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Then and Now: 1964-2004

Then and Now: 1964-2004

4.4 10
by The Who

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To help commemorate the 40th anniversary of their arrival on American shores, the surviving members of the Who have compiled this career-spanning disc. While the song selection -- which ranges from explosive early hits such as "My Generation" and "I Can See for Miles" to latter-day favorites like "Who Are You" and "You Better You Bet" -- is perfectly fine, the set's


To help commemorate the 40th anniversary of their arrival on American shores, the surviving members of the Who have compiled this career-spanning disc. While the song selection -- which ranges from explosive early hits such as "My Generation" and "I Can See for Miles" to latter-day favorites like "Who Are You" and "You Better You Bet" -- is perfectly fine, the set's real draw is a pair of newly recorded tunes. Yep, for the first time in more than two decades, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend -- abetted by keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick, drummer Zak Starkey, and bassist Greg Lake -- went into the studio to cut fresh material. They emerged with a pair of winners. "Real Good Looking Boy," which Townshend has described as a sort of homage to Elvis Presley, is one of those majestic, slow-building numbers the band mastered circa Tommy. Laced with stately keyboards (and incorporating a snippet of the King's "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You"), the song taps into nostalgia without mimicking a museum piece. The disc-ending "Old Red Wine," reminiscent of Townshend's recent solo work, is more wistful, rife with musings about approaching life's finish line while furtively glancing in the rearview mirror -- a fitting epilogue to the angry-young-man screeds that kick off the set.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
When Then and Now: Maximum Who was released in March 2004, there were no less than four Who hits compilations on the market (including the classic singles collection Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, which was available as an import), which raises the question: why another hits compilation, especially one that shares its title with Sanctuary's midline series of re-recorded live hits and new songs from B-level artists? The answer is, it's the first step in reintroducing the Who as an active recording unit -- the "now" part of the Then and Now equation. At the end of this disc, after 18 familiar hits have been trotted out, two new songs are unveiled: "Real Good Looking Boy" and "Old Red Wine." This is a rather low-key way of releasing new material from a classic act, but it's a smart move since it doesn't call attention to itself yet gives listeners an idea of what the forthcoming album, expected in either late 2004 or early 2005, might be like. While neither of the songs can compare with the previous 18 songs, that's an unfair comparison since these are low-key, mature works that would have worked well on a Pete Townshend solo album from the '80s. And that's a compliment -- the final two Who albums, Face Dances and It's Hard, had material that would have sounded better on a Townshend solo album, but he wasn't ready to break free, and the band wasn't ready to change its approach to suit his new material. Here, the reconstituted band -- featuring longtime keyboardist Rabbit Bundrick and drummer Zak Starkey -- fits the material, and more importantly, Roger Daltrey has grown considerably as a vocalist, delivering the nuance within Townshend's lyrics (compare his delivery on "Real Good Looking Boy" to "You Better You Bet," where he just blows through the words). While this is not classic Who, it is the most interesting music either Townshend or Daltrey has made in nearly 20 years, and it bodes well for the forthcoming full-length. Whether that justifies yet another Who compilation is another matter, particularly since the audience that most wants to hear this new material will already have each song on this disc several times over in its collection, which will no doubt frustrate collectors. On the other hand, this is one of the better hits-oriented compilations, containing nothing but the biggest FM hits, and if a casual listener doesn't already have My Generation: The Very Best of the Who or any other single-disc sampler, they'll be satisfied with this since, apart from these two very good new tracks, it's virtually interchangeable with any other career-spanning single-disc sampler.

Product Details

Release Date:
Geffen Records


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Who   Primary Artist
Roger Daltrey   Vocals
Pete Townshend   Guitar,Piano,Background Vocals
Greg Lake   Bass
Simon Townshend   Guitar,Keyboards
John "Rabbit" Bundrick   Piano,Hammond Organ
Pino Palladino   Bass
Zak Starkey   Drums

Technical Credits

Eddie Cochran   Composer
Pete Townshend   Composer
Who   Producer
Simon Townshend   Producer
Jerry Capehart   Composer
David Costa   Booklet Design
Luigi Creatore   Composer
Bill Curbishley   Executive Producer,Management
Glyn Johns   Producer
Kit Lambert   Producer
Hugo Peretti   Composer
Bill Szymczyk   Producer
Shel Talmy   Producer
Bobby Pridden   Engineer
Vartan   Art Direction
Andy Engel   Artwork
Chris Walter   Cover Photo
Ross Halfin   Memorabilia
Robert Rosenberg   Executive Producer
Eric Heintz   Images,Cover Image
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Ramon Galbert   Marketing
Myles Clarke   Engineer
Matt Kent   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
David George   Composer
Sian Rance   Booklet Design

