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Rolling Stone Magazine Gives Maximum Who Five Stars

10 Jan 2003


The Who's history comes to glorious life through the hilarious recollections and stunning photography of Maximum Who.

Maximum Who *****
Compiled by Ross Halfin

When The Who hit rock & roll like a gale force back in the day, it would have been impossible to imagine the band as the subject of a posh coffee-table book. Maximum Who: The Who in the Sixties strikes a perfect balance between its lavish illustrations and hilarious recollections by Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and the late John Entwistle. Shots of the band relaxing at home, fighting off boredom backstage and clothes shopping in swinging London convey compelling - and poignant - insights into both the band and the era.

Even a casual flip through tells the story of the Who's tumultuous rise from bashing around London clubs to international stardom with the release of Tommy in 1969. Daltrey's wry response to some pictures of the band fooling around - "My God, we're having a laugh!" speaks volumes about the tensions that nearly split up the group dozens of times. The live shots burst off the page.

Nor does the music itself get short shrift. "I wasn't influenced by any other bass players", Entwistle says. "It was Duane Eddy and his low, twangy sound." And Townshend offers this about the band's work on Tommy: "[Producer] Kit [Lambert] seemed to feel the need to let the group feel they were really involved in the creative process. They weren't."

Maximum Who is like a family album. Everyone who looks at it has a different memory, and old resentments flare up. But a deep, abiding affection underlies everything, and everyone who isn't dead still shows up to make his story heard.
Anthony Decurtis, Rolling Stone Magazine, October 2002

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