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The Who - Pete Townshend Albums:

Scoop - UK - 2000 Eel Pie CD

Scoop - USA - 1983 Atco LP

Scoop - USA - 1983 Specialty Records LP (Test Pressing)

Scoop - USA - 1983 Atco Cassette

Scoop - USA - 1993 Atco CD

Scoop - USA - 2006 Hip-O CD

Remastered

Scoop - USA - 2009 Classic LP

200 Gram Remastered

Scoop - Australia - 1983 Atco LP

Scoop - Canada - 1983 Atco LP

Scoop - Germany - 1983 Atco LP

Scoop - Germany - 1983 Atco Cassette

Scoop - Japan - 1983 Atco LP

Scoop - Japan - 2006 Imperial CD Box (Promo)

Box only

Scoop - New Zealand - 1983 Atco LP

Scoop - New Zealand - 1983 Atco Cassette

Scoop - Portugal - 1983 Atco LP (Promo)

Scoop - Portugal - 1983 Atco LP (Promo)

Scoop - Singapore - 1983 First Cassette

Volume 1

Scoop - Singapore - 1983 First Cassette

Volume 2

Scoop - Taiwan - 1983 Crazy Cats LP

White City - UK - 2017 UMC LP

180 gram blue vinyl

White City - UK - 2017 UMC LP

180 gram blue vinyl

White City - USA - 1985 Atco LP

White City - USA - 1985 Atco CD

White City - USA - 1985 Atco CD

Long box packaging

White City - USA - 1985 Atco Cassette

White City - USA - 2006 Hip-O CD

Remastered with bonus tracks

White City - Argentina - 1985 Atco LP

Una Novella

White City - Argentina - 1985 Atco Cassette

White City - Australia - 1985 Atco LP

White City - Australia - 1985 Atco Cassette

White City - Brazil - 1985 WEA LP

White City - Canada - 1985 Atco LP

White City - France - 1985 Atco LP

White City - Germany - 1985 Atco LP

White City - Germany - 1985 Atco Cassette

White City - Germany - 2006 SPV CD

Remastered with bonus tracks

White City - Greece - 1985 Atco LP

White City - Greece - 1985 Atco Cassette

White City - Music Box Indonesia - 1985 Cassette

White City - Indonesia - 1985 Thomsun Cassette

White City - Israel - 1985 Atco LP

White City - Japan - 1985 Atco LP

White City - Japan - 1985 Atco CD

White City - Japan - 1998 Atco CD

White City - Japan - 2006 Imperial CD

Mini-LP cover

White City - Korea - 1985 Oasis/Atco LP

White City - Mexico - 1985 WEA LP

White City - Mexico - 1985 WEA LP (Promo)

Front cover

White City - Mexico - 1985 WEA LP (Promo)

Back cover

White City - Mexico - 1985 WEA LP (Promo)

White City - Mexico - 1985 WEA LP (Promo)

Back cover

White City - Mexico - 1985 WEA LP (Promo)

Front cover

White City - Mexico - 1985 WEA LP (Promo)

Back cover

White City - New Zealand - 1985 WEA LP

White City - Peru - 1985 WEA LP

White City - Portugal - 1985 WEA LP (Promo)

Cover printed in Portugal, vinyl pressed in Germany

White City - South Africa - 1985 Atlantic LP

White City - Switzerland - 1985 Atco CD

Germany packaging, Switzerland CD

White City - Zimbabwe - 1985 Atlantic LP

Deep End Live - USA - 1986 Atco LP

Deep End Live - USA - 1986 Specialty Records LP (Test Pressing)

Deep End Live - USA - 1986 Atco Cassette

Deep End Live - USA - 1986 Atco CD

Deep End Live - USA - 2006 Hip-O CD

Deep End Live - Canada - 1986 Atco LP

Deep End Live - Japan - 2006 Imperial CD

Mini-LP cover

Another Scoop - UK - 1987 Polydor LP

Another Scoop - UK - 1987 Polydor Cassette

Another Scoop - USA - 1987 Atco LP

Another Scoop - USA - 1987 Atco CD

Another Scoop - USA - 1987 Atco CD

Long box packaging

Another Scoop - USA - 1987 Atco Cassette

Another Scoop - UK - 2000 Eel Pie CD

Another Scoop - USA - 2002 Classic DVD-Audio

Another Scoop - USA - 2006 Hip-O CD

Another Scoop - USA - 2009 Classic LP

200 Gram Vinyl

Another Scoop - USA - 2009 Classic LP

Test pressing

Another Scoop - Canada - 1987 Atco LP

Iron Man - UK - 1989 Virgin LP

Iron Man - UK - 1989 Virgin CD

Iron Man - UK - 2017 UMC CD

Iron Man - UK - 2017 UMC LP

180 gram silver vinyl

Iron Man - UK - 2017 UMC LP

180 gram silver vinyl

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Atlantic LP

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Atlantic Cassette

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Atlantic LP (Promo) (front cover)

