Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Genius That is...Pete Townshend


 
You all know that The Beatles are my all-time favorite band and Blur are right up there, too. Well, The Who are also right behind The Beatles for a variety of reasons (which I'll get into in a detailed post in the future), but one of the main reasons is the fact that they were led by the man who I consider to be the equal to Lennon and McCartney as the 20th century's greatest rock songwriters, not just from England, but worldwide: Pete Townshend. For both musical scope, ambition, emotional impact (so many Who songs can make you want to punch something and then cry like a baby within the span of a minute...listen to: Bargain, for example), and one of his most underrated talents, fantastic lyrics.  He's also one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived and one of my main influences, both when I was learning to play and write, and to this day.

I'll expound on both The Who and Pete in detailed (UPDATE 8/18/14: I've done just that, see links to the left for these posts), separate posts, but for now here's a home demo he made in 1971 for a song he wrote for The Who's classic 1971 LP Who's Next (it was originally intended, along with loads of other songs that were released on the record, as well as many that were held back, for the initial Lifehouse concept that morphed into the final '71 LP we all know and love) that was never released. There supposedly exists a full-band finished studio version of the song that was intended for the album but was never released...to hear it has been a dream of mine for decades. But from the first time I heard this demo on a bootleg cassette I got in the mail in 1996/97, I fell in love with it. Pete's one of the few writers who has demos so good you can enjoyably listen to them on their own apart from the finished product. I hope you enjoy the magic of this as much as I do.

Here's the great lost track, "Mary."


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