Customer Reviews

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Then and Now: 1964-2004 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Who¡¦s latest release, ¡§Then and Now¡¨ does a great job representing the entire Who¡¦s hit portfolio in one single, 77 minute compact disc. One might be tempted to say that this is the best single disc compilation ever put out by The Who, if it were merely a collection of their classic hits, but this disc carries with it much more. Among the guitar smashing hits such as My Generation and I Can¡¦t Explain, lay the two newly recorded tracks Real Good Looking Boy and Old Red Wine. Townshend¡¦s Real Good Looking Boy, a tribute to Elvis Presley, is a witty, satirical comparison of himself to the King. In contrast, Old Red Wine, is a reverent track; a moving composition in memory of the late John Entwistle. Both songs deliver the Who Fans with classic Townshend/Daltrey chemistry showing Roger¡¦s constant ability to vocally express Townshend penned thoughts. In the absence of Keith Moon and John Entwistle, Pete and Roger opted to use their touring drummer Zak Starkey and ELP¡¦s bassist Greg Lake for the new tracks. Needless to say, the pair proved seamless addition to the remainder of The Who, guaranteeing approval from even the most avid Who fan. As for the packaging, A++, no qualms about it. The CD case and booklet are a collage of old posters and pictures carefully assorted around a seven page biography on the life of The Who, 64¡¦ ¡V ¡¥04. Basically, for those looking to add another great album to their Who collection or purchase their very first, ¡§Then and Now¡¨ proves to be nothing short of a good buy. But on the other hand, if you have enough Who albums for everyone on your block and can¡¦t bring yourself to buy another, just visit your local Napster or iTunes to pick up the new tracks.
raidergal More than 1 year ago
this music shows just how timeless the who are. the music is as pertinent today as it was the day these albums were released. takes you back to your mispent youth for some of us
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally an awesome package of hits from the Who! After a few greatest hits albums, I decided to pick up “Then and Now” and I cant get over how great it is. Sure its got some of my favorites such as “My Generation”, “Pinball Wizard” and “Behind Blue Eyes” (I hate the limp bizkit version). But the cd itself comes in some of the coolest packaging ive ever seen, with a whole mess of pictures and posters from the past 40 years of their career. Its good to see the pics of all the original members hangin out, being such a big fan I dearly miss Keith Moon and John Entwistle, but their replacements (touring drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Greg Lake) do a fine job on the NEW tracks featured on “Then and Now”, that’s right 2 new songs are on the album, “Real Good Looking Boy” (tribute to Elvis) which is a very catchy tune, one of my fave’s on the album and the other new song is “Old Red Wine”, a tribute to their fallen band mate, John Entwistle. If you don’t have the time to hit up your local record store for the album, you can buy the album on itunes or napster both of which very convineient and easy to use. This has been the best $13 I have spent all year!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Look, I love the Who. They are one of the greatest bands of all time, and have contributed some of rock's greatest songs to the canon. But their legacy has been eroded by the constant need to issue compilations at an almost yearly rate. This collection is beyond redundant--either the "My Generation-The Very Best of the Who" or the two disc "Ultimate Collection" will give you everything you need in a Who hits collection. So what on Earth can this disc give you? Oh, that's right...two new songs by "The Two"--Townshend and Daltrey. Both of which, by the way, will be available on the "Who"'s new album next year. So don't bother with this. It gets only one star, not because most of the music ain't great, but because this compilations is completely unnecessary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"...and we don't make no collections..." sing the greatest R'N'R band in the world, still giving fans their money's worth. (Sorry Mick...) Every track essential. The true golden nuggets are the new current bonus tracks. I pray the band would release an entire CD of new tracks like "Real Good Looking Boy" & "Red Wine". Great themes in the band's latest life stage, like all of us. Decades ago was "My Generation", now we're coming to terms with God's grace by looking into your son/daughter's eyes as a child answers my prayer for Pete & Roger to turn & find God's love & Grace. Realizing he holds us all in his loving & mighty arms!! "Red Wine" is another INCREDIBLE track, discussing aging & life stages. Pete, do another "Lifehouse" project for today!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can’t say enough good things about the new Who CD “Then and Now.” My dad gave me his old Who records a few years back and I play them on the record player every now and again. But I never was motivated enough to spend the money on a CD. When I heard that this new album had new tracks on it, I decided it was finally time to get a Who on CD. Boy, am I glad I made that choice. This album has all the old songs I really liked. It has Happy Jack, Behind Blue Eyes, Who Are You?, and My Generation. The new song Real Good Looking Boy is awesome. Now I have a Who CD to play in my car, and haven’t taken it out of my CD player for days. I am definitely satisfied with my purchase.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great compilation of the Who's hits- I love them dearly. RIP Keith Moon
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a big collector and, unlike those who complain about another compilation album, am pleased with Then and Now. The album is completely remastered and sounds great. As a collector, I love the packaging. The pictures are great. I would have bought it even if it didn’t have the two new songs. The new songs are a bonus, not to mention really good. It is good to hear new stuff from such talented artists. The CD is a great collection of songs and has been in my CD player for two weeks. It sounds amazing on my surround sound system. It will then join my 33 other Who records in my collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Im a fairly new music fan here, Im very young and my favorite bands are the way trendy ones. But last week my mom bought me the The Who – “Then and Now” and I cant get over how great this is. I was never into this older rock stuff, but this is really good music. I saw the who have other greatest hits albums and im thinking about picking all of them up, I mean who can get sick of the Who? “The Kids are alright” and “Pinball Wizard” are my favorite tracks. I went over to itunes and downloaded “Teenage Wasteland” and im a bit upset it wasn’t included on this cd, but you cant win them all. I went ahead and downloaded a video of the who playing a live show and I cant get over how bad a** Keith Moon was at drums. My jaw just dropped and I was in awe over it. Im really considering buying a drum set after watching him play. I even heard they based the muppet “Animal” on Keith. How cool is that? Even as a new who fan I have to recommend this to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yeah, we've got all of the songs, but I did enjoy the mix on "Summertime Blues." It was like the old album--bass and drums on one side with guitar on the other. The two new songs are nice, low-key, positive-messagy and ADULT. Rock and roll for grownups. Similiar to WHO BY NUMBERS but without the midlife crises!