Posts Tagged ‘Roger Daltrey’

“When I say ‘I love you,’ you say ‘You better!’” There’s a lot to love on the RSD expansion of The Who’s “Face Dances”.  This 2-LP presentation expands the original 1981 album which was the band’s first with drummer Kenney Jones following the 1978 death of Keith Moon.  The first LP in the RSD reissue is the original album with its nine tracks including “You Better You Bet” and “Don’t Let Go the Coat.”  The second LP, cheekily entitled Face Dances Part 3 as Pete Townshend recorded Part 2 for his solo album “All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes”, has another nine tracks beginning with a clutch of Session Rough Mixes.  These encompass the previously-issued outtakes “I Like Nightmares,” “It’s in You,” and “Somebody Saved Me” as well as the previously-unreleased “Dance It Away” and a take of “Don’t Let Go the Coat” with Townshend rather than Roger Daltrey on lead vocals.  Side Four has a quartet of live performances of Face Dances songs as recorded for Rockpalast in 1981. 

The album was remastered and cut at half speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road.  LP 1 will be pressed on blue vinyl and LP 2 on yellow.  Four 12 x 12 art prints are also included within the jacket famously designed by Peter Blake.

For Record Store Day 2020, The Who expanded their 1974 rarities collection Odds and Sods for a 2-LP, 25-song deluxe presentation.  This year, the band celebrates 40 years of 1981’s Face Dances with another double-disc, expanded presentation.  It’s due on Drop 1, June 12th, from Geffen Records in a limited edition of 6,500 copies.

Face Dances was the first of two Who studio albums recorded with drummer Kenney Jones following the 1978 death of Keith Moon.  While many missed Moon’s explosive and unpredictable touch, interest remained high and the album (produced by Bill Szymczyk ) peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the U.K. Albums Chart. 

The shimmering lead single “You Better You Bet” showed that Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and John Entwistle hadn’t missed a beat in a new decade. 

A tough but poppy tune with an irresistible call-and-response hook (“When I say ‘I love you,’ you say ‘You better!’”) .  Second single “Don’t Let Go the Coat,” a catchy ode to Meher Baba, was moderately successful.  Both songs were bolstered by the emergence of MTV; “You Better You Bet” was one of the first videos aired on the channel and the first to be repeated.

The first LP in the RSD reissue is the original album with its nine tracks. The second album, cheekily entitled Face Dances Part 3has another nine tracks beginning with a clutch of Session Rough Mixes.  These encompass the previously-issued outtakes “I Like Nightmares,” “It’s In You,” and “Somebody Saved Me” as well as the previously-unreleased “Dance It Away” and a take of “Don’t Let Go the Coat” with Townshend on lead vocals. 

Side Four has a quartet of live performances of Face Dances songs as recorded for Rockpalast in 1981.

The album was remastered and cut at half speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road.  LP 1 will be pressed on blue vinyl and LP 2 on yellow.  Four 12 x 12 art prints are also included within the jacket famously designed by Peter Blake.  The expanded Face Dances will be released for RSD Drop 1 on June 12th. 

“Face Dances” celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2021 with this 2-LP expanded coloured vinyl version, both discs have been mastered by Jon Astley and cut at Half Speed by Miles Showell at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios.

Disc One contains the newly re-mastered version of the album while Disc Two has a side of studio out-takes and four tracks from the bands Rockpalast show in 1981 which appear for the first time on vinyl. The vinyl is housed in a slim line 12” box with 4 bonus art prints of the band members.

The Who, “Face Dances” (Polydor WHOD 5037 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. HS 3516 (U.S.), 1981 – reissued Polydor/UMC, 2021) Record Store Day 2021

When Keith Moon died on September 7th, 1978, The Who were left without the driving force of their rhythm section, a larger-than-life drummer whose thunderous approach on the kit defined the band’s sound and changed the course of rock drumming. Even with this blow, guitarist and principal songwriter Pete Townshend announced the next day that the band “is more determined than ever to carry on.” They’d already signed deals for several projects and would soon be under contract to deliver albums to the label, the first of which would be “Face Dances”, featuring new recruits Kenney Jones on drums and John “Rabbit” Bundrick on keyboards.

But The Who’s first project following Moon’s untimely death wasn’t a forward-looking studio effort, but a pair of retrospectives: the Jeff Stein documentary The Kids Are Alright, which served somewhat as a tribute to Moon-era Who; and the film adaptation of Quadrophenia, itself based on an album that looked back on the band’s first decade, produced by bassist John Entwistle. The band was set to promote the projects with large-scale tours and had brought on ex-Faces drummer Jones to replace Moon.

