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Ultimate Collection

The Ultimate Collection

4.0 17
by The Who

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Although the Who's catalogue has already produced several retrospectives, this cockily titled collection manages to live up to its name, offering what may well be the most complete and compelling look at the legendary band's career. The 35 tracks presented here follow the 'Oo through all their phases -- from the mod pop of "I Can't Explain" through the groundbreaking


Although the Who's catalogue has already produced several retrospectives, this cockily titled collection manages to live up to its name, offering what may well be the most complete and compelling look at the legendary band's career. The 35 tracks presented here follow the 'Oo through all their phases -- from the mod pop of "I Can't Explain" through the groundbreaking sonic boom of "I Can See for Miles" to the crafty latter-day punch of "Eminence Front." All the tunes have been digitally remastered for the occasion, and diehard completists will savor the clutch of alternate takes that pepper the two discs, most notably a stereo mix of "Magic Bus" that detonates with even more potency than the commonly heard mono version. Nicely outfitted with a booklet that includes extensive liner notes by the authors of the acclaimed Who history, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, the set perfectly distills the band's potent essence, making it a requisite part of any classic rock collection. And just to drive that point home, the first 175,000 copies include a four-track bonus disc featuring "Substitute" (rare U.S. single version), "I'm a Boy" (early version), "Magic Bus" (U.K. single version), and a previously unreleased acoustic version of "Happy Jack."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Following in the footsteps not only of Universal's many Ultimate Collection, but also the Beatles 1 -- a groundbreaking collection in the sense that it proved that a collection that contains all the hits will actually sell on CD (thereby proving the cynical ploy of leaving hits off a compilation in order to sell catalog is flawed) -- the Who's 2002 compilation The Ultimate Collection attempts to collect all their hits, all their anthems in one place. It fits that bill very well, providing all the big items from "I Can't Explain" to "Emenince Front" as it spans two discs and 35 tracks. Sure, fans will find personal favorites missing, whether it's "A Quick One While He's Away" or "Athena," while collectors will note that it contains everything from the previous attempt at an exhaustive CD compilation, 1996's My Generation: The Very Best of the Who, but it doesn't matter, because this is the best summation of their career for a general audience yet assembled. It functions as both an introduction and as the one Who album listeners who just want the hits will need.

Product Details

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Disc 1

  1. I Can't Explain
  2. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
  3. My Generation
  4. The Kids Are Alright
  5. A Legal Matter
  6. Substitute
  7. I'm a Boy
  8. Happy Jack
  9. Boris the Spider
  10. Pictures of Lily
  11. I Can See for Miles
  12. Call Me Lightning
  13. Magic Bus
  14. Pinball Wizard
  15. I'm Free
  16. See Me, Feel Me
  17. Young Man Blues
  18. The Seeker
  19. Summertime Blues
  20. Baba O'Riley
  21. Bargain

Disc 2

  1. Behind Blue Eyes
  2. Won't Get Fooled Again
  3. Pure and Easy
  4. Let's See Action
  5. Join Together
  6. Long Live Rock
  7. The Real Me
  8. 5:15
  9. Love Reign O'Er Me
  10. Squeeze Box
  11. Who Are You
  12. Sister Disco
  13. You Better You Bet
  14. Eminence Front

