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The Who - Pete Townshend Albums:
"Happy Birthday" - UK - 1970 Universal Spiritual League LP (front cover)
"Happy Birthday" - UK - 1970 Universal Spiritual League LP (Insert)
Insert with album titles shown
"Happy Birthday" - UK - 1977 Meher Baba Organization LP (front cover) (Reissue)
"Happy Birthday" - UK - 1977 Meher Baba Organization LP (back cover) (Reissue)
Who Came First - UK - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - UK - 1972 Polydor Cassette
Who Came First - USA - 1972 Decca LP (Autographed by Pete Townshend)
Who Came First - USA - 1972 Decca Reel-to-Reel
Who Came First - USA - 1972 Decca Cassette
Who Came First - USA - 1972 Decca 8-Track
Who Came First - USA - 1980 MCA LP
Who Came First - USA - 1992 Ryko CD
Who Came First - USA - 1992 Ryko CD
Deluxe version with book
Who Came First - USA - 1992 Ryko Cassette
Who Came First - USA - 1992 Ryko Cassette (Promo)
Who Came First - USA - 2004 Classic DVD-A
Who Came First - USA - 2006 Hip-O CD
Who Came First - USA - 2009 Classic LP
200 Gram vinyl
Quien Llego Primero - Argentina - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Australia - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Australia - 1972 Polydor Cassette
Who Came First - Australia - 1973 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Brazil - 1972 Polydor LP
Portugese translation: "Leader of the group The Who"
Who Came First - Brazil - 1983 Polydor LP (reissue)
Who Came First - Canada - 1972 Decca LP
Who Came First - Canada - 1980 MCA LP
Who Came First - France - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Germany - 1972 Polydor LP (Promo)
Who Came First - Germany - 1983 Polydor LP (Reissue)
Who Came First - Germany - 1983 Polydor Cassette (Reissue)
Who Came First - Holland - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Holland - 1972 Polydor Cassette
Who Came First - Israel - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Italy - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Japan - 1972 CBS/Sony LP
Who Came First - Japan - 1972 CBS/Sony LP
Who Came First - Japan - 1996 Ryko CD
Who Came First - Japan - 2006 Imperial CD
Mini-LP cover. Comes with mini <reproduction> poster
Who Came First - Japan - 2007 Imperial LP
Who Came First - Korea - 1972 Yegrin LP
Who Came First - Mexico - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - New Zealand - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - New Zealand - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Spain - 1972 Polydor LP
Who Came First - Taiwan - 1972 Giant LP
I Am - UK - 1972 Universal Spiritual League LP
I Am - UK - 1977 Meher Baba Organization LP (Reissue)
With Love - UK - 1976 Universal Spiritual League LP
With Love - UK - 1977 Meher Baba Organization LP (Reissue)
Avatar - UK - 2000 Eel Pie CD
Box set CD reissue of "Happy Birthday", "I Am" & "With Love"
Jai Baba - UK - 2001 Eel Pie CD
Reissue of Avatar box set
WHO CAME FIRST
Album: Who Came First
LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Decca (USA), Polydor (UK)
CDs Sampled: Ryko (USA), Imperial (Japan)
DVD-A Sampled: "Who Came First" [Classic (USA)]
Non-album Tracks: Pete Townshend songs that didn't appear on "Who Came First", but were on singles or only Meher Baba albums: "Mary Jane" (on "Happy Birthday"), "Baba O'Riley"- instrumental version (on "I Am"), "Meher" (on "With Love").
Note: "This Song Is Green", which is a Billy Nicholls song and features Pete Townshend on synthesized flute appears on the Polydor (UK) single, "Forever's No Time At All" (from "Who Came First") and "I Am".
LP Comments: A slight edge to the Decca (USA) pressing.
CD Comments: The "Who Came First" Ryko (USA) and Imperial (Japan) sound excellent. On the Imperial (Japan) CD, it seems as if the original track listing (of the Ryko CD) uses the 1996 Tim Young mastering and the 2006 <extra> bonus tracks are mastered slightly differently - but still sound very good.
DVD-A Comments: What started out sounding very good, turned bad very quickly. Tracks 1 & 2 sound just fine. However, the volume drops off on track 3, then dropping even lower on track 4 ("Let's See Action"). This quickly changes again on track 5 ("Time Is Passing") through the rest of the disc - to be completely loud and over-modulated . In completely disbelief, I replayed the disc over and over again to ensure it wasn't my imagination. Unfortunately it wasn't my imagination, but just a poorly mastered disc.