Music and Interview

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Atlantic LP (Promo) (back cover)

Music and Interview

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Atlantic Cassette (Promo)

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Specialty Records LP (Test Pressing)

An Eye For An Eye - USA - 1989 Atlantic LP (Promo)

Music and Interview

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Atlantic CD

Iron Man - USA - 1989 Atlantic CD

Long box packaging

Iron Man - USA - 2006 Hip-O CD

Remastered with bonus tracks

Iron Man - Australia - 1989 Virgin LP

Iron Man - Brazil - 1989 Virgin LP

Iron Man - Canada - 1989 Atlantic LP

Iron Man - Germany - 1989 Virgin LP

Iron Man - Greece - 1989 Virgin LP

Iron Man - Greece - 1989 Virgin LP (Test Pressing)

Iron Man - Greece - 1989 Virgin LP (Test Pressing)

(Label face)

Iron Man - Italy - 1989 Virgin LP

Iron Man - Japan - 1989 Virgin CD

With slip case

Iron Man - Japan - 2006 Imperial CD

Mini-LP cover

Iron Man - New Zealand - 1989 Virgin LP

Iron Man - Thailand - 1989 n/a Cassette

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SCOOP

Album: Scoop

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Atco (UK), Atco (USA), Atco (Japan)

CDs Sampled: Atco (USA), Eelpie (Remastered-UK)

Non-album Tracks: None

LP Comments: I give a slight edge to the Atco (USA) pressing.

CD Comments: The Atco (USA) sounds just fine. The remastered version is another example of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Summary: Look for the Atco (USA) CD. It not only sounds great, but it's all on one CD!

Other Comments: As collectors of Pete demos know, some of the demos included in this collection are edited to varying degrees. For example, the unedited demo of "So Sad About Us" is about 2x the length of this version, the unedited demo of "Mary" has some cool guitar parts missing from this version, etc.

About: Scoop
 
I can't seem to get enough of Pete's demos.
 
Am I the only one who seems to think he produced his demos, better than The Who's various producer's, produced The Who???
 
Just listening to the nuances of "Magic Bus", you have to stop and say to yourself - why does this recording sound so good compared to some of The Who album's recordings?
 
This is a great album. I recall when it came out in 1983. After buying a bunch of varying quality LP boots to get a demo here and a demo there, this was *the real thing*. Familiar songs, new songs - one song better than the next. Wow!

And what is Pete waiting for to release the rest of them???
 
My favorite songs on the album are:
 
* So Sad About Us (Not sure why Pete didn't share the 2nd half of the song <which is just as great>)
* Squeezebox (I really like the "polka" feel to it - this version nicely compliments The Who version)
* Melancholia (such a "haunting" song - both as a demo and Who song)
* Bargain (the best love song ever written - this nicely compliments The Who version(s))
* Popular (Interesting switch-a-roo before it became "It's Hard" - sometimes I find that my own behavior tends to mimic this song!)
* The Magic Bus (This is a really cool variation of a familiar theme)
 
The original USA Atco CD was just great. Probably the best of the CD versions...

Track Listing: So Sad About Us/Brrr, Squeezebox, Zelda, Politician, Dirty Water, Circles, Piano: 'Tipperary', Unused Piano:'Quadrophenia', Melancholia, Bargain, Things Have Changed, Popular, Behind Blue Eyes, The Magic Bus, Cache, Cache, Cookin', You're So Clever, Body Language, Initial Machine Experiments, Mary, Recorders, Goin' Fishin', To Barney Kessell, You Came Back, Love Reign O'er Me

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WHITE CITY

Album: White City

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Atco (USA), Atco (Germany), Atco (Japan)

CDs Sampled: Atco (USA), Atco (Germany), Atco (Japan), Imperial (Japan), Hip-O (USA)

Non-album Tracks: "Face The Face" (alternate version, available on 12" USA and European singles), "Won't Get Fooled Again" (live 1985 Deep End. Available on Atco (Germany) "Give Blood" 12", the Atco (USA) "Face The Face" 12" and the "Deep End Live" video.), "Magic Bus" (live 1985 Deep End. Available on all countries "Give Blood" 7" & 12" and the "Deep End Live" video.), "Hiding Out" (Extended version) & "Hiding Out" (instrumental version) (Available on the Atco (Germany) 12", titled "Hiding Out". On the 7" version of the same the instrumental version is not included). Note: the extended version is actually a completely different and longer take than the album version. The instrumental version is based on the extended version, not the album version.), "Night School" (is available only on the "White City" video (Beta, VHS and Laser Disc).

