The person who earned the outline “the best Keith Moon-type drummer on the earth” was Keith Moon. Who known as him that? That was Keith Moon, too, and the most effective Keith Moon performances reveal precisely why The Who’s late drummer stands other than all who got here earlier than or since.
The quote conveys the sheer individualism of the person, however far past the “Moon The Loon” caricature, Keith John Moon was a superb and irreplaceable musician. Keep in mind, for instance, that he was positioned at No.2 in Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Drummers Of All Time checklist, second solely to John Bonham and forward of such fellow giants, now sadly additionally gone, as Ginger Baker, Neil Peart and Hal Blaine.
Moon’s dying, in 1978, at a desperately early 32, introduced The Who near everlasting shutdown, till the thankless activity of sitting at his drumkit fell to Kenney Jones and, within the more moderen incarnation of the band, Zak Starkey. However The Who’s authentic drummer left a mighty cache of performances, captured within the studio and on the stage, from which we provide this checklist of the 20 finest Keith moon performances.
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20: ‘Dreaming From The Waist’ (dwell in Swansea, 1976)
Moon within the studio was thrilling; Moon on stage was exhilarating. So we start with this dwell recording, captured at The Who’s Vetch Discipline Stadium present at Swansea Metropolis Soccer Membership on the Who By Numbers tour: a easy instance of the distinctive cohesion of the Townshend–Daltrey-Entwistle-Moon machine, underpinned as all the time by Keith’s unflagging beat.
19: ‘So Unhappy About Us’
Again to late 1966 for an instance of the band’s youthful sound and a power-pop prototype from their second album, A Fast One. ‘So Unhappy About Us’ positive aspects a lot of its momentum from Moon’s powerhouse efficiency. Quickly after the drummer’s dying, the track was coated as a B-side of ‘Down In The Tube Station At Midnight’ by The Jam, whose personal sticksman, Rick Buckler, stated within the guide Keith Moon: There Is No Substitute, “I admired Keith Moon as a drummer though he wasn’t my form of drummer; his drumming, like his life, appeared near the sting.”
18: ‘Joyful Jack’
Full with a suitably wacky interval video through which Moon finally ends up coated, naturally, in cake, right here’s The Who’s UK No.three and first US Prime 40 hit. It’s an early instance of his innate means to deal with tempo and temper modifications, laying a depth cost beneath Townshend’s bold and episodic writing. Pay attention particularly to the dazzling dozen seconds or so from zero.57, that includes what may be very almost a drum solo in a 1966 pop single.
17: ‘The Actual Me’
The primary of a number of inclusions from Quadrophenia demonstrates the way in which Moon performed drums not as mere accompaniment, however as a lead instrument. The three-way fluidity within the verses between his vivid fills, Entwistle’s bass and Daltrey’s consummate rock vocals is electrical energy itself.
16: ‘I Can’t Clarify’ (dwell in Texas, 1975)
The primary single launch by The Who beneath that identify was already greater than a decade previous after they performed it on the Summit in Houston, Texas, on 20 November 1975. The footage could also be slightly grainy, however the efficiency is spot-on, underpinned by Moon’s feverish zest.
15: ‘The Rock’
Maybe not immediately recognisable by title, that is the mighty instrumental that preceded ‘Love, Reign O’er Me’ on Quadrophenia. “I knew he was a one-off drummer, however in the identical manner as the remainder of us have been one-off,” stated Entwistle of Moon. “We constructed our music to suit round one another. It was one thing very peculiar that none of us performed the identical manner as different individuals, however in some way, our types fitted collectively.”
The package is smaller, the eyes slightly wider, the antics extra measured, however that is the essence of Moon aged, most likely, 19. His fills on the finish of every verse are, as so usually, like vocals of their very own.
13: ‘Behind Blue Eyes’
Moon’s drums don’t even seem on this basic from Who’s Next till nicely over midway by. However then, from 2.18 onwards, he dances just like the satan with Daltrey’s vocals and Townshend’s lead guitar, earlier than serving to to steer the track again into port, for its mild and majestic conclusion. Daltrey has known as ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ his all-time favorite Who track.
12: ‘Pinball Wizard’
Not simply an immortal Who track from Tommy, however a efficiency of it that’s carved into rock historical past, from their look on the Isle Of Wight Competition within the early hours of 30 August 1970. Identical to the title character in Townshend’s vivid narrative, Moon performs by instinct and turns into a part of the machine.
11: ‘Sea And Sand’
To the introductory sounds of the ocean and seagulls, The Who launch into one other nice second from Quadrophenia. Moon’s percussion is an excellent mixture of restraint and character. As with all the good rock drummers, every little thing stems from his enjoying, and it’s thrillingly cohesive.
