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Can You Believe The Who Hits 50?
The band that influenced generations with albums such as Who's Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia and My Generation is turning 50 this year. To celebrate this momentous occasion the band is releasing The Who Hits 50! compilation album, as well as what Roger Daltrey has explained as "the beginning of a long goodbye" North American and UK tour.

Building up to the 50th anniversary we asked the cognoscenti among the community of thewho.com to vote on their favorite lesser known gems from each of The Who’s 11 studio albums.

Working with Pete Townshend on curating these fan favorites, The Who Jukebox is proud to present three gems from each of The Who's 11 albums. Accompanying these tracks are anecdotes by Pete himself!

Enjoy!



Photo credit: The Who Archive at Trinifold
"These were lonely times for me. The only action I saw,
and there was a lot of it, was travelling to gigs all over Britain ..."

This album was cobbled together very quickly in the studio. Shel Talmy didn’t want to spend more than a couple of days, and it felt very rushed. The fact that some of the music is good is because Kit Lambert had us rehearse it exhaustively prior to the session. The songs were nearly all written at my flat in Chesham Place in Belgravia, where I had been installed on the top floor, in a kind of Eagle’s Eyrie looking down at the trees, and in those days the almost empty streets, so as to be near to Kit so he could guide my writing. A couple of the songs may have been started at my very first ‘studio’ at the flat above my parent’s home in Woodgrange Avenue in Ealing – this was the flat I shared with my art school buddy Barney. Kit had suggested I buy a couple of Vortexion tape machines, and I was perfecting the art of bouncing from track to track, later from machine to machine, and by the time I wrote the songs for the MY GENERATION album I was getting pretty good at it.

These were lonely times for me. The only action I saw, and there was a lot of it, was travelling to gigs all over Britain in the back of an old lorry, doing shows, and then traveling back. I had few friends outside my times with Kit and his business partner Chris Stamp. If you read my book, you will find I had a brief affair around this time with Kit’s secretary Anya. That was almost the only action I saw. The rest of the time I worked in my studio.

The three songs that have been chosen here were all triggered by what should have been a wonderful diversion for me. At a show in Chippenham I met a pretty, very voluptuous Mod girl who I invited to Chesham Place. She threw herself into my life so immediately that it frightened me, and I shooed her away. Left alone again, I started to see myself as a young man who was part of the Mod gang, aloof to the attractions and unconscious scheming of the girls around us, who only wanted to ensnare us, get pregnant and tie us down. I knew that very few of the young men who were Mods who followed The Who in these early days had proper girlfriends. It was the fashion of the time to pretend to be inviolable on the subject of love and marriage. And so these songs came from me, and this brief affair, but were written to chime with the fashionable mood of the times. Men among men, who only cared about music, dancing and finding the right pair of shoes.

It’s Not True was a response to what some female fans of the band were saying about me. The few letters they sent that I opened always upset me. Some thought I was gay. Some thought I was secretly married. It galvanised my sense of independence. There is a line that could be misconstrued: “….I’m up here and you’re down there, it’s not true, so there….:” I was writing up in my ivory tower, looking down at the street, where I watched the girl from Chippenham stride petulantly homeward after we had argued. I tried not to care.

The Good’s Gone was another song written straight after the same lost affair. I’d been speaking to a friend of mine in another band about why, despite the fact that after sex we felt a massive high (what I now know is ‘afterglow’, a rush of body chemicals), we also felt a depressing crash that sex could never feel as good again.

A Legal Matter speaks for itself. My girlfriend from Chippenham was never my wife, but as I watched her move elegantly around my little kitchen, tidying things up, then cleaning the bath tub, I pictured the divorce of the future. ‘Marrying’s no fun’.

