The Who were part of the British Invasion of the 1960s that included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, among others, achieving great success in the United States. Pete Townshend-penned songs from this era, such as "I Can't Explain", "The Kids Are Alright", "Substitute", "Magic Bus", "I Can See For Miles" and, especially, "My Generation" are classics.
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Singer Roger Daltrey, 65, and guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend, 64, are the remaining members of the original British quartet that went by the names The Detours and High Numbers before settling on The Who in 1964. Drummer Keith Moon died in 1978, and bassist John Entwistle in 2002. Recent incarnations of the band have included Townshend's younger brother, Simon, on guitar, Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, and long-time support musician John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards.
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The Who have released more than 30 studio, live and hits/rarities albums. "Who's Next" -- featuring such classics as "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" -- may be their greatest. Both songs, as well as the title track from 1978's "Who Are You", are well-known to viewers of the CSI TV series.
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Prior to Super Bowl, The Who's biggest gig was probably the original Woodstock festival in 1969. They also performed at the landmark Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Through the 1970s, they were one of rock's most popular and important bands, but the devotion of their hardcore fans has never waned. The Who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, in their first year of eligibility.
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Delivering a powerhouse blend of rhythm and blues, pop and hard rock that they called Maxiumum R&B, The Who were famous for incendiary stage performances. Pete Townshend, whose signature move is whirling his right arm like a windmill, leapt about the stage while Roger Daltrey swung his microphone like a lasso. Their shows often ended with Townshend smashing his guitar as Keith Moon destroyed the drum kit. If you want an idea of how ferocious The Who sounded in their glory days, check out the cd "Live at Leeds."
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As The Who's songwriter, Pete Townshend has often moved beyond pop and rock into more ambitious styles. He wrote the first rock opera "Tommy" in 1969, from which the song "Pinball Wizard" is best known -- as well the sprawling "Quadrophenia" in 1973. Both were made into movies and Tommy had a successful run as a Broadway production..The Who's most recent album, "Endless Wire" (2006), included a mini-opera.
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Pete Townshend has also had a successful solo career, releasing more than 10 albums, of which "Empty Glass"(1980) is considered a classic. An often brilliant songwriter with a Super Bowl-sized ego, Townshend has frequently clashed with Roger Daltrey, making for an uneasy alliance in recent years. Yet, Townshend has said that no one interprets his songs better than Daltrey.
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One of rock's greatest and most dynamic singers, Roger Daltrey has released several solo albums -- scoring a hit in 1985 with the Townshend-written song "After The Fire" -- and enjoyed a lengthy acting career that includes numerous film roles as well as appearances on TV shows such as CSI and That 70's Show.
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