Saturday, August 18, 2012

If you like Jet, thank The Who

It is almost passe to declare The Who one of the greatest rock bands of all time. But their blend of pitch-perfect pop hooks and blistering, no-holding-back, balls-to-the-wall rock and roll inspired an entirely new genre of music (hard rock/heavy metal) and their influence can be felt across almost every genre. Ask any musician to name the quintessential rock star, and they will likely mention Pete Townshend.

But some modern bands are more careful students of The Who than others, and in my opinion, no one apes The Who better than Jet.

Take, for example, their ubiquitous 2003 single, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?":

Despite the fact that it was extremely overplayed when it was first released, this song more than holds up. That infectious, complex bass line. The rollicking, fuzzy guitars. The raw, impossible-to-resist, get-up-out-of-your-seat-and-dance ENERGY of this song. (It is no wonder Apple chose this song for the first and best of their iconic "dancing silhouettes" ads.)

Musically, it is a page straight out of The Who's playbook. Listen to what is perhaps The Who's most famous song, "My Generation" from 1965:

Hear it? To quote Allmusic: "[This song is] a good nominee for rock's most explosive expression of adolescent rebellion. Guitar feedback, crashing drums, power chords..." All hallmarks you'll hear on an equally rebellious, explosive song by Jet almost 40 years later.

So if you like Jet, remember... thank The Who.

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