Tracklisting:

Disc No:1

  1. OUT IN THE STREET
  2. I DON’T MIND THE GOOD’S GONE
  3. LA-LA-LA LIES
  4. MUCH TOO MUCH
  5. MY GENERATION
  6. THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
  7. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
  8. IT’S NOT TRUE
  9. I’M A MAN
  10. A LEGAL MATTER
  11. THE OX CIRCLES
  12. I CAN’T EXPLAIN
  13. BALD HEADED WOMAN
  14. DADDY ROLLING STONE

    Disc No:2

  1. LEAVING HERE (Alternate)
  2. LUBIE (COME BACK HOME)
  3. SHOUT AND SHIMMY (LOVE IS LIKE A)
  4. HEAT WAVE
  5. MOTORING
  6. ANYTIME YOU WANT ME
  7. ANYWAY, ANYHOW, ANYWHERE (Alternate)
  8. INSTANT PARTY MIXTURE
  9. I DON’T MIND (Full-length version)
  10. THE GOOD’S GONE (Full-length version)
  11. MY GENERATION (Instrumental version)
  12. ANYTIME YOU WANT ME (a cappella version)
  13. A LEGAL MATTER (Monaural mix)
  14. MY GENERATION (Monaural mix)


     


"This was a wonderful album to make. Kit Lambert produced it, and although he was a completely new boy ... "
...and really didn’t know what he was doing technically speaking, he made the whole business really enjoyable. We recorded in several small London studios. Regent Sound was the name of one of them, in Denmark Street. It soon moved to somewhere a little larger, where we recorded my first ‘Mini-Opera’ that gave the album its name.

Run, Run, Run was written against a tape loop of handclaps I put together. I wrote it for Speedy (John Kean) and his band The Cat. It is a parody of the way many Tamla Motown songs of the time were based on aphorisms and old wives’ warnings.

So Sad About Us was another song written for Speedy. This was actually written in his house in Ealing. Kit recorded it with his Liverpudlian duo the Merseybeats. This could well be another song about the girl from Chippenham. Listen – there weren’t many girls. OK?

Don’t Look Away is about the possibility of friendship after a break up. It seemed to me that when my friends’ relationships ended, partners became enemies. Roger was the exception. He had a wonderful way of staying close to his ex-girlfriends.

Original sleeve design and illustration by Alan Aldridge.

Tracklisting:

  1. RUN RUN RUN
  2. BORIS THE SPIDER
  3. I NEED YOU
  4. WHISKEY MAN
  5. HEATWAVE
  6. COBWEBS AND STRANGE
  7. DON’T LOOK AWAY
  8. SEE MY WAY
  9. SO SAD ABOUT US
  10. A QUICK ONE, WHILE HE’S AWAY
  11. BATMAN
  12. BUCKET T
  13. BARBARA ANN
  14. DISGUISES
  15. DOCTOR, DOCTOR
  16. I’VE BEEN AWAY
  17. IN THE CITY
  18. HAPPY JACK (Acoustic Version)
  19. MAN WITH THE MONEY MY GENERATION / LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY
 

 


"This is an album that I should probably have produced. My skills in the studio had surpassed Kit’s ..."

This is an album that I should probably have produced. My skills in the studio had surpassed Kit’s, and my work producing Substitute should have made it clear that I had produced as powerful a studio sound for the Who as Shel Talmy had done. I started, and with Chris Stamp came up with the idea for a record that would be like a radio show, with commercials. But the band was too busy on the road for me to do any post-production work, and of course I had to keep writing songs.

Kit did a mostly great job. I Can’t Reach You was a surprise to me. I wondered why Kit included it, and why he wanted me to sing it. I still don’t really understand. It might be that he had some difficulty with Roger at the time, or the way Roger worked in the studio. This song is the first tangible manifestation in a song of the way my romantic mechanism was evolving into a kind of spiritual metaphor. I wanted something more than a girlfriend (by this time I was with the fabulous Karen Astley, who couldn’t have been more beautiful or cool).

Our Love Was is probably about the distinction between my very few sad affairs before I met Karen and the wonderful heights I reached with her. As a lyric it works well to mirror the extremes of being young, and the even further extremes caused by the use of amphetamines.

