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Re: More comments on new tunes
I have really enjoyed the conversation around the two new Who songs. It is
truly amazing and interesting to read the varying opinions. As a lurker on
this subject, I decided to step in and make a few comments.
Like many, I was disappointed at first at both Old Red Wine and Real Good
Looking Boy. Both seemed to fall a little short. That does not mean I did
not like the songs, it just means that I guess I expected more (unfairly).
To the "Anthem" discussion that is circulating, I guess I was looking for a
knock 'em down type of songs that proclaim the Who sound is alive. Instead,
I heard two Townshend demo's that feature Roger Daltrey as the singer. Plus,
as others have said, they had a Daltrey solo album sound too.
The Who has always been a live band and never truly captured their sound on
record. They do it on stage. For instance, has anyone heard the Old Red Wine
improv from Toronto 2002, or other small pieces of it from late on that
tour? That was a Who song (even without John Entwistle, which I will get to
in a moment), it had the crafty intro, Towshend improv vocals, followed by a
guitar rant. Good stuff. I guess when I heard that one of the new songs
would be that, I guess I expected it to be "better". I guess it is a little
unfair to expect Townshend to generate a Who's Next or Tommy. That is one of
the main reasons he has shied away from recording, because he does not
believe he will match that prolific writing time in his life.
I think these two new songs prove one thing...John Entwistle's quiet power
drove the Who sound. If you have heard the Empty Glass version from the Face
Dances reissues (or Who Are You...I forget), that was a Townshend demo that
included overdubs of Entwistle's bass. Compare that to Pete's version on
Empty Glass. Give me "The Who" version anytime. Or, listen to the Townshend
Quad demos, then listen to the Quad album, or even better the Quad
soundtrack. If he was around, these songs would have had a fuller sound.
That is not to knock the musicians in the band now, it just points out his
influence was key to the creating the sound we all enjoy.
I bet that if Daltrey and Townshend decided to make that album they have
suggested, there are hundreds of pieces of music that could be worthy and
lead to a fine album. Maybe not an album that sells 10 million copies, but
one that captures their sound and words. Maybe they should go back and
develop that Crossroads thing from the my Generation Jams some more.
However, to pull of this together, if you sit back and just listen and not
think too much about why the songs sound like they do, or what the words
mean, or how would they sound with Entwistle here, they are good songs. Not
great. Not earth shattering, but good songs. Songs I am glad that have been
released. Actually, I was thrilled to kick back and listen on Saturday when
I purchased them from I-Tunes.
Unfortunately, these new songs will not get a lot of airplay now. Space is
so tight given in influx of talk radio, advertising (I suspect that there
will not be a tremendous expenditure by Geffen), and strict formats that
there may not be a place for them. They are not classic rock, not adult
contemporary, nor modern rock. They do not fit well. That is not to knock
the songs, they just do not seem to have a place in the radio arena.
However, if The Who, Who2, or whoever they are do tour, they will get market
Just my comments.