The Who's Greatest Albums Voted By Rolling Stone Readers
The Who's 1971 blockbuster Who's Next topped the new Rolling Stone Reader's Poll of "The 10 Greatest Who Albums." Coming in second was the band's 1973 opus about the life of a struggling mid-'60s London Mod, the epic double set, Quadrophenia, with the band's first "rock opera" -- the original 1969 version of Tommy -- snagging the third spot.
Interestingly, the band's groundbreaking 1970 concert collection, Live At Leeds came in at Number Four, with the Who's classic 1971 singles compilation covering 1965 through 1970, Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy coming in at Number Eight, while not one of the band's final three albums -- 1981's Face Dances, 1982's It's Hard, and 2006's Endless Wire -- appearing on the list. Also missing is the band's beloved 1974 rarities collection, Odds & Sods.
Pete Townshend, who wrote the majority of the Who's catalogue, told us that as an artist, both in the past and today, he depends as strongly on his audience as they do on him: "It's not that it's exalted. It's not that it's higher; it's not that I'm looking down at the world and I can observe from on high. It is that as an artist, you have a unique ability to stand away from society and trust that your audience will give you what you need to make your next piece of work."
The Rolling Stone Reader's Poll of "The 10 Greatest Who Albums":
1. Who's Next (1971)
2. Quadrophenia (1973)
3. Tommy (1969)
4. Live At Leeds (1970)
5. The Who Sell Out (1967)
6. A Quick One (1966)
7. The Who By Numbers (1975)
8. Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (1971)
9. The Who Sings 'My Generation' (1965)
10. Who Are You (1978)
Pete Townshend On T