New single is from forthcoming album on Dec 6th
The Who release the third track from their forthcoming critically acclaimed album Who which will be released on December 6th on Interscope Records. The new song “I Don’t Wanna Get Wise” is described by Pete Townshend, “I wrote this in a mid-‘70s style, like a song from an album like Who By Numbers. Warning: don’t get old. You might get wise.”
The bonus tracks for the deluxe versions the album have also been revealed including two previously thought “lost” tracks from the 1960’s – “Got Nothing To Prove” and “Sand.” The former on the deluxe CD and the latter on the triple red, white and blue colored vinyl edition.
Of these tracks, Pete Townshend recalls, “Both these songs are from the Summer 1966; they would not have been rejected by the band members but rather by my then creative mentor, Who manager Kit Lambert. In 1967, when the song seemed destined for the bottom drawer, I did fer ‘Got Nothing To Prove’ to Jimmy James and the Vagabonds who used to support us at The Marquee in 1965. I remember playing him the demo at my house in Twickenham. They were still managed by Peter Meaden who had been so influential on me in particular in the short period he was our PR man in late 1964. Jimmy liked the song, and suggested making it more R&B, in a slower tempo, but nothing happened. I have a feeling Kit may have felt the song sounded as though it was sung by an older and more self-satisfied man than I was in real life. That would have applied to Roger too I suppose. Now, it works. Back then, perhaps it didn’t. Dave Sardy and I decided to ask George Fenton to do a “Swinging Sixties” band arrangement to make the song more interesting, but also to place it firmly in an Austin Powers fantasy. I love it”
Of the track “Sand” that will be released as a red vinyl 10” as part the triple vinyl package, Pete says, “’Sand’ came from the same period. This is a simple idea, about a sunny beach vacation romance that doesn’t last once the lovers get back home to the rain. Again, Kit passed on this, even as an album track, and it simply got filed away. I have always loved it, but have been waiting for computers to get smart enough to fix some the tape stretch problems that had affected the demo. I also revived this in my home studio by doing roughly what I felt the Who would have done had this ever been recorded by them. So there is added backing vocals, Rickenbacker, and acoustic 12 string, and a feedback section to properly evoke the era. These probably really belong on one my Scoop albums, but I did present them to our A&R man Richard O’Donovan who felt, and I agree, that these two tracks remind new Who fans the lo-fi method that all Who songs came from in the early years, and the sheer joy I experienced being a One-Man band in my home studio, long before such things were common. This is Who history after all, and it doesn’t all belong to Obsessive Collectors.”
The deluxe CD Who also features “This Gun Will Misfire” and “Danny & His Ponies,” two tracks recorded and sung by Townshend during the sessions for the album.
The eleven track album was mostly recorded in London and Los Angeles during Spring and Summer 2019 and was co-produced by Pete Townshend & D. Sardy (who has worked with Noel Gallagher, Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, 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, drummers Carla Azar and Joey Waronker, bass player Gus Seyffert and Gordon Giltrap.
The album cover has been created by famed pop artist, Sir Peter Blake who first met the band in 1964 at a taping the legendary TV show Ready Steady Go. Sir Peter designed and contributed a painting to the sleeve The Who’s album Face Dances in 1981.
The songs on Who cover a myriad subjects including the Grenfell Tower fire, musical theft, spirituality, reincarnation, the power memory and ‘an old rock star that has lost his marbles’. Singer Roger Daltrey rates it amongst their strongest “I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973, Pete hasn’t lost it, he’s still a fabulous songwriter, and he’s still got that cutting edge”.
After their triumphant return to Wembley Stadium in the Summer, the band will be embarking on a UK tour featuring a full orchestra in Spring 2020.