The Who, Who's Next Album Cover, 1971
© Ethan Russell

The Who, Who's Next Album Cover, 1971

By Ethan Russell
About the image

Who's Next, the fifth studio album by The Who, was released on August 14, 1971. This image was captured at Easington Colliery and depicts the band apparently having just urinated on a large concrete piling protruding from a slag heap. According to photographer Ethan Russell, most of the members were unable to go, so rainwater was tipped from an empty film canister. Featuring hard-hitting and innovative singles like Baba O'Riley, Behind Blue Eyes, and Won't Get Fooled Again, it quickly became a fundamental part of the cultural landscape of an entire generation.

Often considered the Who's best album, Who's Next was voted "Album of the Year" by a critics poll published in The Village Voice in 1971. Now triple-Platinum, it topped both the UK and US charts and is a fixture on various "Greatest Albums of All Time" lists. In 2007 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "lasting qualitative or historical significance".

The iconic album cover artwork by photographer Ethan Russell has also earned high praise. The bizarre setting instantly evokes the mysterious monolith from Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the fact that it looks like the band has just relieved themselves on it adds the perfect devilish irony, and reveals the band's essential fun-loving and rebellious nature. The album cover image itself has also been ranked on several "Best Album Covers of All Time" lists, and is revered by fans and photography collectors alike.

Collector's Notes:
Ethan Russell's photographs are printed to order in San Francisco, please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. Each photograph is museum-quality, archival and is signed and numbered by Ethan.

Buyers will receive a certificate of authenticity following delivery of your photograph.

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The Who, Who's Next Album Cover, 1971
The Who, Who's Next Album Cover, 1971