10: ‘Baba O’Riley’ (Shepperton Studios, 1978)
This efficiency of the opening observe from Who’s Subsequent was filmed on the B-stage at Shepperton only a few months earlier than Keith Moon’s dying. It was captured in entrance of an invited viewers which included fortunate members of Pretenders, Sex Pistols and others, with Moon as magnetic as ever.
9: ‘Love, Reign O’er Me’
The final observe on Quadrophenia is the album’s magnificent crescendo, described by Jim Beviglia in American Songwriter as a “majestic catharsis”. He continues: “The drama conjured up by the music is potent. Townshend’s tone-setting synths finally give approach to Keith Moon’s peppery drums and John Entwistle’s thudding bass… ‘Love, Reign O’er Me’ exemplifies the band’s means to mix powerful and tender.”
eight: ‘My Era’
The idea of drums as a lead instrument is to the fore once more on the track that defines The Who’s early insurrection. The back-and-forth between Moon and Daltrey particularly, because the vocalist pauses for dramatic impact and the drummer cues him again in, is without doubt one of the most good call-and-response results in rock. Steve White, the revered drummer and longtime collaborator of Paul Weller, remembered in Keith Moon: There Is No Substitute that this was his introduction to Moon’s drumming. “I used to be struck by the way in which the cymbal propelled the entire observe alongside,” he stated. “There was little or no enjoying to the again beat. Keith was enjoying alongside extra to the vocal, however in addition to enjoying for the track, he was enjoying for himself, too, and I actually appreciated that.”
“‘Discount’ opens with a basic rock’n’roll drum fill,” wrote Brad Schlueter in Drum!, “through which Moon performs snare ghost notes between the accents; these are felt greater than heard, but they contribute numerous vitality to the texture. For the timekeeping duties, Moon once more makes frequent use of his bass drum, enjoying eighth-notes of various volumes whereas hammering snare notes and transient tom fills on high of them.”
6: ‘Younger Man Blues’ (from Stay At Leeds)
A observe from not simply The Who’s definitive dwell album, however one of many biggest albums ever made, it is a should for our checklist of the most effective Keith Moon performances. The band coated the Mose Allison track of their early days, nevertheless it turned a staple of their set within the late 60s. As one admirer put it, the extraordinary Stay At Leeds efficiency has the drummer going “from whole anarchy to a useless cease, time and again”.
5: ‘Bell Boy’
A Moon signature and a uncommon singing/talking function, in a key second of the Quadrophenia narrative. The album’s engineer, Ron Nevison, remembered: “The most important drawback with Keith on the drums was discovering a spot to place the microphones. He had so many drums – two hi-hats, two kick drums, six or eight tom-toms – it was difficult simply to get in there to get the snare drum coated.”
four: ‘Who Are You’ (dwell at Ramport Studios in Battersea, 1978)
Filmed at The Who’s Ramport Studios in Battersea, south London, Moon’s efficiency, along with his headphones gaffer-taped to his head, is as superb as his half on the report.
three: ‘I Can See For Miles’
An early Who masterpiece, with Moon enjoying his full half in a basic of psychedelic pop that ought to, as Townshend himself avowed, have been a No.1 single. Moon’s drums are, in some ways, the lead instrument, a soloist amongst soloists. Rock critic Dave Marsh known as it “The Who’s finest: thunderous Keith Moon drums, a Townshend guitar line that begins out like an earthquake and finishes like a razor.”
2: ‘A Fast One (Whereas He’s Away)’ (The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus, 1968)
Extensively revered by Who followers as one other of Moon’s most superior performances, this model affords the additional visible deal with of the band’s look on The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus. Filmed in Wembley in December 1968, it’s a marvellous timepiece and even, round four.27, captures Keith hurling his aspect tom throughout the stage. However in fact.
1: ‘Received’t Get Fooled Once more’
It appears solely proper that this scintillating rendition of The Who’s 1971 anthem ought to high our checklist of the most effective Keith Moon performances – partly due to his breathtaking work on each the unique and this Might 1978 model (once more taped at Shepperton Studios), and partly as a result of this was his last-ever efficiency. His solo that units up Daltrey’s definitive rock scream close to the tip has nearly not possible drama and stress.
“There’s one thing behind my head that tells me Keith by no means would have made an previous man,” Daltrey instructed Dan Fairly in a 2013 interview. “He wouldn’t have needed to be an previous man. He needed to be the world’s biggest rock drummer, and he died being that.”
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