One side of the disc is DVD-A (which requires a machine that will play DVD Audio discs), the other side is playable on any DVD Video player.
Summary: The Imperial (Japan) CD is my first choice, both in terms of sound quality and the many bonus tracks which are not on the original LP and extended from the 1996 CD.
Other Comments: For the CD release, Pete Townshend added most of his Meher Baba tracks (the Meher Baba albums also feature other artists) as a bonus. Exceptions are listed above (under non-album tracks). The CD release was issued as a standard release and a deluxe release with a nice book.
If you'd like the complete collection of Pete Townshend tracks and would like to seek out the missing songs, see the "Meher Baba" album section for more details.
|About: Who Came First (with the Meher
Baba Album songs)
As a newbie Who fan in the late 1970's and approaching the "turning point" of 1982, there were three essential bootlegs which you "had" to have: Who's Zoo (for all the rare b sides and such), Fillmore East (live 1968 Who!) and The Genius Of Pete Townshend (demos for Who's Next and that unfinished album - what was it called... "Lighthouse"? Or maybe... Lifehouse)
Wow. Discovering it all for the first time.
I met a new friend (Phil Cohen) at the Miami Record Show around December 1982. He was a big Who fan and had a recording studio in his bedroom. At that same record show I also got a copy of "Happy Birthday" (the 2nd pressing) for $10! The guy who sold it to me also had "With Love" - but all the way North in Stuart, FL. I ended up I driving there to get it (another $10 and 220 miles). He was another big Who fan. His whole house looked like a record warehouse. Tall, free standing metal record racks everywhere. You had to walk down one of the "rows" to get to his bedroom where he had the record.
I ended up bringing these 2 records to Phil's house where he recorded these two LPs as well as "Who Came First" and the 8 minute "Baba O'Riley" demo (from "I Am") onto a tape for me.
Phil explained some of the history of the "Meher Baba" albums to me as well as telling me that Pete played all the instruments on these albums. He didn't have "With Love" before - so we both had a good time listening to "new music".
I loved "Who Came First" from the very moment I heard it. Great songs, so perfectly performed.
Initially I didn't like "There's a Heartache Following Me" - but it grew on me over time and now I consider it a great song.
I found the Meher Baba songs even cooler and more interesting. When I first heard "The Seeker" I immediately liked it better than The Who version and quite the opposite, I never cared that much for "Time Is Passing" until I heard The Who version and that turned into an "instant Wow". (go figure)
When there was talk of a CD release (of "Who Came First") I wrote Pete Townshend and suggested he combine the album with his songs from the "Meher Baba" albums - which he ending up doing (whether it was my suggestion or his own idea - I don't know. It doesn't matter - what matters is that the results was the same and fans everywhere could enjoy this great music).
My only disappointment was the initial release was missing "Mary Jane" and "Meher". (The latter is a weaker track, but "Mary Jane" is a really good song.) Fortunately "Mary Jane" was added to the subsequent release.
I was always confused by the "story" of how this album came to be.
What was previously written was something to the effect that Decca/MCA asked Pete to release "Happy Birthday" because of the bootlegging of this private LP and that Pete said he would release an album, but wanted to do it "fresh".
That story never made sense to me because... I have never seen a bootleg of "Happy Birthday" - ever!
Some years back I asked Pete about this story since I wanted to know the real story.
(Apparently Decca/MCA had thought that "Happy Birthday" was a bootleg and that's how all that got started...)
My favorite songs...
* Pure and Easy (I recall the first time hearing it thinking "where's the rest of it???" The "Genius" LP had the unedited version which also ended up on the Lifehouse box set. Great song!)
* Lets See Action (if you don't like this song you have to be a "slug")
* There's a Heartache Following Me (went from a "skipper" to a wow)
* Sheraton Gibson (great song. Pete played this live at the Supper Club in NY. He forgot the "ho" !!! What exactly did he mean my "Cleveland ho" ? I have no clue - but when he sang it live - I was like - where did it go???)
* Parvardigar (great song. A bit odd hearing Pete sing it in German. ;) )
* The Seeker (this version seems more personal and raw. Absolutely live it)
* Day of Silence (great song - after getting tinnitus - it's something you wish for and know will never happen)
* Sleeping Dog (the best song from "With Love". How could anyone not love this song?)
