New Books Network

Richie Unterberger

Won't Get Fooled Again

The Who From Lifehouse to Quadrophenia

Jawbone Press 2011

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in MusicNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network September 20, 2013 Greg Renoff

Between 1969 and 1973, the Who hit their commercial and creative peak. The legendary English quartet produced three Billboard Top Ten albums, including two...

Between 1969 and 1973, the Who hit their commercial and creative peak. The legendary English quartet produced three Billboard Top Ten albums, including two double LP “rock operas,” Tommy (1969) and Quadrophenia (1973). Sandwiched between them was the triumphant Who’s Next (1971),an album universally proclaimed as one of the greatest in pop music history.

But as Richie Unterberger shows in his engrossing Won’t Get Fooled Again: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia(Jawbone, 2011), this period in the band’s history was equally rife with turmoil and conflict. Guitarist Pete Townsend confronted failure in the form of the band’s aborted multimedia rock opera Lifehouse, which collapsed in a very public fashion in 1971. Two years later, the band broke ties with its longtime creative partner, producer and former manager Kit Lambert over missing publishing royalties. Finally, shows on the Who’s 1973 Quadrophenia tour were rife with jarring technical difficulties as the band attempted to replicate the album’s dense soundscapes in a live setting.

Thanks to his exhaustive research efforts and sparking prose, Unterberger gives the reader a first-hand look into the inner workings of this greatest of rock bands. This is the definitive book on the Who’s most important era and one of the best books ever written on these rock legends. I give it my highest recommendation.

Richie Unterberger is an acclaimed author and music historian, renowned for his meticulous research. A regular contributor to the All Music website, Mojo, Record Collector and many other publications, he has also written dozens of liner notes for CD reissues of classic 60s and 70s albums. His previous books include Unknown Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Eight Miles High and Turn! Turn! Turn! He can be contacted through his website.