The Kids Are Alright

The Kids Are Alright

by The Who


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Like the film itself, the soundtrack to the Who's Kids Are Alright documentary is frustrating even as it pleases, since it falls short of being definitive. If the film was supposed to explain the excitement and history of the Who, tracing their evolution from mod superstars to arena rock gods, it somehow failed by just not quite gelling. Similarly, the soundtrack attempts to gather a bunch of live rarities, thereby capturing the band at the peak of their powers, but it falls a little bit short of the mark by hopping all over the place chronologically, adding a couple of studio cuts (including live-in-the-studio tracks), along the way. So, you can view this as a missed opportunity or treasure what's here -- and, really, the latter is the preferred method of listening to this album, since there is a lot to treasure here. There's the epochal performance of "My Generation" from the 1967 Smothers Brothers show, three performances from Woodstock, terrific television performances of "Magic Bus" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," a blistering "Young Man Blues," and the definitive performance of "A Quick One, While He's Away," the version they played at the Rolling Stones' Rock & Roll Circus -- a performance so good that, according to legend, it's the reason why the Stones shelved the show for 20 years, since the Who just left them in the dust (even if it's not true, it sure sounds plausible, based on this performance). Then, there are some really fine latter-day versions of "My Wife," "Baba O'Riley," and "Won't Get Fooled Again," along with a medley of "Join Together/Roadrunner/My Generation Blues" from 1975, that may not be era-defining, like those mentioned above, but they're pretty damn great all the same (as is "Long Live Rock," Townshend's best Chuck Berry homage and one of the few songs to capture what rock was all about in the '70s and beyond). So, it's a bit too haphazard to really be definitive, but the Who were always a bit haphazard, and if you love them, that's something you love about them. And, in turn, it's hard not to love this album, if you love them. (At the very least, you have to love the cover, which is not just the best portrait of the Who, it's one of the iconic images of rock history.)

Product Details

Release Date: 04/17/2001
Label: Mca
UPC: 0731454369428
catalogNumber: 543694
Rank: 1271


  1. My Generation
  2. I Can't Explain
  3. Happy Jack
  4. I Can See For Miles
  5. Magic Bus
  6. Long Live Rock
  7. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
  8. Young Man Blues
  9. My Wife
  10. Baba O'Riley
  11. A Quick One, While He's Away
  12. Tommy, Can You Hear Me?
  13. Sparks
  14. Pinball Wizard
  15. See Me, Feel Me
  16. Join Together/Roadrunner/My Generation Blues
  17. Won't Get Fooled Again

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Who   Primary Artist
Roger Daltrey   Harmonica,Vocals,Band
Pete Townshend   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Band
Keith Moon   Drums,Vocals,Band
John Entwistle   Bass,Keyboards,Vocals,Band

Technical Credits

Jon Astley   Reissue Remastering
Roy Carr   Liner Notes
Bill Curbishley   Producer,Executive Producer,Concept
John Entwistle   Musical Director
Cy Langston   Engineer,Remixing,Tape Research
Robert Rosenberg   Executive Producer
Art Kane   Cover Photo,Inlay Photography
Tony Klinger   Producer
Richard Evans   Art Direction,Concept,Illustrations
Chris Chappell   Concept

Customer Reviews

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The Kids Are Alright 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The soundtrack to their mammoth 1979 documentary film (released in the wake of Keith Moon's passing) is essentially the Who's official bootleg album. Where Odds & Sods was ramblings of unreleased songs and outtakes, The Kids Are Alright is a collection of the Who's most important performances. You even get to hear Tommy Smothers "interview" the boys at the beginning of their "My Generation" live performance (which was even at the start of the film). Because each performance was from a different recording, the sound quality can range from excellent to poor (that is, a better sounding version can't be found anywhere and it's the best collectors can have). Some of the best performances on the album are the Beat Club version of "Magic Bus," "A Quick One, While He's Away" at the Stones' Rock 'n' Roll Circus, "Pinball Wizard" and "Happy Jack," a track that didn't make onto Live At Leeds. The artwork and liner notes are also cool. The cover, however, is the best of all the Who albums. (Second would probably be The Who Sell Out.) I haven't seen the film in its intirety, but having listened to this album and enjoyed it, I think that's what I should be doing right now. So what am I waiting for? [N.B.: I don't have a vinyl copy of this album (yet), but I own the 2000 remastered CD which has great packaging as opposed to the first MCA CD's yucky "booklet." White Fang's Who page says that even though this CD restores the Join Together/Roadrunner medley, he says the mastering is bad! I think it sounds just FINE! If you want to hear a bad sounding remaster, listen to an early CD of Frank Zappa's "You Are What You Is."]