Review: Rock Band DLC -- "The Best of The Who"

Filed under: , by: Grundy the Man

The Who have recently seen a huge surge in popularity. This is pretty remarkable considering only half of the original group is still alive and they has been performing together for over forty years. Last week they were out in full force trying to pimp their VH1 Rock Honors special. Considering that VH1 and Harmonix are owned by the same parent company, this brand of shameless cross-promotion is to expected. A twelve track greatest hits collection was released onto the Xbox Live Marketplace last Tuesday. Last Thursday the VH1 Rock Honors special aired, and the week was capped off with an amazing performance to close E3.

There is actually quite a history behind this song pack. It was originally announced at the same press conference the Rock Band debuted. Here is the kicker, it was supposed to be the first complete album available for download. The planned album to be released was "Who's Next." As they prepared to release the album, there was a snag... Some of the master tapes were missing. Meanwhile, the first full album released on Rock Band was not "Who's Next" leaving many a fanboy frothy around the mouth. In June of 2008 the missing masters still had not been found, so there was a compromise that had to be made. The two remaining original members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend handpicked their favorite tracks for this collection.

The following tracks are included:

  • Amazing Journey
  • Baba O'Riley
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Eminence Front
  • Going Mobile
  • Leaving Here
  • My Generation (Live at Leeds)
  • Real Good Looking Boy
  • Sea and Sand
  • Summertime Blues (Live at Leeds)
  • Who Are You
  • Young Man Blues (Live at Leeds)
First I must say that as a child of 90's pop music, I didn't think that I knew any songs by The Who. Boy was I wrong! I pleasantly surprised to find out that was familiar with almost every single track in the collection. Each track features a strong lead guitar that is challenging enough that as a decent (some have said I'm mediocre) player, I was being pushed to my limits. Even the most highly skilled players should find these tracks enough to keep your fingers very busy. The baselines are among some of the best in the game, featuring both solo-ish sections and a fun walking part. Singers are going to have great time belting out some of rocks best hits, while also mixing things up with a ballad or two. There is really a good variety in the vocal range, but I would make sure your falsetto is ready to be challenged. Unfortunately, I can't attest to the drums because currently they are in pieces in my closet. However, it has been mentioned on several blogs that there is plenty of variety to be found, as long as you do not have problems keeping a syncopated beat.

The bottom line is that this is a MUST HAVE for any serious Rock Band fan. It provides a good variety to all of the instruments, while still being accessible to those who are not as skilled. Now if you would excuse me, I have to practice my windmill strumming technique.

Below a video of a hilarious moment at the E3 performance where Roger Daltrey makes fun of the color of the fret buttons on the Rock Band guitar. He then realizes that the guy who designed it is in the audience... Hilarity ensues, Enjoy!