“I thought that the best thing I could do was to play the way I play. That’s being honest,” Jones reflected decades later. “I tried to take the best of Keith Moon—all his great fills, which you have to do in certain songs—and use them selectively. But the style would finally be me. And that’s all I could do. I couldn’t do no more.”

His simpler, more pointed style on the kit nevertheless benefits Townshend, who is restrained in his playing both rhythm and solo guitar. Late bassist John Entwistle (who passed most unexpectedly on the eve of a 2002 tour) is likewise unencumbered by the need for keeping the beat, so his inimitably mobile instrumental work reminds of his crucial, stable presence in the group chemistry. As do his two original songs as both serve the same function his compositions always have on a Who album: to provide pacing.The Quiet One” manifests a light-hearted tone compared to the introspective material of the group’s titular leader, while the savage playing of “You” contrasts its more nuanced surroundings.  

For his part there, and throughout the record, Roger Daltrey completely inhabits the material. His voice and phrasing are particularly forceful on those numbers with which he readily identifies, such as “Daily Records,” and while there’s little if any profundity to be found in  “Another Tricky Day”(or much of trademarked Townshend the angst in a studio outtake titled “I Like Nightmares”), the frontman’s sly delivery suits the tone of that closing tune, indicative of the nuance he can bring to lyrics.

Jones’ first studio recordings with the band were “Get Out and Stay Out,”Quadrophenia outtake resurrected for the soundtrack, and “Joker James,” originally written in 1968. Though it was no easy task, Jones gelled with the band and with nearly constant tour dates stretching from spring of 1979 to summer of 1980—not to mention appearances with the other members of The Who on vocalist Roger Daltrey’s McVicar soundtrack project—he became integrated into a new well-oiled machine: The Who, mk. 2.

In early 1980, Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle, Jones and Bundrick set up at Odyssey Studios in London to begin recording what would become Face Dances. As was typical, Townshend had already recorded multi-layered home demos to present to the group , so it was down to the band to deliver its best performances, and for famed producer Bill Szymczyk to record and mix.

Sessions with Szymczyk—whose credits included Michael Stanley, Eagles and the J. Geils Band—were bumpy, as The Who felt the spark fading with each take. As Entwistle recalled, “He recorded everything in groups of three. I don’t like playing a backing track too many times. We’d get a really good one and he’d say, ‘Give me three more exactly the same.’ I lost a lot of confidence worrying about being brainwashed by the song, so I didn’t play as loosely as I might have.” And any momentum was stalled by more tour dates and Szymczyk’s commitment to mixing Eagles Live. Tracking for Face Dances continued at the end of the year and the band was pleased with what it played.

But final mixing was carried out by Szymczyk in Florida without the full band’s input, which led to unsatisfactory, glossy results. While the band blamed each other for what they felt was sub-par material, the album, released on March 16th, 1981, was nevertheless successful. 

While the magic of the Moon era might be missing in many spots, “Face Dances” still satisfies, with Daltrey delivering some fine interpretations of Townshend’s increasingly personal lyrics. And its sound, which lies somewhere between classic Who power-pop (“Daily Records”), punk (“Cache Cache”) and Police-like rhythms (“Don’t Let Go the Coat,” “Did You Steal My Money”), managed to reach audiences worldwide.

The flirtatious pop gem “You Better You Bet” was an early MTV staple and became the band’s last Top 20 single, featuring Entwistle’s self-referential “The Quiet One” on its B-side. In the U.K., the band appeared on the BBC’s Top of the Pops to promote the single. There, it reached #9. The breezy “Don’t Let Go The Coat,” inspired by Townshend’s spiritual mentor Meher Baba, Meanwhile, “Another Tricky Day” became a live staple for decades.

In all, Face Dances sees every member of The Who pouring all their energy into their music. In the fallout of Moon’s death, they were overwhelmed—not just by the tragedy of losing a friend and core member of the group, but also by a gruelling tour schedule, continuous side projects and a variety of personal issues. Somehow, they were able to direct all this energy into a fine studio effort that explores new and varied styles. It may not have hit the heights of their past glories, with the occasional belaboured performance and a certain studio sheen unusual for The Who, but it was a success and is far from the worst material The Who would scrape together.

As Townshend and Daltrey continue to look back on their albums with in-depth reissue campaigns (the most recent being a super-deluxe edition of 1967’s The Who Sell Out), one wonders what a deep-dive into 1979-1981 might look like and how it might reshape the narrative of Face Dances as a tired album.

On stage, the band was energized, and unreleased gems and jams show they still meshed. Might revealing monitor mixes exist showing an un-futzed-with Face Dances? Or compelling unreleased songs from Townshend’s library? Perhaps The Who will dust off such rarities in time and give the era its due with all the bells and whistles. Maybe it will give fans a new look at this relentlessly creative period. Until then, Face Dances serves as a document of The Who’s somewhat shaky reinvention just before things really crumbled.

