Pete Townshend has just officially announced the April 20th release of his 1972 solo debut, Who Came First. As we first reported here earlier this week, the new 45th anniversary version features a bonus disc including “eight previously unreleased tracks, new edits, alternative versions and live performances.” Who Came First has been remastered by Townshend’s brother-in-law and the Who’s recording engineer Jon Astley using the original master tapes.
Included in the eight-panel digi-pak are new sleeve notes provided by Townshend himself, the original poster from the 1972 release and a 24-page booklet which contains rare images of guru Meher Baba and Townshend in his recording studio. The cover photo of Townshend, taken by Roger Daltrey’s cousin Graham Hughes — who also shot the cover of the Who’s Quadrophenia — has been updated for the release.
Who Came First, which was originally released on October 1st, 1972, is made up of multi-track one-man band demos, nearly all of which were intended for the Who. Among the key tracks featured on the set — which was reissued in 1992 with six bonus tracks — are “Let’s See Action,” “The Seeker,” “Pure And Easy,” “Sheraton Gibson,” and “Time Is Passing,” among others. The album was first compiled to combat pirated versions of Townshend’s tribute albums to Meher Baba, titled, Happy Birthday and I Am.
Although the Who has always had a far deeper relationship with their core fan base over the years than the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, or Led Zeppelin, Pete Townshend admits that at times it can be overwhelming: “It’s not always that good to have fans that are that caught up in you, but every band has it — I’m sure they do. The difference for the Who, may be, is that we never had that purely, kind of teenybopper female following. And, y’know, I’m very chauvinistic about this — sexist about it in a sense — but, when you see the way young girls operate as fans, they will move from band to band and artifact to artifact, until they find a man and grow up and have a family and start listening to Frank Sinatra, or whatever it is that they do (laughs).”
Photo Courtesy of UMe