlessness of critics: unless you have never had moments of sincere doubt in your life, never questioned yourself, or what IT ALL means, this album will pull on your emotions and remind you that "I hope I die before I get old" wasn't just a line to create a cultural anthem, Pete feels a lot of pain in his heart and brings us all along for the ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have not changed my mind about the rating of this album, I wish only to add more to what has already been said. This album holds precious sentimental value, not only to Townshend but to listeners all around. Slip kid deals with the angst of climbing to a point of near success and then falling down again. However much I booze reveals Townshend's opinion about his own alcoholism habits. The infamous big-hit, Squeeze box is featured, dealing with the strange incantations of the working man's life. Dreaming from the waist is a very powerful rocker that shows Townshend's worries about woman and if thy really love him. Imagine a man is supposedly Townshend's dream of happiness, it's a very pretty song. John Entwistle contributes Success Story that attaches itself to the story line of the album; stardom is rough. They're all in love reveals that Townshend feels like everyone but him is happy. Blue, red, and grey offers a look into the madness that seeps into musician's lives on the road. The next song, How many friends, is probably the most endearing song on the album, it reveals that Townshend really doesnt know if his friends are real, a bit paranoid but very endearing, a high light for all instruments. In a hand or a face is a good closer and has a bit of a hard rock edge to it. The extra tracks, Squeeze box, Behind blue eyes, and Dreaming from the waist, are very good. The following songs were played live at Swansea, June 12th, 1976. You can get the whole performance of this concert as a bootleg if you are willing to spend enough energy to find it. Squeeze box runs at a different tempo on this live version and is longer I think. Behind blue eyes is rather ghostly being heard live, nevertheless, it is a good listen. Dreaming from the waist is at a rapid tempo live and is enjoyable to listen to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brent Evans on Oct. 28 2003
Format: Audio CD
Coming after the synthesised glory of QUADROPHENIA, and the camp excesses of the TOMMY movie and soundtrack. Pete Townshend began to feel like the Who were just trading in on past glories. All the clichéd targets had been reached, so what was there left to prove? Not comfortable with the title of Rock Icon, Pete seemed to retreat into a period of self - scrutiny and damnation, bringing forth BY NUMBERS, as a result. Some say that this is not an rock opera like TOMMY, LIFEHOUSE, or QUADROPHENIA; it isn't, but the songs are linked by the underlying themes of treading water, feeling old and the whole fake ness of the rock industry. I love this album for it's beauty, anger, humour, and music. The bonus live tracks are just a cherry on top. Next to WHO'S NEXT and the deluxe edition of LIVE AT LEEDS, WHO BY NUMBERS takes up a treasured place in my CD collection. Have another listen to this underrated masterpiece; you might just like it as well.
SLIP KID - After some steady Keith Moon beats and a Pete Townshend count-in, this rocking track gets things underway in fine style. An old man finally comes to the realisation that he's been rebelling for far too long with no result. There is no easy way to be free and the younger generation will take up the struggle with the same futile result. Roger Daltrey sings the part of the old man with resignation and the young man with passion.
HOWEVER MUCH I BOOZE - The track Roger refused to sing lead on. Pete basically tells us that he is a miserable alcoholic, with the booze only being a temporary painkiller. Around this time, Townshend proclaimed himself and the Who to being in a creative rut and his fear of becoming an oldies act. Stardom did not fit well with Mr. Pete Townshend in 1976, and the lyrics proved it.
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