Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Pete Townshend - Who Demos, Volume 2: 1966-1968

I recently posted an album of Pete Townshend's demos of Who songs from 1964 to 1965. This is a sequel to that, dealing with the years 1966 to 1968. Naturally, the series will continue until the end of the Who's main era, through 1982.

I love virtually all of the Who's studio work, but I especially enjoy this era, roughly covering the "A Quick One" and "The Who Sell Out" albums, plus assorted singles. It seems we only are lucky enough to get a random grab bag of demos from this time. It so happens that most of the songs are from 1966, and just one song - "I Can See for Miles" - is from "The Who Sell Out." Hopefully, many more of Townshend's demos will be officially released someday. There also is one demo - "Sensation" - that's an early version of a song from the 1969 album "Tommy."

Only five of the songs here have been officially released, all of them on the demo compilations "Scoop" and "Another Scoop." But that's okay, because the other songs generally have a similar sound quality. One exception is "I'm a Boy." The sound quality for that one is pretty good, except there's a fair amount of popping and crackling. I'm guessing someone recorded an acetate record, which quickly degraded each time it was played. But the song is still worth inclusion, especially because it's a lot longer than the single, and has some extra lyrics.

Some of the other songs have significant differences with the Who versions, for instance "Magic Bus" and "Dogs." But, generally speaking, these demos aren't like normal demos in that they sounded good enough to be released at the time.

01. Substitute (Pete Townshend)
02. Run Run Run (Pete Townshend)
03. Disguises (Pete Townshend)
04. Happy Jack (Pete Townshend)
05. Don't Look Away (Pete Townshend)
06. I'm a Boy (Pete Townshend)
07. So Sad about Us (Pete Townshend)
08. I Can See for Miles (Pete Townshend)
09. Magic Bus (Pete Townshend)
10. Pictures of Lily (Pete Townshend)
11. Dogs (Pete Townshend)
12. Melancholia (Pete Townshend)
14. Sensation [Early Demo] (Pete Townshend)


I'm not sure when or where the photo for the cover art comes from. But clearly Townshend is playing a 12-string guitar in a studio. Based on his appearance, I'd guess it's from 1966 or 1967. Oh, by the way, the photo ended right above Townshend's head. I did a little Photoshop work to extend the background higher.

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