Sunrise. This is a song famously written for my mother. In fact it was probably written fairly aimlessly, but I made the mistake of playing it to my mother, on the guitar, singing, in her kitchen. Either she was embarrassed or was not impressed. All she said was that it was very nice. It is very, very nice.

The original sleeve design was by David King and Roger Law and photographed by David Montgomery.

Tracklisting

  1. ARMENIA CITY IN THE SKY
  2. HEINZ BAKED BEANS
  3. MARY ANNE WITH THE SHAKY HAND
  4. ODORONO
  5. TATTOO
  6. OUR LOVE WAS
  7. I CAN SEE FOR MILES
  8. I CAN’T REACH YOU
  9. MEDAC
  10. RELAX
  11. SILAS STINGY
  12. SUNRISE
  13. RAEL 1
  14. RAEL 2
  15. GLITTERING GIRL
  16. MELANCHOLIA
  17. SOMEONE’S COMING
  18. JAGUAR
  19. EARLY MORNING COLD TAXI
  20. HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING
  21. GIRL’S EYES
  22. MARY ANNE WITH THE SHAKY HAND (Alternative Version)
  23. GLOW GIRL

 


"1921 speaks for itself ..."
1921 speaks for itself, but gives away the fact that Kit and I decided early in the development of Tommy that the story such as it was should span two wars, two generations, not one. As such it indicated an impossible allegory that later translations of the story in film and on stage could not really rest on.

Go To The Mirror was obviously written specifically to advance the story in the opera. If it is connected unconsciously to any aspect of my own psyche it demonstrates that I believe women can be easily as scary as men when they get angry.

Sally Simpson is a rock-opera in itself. Most Who fans will know how it was inspired. We played in support of The Doors in New York and one of their fans jumped on stage to touch Jim Morrison’s face and was thrown back into the crowd by a security guy or a roadie. She cut her own face, and Jim and I both consoled her after the show. It stuck in my mind as an image.

Original sleeve design by Michael McInnerney with booklet photography by Barrie Meller.

Tracklisting:

Disc No: 1

  1. OVERTURE
  2. IT’S A BOY
  3. 1921
  4. AMAZING JOURNEY
  5. SPARKS
  6. EYESIGHT TO THE BLIND (THE HAWKER)
  7. CHRISTMAS
  8. COUSIN KEVIN
  9. THE ACID QUEEN
  10. UNDERTURE
  11. DO YOU THINK IT’S ALRIGHT?
  12. FIDDLE ABOUT
  13. PINBALL WIZARD
  14. THERE’S A DOCTOR
  15. GO TO THE MIRROR!
  16. TOMMY, CAN YOU HEAR ME?
  17. SMASH THE MIRROR
  18. SENSATION
  19. MIRACLE CURE
  20. SALLY SIMPSON
  21. I’M FREE
  22. WELCOME
  23. TOMMY’S HOLIDAY CAMP
  24. WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT
  25. SEE ME, FEEL ME / LISTENING TO YOU

Disc No: 2

  1. I WAS
  2. CHRISTMAS (Out-take 3)
  3. COUSIN KEVIN MODEL CHILD
  4. YOUNG MAN BLUES (Version 1)
  5. TOMMY, CAN YOU HEAR ME? (Alternate Version)
  6. TRYING TO GET THROUGH
  7. SALLY SIMPSON (Out-takes)
  8. MISS SIMPSON
  9. WELCOME (Take 2)
  10. TOMMY’S HOLIDAY CAMP (Band’s Version)
  11. WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (Alternate Version) 25. DOGS (PART 2)
  12. IT’S A BOY (Stereo-only Demo)
  13. AMAZING JOURNEY (Stereo-only Demo)
  14. CHRISTMAS (Stereo-only Demo)
  15. DO YOU THINK IT’S ALRIGHT? (Stereo-only Demo) PINBALL WIZARD (Stereo-only Demo)

 

 


"This album grew out of my writing for LIFEHOUSE ..."