LP Comments: The Atco (Japan) is warmer and more natural sounding than either the Atco (USA) or Atco (Germany), which are fairly close to each other.

CD Comments: Both USA and German CD versions sound good and are identical. The Atco (Japan) CD has "extra bass" and is an improvement over the USA and German versions. The Imperial (Japan) CD lacks some little fidelity and has a touch of unneeded compression - The bonus tracks have almost no fidelity and sound much worse. The bonus tracks on the Imperial (Japan) CD are available on a CD available from www.eelpie.com

Summary: I was very disappointed with the sound quality when this LP first came out in 1985. This album is very typical of the time period where studios were experimenting with digital recording techniques and the albums produced were somewhat tinny and were mixed with narrow stereo separation.

On a whole, the Atco CD versions are more balanced the USA or German LP versions. To do this review properly, I played my Japanese LP version for the first time. I had a sneaking suspicion that the extra, artificial bass (that seems to be typical of Atco/Warner Japanese LPs) would work to the advantage of this particular album. It does. The Japanese LP seems to balance out the <somewhat> digital sound that's inherent on the other LP and CD versions.

I prefer the Atco (Japan) LP to all other CD and LP versions for the reasons listed above. After that, the Atco (Japan) CD version sounds better than the LP versions. The Hip-O (USA) sounds pretty decent and has some nice bonus tracks. Most people won't notice the sound quality differences (above).

Other Comments: The extended version of "Hiding Out" seems to be mixed and/or recorded differently than the rest of the album's tracks, with overall much better sound quality and feel. If the rest of the album were remixed to sound like this single, it would be significantly improved.

Along with all the various non-album tracks, the Atco (German) LP was also issued with a shaped, picture disc of "Face The Face" included inside (See Pete Townshend SINGLES section). These LPs were denoted with a white, round "limited ... " sticker on the LP jacket.

Regarding the bonus tracks on the 2006 Hip-O (USA) and SPV (Germany) CDs - The version of "Night School" is not the same as the version on the "White City" video - It contains similar elements and almost sounds like a very long intro. "Save It For Later" sounds like a well-produced demo. Lastly, the "Hiding Out 12" Mix" is the same as the vocal version on the Germany 12" (with the same title).

About: White City
 
I recall when this album came out in 1985 - Pete was releasing a whole bunch of things at once:
 
* Horse's Neck (odd book)
* White City Video (interesting stuff - my favorite piece is the "Night School" video at the end)
* The LP, the CD and various singles, 12", etc...
 
And with the album's release, I created an opportunity to meet Pete <below> and get his autograph (but I'll save that for another story)...


Pete Townshend <with WhiteFang> in NYC Signing Autographs
 
Way back in 1985, I remember listening to the various songs on the album and just getting into them as they were fresh and new.
 
"Give Blood" was an easy one - it could easily fit right into the "Who catalog". However, "Face The Face" was very different from anything Pete had done before. The slow build up and somewhat of a "dance" feel to it. I had to scratch my head to wonder - what was Pete trying to do here. However, the lyrics (and Pete's delivery of them) are very, very powerful. I often quote him on this:
 
"From wiser folks who've been through it all, to the faded names sprayed up on the wall..."
 
Such a true statement (at least for me)
 
Even odder were the published lyrics of that line:
 
"From wiser folks who've been through it all, to the ghosts of failure sprayed up on the wall..."
 
Same meaning, but the latter might be a bit harder to sing...
 
"Crashing By Design" - also a very powerful song - thought provoking.
 
"Nothing must cross this line, unless it is well defined..."
 
"Hiding Out" is a great example of what a song "could be" vs. "what it is".
 
When I first heard the album version - my reaction was more along the "eh" lines. OK, decent song, next...
 
When I got the 12" extended version (same song, reworked and much longer and detailed) - I was like "WOW!"
 
