The Who, The Seeker

I was examining the dusty halls of my website, and I realized my section on the Who is seriously lacking.  It’s not for lack of love, merely an oversight soon to be corrected.  “The Seeker” is one of my favorite Who songs.  It’s a hard driving philosophical rock fest that is half serious/half parody.  When I was 17, I was more interested in the serious side; Pete Townshend’s search for the meaning of life and death expressed through Roger Daltry’s howling lungs, Keith Moon’s insane bashing, and John Entwistle’s flute like bass playing.  As a 27 year old, I’m more interested in the parody side.  The song almost seems to be the story of your average rock and roll fan, searching for enlightenment and meaning through the dominant pop culture icons of the age; the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Timothy Leary.  Pete himself must have come across tons of these people asking him for guidance seeing him as another rock and roll prophet.  The whole concept is brilliant, and the raucous music matches the abstract flair.  The music video itself below is also an awesome example of pop art perfection with dramatic closeups of the members and stylized lyrics splashing the screen.  Enjoy.

 

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No Responses to “The Who, The Seeker”

  1. michaelhigh says:

    The Who might be the greatest rock band ever assembled, piece by piece they are virtuousos. As a whole they still carry momentum that few could sustain over their entire career. They are plain and simply the meat and potatoes of the rock world, compared to smoke and mirrors of autotune and fake percussion. They are for really real and time can never change that fact. They are simply astounding.

  2. Jimm says:

    I just got done reading Richie Unterberger’s Won’t Get Fooled Again: The Who From Lifehouse to Quadrophenia (http://www.richieunterberger.com/Who70s.html) and this song was cited as the inauguration not just of the Who’s 70s output, but also the beginning of a three-year spiritual and artistic journey in which he tried to do the impossible: combine live music, film, and performance into a magical moment of nirvanic harmony (Lifehouse); combine spiritual questing with rock and roll rebellion; integrate first-generation synthesizers into the most brutal live rock attack ever; and superate the greatest rock opera ever (Tommy).

    Nothing much, really. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this led to frustration, madness, and disappointment–but it also resulted in arguably the greatest rock album ever (Who’s Next), some of the greatest singles of the band’s career, and a brilliantly flawed and sprawlingly epic double album (Quad). This song, while never one of my favorites, deals with a lot of the frustration of that search for the perfect note: See this article in American Songwriter: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2012/09/the-who-the-seeker/

    All of us are seeking for truth, and when all the sex, drugs, and rock and roll fades, we want to find what we’re after, and by the grace of God, we might be able to find it before we die. I’m rooting for Pete on this one.

    • Willie says:

      Fantastic stuff Jimm. I’m gonna go on a Who album listening binge tomorrow.

      • Jimm says:

        Pace yourself, they’ve released A LOT of expanded and never-befores in the last twenty years or so. If you’ve never heard it, listen to the 4Oth Anniversary Live at Leeds, it’s the DEFINITIVE Who live experience on record. (Isle of Wight, the video, makes a better visual testament) The Who in 1970 were indestructible, lethal, and completely unstoppable. LAL40 has even LONGER stage chatter than any previous version, including a hilariously vulgar intro to A Quick One that’s almost as long as the mini-opera itself. Those unscripted moments are worth a listen just in themselves, but the versions of that song, Heaven and Hell, Shakin All Over, and Young Man Blues are unbeatable. Oh, and Tommy in its entirety also rocks. Have fun!!

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