From mid-1970 to early 1974, The Who undertook an amazing and peculiar journey in which they struggled to follow up Tommy with a yet bigger and better rock opera. One of those projects, Lifehouse, was never completed, though many of its songs formed the bulk of the classic 1971 album Who's Next. The other, Quadrophenia, was as down-to-earth as the multimedia Lifehouse was futuristic; issued as a double album in 1973, it eventually became esteemed as one of the Who's finest achievements, despite initial unfavourable comparisons to Tommy. Along the way, the group's visionary songwriter, Pete Townshend, battled conflicts within the band and their management, as well as struggling against the limits of the era's technology as a pioneering synthesizer user and a conceptualist trying to combine rock with film and theatre. The results included some of rock's most ambitious failures, and some of its most spectacular triumphs. In Won't Get Fooled Again: The Who From Lifehouse To Quadrophenia, noted rock writer and historian Richie Unterberger documents this intriguing period in detail, drawing on many new interviews; obscure rare archive sources and recordings; and a vast knowledge of the music of the times. The result is a comprehensive, articulate history that sheds new light on the band's innovations and Pete Townshend's massive ambitions, some of which still seem ahead of their time in the early 21st century.
Richie Unterberger is the author of numerous rock history books. The first of these, Unknown Legends of Rock ’n’ Roll (1998), profiles underappreciated cult rock artists of all styles and eras; the next, Urban Spacemen & Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators & Eccentric Visionaries Of ’60s Rock (2000; also available as revised/updated 2013 ebook edition), features in-depth surveys of 20 underrated greats of the era. Turn! Turn! Turn!: The Folk-Rock Revolution (2002) and its sequel, Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock’s Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock (2003) cover the history of the 1960s folk-rock movement. Turn! Turn! Turn! and Eight Miles High have been combined into the ebook Jingle Jangle Morning: Folk-Rock in the 1960s, which adds new and updated material.The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film won a 2007 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in the “Best Discography” division of the “Best Research in Recorded Rock Music” category. His most recent books are White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day (2009) and Won’t Get Fooled Again: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia (2011). His most recent book is Fleetwood Mac: The Ultimate Illustrated History (2016), published by Voyageur Press. Unterberger is also author of The Rough Guide to Music USA, a guidebook to the evolution of regional popular music styles throughout America in the 20th century, and The Rough Guide to Jimi Hendrix. He is a frequent contributor to MOJO and Record Collector, and has written hundreds of liner notes for CD reissues. He teaches courses on rock music history at the College of Marin, the University of San Francisco, and City College of San Francisco. He lives in San Francisco.