Great Forgotten Songs #22 – The Who “Going Mobile”
This Who song was written by the guitarist Pete Townshend and was released by the band in the 1971’s album “Who’s Next”. The idea came from Townshend’s abandoned Lifehouse project, with lyrics celebrating the joy of having a mobile home and being able to travel the open road.
The whole song was recorded as a power trio by Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Roger Daltrey did not take part in the recording of the song.
Hear the song below:
Read what Townshend says about the track:
“As the story unfolded, because of the vagaries of the modern world, because of pollution being caused mainly by people’s need to travel, to be somewhere else. (People) had been told, ‘You can’t do that anymore. You have to stay where you are.’ But people have got this lust for life, and adventure, and a bit of color.”
“Who’s Next” is The Who’s fifth studio album and It developed from the aborted Lifehouse project, a multi-media rock opera written by the group’s Pete Townshend as a follow-up to the band’s 1969 album Tommy. The project was cancelled due to its complexity and conflicts with Kit Lambert, the band’s manager, but Townshend was persuaded to record the songs as a straightforward studio album.
The Who recorded Who’s Next with assistance from recording engineer Glyn Johns. After producing the song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, they relocated to Olympic Studios to record and mix most of the album’s remaining songs. They made prominent use of the synthesizer on the album, particularly on “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Baba O’Riley”, which were both released as singles.
The cover photo was shot by Ethan Russell and made reference to the monolith in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, as it featured group members having urinated against a concrete piling protruding from a slag heap.
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