This album grew out of my writing for LIFEHOUSE. Again, most Who fans will know that by now. But several of the songs for LIFEHOUSE were written merely to provide low level atmosphere to the story that was on one level a love story between the hero and his girl, who was of course called ‘Mary’ (another song from the first collection). When Glyn decided to include Love Ain’t For Keeping on the single album he compiled for Who’s Next, at first I objected. “It’s a throwaway.’ Glyn replied menacingly as he chopped up tape with a razorblade. ‘That’s why I’m putting it just here in the running order.’

The Song Is Over was the finale of LIFEHOUSE, including a reference to the pivotal song Pure And Easy that Glyn left out of the album’s final running order. The story of LIFEHOUSE ends, as most of my stories for rock-operas have ended, inconclusively. The audience have disappeared (much as Tommy’s acolytes vanish at the end of that story) and the hero is left alone in an empty theatre to grope for meaning and redemption, and finds it as he realise the spiritual significance of what has happened.

Going Mobile was intended to counterbalance Baba O’Riley. The latter was my opening song, a battered old camper van careers across a devastated landscape. It is a bleak and worrying image. Going Mobile, coming later in the story, celebrated the upside of being free to roam like a gypsy, not tied to a home that has become a cell, dependent on air-conditioning and (what we now know as) Broadband for survival.

Original album photography by Ethan A. Russell with original sleeve design by Kosh.

Tracklisting (The original release consisted of nine tracks):

DISC NO:1

  1. Track List BABA O’RILEY
  2. BARGAIN
  3. LOVE AIN’T FOR KEEPING
  4. MY WIFE
  5. THE SONG IS OVER
  6. GETTING IN TUNE
  7. GOING MOBILE
  8. BEHIND BLUE EYES
  9. WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN
  10. BABY DON’T YOU DO IT
    (Record Plant Sessions)
  11. GETTING IN TUNE (Record Plant Sessions)
  12. PURE AND EASY (Record Plant Sessions)
  13. LOVE AIN’T FOR KEEPING BEHIND BLUE EYES (Record Plant Sessions)
  14. WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN (Record Plant Sessions)

    DISC NO:2

    1. LOVE AIN’T FOR KEEPING (Live at the Young Vic)
    2. PURE AND EASY (Live at the Young Vic)
    3. YOUNG MAN BLUES (Live at the Young Vic)
    4. TIME IS PASSING (Live at the Young Vic)
    5. BEHIND BLUE EYES (Live at the Young Vic)
    6. I DON’T EVEN KNOW MYSELF (Live at the Young Vic)
    7. TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING (Live at the Young Vic)
    8. GETTING IN TUNE (Live at the Young Vic)
    9. BARGAIN (Live at the Young Vic)
    10. WATER (Live at the Young Vic)
    11. MY GENERATION (Live at the Young Vic) (I’M A)
    12. ROAD RUNNER (Live at the Young Vic)
    13. NAKED EYE (Live at the Young Vic)
    14. WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN (Live at the Young Vic)


"On top of that I wanted to reach Wagnerian heights in the music ..."
I’m One is without question one of my best songs. My working method had, by the time of this album, become clearly enough enshrined for me to know exactly how to avoid letting too much of myself into my songs unconsciously. In other words, if I felt it was useful to let myself in, I would allow it. But for this song, my hero Jimmy was the voice, and he – unlike me – not only found it difficult to feel he fitted in anywhere, but was also a failure. These were emotions I’d felt as a young teenager, like most of us have felt. So I tapped into them here.

I’ve Had Enough is another song that was written using the same technique: where I felt it was useful to tap into my own frustration and rage I did so, but I also hauled in the powerfully grandiose drug-fuelled machismo of the boys I’d seen in the fighting at Brighton. (I take this even further in Doctor Jimmy).