It was reissued in expanded form in 1997 around the same time as other items in the iconic British band’s discography, but apart from a handful of the previously-unreleased studio and live tracks, it was hardly presented with the same discerning hindsight the group, in particular its titular leader Pete Townshend, has afforded other titles,  All the more reason, then, to crank up the volume when going back for a retrospective listen to this somewhat forgotten LP and thus at least simulate the accurately visceral punch: then, in a very practical way, it will foreshadow the healthy maturity and adherence to the style that reappeared thirty-eight years later on 2019’s WHO, the 2019 album that, perhaps not coincidentally, sported cover images by the very same graphic artist who commissioned the sixteen paintings on its predecessor. 

The Who have announced expanded editions of their 1967 album, The Who Sell Out. The new releases include 2-CD and 2-LP sets, as well as a 7-disc Super Deluxe Edition composed of 5 CDs and two 7-inch singles. The latter features the album in both mono and stereo plus previously unheard Pete Townshend demos, studio sessions, outtakes, unheard jingles and more. All arrive April 23rd, 2021, via Geffen/UMe.

The box set also features nine posters*, replica ephemera, and an 80-page hardbound book with rare photos and new liner notes by Townshend. There are 112 tracks in all, 46 of which are previously unreleased.  It also includes nine posters & inserts, including replicas of the 20″ x 30″ original Adrian George album poster, a gig poster from The City Hall, Newcastle, a Saville Theatre show 8-page program, a business card for the Bag o’ Nails club, Kingly Street, a Who fan club photo of group, a flyer for Bath Pavilion concerts including The Who, a crack-back bumper sticker for Wonderful Radio London, Keith Moon’s Speakeasy Club membership card and a Who Fan Club newsletter.

From the February 26th announcement: The Who Sell Out was originally planned by Townshend and the band’s managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, as a loose concept album including jingles and commercials linking the songs stylized as a pirate radio broadcast. This concept was born out of necessity as their label and management wanted a new album and Townshend felt that he didn’t have enough songs.

The ground breaking original plan for Sell Out was to sell advertising space on the album but instead the band opted for writing their own jingles paying tribute to pirate radio stations and to parody an increasingly consumerist society. Pete Townshend demos of “Pictures of Lily,” “Kids! Do You Want Kids” and “Odorono” .

The homage to pop-art is evident in both the advertising jingles and the iconic sleeve design created by David King who was the art director at the Sunday Times, and Roger Law, who invented the Spitting Image TV show. The sleeve features four advertising images, taken by the renowned photographer David Montgomery, of each band member: Odorono deodorant (Pete Townshend), Medac spot cream (Keith Moon), Charles Atlas (John Entwistle) and Roger Daltrey and Heinz baked beans. The story goes that Daltrey caught pneumonia from sitting in the cold beans for too long.

“We were hoping to get free Jaguars,” said Townshend last year. “We got 50 free tins of baked beans!”

The Who‘s third album followed 1965’s My Generation (released in 1966 as The Who Sings My Generation in the U.S.) and 1966’s A Quick One (released in 1967 as Happy Jack in the U.S.). Those first two achieved top 5 sales in the U.K. Despite the band’s success on the singles chart, with five top 5 U.K. hits under their belts, The Who Sell Out peaked at just #13 there. It reached just #48 in America. The album’s “I Can See For Miles” made it to #10 in England and #9 in the U.S. It remains their biggest American pop hit.

The homage to pop-art is evident in both the advertising jingles and the iconic sleeve design created by David King who was the art director at the Sunday Times, and Roger Law, who invented the Spitting Image TV show. The sleeve features four advertising images, taken by the renowned photographer David Montgomery, of each band member: Odorono deodorant (Pete Townshend), Medac spot cream (Keith Moon), Charles Atlas (John Entwistle) and Roger Daltrey and Heinz baked beans. The story goes that Daltrey caught pneumonia from sitting in the cold beans for too long.

Those lackluster sales would change in May 1969 with the release of the rock opera, Tommy, a 2-LP set which reached #2 in the U.K. and #4 in the U.S.

