The Who, Face Dances

Kenney Jones never deserved half the crap he got. Unlike Keith Moon, he could hold a beat and his liquor, and he was already on the band's recorded output anyway from the refits of Tommy and Quadrophenia to no one's complaint. The problem was really Pete Townshend, who reserved most of his best output for his contemporaneous Empty Glass — but yet this album still manages to pull it off despite that. The lyrics are typically inscrutable and the song titles don't make sense, but Roger Daltrey sings them straight anyway to their benefit ("Cache Cache" the particular exemplar), and rockers like "You Better You Bet," "Another Tricky Day" and "Daily Records" (and John Entwistle's contribution with "The Quiet One") are as good as any of their older singles. Entwistle doesn't hit pay dirt with "You," though, which is a bit too tart for the other tracks, and "Did You Steal My Money" and "How Can You Do It Alone" are kind of dorky, but Moon's most lasting contribution to the band was attitude rather than drumming and a true pro like Jones easily proves it. The 1997 remaster adds three unreleased tracks, all pretty good but especially an early take of "Somebody Saved Me" — obvious tape warble intact — which is far superior to Townshend's reworking on Chinese Eyes (the two live tracks are best not mentioned). The 2021 remaster has four different live cuts to waste your time, but adds those three gems plus a fourth "Dance It Away" and an alternate take of "Don't Let Go The Coat" with different vocals. Either is worth it. (Content: adult themes, mild language.)