Doctor Jimmy was a monumental challenge. I wanted to begin to combine some of the four musical motifs for the first time (remember that I wrote the overture – Quadrophenia – after I wrote Doctor Jimmy). On top of that I wanted to reach Wagnerian heights in the music, to indicate just how nuts the boy had become by this time. I parodied a horn theme from Wagner’s Ring Cycle to show that Jimmy had decided he had become like a winged God riding through the heavens on a unicorn in one of the greatest operas ever written.

Front cover photography and design were by Graham Hughes from an idea by Roger Daltrey. Booklet and back cover photography were by Ethan A. Russsell.

 

Tracklisting:

Disc No: 1

  1. I AM THE SEA
  2. THE REAL ME
  3. QUADROPHENIA
  4. CUT MY HAIR THE PUNK AND
    THE GODFATHER
  5. I’M ONE
  6. THE DIRTY JOBS
  7. HELPLESS DANCER
  8. IS IT IN MY HEAD?
  9. I’VE HAD ENOUGH

DISC NO:2

  1. 5’15
  2. SEA AND SAND
  3. DROWNED
  4. BELL BOY
  5. DOCTOR JIMMY
  6. THE ROCK
  7. LOVE, REIGN O’ER ME

 


"I had returned to Lifehouse again, and would do so many times in the subsequent years ..."

I wrote a lot of songs for this album. I had the benefit of the studio in the country that I had built to mix QUADROPHENIA, and enlisted help for the first time in my song demos. Rod Houison helped build my studio and maintain it and Dick Hayes (a Who roadie) came in to engineer. I have spoken about how surprised I was at the songs Roger chose to record first.

Slip Kid is a giveaway. I had returned to LIFEHOUSE again, and would do so many times in the subsequent years, and Slip Kid was a song I write after doing a second draft of the first pretty naive film script I’d written in 1971. Like Run, Run, Run it was recorded against a tape loop, this time a very long one on half-inch tape that was laced around several mike stands in my control room, covering a large area.

Imagine A Man is a song that was a literal imagining. I wanted to write about someone who had reached a crisis in his life. At the time of writing I had not reached any kind of crisis of my own, but a few months after the release of the album I began to identify with the singer of the song who is invoking the listener to identify with the sad man who has given up all hope. It was the song that was famously regarded by some as ‘Townshend’s suicide note’. ‘….and you will see the end….’ doesn’t mean death, but a spiritual end, a rising up that is reflected in the hopeful rising chords of each chorus. At its most basic it is a no pain, no gain song.

In A Hand Or A Face is one of a group of very barbed songs I wrote that some took as a reflection of some trouble I was in. If shades of life on the road figured in my writing, and the characters I met on the road seemed to be the only ones who featured, that’s because we were on the road too much. Round and round and round.

Tracklisting

  1. SLIP KID
  2. HOWEVER MUCH I BOOZE
  3. SQUEEZE BOX
  4. DREAMING FROM THE WAIST
  5. IMAGINE A MAN
  6. SUCCESS STORY
  7. THEY ARE ALL IN LOVE
  8. BLUE RED AND GREY
  9. HOW MANY FRIENDS
  10. IN A HAND OR A FACE
  11. SQUEEZE BOX (Live)
  12. BEHIND BLUE EYES (Live)
  13. DREAMING FROM THE WAIST (Live)


"This album was most emphatically intended as a revisit to Lifehouse. Roger and I discussed a new way to tell the story, and ‘bring it up-to-date’"
This album was most emphatically intended as a revisit to LIFEHOUSE. Roger and I discussed a new way to tell the story, and ‘bring it up-to-date’. In one of these brainstorms he and I came up with the idea of having an actual encounter between the LIFEHOUSE rebels, with their feeble folk music, and the government forces with their huge mobile sound systems. It was this idea that is the one that the band Queen and their writer Ben Elton have been accused of borrowing for their theatre musical. It is similar, but not quite the same, and of course in our case was never realised or even advanced. It was this script that I eventually presented to the film director Nic Roeg, who demurred.