A deluxe edition of The Who Sell Out was previously released in 2009

Buy Online The Who  - Live 1970 Limited Edition Red

The Who, live from the Tanglewood Music Centre, Lenox, MA on 7th July 1970. The Who toured North America in the summer of 1970 playing 22 dates in medium and major markets to capacity crowds. They had just released their now iconic live album, “Live At Leeds” on May 23, culled from a performance just three months prior. It was a simple affair compared to the complex “Rock Opera” Tommy and would stand as a bench mark for what a live album was, and standard bands still strive for today. The final date on the tour was at the Music Shed at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA. The venue had been sporadically used by concert promoter Bill Graham, who was known for his eclectic bills that would blend different musical genres. The bill for this concert was rather straight forward, The Who was the headline act over Jethro Tull and It’s A Beautiful Day. Graham would also video record many of the acts that appeared at his venues, the recording of this performance by The Who is one of the most vivid documents of the band from this era, surprisingly it has never seen a full official release.

The audio portion of this concert is the subject of this new release. The sound is a perfect soundboard recordings, if one did not known you would think it’s an official release. Perfect balance, perfect frequency range, virtually no hiss or signs of over mastering, just incredible sound that’s even better at loud volumes, the one word that sums it up is stunning. There has been one previous release of this material, “Tangled Up In Who” (Hiawatt CE9802/3), being pressed way back in 1998, long out of print. This new release is promoted as being from a better source so an audio upgrade is certain.

A great Bill Graham intro starts the proceedings, “For us it’s always a privilege…on bass Mr. John Entwistle…on vocals Mr. Roger Daltrey…on drums Mr. Keith Moon…on vocals and lead guitar Mr. Peter Townsend, The Who”… Bill, the pleasure is all ours. The set list is standard to this era, Entwistle’s fabulous Heaven And Hell is the opener, with I Can’t Explain, the new (and as of then unreleased) song Water and “Young Man Blues£ are all regulars. “I Don’t Even Know Myself” made its debut June 16th in Berkeley and by this point it’s also a regular, taking the spot previously held by The Seeker.

“Tommy”still makes up a major portion of the set list, the band dropped Sally Simpson from the piece and is the better for it. By this point they had been playing “Thomas” since May 1969 and were very fluent in their delivery. During the intro Pete references playing New York’s Metropolitan Opera House and those concerts being the last performances of “Tommy”, when in fact they had been playing it this entire tour. This concert at Tanglewood would be the last performance in the United States for 19 years. Being the last concert in the states the band turn a very powerful version, quite focused and the “See Me, Feel Me” finale brings down the Shed. Pete gives a nice farewell speech at the “Opera’s” conclusion, telling the audience it’s been “THE most enjoyable tour we’ve done of this country” and then they hammer out a devastating version of “My Generation”, frickin blistering ending to the concert, if this doesn’t get you moving, my friend, nothing will.

The packaging is basic colour inserts with live shots of The Who in action, all very dynamic looking. This is classic Who, Golden haired Daltry, Townsend in his jump suit, Entwistle in his tailored outfits, and a young fit and trim Moonie all over the place. This is an essential Who recording, a very easy listen and a typical 1970 performance, the band were in their stride as a live act cementing this fact for the next decade, and beyond.

Following relentless touring, a triumphant appearance at Woodstock and the release of Live At Leeds, by mid-1970 the Who were widely regarded as the greatest live rock’n’roll band in the world. Originally performed for broadcast on WBCN-FM, the explosive set presented here from Tanglewood Music Centre, Lenox, MA on 7th July 1970, finds them tearing through “Tommy” and other live favourites, and is accompanied by background notes and images.

Release Date: 26/03/2021

It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when The Who weren’t ubiquitous, practically synonymous with loud rock concerts. For U.S. audiences, their real breakthrough came in 1967 with their appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Here they showed their talents as a singles band with “Happy Jack” and “Substitute,” they demonstrated their penchant for art-rock with their rock opera “A Quick One While He’s Away,” and nearly stole the show with simply smashing finale to “My Generation.” Now that career-changing performance makes its way to red, white, and blue striped vinyl for Record Store Day Drop 3. Limited to just 6,500 copies, you’ll want to drive that magic bus to your local shop and get in the queue!.

The Who’s set at the Monterey festival in 1967, including tales of psychological warfare with Jimi Hendrix, upsetting Ravi Shankar and more… On June 18th 1967, The Who brought what Rolling Stone called their “pulverising music” to the Monterey International Pop Music Festival at the Monterey County fairground, California. Among the festival’s organisers were John Phillips of the harmony group The Mamas And The Papas and The Beatles’ press officer Derek Taylor. The organisers had pledged the festival’s profits to charity, and asked the bands to perform for free. Most accepted, albeit grudgingly, except Indian composer and sitar player Ravi Shankar who pocketed $3,000 for his afternoon performance.

As The Who had only just dented the US market, co-manager Chris Stamp agreed to the group playing for nothing. Stamp had recently permed his hair to look more like his hero Jimi Hendrix, discovered LSD and embraced what he called “love and communication… and all that shit.” But he was still compos mentis enough to know this was a good opportunity for The Who.

