Recently, I posted THE BEST WHO SONGS OF ALL TIME and remarked that the seminal music of The Who had spawned numerous rock sub-genres. From pop-rock to melodic hard rock to power pop to punk to indie rock, the fingerprints of The Who’s power chord guitar agenda are clearly discernible. Perhaps to prove my point, it was necessary to provide irrefutable evidence in the form of BANDS THAT SOUND LIKE THE WHO.
Thus, this post serves once more as an introduction but this time to this diverse group of bands. What these tracks share in common is an obvious debt to The Who’s penchant for dynamic guitar arrangements, melodic bass lines and pommeling drums. This list is merely a taster, as there is definitely more music out there that fits the bill, so to speak. Without much ado, here are the BANDS THAT SOUND LIKE THE WHO! (In alphabetical order, as usual)
Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”
These 1970s classic rockers owed a huge debt to The Who. BTO’s biggest hit is emblematic of The Who’s massive influence over the seventies. And that stutter in the chorus is a nod to “My Generation” isn’t it?
The Clash – “1977”
The Who was a big influence on the early punk bands. The Clash even opened for The Who for a US tour in the early 1980s.
Dodgy – “In A Room”
1990s Britpop movement was a throwback to the 1960s and of course, The Who was a key component of that retro sound.
Guided by Voices – “I Am a Tree”
Bob Pollard has never hidden his love for The Who. This dynamic power rock song was actually written by guitarist Doug Gillard.
The Jam – “Standards”
Mod revivalists The Jam also wore their Who influences on their sleeves.
The Move – “Do Ya”
One of the sixties bands that rode the first British wave that The Who pioneered.
The Nazz – “Open My Eyes”
Todd Rundgren’s first band’s best known hit – another obvious homage to The Who.
Raspberries – “Go All the Way”
Power pop is a term coined by Pete Townshend and thus it’s expected that one of the foremost exponents of the power pop genre would echo the sounds of The Who.
Ride – “Leave Them All Behind”
1990s shoegaze had its roots in 1960s psychedelia. Ride may not be an obvious choice for this list but at least on this song the synthesiser intro carries that Who trademark.
Triumph – “Magic Power”
Another example of The Who’s classic rock influence. By 1981, The Who’s signature power chord style was part and parcel of the classic rock genre.
Tom Petty – “Love is a Long Road”
Off Petty’s most successful album, a song that mines The Who vernacular perfectly.
Watchmen – “Orchard Road”
On a personal note, my first ever single fairly copped the Who’s guitar dynamics!
Just the tip of the iceberg, I assure you. A big thank you if you made it to the end.
… still there’s more …