My iPod #447: The Who – Going Mobile

“Going Mobile” is the seventh track from The Who’s classic album Who’s Next from 1971. The track features only Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon on their respective instruments. But don’t come to the conclusion that this track can’t be compared to the other eight just because it misses the presence of Roger Daltrey’s monstrous voice. In fact, the song rocks just as hard as them. Even if Pete does play the acoustic guitar for the majority of it, it is again the wonders of Moon and Entwistle that give the track its emphatic edge.

The track concerns the wonders of being on the road, on the move with no sign of stopping, just generally feeling free with the cool air blowing in the wind and not having a care in the world. And as much as the track is about continuously moving lyrically, it also gives this idea in it’s actual execution. Keith Moon particularly pulls off an incredibly energetic performance (as ever) on the drums, ending every single measure with thundering drum fills and generally playing them as if he has more than two arms. At one particular point, he turns the track into some sort of barn-dance before seamlessly transitioning back to the regular pattern. It’s crazy. John effortlessly keeps it all together with his fluid bass playing, and Pete can’t contain his excitement on the vocals, ad-libbing at any given opportunity.

Being on the same album as tracks such as “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again“, “Going Mobile” tends not to get so much attention. But it should. It is honestly just as brilliant.

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Author: Jamie Kyei Manteaw

An English student at Coventry University who spends most days listening to music (old and new) and reading and writing about it, however informal it may be. And studying too, obviously.

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