Friday, May 01, 2009
Found this in excellent condition on vinyl at a local indie shop about two weeks ago. My original copy was destroyed years ago at a party, hosted by my youngest sister, that got way out of hand (as in, the house suffered tons of damage) That infamous evening cost me quite a few really amazing albums, actually. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
"Scoop" is a very entertaining collection of demos from Townshend's back pocket, taken from various writing sessions for several Who and solo albums. It differs from similar releases for a number of reasons:
1) Wholly different arrangements of songs.
2) Sound quality is first rate.
3) You will listen to it more than once. (really)
Even the casual fan will find themselves enjoying this, mainly because the material is so strong. Who aficionados have a treasure trove of blueprints to dissect and trace exactly what contributions the other members made to these remarkable tunes. They do stand up quite nicely without augmentation.
I tried to get my son to hold open the gatefold sleeve for a quick picture, though he wasn't in a cooperative mood.
Another great aspect of these discs is listening to Townshend mature both as a writer and multi instrumentalist. He handles all of the parts with flair and his vocal take puts a much different spin on things. You'll hear some of these selections almost as if it's for the first time. Glad to have this one back in my collection.
Here's a sample, with a few words from the maestro himself.
"Recorded on a 24-track in my studio at our country place. This song was written for my first solo album EMPTY GLASS. I first put the lyric together at the same time as 'And I Moved' for submission to Bette Midler. Neither song ever reached her. It didn't seem to impress the producer Chris Thomas, maybe it was ahead of its time. It sounds a little behind it now, but I still think it's great. The electro-pop sound was all done in a single pass (performance) on a Yamaha home organ with the bass pedals, drum machine, upper and lower keyboards and arpeggio units all laid onto separate trucks. Modern home organs are really very complex computer synthesizers that are a damn sight easier to 'programme' than the so called real thing. I love 'em and will buy more as soon as I get enough space"
"Bargain" from a 2000 show.