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Roger Daltrey: New Stevie Wonder Cover Represents Today’s Issues

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Roger Daltrey is back in peak form with his latest solo album, As Long As I Have You. Daltrey’s new cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1974 classic “You Haven’t Done Nothin'” has garnered a lot of intention for not only Daltrey’s performance — but the timing of its release. The Who frontman, who’s currently out on the road performing Tommy in its entirety with the Who band and assorted local symphonies, told Rock Cellar Magazine, “I chose to do that Stevie Wonder song because it applies to what’s happening in the world today. We are frustrated with our leaders. But there again, it ain’t easy to do what they do. But I sang it with quite a lot of venom and maybe I overdid it a bit but I was happy with the end result. It’s not one of the greatest songs Stevie Wonder has ever written but it seemed to fit the mood of the day so well. I thought if you can vent the anger in music it’ll help.

Daltrey explained that As Long As I Have You was born out of the ashes of a Who project that never gained any steam: “This came from an idea I’ve had for a long time, about 10 years ago. We were searching for ideas for the Who to make a record — Pete (Townshend) didn’t have any material written so I said, ‘What about if we do what we used to do before you used to write the songs?’ But Pete didn’t go for that idea, so I was given the opportunity to make this solo album and I thought I’d try it for myself. It’s just been great coming back to that stuff. In those early days with the Who, I was singing those songs and I was singing the words, in a lot of ways it’s something that you need to live a life before you can really put the meat and potatoes into the songs, so to speak. I feel that now I can do that. I’m very happy with the rest of it and I feel it’s achieved what I wanted to, which was to touch people and move them.”

Roger Daltrey admits that the Who and the U.S. have enjoyed a mutual love of one another since the band’s U.S. debut back in 1967 in New York City: “I’ve never ceased to be incredibly humbled by the affection shown by America to the Who. It’s been an incredible relationship; our audience has been incredibly loyal. And it’s great that you kind of get our music hopefully in the same way that we do. Y’know, I feel so passionate about (Pete) Townshend’s music and what he wrote and it’s standing in the big scheme of things. It seems to me that that’s one thing that America gets as well — they understand it too, they’re as passionate about it as I am.”

Photo Courtesy of Trinifold/AEG

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