New Song – with the benefit of hindsight, and the fact that punk emerged during the time I was writing some of these songs – predicates the need for change in music, even a change in its function. Of course, in the song the setting is the future, a dystopian vision of a war between real musicians and a vapid world of commercial music controlled by what we might now regard as ‘internet’ barons. Prescient of both punk and the internet, it’s a strange song, but my demo is probably more powerful than the final Who version. I used an ARP polyphonic synthesiser on the track, the first one they made.

Sister Disco. I used my huge ARP synthesiser’s sequencer to create a set of pre-written arpeggios that I could trigger by pressing buttons. The effort that went into it was out of all proportion to the end result. Our keyboard player – newly hired at the time – Rabbit, complained that he couldn’t work out how I’d played it, and was relieved to hear I’d done it with a mini-computer.

Love Is Coming Down. I was immensely proud of this, but when I played it to my friend Ron Geesin, he hated it. Several Who fans hated it. The musical structure is complex and – in my opinion – quite advanced. The recording was fastidious, and I invented some extraordinary new techniques to be able to get it down on tape. I seem to remember the song is written about the dilemma we face that God’s ‘love’ often seems unkind, brutal or even vengeful.

Original sleeve photography by Terry O’Neill. Design by Bill Smith.

Tracklisting

  1. NEW SONG
  2. HAD ENOUGH
  3. 905
  4. SISTER DISCO
  5. MUSIC MUST CHANGE
  6. TRICK OF THE LIGHT
  7. GUITAR AND PEN
  8. LOVE IS COMING DOWN
  9. WHO ARE YOU
  10. NO ROAD ROMANCE
  11. EMPTY GLASS
  12. GUITAR AND PEN (Olympic ’78 Mix)
  13. LOVE IS COMING DOWN (Work-In-Progress Mix)
  14. WHO ARE YOU (Lost Verse Mix)


"Cache Cache is a song I wrote about being stoned and bleak enough to walk into the legendary bear-pit in Berne ..."

Cache Cache is a song I wrote about being stoned and bleak enough to walk into the legendary bear-pit in Berne during a very depressing European Who tour, only to find that the bears had been taken away for the winter, and would be unable to eat me. It’s about being lost.

Did You Steal My Money. Read my book for my version of the full story, which is not – by the way – the version told by some of the other people involved.

Daily Records is a curio. It speaks of the joy of making music, but when I wrote it I was separated from my wife and family, living alone in a flat in Chelsea (London) and recorded music obsessively whenever I could simply because it felt to me to be the only thing I could do well, and that made me feel fulfilled. I wrote Somebody Saved Me around the same time, and that was probably more indicative of my true state of mind at the time.

Tracklisting

  1. YOU BETTER YOU BET
  2. DON’T LET GO THE COAT
  3. CACHE CACHE
  4. THE QUIET ONE DID YOU STEAL MY MONEY?
  5. HOW CAN YOU DO IT ALONE?
  6. DAILY RECORDS
  7. YOU
  8. ANOTHER TRICKY DAY
  9. I LIKE NIGHTMARES
  10. IT’S IN YOU SOMEBODY SAVED ME
  11. HOW CAN YOU DO IT ALONE? (Live)
  12. THE QUIET ONE (Live)


"I hesitate to try to explain what it was about. It’s clearly about the absurdity of drug-fuelled grandiosity ..."
Before we started recording this album I knew it would be the last for a very long time. I had decided that I couldn’t continue to be in a hugely successful band and rebuild my private life and make serious solo records. I asked the other three guys what kind of songs they wanted me to write, and they all agreed they wanted to play music that connected them with the streets, the neighbourhoods they grew up in, and the struggles that faced by ordinary people.

Cook’s County (it should have been Cook County) was written after I’d read about the troubles at the only hospital in the USA (in Chicago) that had up until then managed to provide subsidised treatment for black and coloured people in the housing projects (estates) of the area.

