The Who will release a new album, WHO, on November 22nd via Polydor Records, their first in 13 years. The rock band has previewed the release with rollicking, politically-tinged single “Ball and Chain,” which the band has previously played live.
The eleven-track album was primarily recorded in London and Los Angeles during the spring and summer of 2019, and was co-produced by Pete Townshend and D. Sardy, with vocal production by Dave Eringa. Simon Townshend, Benmont Tench, Carla Azar, Joey Waronker and Gordon Giltrap contributed to the songs as well.
“I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973,” singer Roger Daltrey said in a statement. “Pete hasn’t lost it. He’s still a fabulous songwriter, and he’s still got that cutting edge.”
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Townshend added, “This album is almost all new songs written last year, with just two exceptions. There is no theme, no concept, no story, just a set of songs that I (and my brother Simon) wrote to give Roger Daltrey some inspiration, challenges and scope for his newly revived singing voice. Roger and I are both old men now, by any measure, so I’ve tried to stay away from romance, but also from nostalgia if I can. I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Memories are OK, and some of the songs refer to the explosive state of things today. I made new home studio demos of all these songs in the summer of 2018 using a wide collection of instruments old and new.”
The songs tackle various subjects including, the Grenfell Tower fire, musical theft, spirituality, reincarnation, the power of memory and what it’s like to be an aging rock star. The artwork for the new album was created by artist Sir Peter Blake, a longtime friend of the band, and was unveiled last night at the Pace gallery in New York City. The album is currently available to preorder via The Who’s online store.
The Who are touring the U.S. this fall, with several stops at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. They will embark on a U.K. tour in support of the new album next year. The band’s last album, Endless Wire, was released in 2006.
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