* The Love Man (this is such a great song on so many different levels. Soft, romantic, analytical, deep, spiritual, haunting - the kitchen sink. I am in awe of Pete every time I hear this. Such a masterpiece.)
What a great album...
Track Listing: Original LP and DVD-A: Pure And Easy, Evolution, Forever's No Time At All, Nothing Is Everything (Let's See Action), Time Is Passing, There's A Heartache Following Me, Sheraton Gibson, Content, Parvardigar
CD (1996): Pure And Easy, Evolution, Forever's No Time At All, Nothing Is
Everything (Let's See Action), Time Is Passing, There's A Heartache Following
Me, Sheraton Gibson, Content, Parvardigar, His Hands, The Seeker, Day of
Silence, Sleeping Dog, The Love Man, Lantern Cabin
CD (2006 - Hip-O USA, Imperial Japan): Pure And Easy, Evolution, Forever's No Time At All, Nothing Is Everything (Let's See Action), Time Is Passing, There's A Heartache Following Me, Sheraton Gibson, Content, Parvardigar, His Hands, The Seeker, Day of Silence, Sleeping Dog, The Love Man, Lantern Cabin, Mary Jane, I Always Say, Begin The Beguine
MEHER BABA ALBUMS
Album(s): Happy Birthday (1970), I Am (1972), With Love (1977), Avatar, Jai Baba (Note: the latter 2 are CD reissues of the former 3.)
LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Happy Birthday [USL (UK), MBO (UK)], I Am [USL (UK), MBO (UK)], With Love [USL (UK), MBO (UK)]
CDs Sampled: Avatar [Eelpie (UK)], Jai Baba [Eelpie (UK)]
Non-album Tracks: n/a
LP Comments: The 3 Meher Baba LPs were originally issued on the Universal Spiritual League (USL) label and then reissued on the Meher Baba Organization (MBO) label. The latter uses a better quality vinyl than the USL pressings and therefore sound better. I have heard of some severe problems with the USL pressings of "Happy Birthday" - reports of off center holes and very noisy vinyl.
CD Comments: Unfortunately, the sound quality is beyond terrible on these reissues. Excessive use of "noise reduction" in mastering process has made these discs virtually unlistenable.
Summary: There is no comparison between the MBO vinyl and the CD reissues. If you're looking for the complete Meher Baba collection of songs, then the MBO is the best choice.
If you just want the best sounding Pete Townshend songs and don't care about the other "Meher Baba tracks", The "Who Came First" CD (see "Who Came First") is an excellent alternative as it is a great sounding CD, which features most of Pete's Meher Baba tracks as a bonus. Unfortunately, that CD is missing, "Mary Jane", "Meher" and the "Baba O'Riley" instrumental demo, so you would need the Meher Baba albums to be "complete".
Other Comments: From a collector's standpoint, it's nice to have the original USL LPs, which contained various Meher Baba related newspapers, photos, etc. But purely from a listener's viewpoint, the vinyl on the "simple" packaged MBO label reissues, is superior and sounds better.
"Avatar" is a limited edition box set, which includes the 3 Meher Baba albums on CD and some very nice packaging and artwork.
"Jai Baba" is basically a simple packaged reissue of "Avatar".
Happy Birthday: Content, Evolution, Day Of Silence, Allan Cohen Speaks, Mary Jane, Allan Cohen Speaks, The Seeker, Begin The Beguine, With A Smile Up His Nose They Entered, The Love Man, Meditation
I Am: Forever's No Time At All, How To Transcend Duality And Influence People, Affirmation, Baba O'Riley, The Song Is Green, Everywhere I Look This Morning, Dragon, O'Parvardigar
With Love: Hail Avatar Meher Baba, Give It Up, Without Your Love, His Hands, Just For A Moment, Baba Blues, Meher, Contact, Gotta Know Ya, Sleeping Dog, All God's Mornings, Lantern Cabin
Avatar: (Contains the combined track listings of "Happy Birthday", "I Am" and "With Love".)
Jai Baba: Same track listing as "Avatar" (above) and adds "O'Parvardigar" recorded live in India (which can be also found on the "O'Pavardigar" single - with better sound quality. See Pete Townshend singles section).
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