The former seems to fit better in the album's context, but the latter is a far superior song. You might think after listening to both that Pete could have made a better album version (but... he didn't)...
 
"Second Hand Love" is something we can all relate to (provided we've had more than one "relationship" in our lives).
 
The album is short. Perhaps too short.
 
The remastered CD has bonus tracks, but could have had more bonus tracks. (Thinking over the song lyrics put me into "complaint" mode)...
 
Missing is the extended instrumental version of "Hiding Out" (a nice companion piece when played back to back with the extended version of the same) and the version of "Night School" (from the video) - I LOVE "Night School" - what a great and "fun" song! The version released on the CD, was an entirely new and unreleased version - very, very different than the video version - almost 2 different songs.
 
For my "White City" CD, I took the best of all worlds and put them both together in one place... Why miss out on some great music...

Track Listing: Give Blood, Brilliant Blues, Face The Face, Hiding Out, Secondhand Love, Side Two, Crashing By Design, I Am Secure, White City Fighting, Come To Mama

Track Listing (2006 - Imperial Japan): Give Blood, Brilliant Blues, Face The Face, Hiding Out, Secondhand Love, Side Two, Crashing By Design, I Am Secure, White City Fighting, Come To Mama, Secondhand Love (Live Brixton, 1985), Face The Face (Live Brixton, 1985)

Track Listing (2006 - Hip-O USA, SPV Germany): Give Blood, Brilliant Blues, Face The Face, Hiding Out, Secondhand Love, Side Two, Crashing By Design, I Am Secure, White City Fighting, Come To Mama, Night School, Save It For Later, Hiding Out 12" Mix

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PETE TOWNSHEND'S DEEP END LIVE!

Album: Pete Townshend's Deep End Live

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Atco (USA)

CDs Sampled: Atco (USA), Imperial (Japan)

Non-album Tracks: Too many to list here! The "Deep End" video (see VIDEO section) created a radio station promo EP with several tracks from the video. Based on the popularity of the same, Atco released this album, which is an edited version of the video. The video itself was an edit of an even longer concert, which featured tracks like "That's Alright Now Mama", "Harlem Shuffle", "Drifting Blues", "Night Train", etc., which can be found on copies of Westwood 1 and King Biscuit promo LPs. A few of the concert tracks also made their way onto bonus tracks from the various singles of the "White City" album.

LP Comments: Sounds great!

CD Comments: Atco (USA) Sounds great! Imperial (Japan) lacks the fidelity of original CD or LP. The bonus tracks are recorded louder and have less fidelity than the rest of the CD. The bonus tracks on the Imperial (Japan) CD are available on a CD available from www.eelpie.com

Summary: Both Atco CD or LP formats sound great!

Other Comments: I'm not quite sure what the reasoning is to release the 2006, Imperial (Japan) CD. As the same concert is available in its entirety from www.eelpie.com vs. this single CD edited version.

About: Pete Townshend's Deep End Live

Here's an album with a long history and evolution. I will try not to miss any of the parts and pieces...

Shortly after the release of "White City", Pete decided to do some "big band" live shows between the UK and France. Perhaps it was the "big" feeling from "Face The Face" or someone else will tell me - read his book already! Whatever...

So Pete does a great show in Brixton and releases it on VHS (a long version and a short version - I can't imagine why anyone would buy the latter). This video was an instant wow!

To further promote it, the record company created a 12" promo EP to send to radio stations with several tracks from the video. Shortly thereafter, the LP and CD were released.

The initial version of the album was... Short. Gave us a "taste" of the concert, but not the whole thing.

So... It was easy enough to copy the hi-fi tracks from the video to tape - to have (what was thought to be) the whole concert in CD sound quality.

To further promote the video, King Biscuit (KBFH) and Westwood 1 (WW1) broadcast their versions of the concert via various radio stations.

Of course there were even more songs on these respective broadcasts than the video! Songs left off the video (but included here) were: Harlem Shuffle, That's Alright Mama, Mary Ann With The Shaky Hand, I'm Drifting/Drifting Blues and Night Train. And of course some if these songs were on one broadcast but not the other - so you needed both! Fortunately, I was able to buy the promo vinyl that they sent to the radio stations - so I ended up with all of it.

Later on I discovered the Japan laser disc (which had the same content as the VHS but it had CD audio). Wow! Complete! Well... Not quite.

At some point Pete started releasing live material on his website and released a double CD of this concert. This version had all of the above and...
Boogie Stop Shuffle and The Shout!