The other acts on the Monterey bill included Country Joe And The Fish, Jefferson Airplane and Scott McKenzie, whose hit San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) was now an anthem for what critics were calling ‘the summer of love’. The stage was wide open for a loud, aggressive group from England.

The Who were due to play on Sunday evening and arrived the day before. Pete Townshend watched Otis Redding work his magic on Saturday night, but America’s take on psychedelia left him cold. “The effect of LSD on American music made it crap, with very few exceptions,” he complained.

If ever The Who had the opportunity to, as Townshend put it, “leave a wound” it was now. But they weren’t the only Track Records act on the bill. “The Who paid my fare home,” says Keith Altham, who covered the festival for New Musical Express, “but Jimi Hendrix paid for my flight out.” To add to the frisson, The Who and fellow Track act Hendrix were both due to play on Sunday evening. By then, as many 80,000 people had passed through the gates into the fairground or congregated outside, hoping to see and hear something, anything. The festival had also attracted unprecedented media coverage, with over 1,000 journalists besieging Derek Taylor’s press tent.

“I wasn’t wearing a psychedelic shawl. It was a tablecloth I bought in Shepherd’s Bush.” Roger Daltrey

Backstage, the Grateful Dead’s sound engineer turned chemist, Owsley Stanley, was distributing free LSD trips and Rolling Stone Brian Jones was drifting around dressed like a Regency prince, but looking, as Keith Richards once said, “like a ghost about to leave a séance”. Roger Daltrey recalls Jones joining him, Janis Joplin, The Mamas And The Papas’ Mama Cass and Jimi Hendrix for a jam session in the dressing room under the stage.

Jimi was playing Sgt. Pepper on his guitar,” said Daltrey. “But, and this was the amazing thing, he was playing all the parts. He would go from a bit of orchestration, to a vocal part, to a solo – the whole thing on one guitar.” The others stood and watched, accompanying Hendrix by beating out a rhythm on anything close to hand.

Others remember it differently. Pete Townshend recalled arguing with Hendrix about who would go on first, as neither wanted to follow the other. At one point Hendrix stood on a stool in front of Townshend to show off on the guitar, as if to say, “Don’t fuck with me, you little shit.” In the end, John Phillips suggested they toss a coin. Townshend won.

The Animals’ frontman Eric Burdon, his Newcastle accent now softened by California or drugs or both, introduced The Who as “a group that will destroy you completely in more ways than one”. Behind him, the band crashed into Substitute followed by Summertime Blues. It was hard to imagine anything more removed from The Mamas And Papas’ passive California Dreaming or anything else played that weekend.

The Who tore through Pictures Of Lily, A Quick One, While He’s Away, Happy Jack, and My Generation. Instead of peace, love and flowers, they offered wanking, pervert train drivers, adolescent turmoil, and Pete Townshend hacking away at the stage with his guitar, like a lumberjack trying to dismember a log with a blunt axe. In the subsequent Monterey Pop movie, you can hear the gasps from the audience as stagehands rush on to salvage the broken equipment. Ravi Shankar watched the performance and was disgusted by “their lack of respect for their music and their instruments.”

“The effect of LSD on American music made it crap.” Pete Townshend

There was an air of English decadence about The Who at Monterey. In their paisley jackets, Edwardian ruffles and puffed sleeves, the group looked like a gang of marauding dandies. In 2005, Keith Altham recalled that Moon had accessorised his outfit with a necklace made from human teeth. Even Daltrey, who’d rarely worn targets and chevrons in The Who’s pop art days, had joined the revolution. The cape draped around his shoulders was an explosion of red, brown and burnt orange hues, described in New Musical Express as “a heavily embroidered psychedelic shawl”. In fact, it was nothing of the sort. “It was a tablecloth I bought in Shepherd’s Bush market,” Daltrey admitted. “But it did the job.”

Later, Brian Jones introduced Jimi Hendrix as “the most exciting guitarist I’ve ever heard”. Townshend watched Hendrix’s set with Mama Cass: “He started doing this stuff with his guitar. She turned around to me, and said to me, ‘He’s stealing your act.’ And I said, ‘No, he’s doing my act’.”

Townshend has since achieved a Zen-like calm on the subject of Jimi Hendrix, but Daltrey still sounds defensive. “I always have to defend The Who when people start raving about Hendrix at Monterey, and what he was doing,” he huffs. “It was totally nicked from The Who.” Daltrey was right – until Hendrix sprayed his guitar with lighter fluid, set it on fire and tossed the charred remains into the audience. Keith Altham remembers running into a subdued Townshend at San Francisco airport the next day, and being warned not to just write about Jimi. “Hendrix triumphed at Monterey,” Altham points out now, “but it was The Who that had drawn first blood.”

