It’s great to have Pete Townshend back! After a year laying low, Townshend is posting frequent updates on TheWho.com and chronicling the current round of sessions for the Who’s upcoming untitled album currently being recorded at London’s British Grove Studios.
Townshend shared photos of some of the gear being used during the sessions, and wrote: “They say now that most people only listen to the first two to five seconds of a track online before they move on. It has to connect very quickly. So one way to connect is to use an old sample of something everyone already knows. So every one of the tracks on the next album starts with the guitar from ‘Pinball Wizard.’ Seriously, trying to make a record that sounds the way a Who album should, and yet be sharp enough to catch the attention of someone surfing through a bunch of songs online, is a challenge. While this is happening, everything is changing.”
He went on to write: “Apparently young people are starting to listen to radio again, and music podcasts as well. I think it might be because the algorithms online think they know what we like, so if we want to hear different stuff by accident we have to avoid the algorithms. So what we need to do today may not be what we need to do in a year’s time. I always knew music streaming was coming, even back in the ‘80s I could see it was inevitable one day. What I didn’t know was that different styles of music would be listened to in entirely different ways, and in different contexts.”
During a chat on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, Pete Townshend shed some light on how the music for the new Who album has its foundation in his own studio-quality recordings: “They’re very, very good demos. Y’know, I’ve got five recording studios and I use them all the time, so, they’re very high quality. All Roger really has to do is sing; we’ll have to tweak a few things. Zak (Starkey’s) going to help me with the percussion, my brother Simon (Townshend) will help with shaping and arranging. And then we may hand everything over — when Roger’s done his vocals and I’ve done my vocals, if that’s what I’m gonna do on any of the songs — to a remix engineer.”
Photo Courtesy of Ross Halfin