Unfortunately, this CD set went out with no bass!!! I remember all the happy campers getting their CDs in the mail and when they played them screaming they "they were screwed" because the CDs were "bass-less"! What could have happened??! Sad...

There were so many great songs and versions if songs performed - where do I even begin?

* After The Fire - we (then) recently heard Rogers version - well here's Pete's - wow! Just amazing.

* Stop Hurting People - live!!! Wow!!!

* Barefootin' - fun song - they pulled this out again on the '89 Who tour.

* The Sea Refuses No River - just brilliant.

* Harlem Shuffle - not included on the original video. The Rolling Stones were using that as their new single. Pete's version was so much better I guess he didn't want to embarrass them.

* A Little Is Enough - just fantastic. It doesn't get much better than this.

The rest of the songs run from really good to really interesting - all great stuff

There's a few that I tend to skip over. I'm not a real fan of Save It For Later, I Put A Spell On You (Pete really likes these songs) or Walkin' - that's OK - not everyone has to like/love the same things and there's plenty here to love...

The double CD would be a great candidate to remaster.

Lastly, the single for this album, "Barefootin' " was issued with and without a picture sleeve. The picture sleeve has to be the rarest of all Pete singles to find. I bought the single the day it came out with no sleeve. A bunch of years ago I discovered the sleeve and was shocked! Since then I've only seen 2 copies. What was that all about???

Track Listing: Barefootin', After The Fire, Behind Blue Eyes, Stop Hurting People, I'm One, I Put A Spell On You, Save It For Later, Pinball Wizard, Little Is Enough, Eyesight To The Blind

Track Listing (2006 - Hip-O USA, Imperial Japan): Barefootin', After The Fire, Behind Blue Eyes, Stop Hurting People, I'm One, I Put A Spell On You, Save It For Later, Pinball Wizard, Little Is Enough, Eyesight To The Blind, Magic Bus (live Brixton, 1985), Won’t Get Fooled Again (live Brixton, 1985)

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ANOTHER SCOOP

Album: Another Scoop

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Atco (USA)

CDs Sampled: Atco (USA), Eelpie (Remastered-UK)

Non-album Tracks: None

LP Comments: The Atco (USA) sounded perfect so I never felt the need to buy another.

CD Comments: The Atco (USA) sounds great. Unfortunately, the remastered version (Eelpie UK), doesn't.

Summary: You can't go wrong with either Atco (USA) version.

Other Comments: This is a great collection of songs!

About: Another Scoop

Depending on where you begin count, this is Pete's 2nd "official" album comprised of demos (after "Scoop", but way after the 3 Meher Baba albums and "Who Came First").

Way back when, fellow Who collector, Greg Biggs (
CVC Collectibles) was contacted by Pete with the question, "What do you think of a 10 LP box set of my demos?"

(And to think... I'm still waiting for about 80 CDs worth, while my salt & pepper beard turns white.)

Pete's demos are a treat. If you think about what went into creating them (an idea, a scribble on a piece of paper, playing, recording, laying down the rest of the tracks, etc.) each song in its own right, a mini-masterpiece in which Pete (in most cases) plays all the instruments and sings. Wow!

I was going to say, "Another Scoop" is one of my favorite albums. But when you look at this album in the context of how I feel about most of the rest of the "collective Who" (solo and as a band), aren't most?

OK, let's just say this is a very *special* album.

What makes this "more special" than "Scoop" (the same concept, released 4 years earlier)?

The songs.

While going through the massive mountain of Pete's tape archives, Helen "Spike" Wilkins pulled out a bunch of gems and assembled them together as a perfect flow. Some of the demos are as old as 1965, others as new as... 1983... ...and they all blend so nicely together. A great smattering of familiar "Who classics" (as demos) and unreleased songs which most fans never heard before this release.

There are two songs of the latter category which stand out:

"Football Fugue" and "Never Ask Me"

These are great songs, which had they not been released here (or on some flimsy bootleg), they would be buried in Pete's archive, never to be heard by anyone.

How would your life (as a Who fan) be different today, had Pete written
Quadrophenia, recorded it (with or without The Who) and just buried it in his archive collection?

Just imagine that Pete has over 2,000 recordings in his archives. Are they all like this?

Hard to say. However, if you skip (for a moment) the songs you don't know (or never heard of) and just think about demos for The Who songs, there's a ton of "buried treasure". Add to that, songs like "Join My Gang" or "It Was You" and just use your imagination. Wow!

