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I Read Comics

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

52 Songs #8: Pete Townshend Behind Blue Eyes Demo

This week: Pete Townshend, Behind Blue Eyes (Demo Version), from the album Lifehouse Chronicles, Lifehouse Demos (Disc 1). Recorded in 1970 and released in 2000 on the first two discs of a 6 CD box set.

There was a time in my life when I had return address labels which said "Pete Townshend is God". (Later I changed this to "Pete Townshend is Bald".) I think I was about 16 when I started listening to Tommy and Quadrophenia, courtesy of my brother, who has impeccable taste in music. Quad, especially, spoke to me in deep ways that I had never experienced before and I thought that Pete Townshend might really understand what was going on in my head. Of course, it wasn't until many years later that I realized it was the other way around. Loving the 'orrible 'oo was something I shared with my soul-sister Jan and my best friend April. This included many, many viewings of "The Kids Are Alright" and seeking out rare tracks whenever possible. I don't remember where I bought it - maybe someone even traded it to me - but I first heard Pete's demo tracks for Who's Next on a vinyl bootleg called The Genius of Pete Townshend.

These tracks are amazing. They are so simply yet expertly crafted, and you can see how they changed and became Who's Next. But the raw emotions here, along with Pete's plantive, soulful voice, make listening to them an incandescent thing. I used to play that record with the headphones on and just LISTEN. Hard. I encourage you to do the same.

Come back next Monday for another of the 52 songs!

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