The Who: The Who – ‘WHO’ (7” Boxset w/ Live At Kingston CD)

The Who announced the upcoming release of “WHO: Deluxe Edition”, featuring their latest album, a new Pete Townshend remix of “Beads On One String” (under the moniker Yaggerdang), and a clutch of live recordings from earlier this year called Live At Kingston”The collection will be available as a 2-CD set or in a special limited edition 6×7″/1-CD set bringing together the CD of concert material and 6 singles with songs from the album. The 2-CD set arrives October 30th while the vinyl/CD set is due for release on December 4th.

As their first album of new material, WHO reminded fans of the lasting power of one of rock’s greatest groups. Pete Townshend’s latest compositions like “Hero Ground Zero,” “Detour,” “All This Music Must Fade,” and “Beads On One String” sound both current and timeless. Townshend’s blend of symphonic rock, blues, and power-pop were matched by Roger Daltrey’s strong, expressive vocals. With a killer cast of musicians backing Townshend and Daltrey up, “WHO” has proved vivacious and worth revisiting.

To promote the album, The Who staged four intimate acoustic shows at PRYZM in Kingston upon Thames. Billed as their smallest-capacity shows in four decades, these shows are the most recent live recordings from The Who.

The WHO, live performances from their February 2020 club dates which celebrated the 50th anniversary of their historic concert at Leeds University. The first two of four acoustic concerts were held on February. 12th, followed by two more on the 14th. All four were instant sell-outs when tickets went on-sale in mid-December. All were held at a venue called Pryzm in Kingston-Upon-Thames, U.K., outside of London, which is miles away from the university where they famously performed exactly 50 years earlier, on February 14th, 1970.

The setlist for both of the Feb. 12th shows was just eight songs, spanning early favorites like “Substitute” and “The Kids Are Alright” through two tracks from the well-received December 2019 release, WHO. Those in attendance on Feb14th were treated to two additional songs when the Who offered a bit of Eddie Cochran’s “Three Steps to Heaven” and gave their first live performance since 2008 of their own “Tattoo.”

To get a sense of how intimate the concerts were, here’s a clip from the early show on Feb 14th, where Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend talk about their attempt to score a #1 album for the new album, only to be blocked, as Townshend recalls, by “that f**king c*nt Rod Stewart. We love him… actually he’s an old buddy of ours.” After more back-and-forth and thanking the fans, they perform “Behind Blue Eyes.”

Seven songs from those February 2020 shows make their physical debut here. Among them, the live staples “The Kids Are Alright” “Substitute,” the fan-favorite “Tattoo” (played on stage for the first time since 2008) and pair of songs from “WHO”. In the vulnerable setting of this intimate gig, The Who present slightly stripped-down arrangements of the jaunty, Simon Townshend-penned “Break The News” and the jazzy “She Rocked My World.” All this before a show-stopping “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

As for the new remix of “Beads On One String” – released today as a digital single – here’s what Pete Townshend had to say:

‘Beads On One String’ is a co-write with Josh Hunsacker who I met on Soundcloud. He wrote the music, I wrote the lyric and vocal melody. In 1932 on a visit to London, the spiritual master Meher Baba said that he had come to draw all the religions of the world together like beads on one string. We wait in hope, with love.

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The ‘Beads On One String’ remix was an adventure to try to recapture some of the subtleties of my first solo demo. I love the studio version, but this remix by Myles Clarke and myself returns to the original synthesizer demo shared with me by my co-writer Josh Hunsacker. I also play bass rather than the genius Pino Palladino (I’ve got some nerve) and we removed the real drums and returned to computer drum tracks programmed by my co-producer Myles Clarke. We also restored Roger’s vocal track to its first incarnation which is more heartfelt. This is a gentler version of this song, less demanding perhaps, less bullying about our need to cut each other space, each on our own path. Why does it need to be more gentle than the album version? Because it must stand alone in a period when each of us is tempted to blame someone else for our troubles, maybe even God whoever we take her/him/both to be. I’m hoping it sounds less rock, and more modern indie-pop to new listeners.”

Taken from WHO 2020 Deluxe with Live At Kingston, Out 30th October

This new deluxe edition of WHO finds the band revitalized in the studio and onstage. Whether you missed out on The Who’s triumphant return the first time around or you want to complete your collection, the deluxe edition of WHO will be one to look out for. (Note that the previously issued bonus tracks “This Gun Will Misfire,” “Got Nothing to Prove,” “Danny and My Ponies,” and “Sand (Demo)” – the latter a Japan exclusive – are all absent from this reissue.) check out Pete “Yaggerdang” Townshend’s remix of “Beads On One String,” released today across platforms.