The Tracks:

* You Better You Bet - I like this better than the Who version. Why? It's more fun! The way Pete "rolls" the piano on this version make it more interesting.

* Girl In A Suitcase - Cute song. Apparently a demo for
The Who By Numbers

* Brooklyn Kids - Good song. Nice orchestration by Pete's father-in-law,
Ted Astley.

* Pinball Wizard - Edited demo (compare to the flexi disc from Richard Barnes'
Maximum R&B or The Tommy Demos. I never quite understood why it was edited. When you listen to it, the first thing you think about is what's missing!

* Football Fugue - Fantastic and fun song. Also orchestrated by
Ted Astley. A nod to Kit Lambert here ("...fierce looking people but their manager's gay...")

* Happy Jack - nice demo of the Who song

* Substitute - ditto

* Long Live Rock - Had John Entwistle not "rescued" this song while creating
Odds & Sods... I like this version better than the Who version. It's a little "lighter" and more "playful".

* Call Me Lightning - This is a really cool demo. Pete actually wrote/recorded this in 1965, but it was released as a Who song in 1968. Pete mentions the
XKE (Jaguar) in this song. I don't recall him mentioning in Who I Am if he actually ever owned an XKE - seems Pete had a fondness for "imports"...

* Holly Like Ivy - A cute song - Pete's vocals are a bit low in the mix...

* Begin The Beguine - This one is from Pete's first Meher Baba album, "Happy Birthday". I like it better in the context of the Meher Baba albums than on here (go figure).

* Vicious Interlude - This is great. Pete's playing guitar and one of his daughters gets "threatened" in the middle of the song.

* La La La Lies - The demo of the Who song from
My Generation. On one of the CD boots, there's a demo called, "Party and Lies", which they somehow fused together this demo and the "Instant Party Mixture" demo (which is also a great demo). Great song.

* Cat Snatch - One of the remaining instrumentals from the
Who album, "Siege".

* Prelude # 556 - Instrumental

* Baroque Ippanese - Instrumental

* Praying The Game - An interesting song about... Praying. Also featuring
Ted Astley...

* Driftin' Blues - Pete's noodled around with this song for a while, also known as "I'm Drifting" and played with The Deep End in 1996. This is a simple version...

* Christmas - This is a stripped down demo from the
Tommy Demos collection. A more "complicated" demo (with a cool metronome") exists which I actually prefer. But more is always nice...

* Pictures Of Lily - An edit of the demo for the Who song. (Again, why the edit???)

* Don't Let Go Of The Coat - Nice demo of the
Face Dances song. Another version/mix exists of this that's a it "busier".

* The Kids Are Alright - No explanation needed. Great song!

* Prelude, The Right To Write - Another instrumental from the aborted "Siege" album...

* Never Ask Me - This was a demo for
Who Are You and submitted to Frank Sinatra (Frank sings Pete?) but nothing became of it. This may have made a great Who song - we will never know. But its a great song regardless...

* Ask Yourself - Another song (with vocals) from the aborted "Siege". A promotional video actually exists of this song.

* The Ferryman - This is an interesting song - sort of like "Pete the play write" in action.

* The Shout - Another really great song. What I found most interesting was that when Pete played this live in 1996, the women in the audience went nuts! I was scratching my head as to how this somewhat obscure song, was delivered with so much energy and power live (the studio demo is rather subdued) and to my amazement, almost of the women fans seemed to know this song and REALLY be into it. hMMM...

The original "Another Scoop" CDs were only pressed in the USA. They were packed in a big fat jewel case and sound just great "as is"... 

Track Listing: You Better You Bet, Girl In A Suitcase, Brooklyn Kids, Pinball Wizard, Football Fugue, Happy Jack, Substitute, Long Live Rock, Call Me Lightning, Holly Like Ivy, Begin The Beguine, Vicious Interlude, La La La Lies, Cat Snatch, Prelude # 556, Baroque Ippanese, Praying The Game, Driftin' Blues, Christmas, Pictures Of Lily, Don't Let Go Of The Coat, The Kids Are Alright, Prelude, The Right To Write, Never Ask Me, Ask Yourself, The Ferryman, The Shout

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IRON MAN

Album: Iron Man

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Atlantic (USA)

CDs Sampled: Virgin (UK), Atlantic (USA), Virgin (Japan), Imperial (Japan), Hip-O (USA)

Non-album Tracks: "Man Machines" (full version of the song. The album only uses part of it. This version can be found on the 7" of "A Friend Is A Friend" (USA & UK), the 12" of the same, Virgin (Austria) 5" "Friend is A Friend" CD single and the Virgin (UK) 3" CD single). A demo version of this song appears on "Scoop 3". "Real World" (Jazzy instrumental. Found on both 12" singles of "A Friend Is A Friend" or CD singles as described with "Man Machines"). A slightly different version <than above> appears on "Scoop 3". "Dig" (Demo version of the song. Complete version (see below) only available on the Virgin (UK) 3" CD single), "Penny Drop" (While not commercially released, this song appeared on the Timothy White radio show, along with part of the "Dig" demo. Promo copies of the interview were pressed on vinyl by DIR Broadcasting).

