Roger Daltry Credits The Beatles For Freedom To Record 'Tommy'
Roger Daltrey says that the boundaries the Beatles broke down in 1967 helped inspire the Who to record and release their 1969 double album, Tommy. On November 11th, the band will release the new " Super Deluxe " version of the album, which includes composer Pete Townshend's one man band " blueprint " demos of nearly the entire double album set.
Daltrey spoke to Rolling Stone and was asked if the Who made a conscious effort to move into recording a concept album in order to keep up with the likes of the Beatles and the Kinks who had already scored album hits outside of the pop box: " No, because St. Pepper's (Lonely Hearts Club Band) gave us confidence that the public would be willing to accept new ideas. There's no doubt about that. George Martin's work with the Beatles and the songs they were writing really gave us confidence that the public would accept anything if it was good. "
Daltrey maintains that although he was always able to drive home Townshend's songs for the band, it wasn't until the recording and eventual touring behind Tommy that he found his true voice, recalling, " 'I'm A Boy' and 'Pictures Of Lily' -- those were interesting songs. I think that 'Pictures Of Lily' is a great song, but they were very different in the vocal area than I was ever used to singing and I found it difficult. I was in a vocal no man's land. I started to improve with 'I Can See For Miles.' but I wasn't quite there. Once we got into doing all the songs on Tommy, as a vocalist I realized they really needed a stronger interpretation. It gave me a canvas that was big enough to really, really take some chances. Once we got out on the road and sang it live, it just took off on it's own and my voice grew with it. "
Roger Daltrey told us that singing the Tommy material completely freed him creatively -- both in terms of how he sang and performed in front of an audience: " It means the same to me, I'm just trying to explain to people that I never saw 'Tommy' as an individual. I sang Tommy from the inside, I'm an emoter. So Tommy to me was always my inner journey. It was the journey of my spirit. Y'know, the human condition. "
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