Pete Townshend – General Introduction

Pete Playing With The Who In 1972. His Leaps Were A Trademark Move Along With His Windmills.

Pete Playing With The Who In 1972. His Leaps Were A Trademark Move Along With His Windmills.

Notwithstanding the scope and quality of his solo output, Pete Townshend will always be remembered as the driving force behind The Who. The fact remains that Pete always had such an attachment and belief on the band that his solo career took a long time to start in earnest. That is, his first solo releases were not really that – both “Who Came First” and “Rough Mix” were large scale collaborations, as if Pete wanted to dilute by all means the fact that he was recording with someone who was not his beloved band.

Come the early eighties, though, his one love had become quite fragmented and the will to strike out on his own was strengthened. The death of Keith Moon was the obvious catalyst, but he also found it uneasy trying to communicate to a younger public. And one of his recurrent themes was always that of youth and its connection with ideals and dreams. All he could do was study the evolution of these themes along with his already-established fan base.

He did so in his first solo disc, “Empty Glass” (1980). It would prove to be his most successful offering, although the second one (“All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes”, 1982) was also praised critically, even when it sometimes sank under its own pretensions.

Pete then released the first of many collections of demos. Those “Scoops” as he were to name them were invariably intoxicating to fans, for two reasons. The first was that Pete played every instrument himself, and he did so suiting the style of each member of The Who. The second was that his vocal delivery was always very removed from that of Roger, not only in terms of range but mainly in terms of interpretative force. Roger was always a ballsy performer, and his energy was to take some songs such as “Who Are You” into territory different to the one Pete had originally conceived. Continue reading

Who’s Next (The Who) – Album Review (Part 2)

Remember to check out Part 1 in order to learn about the context in which Who’s Next was born.

Doing a quick recap, Pete’s “Lifehouse” project had failed to materialize and it had exhausted the band while driving him to a nervous breakdown. The Who decided to salvage what they could and had Glyn Johns assemble a single disc with the best of the new material.

Glyn Johns did something more than assembling the disc that we know as “Who’s Next”. He actually produced it, and his expertise was specially noticeable when we compare this record with any of the albums that Lambert had mastered. It comes as no surprise that Lambert never produced a Who album again. His lack of technical skill, his lax bookkeeping, his growing disconnection with the band… he (and partner Chris Stamp) would be out of the picture within a year. And a lengthy litigation would ensue. Continue reading

Who’s Next (The Who) – Album Review (Part 1)

A Symbol Of Alienation Meets Rock & Roll

A Symbol Of Alienation Meets Rock & Roll

Pete Townshend was always one to push boundaries. After conceiving the first rock opera in history, it was only natural that he would continue leading The Who into uncharted territories. But this time there would be trouble ahead, for the first time in his artistic career.

As everybody and his wife knows, the album we know as “Who’s Next” is nothing but the salvage job of a project of Pete named “Lifehouse”, a project that would finally be realized in the year 2000 with Pete’s solo release of the “Lifehouse Chronicles” boxed set, and that was to resurface in several guises all through the years before that. Continue reading