LP Comments: My experience with Warner/Atco/Atlantic (USA) LPs is that the sound and vinyl quality is generally as good or superior to its various European or Japanese counterparts. At the time I was very satisfied with the sound quality of this album and didn't look any further.

CD Comments: The Virgin (UK) sounds perfect. The Atlantic (USA) is slightly harsher sounding than its UK counterpart, distracting from the listening experience. The Virgin (Japan) pressing has slightly more bass, which gives it a "heavier feel". The Imperial (Japan) CD's vocal tracks are a bit too bright and the bonus tracks are recorded much louder. The bonus tracks on the Imperial (Japan) CD are available on a CD available from www.eelpie.com

Summary: This is a very clean, well-produced album. However, it could probably be helped by remixing and remastering to add a bit more "bottom-end" to it. All the versions of this album sound good, but a slight edge would go to the Virgin (Japan) version as the "extra bass" helps. The Hip-O (USA) sounds pretty decent and has some nice bonus tracks.

Other Comments: I would recommend, "re-working" the album to:

a) Restore it back to a "Pete Townshend solo album" by dubbing Pete's vocals over the "guest singer's".

b) Add back all the unused tracks that were left off.

In the promo "A Friend Is A Friend" video (see VIDEO section), Pete talks about having to cut the album down to a single (it was originally intended as a double) and says, " ... if anyone shouts loud enough, I will send them the rest of the songs ... " OK PETE! I'M SHOUTING!!! `;-()

Regarding the bonus tracks on the 2006 Hip-O (USA) and SPV (Germany) CDs - "Dig" is the original version with Simon Townshend on lead vocal, "Man Machines" is the full, extended version that was included on 12" and CD single versions of "A Friend Is A Friend" and "I Eat Heavy Metal" (listed as "Heavy Metal" on the CD case) is the Pete Townshend demo version.

About: Iron Man

The best (and simplest) way to describe this album is it is the Tommy (Soundtrack) before Tommy.

This is how I used to "try" and explain it to folks...

However, I think the real description is a lot more complicated and not as simple (yet the results might bring you to the same conclusion)...

I will go back to something I said recently which culminates with this album...

For whatever reason, Pete took the words of
Dave Marsh (the guy who wrote that dreadful book, Before I Get Old) way too seriously - and obviously to heart. Marsh pounded Pete with negative criticism along the "your songs are too personal" line. This shut Pete down. From "The Who By Numbers" through "Face Dances" - all the albums he released during that period had very personal lyrics and this pounding not only inhibited him as a writer, but convinced him he could no longer write for The Who...

Post Who (and I don't think
It's Hard was very personal at all - although Marsh claimed it was in his book - but I suspect when he wrote that and lumped it together with Face Dances - he hadn't even listened to the album) Pete's next 2 albums were "White City" (themed about a place and its people) and "Iron Man" (themed around the Ted Hughes' children's book).   Both of these albums kept Pete's focus on songs about "something" - other than his own personal experiences, etc. and "Iron Man" took it to the extreme (a children's book???).

Did Pete really believe that his writing style/ability had suffered because of one man's "cause"? Why would this one person hold such power over Pete? (Pete would have been better off ignoring the guy - he's nobody who's "opinions" I would take serious).

So, getting back to "Iron Man" itself...

Is it a Pete solo album?

Is it the musical before the musical?

Is it a bunch of guest performers coming together to sing on a Pete solo album?

Hard to answer this - sort of all of the above I suppose.

The striking thing that's obvious about the album is that it is "unfinished". Pete talked extensively about his vision for the "double album", the money from the record company running out and "time" to
get back on stage for the 1989 Who tour.

If you were to take
Tommy or Quadrophenia and slice it in half and stick the remaining songs back together, would either work the same??? (Probably not)

The album actually started a bit differently than it ended up. There was a semi-finished version from 1988 (See
here).