The Who has one of the greatest rock legacies in music history – they’re one of the all-time great live bands, have sold over 100 million records worldwide, and had 10 US and 11 UK top ten albums and 14 UK top ten singles in a career spanning six decades.

WHO was mostly recorded in London and Los Angeles during spring and summer 2019 and was co-produced by Pete Townshend and Dave Sardy (who has worked with Noel Gallagher, Oasis, LCD Soundsystem and Gorillaz) with vocal production by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Roger Daltrey, Wilko Johnson). Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend are joined on the album by long-time Who drummer Zak Starkey, bassist Pino Palladino along with contributions from Simon Townshend, Benmont Tench, Carla Azar, Joey Waronker and Gordon Giltrap.

Limited Edition Numbered 7” Boxset includes WHO pressed on 6 x 7” vinyl pieces all with individual artwork + Live at Kingston Bonus CD, a special acoustic performance recorded on 14th February 2020, 50 years to the day since the seminal Live at Leeds show.

The Who will bring their archival “Join Together @ Home” concert series to a close over the next two weeks with a rare 2006 show from the Moon and Stars Festival at the Piazza Grande in Locarno, Switzerland. Rounding off our Join Together @ Home series we have two very special performances for you for the next two weeks. We scoured the archives for this one!.

The concert’s pro-shot video will be split over a pair of free broadcasts on Saturday, September. 5th and Saturday, September 12th (airing at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET).“It’s a very special show,” frontman Roger Daltrey said in an official statement. “I didn’t even remember this film existed! We were getting together after a three-year hiatus. The show was in an extraordinary place, in the town square, with people dancing on their balconies. I have very fond memories of it.” The 2006 gig also includes the live debut of “Greyhound Girl,” a Pete Townshend track that was only played one additional time in the band’s history. “Greyhound Girl,” was originally supposed to be a part of the infamous Lifehouse sessions which was never happened unless you have all the songs that was supposed to make it in the Lifehouse collection and piece them together. They recorded this and Mary but the tape was damaged beyond repair. I think it could have been repaired like Time is passing but version of that song that exists as a studio demo.

Pete Townshend performs Greyhound Girl in Switzerland. By request.

Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the British rock group The Who, appears on a giant video screen in the outfield of Shea Stadium in New York, October13, 1982, as the band tours for the last time in America. (AP Photo/Paul Burnett)

The Who may have been forced to delay their 2020 tour plans due to the pandemic, but they’re trying to make it up to fans by launching Join Together @ Home on YouTube this weekend. It’s a six-week series that will showcase “live and rarely seen footage, mini videos and special screen footage, culminating with a performance from a previously unreleased show,” according to a press release.

The series kicks off on Saturday August 8th at 1:00 pm EST with five songs from the Who’s 1982 show at Shea Stadium, a legendary gig from their “farewell” tour that featured the Clash as their opening act. It will begin with a “red carpet premiere clip from Roger Daltrey.” The videos will be free of charge, but viewers will be encouraged to donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America.

Late last year, the Who released “Who”, their first collection of original material since 2006’s Endless Wire and only their second since 1982’s It’s Hard. They supported it with a tour where they were backed by local symphonies and a set that was heavy on tunes from Tommy and Quadrophenia.

The Who kicked off 2020 by celebrating the 50th anniversary of their historic show at Leeds University, playing a series of intimate, acoustic concerts at PRYZM in London. It was meant to be the kickoff event for a big year, but everything else was delayed due to the pandemic. Their plan now is to resume touring in March 2021 with a run of European arena dates, but that is obviously contingent on the live music business resuming by that point.

The band has yet to announce any of the subsequent videos for the Join Together Youtube series, but they have been filming select concerts going back to the Sixties and have an extensive vault. The Who – Live At Shea Stadium 1982 ‘Join Together @ Home’ is a new series of special performances from The Who streaming worldwide exclusively on YouTube. The first set features some very special performances from our show at Shea Stadium in 1982 and will be live from 6pm UK time for 7 days.

 

One of the very first ‘rarities’ collections, released to try and defeat the bootleggers, the original 11-track album was released on the Track Records label in September 1974.Compiled in band down-time by bass guitarist John Entwistle, it includes the single ‘Long Live Rock’, the unedited unreleased version of ‘The Seeker’, the studio version of ‘Young Man Blues’, alternative versions of ‘Dogs Part Two’ and ‘Water’, amongst many other gems. This reissue includes the original LP sequence on disc one and adds 14 bonus tracks – B-sides, rarities & extras on disc two, ‘Odds & Sods Too’ – to create a definitive, 25-track double LP.

