The Who seeking fans’ odds and sods

Looking "to complete a thorough trawl of their archives," the Who is reaching out to fans for archival material. "Anything that is out there that anybody's got that they think we might be interested in" should be in touch, said band songwriter and guitarist Pete Townshend. The Who organization followed up on Townshend's plea of a month back, confirming they're in search of "rare and lost recordings." "The band is looking for rare radio and TV performances, home movies from gigs, extraordinary bootleg material, demos, unusual photos and memorabilia for their 50th anniversary releases," a press release of Aug. 5 said. "If you think it's rare, we’d like to see it!" The band -- a duo, really, of survivors Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey -- talked about the search for rareities … [Read more...]

Beatles, T. Rex, Dead, Doors open 2014

The new year brings new collections starring the Beatles, T. Rex, the Doors, the Small Faces and, of course, the good old Grateful Dead. And there's word of a long-awaited audiophile release of a psychedelic masterpiece. Apple continues to rework the Beatles catalog, this time with a rerelease of the U.S. albums on Capitol. These albums still have their Baby Boomer fans, of course, but collectors offer a collective shrug at "The U.S. Albums" box set, as the discs reportedly offer little more than a shuffling of the remastered music from 2009. So no love for the Capitol engineers who sought to "Americanize" the lads' sounds with washes of reverb and bullshit Duophonic stereo. For the most part, you'll get the latest official U.K. versions of the songs, fashioned into what were … [Read more...]

Chris Stamp dies; boosted Who, Hendrix

Chris Stamp, longtime co-manager of the Who, has died at age 70. The band called the loss "hard to bear." Roger Daltrey paid tribute while the Who was performing in Detroit, saying that without Stamp, "we wouldn't be the band we were." In 1963, Stamp and his filmmaking partner Kit Lambert bought out the Who's original manager and guided the band to international fame. Daltrey later wrote that Lambert was an "expert in cool, menace, and scams." Stamp produced the Who's fourth album, "Magic Bus" (a U.S. compilation), and went on to executive-produce "Tommy," "Who's Next" and "Quadrophenia." In 1966, Stamp and Lambert launched Track Records as a vehicle for the Who. The indie label's first single was "Purple Haze," by London underground sensation Jimi Hendrix. Track then released … [Read more...]

No. 42: ‘The Who Sell Out’

"Are you a mod or a rocker?" the reporters asked Ringo. "No," he always said. "I'm a Mocker." Once upon a time, the Who were Mockers, too. Their third album, "The Who Sell Out," is a blast, full of fun and fire, with no fewer than a half dozen killer songs. A vocal minority of critics and fans consider the 1967 album the band's best. The space between Who songs goes to a running spoof of pop radio and advertising. There are pirate radio PSAs ("Go to the church of your choice") and a series of goofy adverts: some by Pete Townshend, and some cooked up in a pub by Keith Moon and John Entwistle. The concept album -- using the term loosely but correctly -- also served as a farewell to the Orrible Who's youth, with its balls-to-the-wall pop singles. After "Sell Out," it was time for … [Read more...]

Townshend book asks: ‘Who He?’

The Who mastermind Pete Townshend has signed a book deal for his "honest" memoirs and is closing in on a 2012 publishing date. "I am lucky to be alive and to have such a crazy story to tell, full of wild adventures and creative machinations," said Townshend, whose career with the Who and as a solo act bridges five decades. He turned 66 a few days ago. Harper Collins has worldwide rights and expects to release the Townshend book in the fall of next year. The publisher did not specify a title, but it appears to "Who He?" (Update: The book was titled "Who I Am.") Townshend's partner Roger Daltrey is bringing his current tour of the rock opera "Tommy" to North American in the fall, but its creator won't be along this time out. "I will be there in spirit and Roger has my complete and … [Read more...]

‘Tommy’ back on video: It’s a Blu-ray

Here we have high-definition high concept: The visual freak show "Tommy" on Blu-ray. Sony says the version of Ken Russell's "Tommy" on Blu-ray comes "newly restored and remastered" for its Sept. 7 release. The original 5.0 "quintaphonic" soundtrack returns from previous DVD versions, this time rendered in lossless audio. The regular Dolby 5.1 mix also has been remastered. Lovers of the "Tommy" album looking for an amazing journey in sonics had best return to their SACD discs, however, as this movie's soundtrack doesn't feature the original 1968 recording. Instead, mainstream actors and a handful of rock stars help the Who perform Pete Townshend's rock opera. (It's a good 20 minutes into the film before we hear the 'orrible Who do their thing.) "Tommy," of course, stars the … [Read more...]

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