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The Ultimate Collection 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Koky77 More than 1 year ago
Not a previous Who fan. Mainly bought it because the CSI introes piqued my interest! You get a great collection for the money.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 60's brought us a subversive generation of people, ideas, and music. During this era, rock & roll found much of its roots in the music of England's rock revolution. From the classic British sound of ''The Beatles'' and the Black American R&B sound of ''The Rolling Stones'', came ''The Who¿. A young rock band led by the innovative guitar work and song writing of Pete Townshend, the powerful voice of lead singer Roger Daltery, and the driving rhythm of drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle. In 20 years ''The Who'' transformed from a classic British R&B group into one the most progressive and influential rock bands of the 60's and 70's. Their music transcends time, and connects with `my generation¿ of the 90¿s, just like it did 30 years ago. Unlike any other compilation available, ''The Who, The Ultimate Collection'' takes you through the evolution of the band chronologically, never failing to include their greatest hits and most innovative songs. Disc one starts you off with some of ''The Who's'' early hits that helped set them apart from the sound of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Songs like ''I Can't Explain'', ''My Generation'', ''The Kids are Alright'', ''Pictures of Lilly'', and ''I Can See for Miles'', had an adolescent feeling of rebellion, experimentation, and pop culture, which came in great contrast to such pop songs like ''Love Me Do'' and ''I Want To Hold Your Hand.'' Unlike the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, which used the popular five-man setup of most rock bands: drums, bass, rhythm guitars, and lead guitar. ''The Who'' abandoned the rhythm guitar and gave Pete Townshend the task of creating a leading rhythm, and John Entwistle to create a complimentary bass. CD1 continues with selected hits from the Who's creation of the first ever Rock Opera, Tommy, the story of a deaf, dumb and blind kid that sure played a mean pinball. For the first time an album was created around a story, and led way for other story albums like Pink Floyd's ''The Wall''. Selected hits from Tommy: ''Pinball Wizard'', ''I'm Free'', and ''See Me Feel Me'', mixed Broadway Musical with Rock & Roll, and sure enough Tommy was eventually made into a movie and hit Broadway Musical. CD1 ends with ''The Wife'', ''Baba O'Reily'', and ''Bargain'', hits off of ''Who's Next'' one of ''The Who¿s'' most successful albums. CD2 takes you into the 70's and into the innovative studio work of Pete Townshend, continuing with songs from ''Who's Next''. Townshend introduces the mixing of acoustic and electric guitar in ''Behind Blue Eyes'', and the use of synths, organs, and flanging effects in ''Won't Get Fooled Again''. The CD continues on with ''The Real Me'', ''5:15'', and ''Love Reign O'er Me'', songs from the 2nd rock opera, ''Quadrophenia'', Townshend's story of Jimmy Cooper, a disaffected youth tired of running with the pack and finding constant disappointment until he finally finds spiritual salvation . . . at a price. ''Squeeze box'', ''Who Are You'', ''Sister Disco'' and ''You Better You Bet'' end the 2nd Disc, and the Ultimate Collection of the Who's greatest hits. They show the maturity of the band and the influence of late 70's electronic disco in rock & roll. The Ultimate Collection is a must have for every Who Fanatic and for the first time buyer/listener. No other collection provides you with the breadth and depth of greatest hits and innovative singles. Some popular compilations like ''Greatest Hits'', and ''Story of the Who'', leave out their earlier songs from the 60's such as ''I Can't Explain'', ''Pictures of Lily, and ''The Kid's are Alright'', which are not only some of their fan's most favorite songs, but also some of the most widely covered songs by great bands like Pearl Jam and the Sex Pistols. Other compilations including ''The Kid's Are Alright'', and ''Who's Better, Who's Best'' don't include popular songs from ''Tommy'' and ''Quadrophenia'', which are an essential part of the bands history. Additionally, The
Guest More than 1 year ago
My ears perked up again for an anthology like this when I saw the ad for this collection on TV. In it, I heard songs like "Magic Bus," "Baba O'Riley," "Bargain" and "Join Together" among others. Perhaps post-Lifehouse selections such as the newer cut of "Pure and Easy," "Join Together" and "Let's See Action" are true standouts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, an excellent greatest hits album by one of the greatest rock n¿ roll bands of all time. You¿d think they would have come out with something like this sooner. The new Ultimate Collection by The Who is exactly what I¿ve been looking for. 35 of their best tracks, remastered for amazing sound quality, and arranged in an order that makes sense. This collection takes you from the band¿s earliest sessions to their final recordings, including all their classics, and doesn¿t skip a beat. There are even some lesser celebrated songs such as ¿Pure and Easy¿ and ¿Long Live Rock¿, that were questionably left off of other hits albums, but were thankfully included on this one. Also included is an extensive, 30-page booklet that follows along with the album, giving insight into each of the recordings. For such a fulfilling anthology as the Ultimate Collection, you¿d be hard-pressed to find a better deal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The selections on this CD is The BEST Who ever! LONG LIVE ROCK!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My only issue with this wonderful collection is the cover art, a small issue I suppose, but it could have been more creative. I am docking it a star on that basis. This, along with the new My Generation release, Sell Out and Live At Leeds (the latest "Deluxe" realease) are the best who reissues thus far.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Ultimate Collection is just an excellent 2 disc rock and roll powerhouse, jampacked with Who classics such as "My Generation", "Magic Bus", and "Won't Get Fooled Again". It even includes underrated songs like "Pictures of Lily", "The Seeker", and "Join Together". One would even be surprised to find the original, uncut versions of "Love Reign O'er Me" and "Who Are You". No Who fan should miss out on this phenomenal collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love the Who, you need this album! It has all the best, like "I Can't Explain", "My Generation", "Boris The Spider", "Pinball Wizard", "Baba O' Riley", "Behind Blue Eyes", and a whole lot more. The Who are one of the best!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Esta espléndida recopilación whoísta es realmente espectacular: está llena de clásicos del rock de todos los tiempos. En ella se demuestra sobradamente que The Who es la más grande banada de rock del planeta
Guest More than 1 year ago
I won't try to out-write the wonderfully detailed review by the above self-confessed huge fan. As someone who owns ALL the original vinyl pressings of all of their albums, I simply have to say ''Ultimate'' is THE WHO collection, period. They really took all the best and jammed it onto 2 long CDs with great mastering and you will love it, even if only a casual fan of the genre. I find myself hitting the play button again on my portable with either of the 2 discs playing in my ears and enjoying them over and over. One more thing that just has to be said: I am truly saddened that Keith and John are no longer with us to enjoy this pinnacle of a collection of great British (or anyone else's) rock, may they rest in peace. ''Long Live Rock'' and Long Live THE WHO!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Who have had an amazing career spanning decades and are one of the quintessential classic rock bands. Years after any major releases, their catalog albums are still consistent sellers and their live shows sell out stadiums around the world. Not to mention radio staples such as ¿Who Are You¿, ¿You Better You Bet¿, ¿I Can¿t Explain¿ and ¿Won¿t Get Fooled Again¿, which receive constant airplay on classic rock outlets. Countless current bands have paid tribute to the Who, such as Pearl Jam whose frontman Eddie Vedder models his persona after Pete Townshend. The Who have created classic albums that defined the 70s: Quadrophenia and Tommy. The Ultimate Collection is a greatest hits double disc that captures the most significant moments of their career in chronological order from the 60s to the 80s. This retrospective is a must-have for any new Who convert and a treat for hardcore fans.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
What is it all about? Apart from "My Generation", "Baba O'Riley" and "Love Reign O'Er Me", this collection is incredibly boring. The Who, along with The Grateful Dead, got to be the most overrated group in rock history. SAVE YOUR MONEY!
Rachaelreader More than 1 year ago