You know Who
Here is one of the greatest rock films ever made, given a rather nice treatment on DVD. For years, lovers of this rockumentary about The Who have had to endure a slaughtered version of the film on VHS. Portions of the movie had been clipped (including a rousing rendition of “A Quick One While He’s Away,” its mini-opera glory pared down to just a couple of minutes), and the film had been sped up to meet a particular running time, causing vocalist Roger Daltrey to sound like Alvin the Chipmunk. Director Jeff Stein’s original vision has been restored with beautiful picture and 5.1 surround sound, a Who fan’s dream come true. The film begins with the group’s appearance on The Smothers Brothers Show, where writer-guitarist Pete Townshend suffered hearing loss and burnt hair as the result of drummer Keith Moon’s exploding drum kit at the conclusion of “My Generation.” It’s funny to watch the bands growth from glam rock pretty boys into ragged rock gods. It’s also a little disturbing to watch the rapid decline of drummer Keith Moon, who died shortly after the film’s completion, allegedly trying to combat his alcoholism after being shocked by his physical appearance in the movie. Highlights include live versions of “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” filmed specifically for the movie, and marking Moon’s final performances with the band. The moment when Daltrey emerges from the laser lights and lets out the “Won’t Get Fooled Again” primal scream while Townshend leaps through the air and slides across the stage is one of the single greatest rock moments ever caught on film.
SPECIAL FEATURES: There are two discs included in the special edition, one containing the feature complete with full length audio commentary by Stein, the other boasting a variety of documentaries on the restoration of the film. Roger Daltrey drops by for an introspective interview on the making of the movie with Townshend unable to do so, probably due to the legal problems he dealt with last year. One of the disc’s greatest features is the ability to watch “Baba” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” from all six angles that Stein set up for their filming. By pressing the “angle” button while watching the numbers, viewers can essentially edit their own versions.
MOVIE GRADE: A+
SPECIAL FEATURES: B+