No one wants to accuse one of their own favorite bands of being sell outs, and we all know The Who already sold out in the '60s—at least figuratively—when they issued The Who Sell Out. But how to react to this scenario: 1) It is announced the band will play the Super Bowl. 2) Miraculously, as if on cue, The Who Greatest Hits is issued just before Christmas and barely six weeks before said bowl game. If that doesn't sound like a sell out then maybe I don't understand the term.
That being said, this compilation features 17 hits and 2 recent cuts included probably at Pete Townshend's insistence. I dunno whether this came out due to contractual obligation, band's suggestion (as in somebody needs to make rent), or just plain greed on both the label and the band's parts, but I'm gonna have to go with "C." You know there are some people in America who STILL DON'T HAVE ANY WHO, so they must be served—if forcefully—so they will. Of course, the band all these people saw on the Super Bowl wasn't the same band that cut the hits, although Zak Starkey is a pretty damn good drummer—though he's no Keith Moon—and Pino Palladino is just about the anti-Ox on bass, but none of that matters.
If you don't already have Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy, The Ultimate Collection, or any other best-of package, this is alright at one disc. Personally, I'm a big enough fan to have all of the studio albums (sadly, on CD and vinyl) and a few live ones, too. I just think this is not only an eminence front, it's a put-on.