Endless Wire

Studio Album by released in 2006
Endless Wire's tracklist:
Fragments
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A Man in a Purple Dress
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Mike Post Theme
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In the Ether
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Black Widow's Eyes
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Two Thousand Years
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God Speaks of Marty Robbins
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It's Not Enough
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You Stand by Me
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Sound Round
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Pick Up the Peace
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Unholy Trinity
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Trilby's Piano
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Endless Wire
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Fragments of Fragments
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We Got a Hit
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They Made My Dream Come True
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Mirror Door
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We Got a Hit (extended version)
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Endless Wire (extended version)
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Endless Wire review

The Who is back after quarter-century break

A quarter-century period of inactivity of the band known as The Who is finally over. The reunion of the band’s reminders was crowned with their 15th album named Endless Wire. The long vacation gave the musicians time to record their solo projects and to make a few attempts to gather as The Who again, though this intention had never led to anything special. Unfortunately the band has also lost its irreplaceable bassist John Entwistle who has died in 2002. But in spite of everything the remaining musicians, vocalist Roger Daltrey and legendary guitar player Pit Townshend, had joined together to make something that was awaited by The Who admirers for 24 years. Endless Wire is a full-length album that consists of nine independent songs in its first part and a mini rock opera in the second one. Of course it would be wrong to expect one hundred percent classic The Who sounding if for no other reason than that there is no Kate Moon’s drums and Entwistle’s bass here. But still Endless Wire proves that Daltrey and Townshend are not just resting on their laurels. The musicians have managed to retain both the air and the style in many respects. The old Who are gone, but there is the band that took a new life.

Endless Wire retains the unique band’s style

Much of Endless Wire is based around acoustic instruments, including guitar, banjo, mandolin and strings, though Townshend lets loose with enough bristling electric fuzz to soothe fans of Won't Get Fooled Again. Although this is the new Who there are obvious evocations of the old Who. The opening song Fragments starts with a subdued tack-piano version of the synthesizer riff from their famous Baba O'Riley, certain passages of melody call to mind Pure And Easy and there's an echo of Who Are You on Mike Post Theme, which by the way may be called one of the best tracks here. The album’s second half, the mini-opera Wire & Glass contains a string of short powerful songs. Opening number Sound Round could have been a single, as it epitomizes the band’s success in sounding true to itself without remaining bound to the past. The mini-opera, and the album, closes with two of the disc’s most powerful tracks. After a big riff opening, Mirror Door runs through a list of dead musicians, reflecting on the past while embracing the uncertainty of the future. The final song Tea And Theatre is also devoted to the theme of loss and mortality. The band’s employment of a programmed drum track here adds a sterile atmosphere that not only suggests loss, but serves as an effective juxtaposition against the restrained but heartfelt lyrical delivery

Endless Wire is based on the best Pete Townshend’s material in years

When thinking about the band’s history it is really hard to say which of The Who members has made the largest contribution in the band’s coming to being. Without any of the musicians it would scarcely be possible for The Who to become what they are. But still it is worth to give due to the pains that Pete Townshend took to endow his band with its unique character. And the air that they managed to retain on Endless Wire proves it one more time. Having the most successful solo career among other band’s members Townshend has released his last album 13 years ago, making his fans doubtful about a chance to hear his fresh records. But the last album proves that Townshend's writing has been re-energized by his collaboration with Daltry. His music within The Who hasn't sounded this vital, energetic or as lyrically interesting since Who Are You. The Who wasn't always that good at choosing Pete's best ideas for the albums but here both Daltry and Townshend have presented the songs based on some of Pete's best material in years. As long as Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey walk the earth in tandem, The Who live on.