A ca­reer of note

Pete Town­shend shows off his best work in ‘Tru­ancy - The Very Best of Pete Town­shend’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

As The Who’s prin­ci­pal song­writer and lead gui­tarist, Pete Town­shend helped to craft some of the most in­flu­en­tial rock mu­sic of all time, from Bri­tish In­va­sion era hits like The Kids Are Al­right and My Gen­er­a­tion to epic works like Tommy and Quadrophe­nia.

Had he done noth­ing be­fore or af­ter, Town­shend’s work with The Who would still have guar­an­teed his place in the up­per reaches of the rock strato­sphere.

But Town­shend was never one to sit on his lau­rels.

As a solo artist he has re­leased more than a dozen record­ings over the past 30 odd years, sev­eral of which pro­duced hits for him, sin­gles like Let My Love Open The Door and Rough Boys off of Empty Glass and Face The Face off of White City.

While not ev­ery­thing he re­leased proved to be com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful, Town­shend has amassed a re­spectable body of work, one that regularly re­ceived praise from both the mu­sic press and from his peers.

Some of the finest mo­ments from that body of work have been cho­sen for in­clu­sion in a new com­pi­la­tion al­bum cel­e­brat­ing Town­shend’s ac­com­plish­ments as a solo artist.

Re­leased just two weeks ago, “Tru­ancy - The Very Best of Pete Town­shend” fea­tures 15 songs culled from nine of his key record­ings, plus two new songs, Guan­tanamo, a po­lit­i­cal state­ment about the con­tro­ver­sial U.S. mil­i­tary de­ten­tion fa­cil­ity in Cuba and How Can I Help You, writ­ten about a friend go­ing through a very tough time.

“Tru­ancy”, which is part of an ex­ten­sive reis­sue pro­gram for Town­shend’s solo ma­te­rial that will see his cat­a­logue re­mas­tered and re­worked into 2016, was re­mas­tered at Abbey Road Stu­dios and fea­tures new liner notes and an in­tro­duc­tion to the two new songs by Town­shend.

In ad­di­tion to the tracks men­tioned, “Tru­ancy” fea­tures such Town­shend trea­sures as The Sea Re­fuses No River and Face Dances Pt. 2 from All The Best Cowboys Have Chi­nese Eyes and Keep Me Turn­ing from Rough Mix, which also fea­tures Ron­nie Laine.

Town­shend says he hopes the record of­fers a se­lec­tion of ma­te­rial that will help draw new fans to his solo work.

“I am a bit of a dab­bler I’m afraid,” Town­shend says in a note from his record la­bel. “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.”

If this record rekin­dles your in­ter­est in The Who you might also want to look into a sec­ond re­lease.

Just last month Deutsche Gram­mophon/Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic Clas­sics re­leased “Clas­sic Quadrophe­nia”, a new sym­phonized ver­sion of the orig­i­nal “Quadrophe­nia” al­bum re­leased by The Who in 1973.

The new 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 and the Royal Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra.

Rat­ing: 3 1/2 out of 4 stars.


Pete Town­shend’s solo projects pro­vide the ma­te­rial for a new com­pi­la­tion record­ing. The iconic rocker hopes record­ing will in­tro­duce his solo ef­forts to a new au­di­ence.

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