In the half century since its release, The Who's debut album My Generation hasn't lost any of its raw, visceral power and still stands as the ultimate musical declaration of teenage rebellion. The title track alone has been covered innumerable times by the likes of Oasis, Green Day, Patti Smith, Billy Joel, Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden amongst many more.
Back in 1965, the band was considered to be so dangerous that the tailors tasked with turning a Union Jack into a pop art mod jacket for the cover feared that they would be jailed for desecration of the nation's flag.
The Who's surly demeanour that day in 1965 at Surrey Docks and the brazen appropriation of the symbol of state is the best advert possible for My Generation. It's an album that sounds like it looks: terse, confrontational and full of youthful angst and energy.
Brunswick Records first issued My Generation in the UK in December 1965, and later in the U.S. under the title The Who Sings My Generation in April 1966, and was produced by Shel Talmy who shot to fame with his work with The Kinks, a group that the teenage Pete Townshend admired greatly.
During a break in touring in 2015 Pete Townshend discovered tapes in his audio archive featuring previously unheard demos for the album which also included three totally unreleased songs that The Who hadn't ever revisited "The Girls I Could Have Had," "As Children We Grew"and "My Own Love."
The spectacular 79-track, five-disc super-deluxe edition of My Generation features these unheard songs as well as unreleased demos, unreleased alternate mixes, new remasters and a stereo remix which was created using new overdubs from Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. For this mix Townshend used the same exact guitars and amps as the original album with Roger using same type of microphone.
The super-deluxe edition also features a stunning 80-page color book with many rare and unseen period photos, candid and insightful new notes from Pete Townshend and period memorabilia.
Of the super-deluxe box set Pete Townshend commented "Gathering these demos for this collection has been enjoyable; it's wonderful for me to have these tapes made fifty-two years ago to listen to. I hope you enjoy them. They have a naiveté and innocence, a simplicity and directness, and an ingenuousness that reveals me as a young man struggling to keep up with the more mature and developed men around me. What an incredible group of strong, talented, young and engaging men they were!"