That is "almost" the same as the finished album, but instead of "The Who" - or Roger singing on "Dig",
Simon Townshend sings on "Dig" (this version was released on the remastered CD). There is no "Who" on the original version of the album - but the full version of "Man Machines" had its place (which had more Simon Townshend vocals) and some other differences as well... Then came the
upcoming Who tour and a "new" idea how to mix The Who into the album and promote it at the same time (songs from the album were played during the 1989 Who Tour)...

In addition to the above, Pete had brought some of his demos for "Iron Man" to the "infamous"
Timothy White interview. There he played 1/2 of his "Dig" demo (which then was only released on the 3" CD single of "I Won't Run Anymore" and nowhere else) and the demo of "Penny Drop".

"Penny Drop" is a very cool song. If you've seen the "A Friend Is A Friend" video, you will get the "Penny Drop" theme - which basically describes who/what the "Iron Man" is - but... it was left off the album!

I suspect the other songs that probably exist in demo form only (or perhaps work-in-process mixes) help piece the album together - so it "tells the story" a whole lot better...

During the promo-only "Iron Man" video, Pete says something to the effect, "Anyone who wants the rest of the songs - just has to ask!" (I think I may have referenced that line and asked, but I still don't have them.)

The songs that are on the album seem to be a combination of "Iron Man" themes ("I Eat Heavy Metal", "Fast Food") and universal themes ("I'm Not Gonna Run Anymore", "A Friend Is A Friend", etc.) - personally, I like the latter better...

(Did Pete really think his fans wanted to hear
Chyna, Cleveland Watkiss, John Lee Hooker and Nina Simone singing songs on a "Pete Townshend" album??? - all very talented folks, but a "bad fit" here...)

So... what we have here is an incomplete album, with various themes and guest singers popping in and out, making the album certainly decent enough, although "confusing" in a "what do you want to be when you grow up" kinda way...

The music...

My favorite songs (on or left off of the album):

* I'm Not Gonna Run Anymore (classic Pete)

* A Friend Is A Friend (great song - I can probably go on and on and review the song itself and its theme and meaning - but I won't!)

* Man Machines - Extended version (the "b" side to "A Friend Is A Friend", bonus track on the Remastered version, etc. - great song. It's a fun song too - throws the kitchen window right at yah... The demo for the song can be found on "Scoop 3")

* Dig (demo) - (Only available on the "I Won't Run Anymore" 3" CD single - great version)

* Penny Drop (Only available on
Timothy White's, Pete Townshend The Iron Age promo interview LP set)

The rest of the songs are pretty good too - with the exception of "Fast Food". Pete claims that
Nina Simone sings it just like his demo, but her voice singing on a Pete song is a bit more than I can handle - I hit "next" the moment I hear her voice. Sorry Pete!

The other song-related comment I will make is about what Peter Wolf was thinking when he produced "Fire" for this album. The production values are completely different than the rest of the album and I always thought this was a "caricature" of what The Who sounded like (i.e. to my father the "big band" musician - his view on The Who vs. what The Who really were). It's heavily compressed (I hate compression - adding compression is like TYPING IN ALL CAPS - it isn't natural and "sound" doesn't work that way) and "bombastic" (The Who trying to sound like a heavy metal band).

Perhaps one day Pete will open up his demos archive and we fans can "piece together" what Pete actually intended for "Iron Man" and maybe fully enjoy the "album" that most of us are a bit too "critical" on... (I know I'd like to!)

Track Listing: I Won't Run Anymore, Over The Top, Man Machines, Dig, A Friend Is A Friend, I Eat Heavy Metal, All Shall Be Well, Was There Life, Fast Food, A Fool Says, Fire, New Life/Reprise

Track Listing (2006 - Imperial Japan): I Won't Run Anymore, Over The Top, Man Machines, Dig, A Friend Is A Friend, I Eat Heavy Metal, All Shall Be Well, Was There Life, Fast Food, A Fool Says, Fire, New Life/Reprise, A Friend Is A Friend (live Fillmore West, 1996), All Shall Be Well (live Fillmore West, 1996)

Track Listing (2006 - Hip-O USA): I Won't Run Anymore, Over The Top, Man Machines, Dig, A Friend Is A Friend, I Eat Heavy Metal, All Shall Be Well, Was There Life, Fast Food, A Fool Says, Fire, New Life/Reprise, Dig (Simon Townshend Vocals), Man Machines (Long Version), I Eat Heavy Metal (demo)

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