The Who have an iconic discography behind them, and have influenced the rock scene for decades. Discover which albums we think were the most influential in their career, and find out how to be the first to secure premium seats at the band's UK tour dates.
Last Updated: 03/02/23 at 10:00
Iconic British rockers The Who have put out a staggering 11 albums since their debut in 1965, and have sold over 100 million records worldwide.
The original line-up of Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon are famed for their influential playing styles, guitar techniques and the development of rock opera.
With a plethora of incredible music under their belts, it is not an easy task to select the albums that most influenced their career, but don’t worry we have done the hard work for you!
Keep reading to discover our top three picks and find out how you can buy your The Who UK VIP tickets.Buy The Who VIP tickets
'Tommy' is one of the most famous The Who albums despite being only their fourth record release. The double album was dropped in 1969 and was mostly composed by the band’s guitarist Pete Townsend.
Before its release, the band was teetering on the brink of collapse and bankruptcy and needed something incredible to get them back on their feet. What they actually got was far greater than expected, as the album rocketed them out of financial despair and into serious stardom.
The rock opera record tells the story of Tommy Walker, a boy traumatised by witnessing his father murder his mother’s lover. The story develops to reveal Tommy’s further traumas, and follows the boy as he uses pinball to dissociate from his troubles.
The story concludes after Tommy breaks out of a cycle of egomania following a prescription for a mirror given to him by his doctor. The album was a storytelling masterpiece, and Louder Sound praised the song Pinball Wizard for capturing the public imagination and for its “operatic vision”.
The album received critical acclaim upon its release and is often regarded as The Who’s breakthrough album. Now, the album is hailed for its huge influence on rock music as a whole.
The Who’s fifth studio album (released in 1971), 'Who’s Next' was developed from the failure of the Lifehouse Project, a rock opera born by Townshend, but that was cancelled due to conflicts with the band’s manager.
Eight out of nine of the album’s tracks were sourced from the 'Lifehouse Project' in an attempt to save the story created by and the effort put in by the band’s drummer.
The album was particularly important for the band as, despite continued success and fame, they had started to lose the support of their original audience. As a result, Pete Townshend recognised that the band was in need of something new, to regain the love of their fans and to continue their projectile of success.
'Who’s Next' is loved for its thicker sound, while the band are praised for approaching their post-Tommy success with courage and inventiveness. While the album took a completely different approach to that of their previous rock opera release, it resonated with fans and is now considered by many to be their best album ever.
The band’s sixth studio album had a great deal to live up to following the profound success of 'Tommy' and 'Who’s Next'.
The double album was released in 1973 by Track Records and was the band’s third rock-opera piece. Set in London and Brighton, the tracklist told the story of a young mod named Jimmy and his quest for self-worth and importance.
The record reached the No.2 spot on the UK charts, falling just behind David Bowie’s Pin Ups. The critical reaction was positive with Chris Welch writing “rarely have a group succeeded in distilling their essence and embracing a motif as convincingly”.
The now platinum-certified album is understood to be one of The Who’s greatest works and moulded the mod scene forever. Even Townshend himself regards Quadrophenia as the last great album that the band recorded, noting its ambition and audacity.
How can you see the Who?
The Who are currently touring Europe and have confirmed that they will be returning to the UK this summer.
When they do hit the British roads again, you won’t want to miss out on seeing the legendary group on tour. After all, The Who’s live performances are known to be high-energy, entertainment spectaculars!
If you are a big fan of The Who or want to treat someone who is, why not explore VIP ticket options?
With The Who VIP tickets you can enjoy inclusions such as front row seats, backstage passes and cocktail experiences.
Check out our blog to discover the latest news on The Who tour, and check out available packages now!Buy The Who VIP tickets
While we wait for The Who to tour again, make sure to check out all VIP tickets for upcoming rock concerts now!