The stunning artwork and design restore the original ‘die-cut’ front sleeve and includes all Pete Townshend’s original track annotation. Graham Hughes shot the cover for Odds and Sods – “I’d stayed up the night before with Letterset, designing the letters on the American football helmets with each of the band’s names printed on. When I finally managed to get them together in one place, which happened to be the bathroom, Pete and Roger’s helmets didn’t quite fit so that’s why their wearing each other’s. That Quadrophenia tour wasn’t very pleasant and the band were arguing a lot. When I showed Pete the blow-up of the cover, he didn’t like it and told me so. I was so frustrated by this time, I started ripping it up . . . That’s when he decided he liked it! I stuck it back together with adhesive tape and Roger said, ‘call it a bunch of odds and sods.”

Tracklisting:

LP1 / SIDE A –
1. Postcard, 2. Now I’m A Farmer, 3. Put The Money Down, 4. Little Billy, 5. Too Much Of Anything, 6. Glow Girl

LP1 / SIDE B –
1. Pure And Easy, 2. Faith In Something Bigger, 3. I’m The Face, 4. Naked Eye, 5. Long Live Rock

LP2 / SIDE A –
1. Zoot Suit (remix with fade), 2. Here Tis (only previously released on 30 Years… box set), 3. Leaving Here (from ‘Pye’ acetate), 4. Baby Don’t You Do It (from ‘Pye’ acetate), 5. Young Man Blues (alternate studio version, included on 1998 CD), 6. Dogs Part Two (B-side, the single mix; included on Tommy SDE), 7. Here For More (B-side single mix), 8. The Seeker (long unedited version; unreleased)

LP2 / SIDE B –
1. Heaven And Hell (B-side single mix), 2. Don’t Know Myself (B-side single mix), 3. When I Was A Boy (B-side single mix), 4. Waspman (B-side single mix), 5. We Close Tonight (included on 1998 CD), 6. Water (B-side single mix

recordstore day

The Who’s American Album Chart Debut

The American market wasn’t fully ready for The Who when they made their album debut with ‘My Generation’ at the end of 1965. Second time around, they cracked it, winning their first appearance on the US album chart 48 years ago today, on May 20th, 1967 — but only after a delayed release and a title change.

With the US release coming five months after the UK, The Who’s American label, Decca Records, decided that the band’s second LP ‘A Quick One’ should be renamed there for their song that was climbing the Hot 100 at the time. ‘Happy Jack’ had been a top three UK hit in January, but wasn’t included on the album ‘A Quick One.’ That wouldn’t do for Decca, who removed the album’s one cover a nod back to their soul and R&B roots with a cover of Martha Reeves & the Vandellas ‘Heat Wave’ — and replaced it with ‘Happy Jack,’ which would become The Who’s first US top 30 hit in early June. The song features Roger Daltrey on lead vocals with John Entwistle singing the first verse, making it one of the few songs composed by Pete Townshend to feature Entwistle on lead vocals. Author Mike Segretto describes Daltrey’s vocal as “imitating Burl Ives”. At the tail end of “Happy Jack”, Townshend can be heard shouting “I saw you!”; it is said that he had noticed drummer Keith Moon trying to join in surreptitiously to add his voice to the recording, something the rest of the band would try to prevent (Moon had a habit of making the other members laugh). critic Dave Marsh calls this line “the hippest thing” about the song.

According to some sources, Townshend reported the song is about a man who slept on the beach near where Townshend vacationed as a child. Children on the beach would laugh at the man and once buried him in the sand. However, the man never seemed to mind and only smiled in response. According to Marsh, “the lyric is basically a fairy tale, not surprisingly, given the links to Pete’s childhood”.

Daltrey reportedly thought the song sounded like a “German oompah song”. But Chris Charlesworth praised the “high quirky subject matter” and “fat bass and drums that suspend belief”. Charlesworth particularly praised Moon’s drumming for carrying not just the beat, but also the itself, in what he calls “startlingly original fashion”.

The album also featured one of John Entwistle’s best-loved songs, ‘Boris The Spider’ (a title that he and Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman came up with after a night out drinking); two Keith Moon compositions, ‘I Need You’ (his first-ever song for the band) and the highly percussive ‘Cobwebs and Strange’; and a mod favourite that the band are currently reviving on their ‘Who Hits 50’ anniversary tour, ‘So Sad About Us.’

Happy Jack back

After ‘A Quick One’ reached No. 4 in the UK in January, the ‘Happy Jack’ version opened on Billboard’s Top LPs at No. 184, in between albums by Jimmy Ruffin and Dean Martin. It climbed steadily for the next nine weeks, peaking at No. 67 in June.