June 30th sees the release of Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend as part of a new deal with Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).
The 17-track album features two brand new songs and is part of an extensive reissue program for Townshend’s solo material that will see his catalog remastered and reworked running into 2016.
Truancy was remastered at Abbey Road Studios, features new liner notes, an introduction to the two new songs by Townshend and highlights from nine key Townshend albums including the singles – “Rough Boys,” “Let My Love Open The Door,” “Face Dances (Pt. 2),” “English Boy” and “Face The Face.”
“I hope it offers a selection that works to introduce new fans to my solo work,” Townshend says of the project. “I am a bit of a dabbler I’m afraid. I am as interested in building, developing and playing with recording studios as I am with making music. The Who has taken up most of my road hours, and in this year of the 50th anniversary of our first significant year in 1965, we are back on the road again.”
The two new, previously unreleased songs exclusive to this collection are “Guantanamo” and “How Can I Help You.”
“I thought this song might never see the light of day, but now President Obama has relaxed sanctions in Cuba, it is a happy sign he might go further,” Townshend states of “Guantanamo.” “Technically this was created in rather a laborious way. I recorded a long organ drone using my vintage Yamaha E70 organ (used many times by me on Who and solo recordings in the past), and then cut it into something that sounded like a song using a feature unique to Digital Performer called ‘chunks.’ This creates blocks of groups of tracks that can be assembled and disassembled easily, like cutting multitrack analogue tape with a razor blade, but with less blood. The lyric grew out of the implicit angry frustration in the organ tracks.”
Townshend again, “‘How Can I Help You’ was inspired partly by the frustrating emotional difficulties experienced by a valued colleague. He was in great physical pain and it drove him into depression. I performed an acoustic version of the song on my partner Rachel Fuller’s webcast show ‘In the Attic.’ I began this recording with an acoustic guitar, added drum loops and breaks then Gretsch and Rickenbacker 12-string guitars and John Entwistle’s hybrid Thunderbird-Fender Precision bass.”
1. Pure And Easy (from Who Came First)
2. Sheraton Gibson (from Who Came First)
3. Let’s See Action (Nothing Is Everything) (from Who Came First)
4. My Baby Gives It Away (from Rough Mix)
5. A Heart To Hang On To (from Rough Mix)
6. Keep Me Turning (from Rough Mix)
7. Let My Love Open The Door (from Empty Glass)
8. Rough Boys (from Empty Glass)
9. The Sea Refuses No River (from All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes)
10. Face Dances (Pt. 2) (from All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes)
11. White City Fighting (from White City)
12. Face The Face (from White City)
13. I Won’t Run Anymore (from The Iron Man)
14. English Boy (from Psychoderelict)
15. You Came Back (from Scoop)
16. Guantanamo (New song)
17. How Can I Help You (New song)
On June 9th, Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music Classics will also release Classic Quadrophenia, a new “symphonized” version of the album Quadrophenia originally released by The Who in 1973. The Classic Quadrophenia recording features Alfie Boe as Jimmy, Pete Townshend as The Godfather, Billy Idol as Ace Face/Bell Boy and Phil Daniels (the star who played Jimmy in the original movie version of Quadrophenia) as Dad. Also featured on the recording are the London Oriana Choir with Choirmaster Dominic Peckham, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ziegler and orchestrations by Rachel Fuller.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.