Steven Van Zandt Shares His Favorite The Who Album

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During a recent conversation with BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce, E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt listed some of his favorite tracks. The rocker also revealed that his favorite the Who album is the band’s debut studio album, ‘My Generation.’

The Who has released twelve brilliant studio albums throughout their career spanning over five decades. The band developed a music style known as rock opera, which helped the band create their unique sound. They managed to sell over 100 million copies worldwide, and it is tough to choose the best record they have ever made as they are all very influential albums.

While some would say ‘Who’s Next,’ when others would choose ‘Tommy’ as the best album of the band, Steven Van Zandt decided on choosing their debut album, ‘My Generation,’ as his favorite. The rocker said during an interview that he had been a massive fan of the Who since the release of their debut album. Moreover, he described ‘My Generation’ as one of the most incredible debut albums of all time.

The guitarist stated that four band members completed each other perfectly, which is one of the reasons that contributed to their massive success. Van Zandt stressed that the second album, ‘A Quick One,’ from the Who was also incredible, but the song ‘I Can See for Miles’ from the third album, ‘The Who Sell Out,’ is one of the best singles of all time for him. He explained that the Who wanted to sound like the Kinks at the time, but they also developed their distinctive style and brought hard rock chords to the music scene.

Steven Van Zandt speaking on his favorite the Who album:

“I just absolutely love the Who from the beginning of the first album, one of the most incredible debut albums of all time, still my favorite Who album. They are just completely unique in style. Four of them are unlikely and so complimentary at the same time. The song that stood out the most is ‘My Generation,’ of course, and then the second album is also incredible.

‘A Quick One, While He’s Away’ is a mini-opera, which would be an earlier version of what would become ‘Tommy’ a few albums later, but the third album includes the most incredible single ever, ‘I Can See for Miles.’ It brought what hard rock started by the Kinks was. It really got me all day and night, produced by the same guy, Shel Talmy.

The Who went into the studio for the first time, and they used Talmy in their first album because they wanted to sound like the Kinks. Of course, they had their own sound, lucky for us, but ‘I Can See for Miles’ had a certain different attitude in the way chord changes as opposed to the Kinks’ hard rock riffs. The Who would bring a hard rock chord, and ‘I Can See for Miles’ is probably the most incredible song in singles history.”

You can listen to the entire conversation and ‘I Can See for Miles’ below.