Eminence Front was written around a chord progression I discovered on my faithful Yamaha E70 organ. This organ is almost a synthesiser rather than an organ, using entirely analogue synthesis chips to create its unique sound. I hesitate to try to explain what it was about. It’s clearly about the absurdity of drug-fuelled grandiosity, but whether I was pointing the finger at myself or at the cocaine dealers of Miami Beach is hard to recall.

Cry If You Want. This was written for my second solo album. I had attempted to record it several times, and never been in good enough health to tackle such a storm of guitar work. Kenney Jones had worked with me on it, and so all that was required was for Roger to sing it. And the lyric was as much of a challenge as the guitar part, but he did a great job. He memorised the whole song before he recorded it and did it in a couple of takes.

Original sleeve design, concept and photography by Graham Hughes.

Tracklisting

  1. ATHENA
  2. IT’S YOUR TURN
  3. COOKS COUNTY
  4. IT’S HARD
  5. DANGEROUS
  6. EMINENCE FRONT
  7. I’VE KNOWN NO WAR
  8. ONE LIFE’S ENOUGH
  9. ONE AT A TIME
  10. WHY DID I FALL FOR THAT?
  11. A MAN IS A MAN
  12. CRY IF YOU WANT
  13. IT’S HARD (Live)
  14. EMINENCE FRONT (Live)
  15. DANGEROUS (Live)
  16. CRY IF YOU WANT (Live)


"Ah! The album none of us thought we would ever see! This is the product of yet another rock-opera set aside to provide a few songs for a Who album ..."

Ah! The album none of us thought we would ever see! This is the product of yet another rock-opera set aside to provide a few songs for a Who album. In this case the story was The Boy Who Heard Music, as yet a work-in-development as a theatre piece, one that may or may not one day see the light of day. None of the three songs that have been selected here were written for the opera.

Two Thousand Years is about the period between the cycles of the Avatar, Christ or Prophet – which Meher Baba suggested was somewhere between 700 and 1400 years. Christians are still waiting of course for the second coming. This is written from the point of view of the Christ himself, who waits for us to realise that – whether we believe or not – he has been with us all the time, and will manifest when we are ready to see him.

It’s Not Enough was written against a music track recorded by my partner Rachel Fuller and her musicians. The lyric was actually written for her, we both always feel that life never quite delivers the right quantities of whatever it is that we love most about being alive.

Black Widow’s Eyes was written about the female suicide bombers from Chechnya who helped to blow up a school full of child hostages in Russia. As a song it can take a position that is impossible to take in daily life: that the eyes of a beautiful woman whose body is hidden by a burqaa can suggest her beauty in such a way that we might ‘fall in love’ with her, even as she blows herself to pieces, maybe even because of her willingness to sacrifice herself. It was an audacious piece of lyric writing, and very complex acoustic guitar work, and I was surprised and pleased that it became a staple of Who shows promoting the album.

Design and art direction by Richard Evans, utilising elements created with the Visual Harmony software designed by Dave Snowdon and Lawrence Ball.

Tracklisting

  1. FRAGMENTS
  2. A MAN IN A PURPLE DRESS
  3. MIKE POST THEME
  4. IN THE ETHER
  5. BLACK WIDOW’S EYES
  6. TWO THOUSAND YEARS
  7. GOD SPEAKS OF MARTY ROBBINS
  8. IT’S NOT ENOUGH
  9. YOU STAND BY ME
  10. SOUND ROUND
  11. PICK UP THE PEACE
  12. UNHOLY TRINITY
  13. TRILBY’S PIANO
  14. ENDLESS WIRE
  15. FRAGMENTS OF FRAGMENTS
  16. WE GOT A HIT
  17. THEY MADE MY DREAM COME TRUE
  18. MIRROR DOOR
  19. TEA & THEATRE
  20. WE GOT A HIT (Extended Version)
  21. ENDLESS WIRE (Extended Version)