Pete Townshend took time out to define the Who's recorded output for Uncut magazine's latest "Ultimate Collectors' Edition" music guide to the band's career. Townshend supplied the "Welcome" essay in which he spoke about what set the band apart from the pack.
Townshend explained, "The Who haven't made many albums, considering the number of years we've been on the planet. We've been around as a recording band, with one very long sabbatical from the studio, since 1964. The standout albums are very few. But there is a continuum. . . it is a reliance on a kind of misty narrative that cast the collected songs in a dramatic atmosphere into which we expect the listener to insert themselves. If it isn't always 'rock opera' there is almost always a story of some kind behind every Who album. If it isn't actually spelled out, it is inferred."
He went on to write, "What we call 'classic' rock today is really music that in the early-1960's started a wave of performing and writing that was different to everything that had gone before. It will always be of interest, but hopefully it is already an anachronism. Music today serves a different need, it's a different world."