Friday, June 12, 2015

The Who - Introducing The Who


The Who – Introducing The Who
(soniclovenoize reconstruction)


Side A:
1.  I’m A Man
2.  Heat Wave
3.  I Don’t Mind
4.  Lubie (Come Back Home)
5.  Out In The Street (You’re Gonna Know Me)
6.  Please Please Please

Side B:
7.  Leaving Here
8.  Daddy Rolling Stone
9.  Motoring
10.  Anytime You Want Me
11.  Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
12.  Shout and Shimmy


This is a reconstruction of what was almost The Who’s 1965 debut album, consisting mostly of amped-up versions of R&B covers, which was eventually scrapped and re-recorded as their classic genre-creating My Generation.  This reconstruction attempts to follow the original promotional acetate sequenced by producer Shel Talmy to recreate what The Who’s first album could have been.  The best sources are used and of course this reconstruction is all in mono—pretty much the only way this material should be presented! 

How are legends born?  Sometimes they are not ready-made brilliant, but their significance needs to be forged and honed.  Following a change of drummer to the young yet prodigal Keith Moon and a change of moniker from The Detours to The Who in 1964, the band was discovered by manager Peter Meaden who urged them to change their name to The High Numbers and record his own originals “Zoot Suit” and “I’m The Face” to exploit the current mod movement in the UK.  The single failed to chart and the band reverted to their Who moniker.  At this time, The Who were crafting their chaotic and destructive stage antics and making a name for themselves as playing “maximum R&B”—electrified, high-energy covers of American rock and rhythm & blues standards, laying the groundwork of what would eventually become punk rock. 

Meadon was promptly replaced by Kit Lambert, who was impressed by the band’s explosive live show and encouraged guitarist Pete Townshend to write original material to keep up with the current trend of self-contained bands such as The Beatles and The Kinks.  Signed by producer Shel Talmy, the band recorded their debut single that November at the basement studios of Pyre Electronics—“I Can’t Explain” b/w “Bald Headed Woman”, which charted at number 8.  This was the catalyst the band needed and Talmy rushed The Who back into the studio to record a follow-up single, “Leaving Here” b/w “Baby Don’t You Do It” in March 1965.  The single was shelved for unknown reasons but the band relocated to IBC Studios instead to record a full-length album in April.  Prodded by vocalist Roger Daltrey, the sessions focused on reproducing The Who’s current live set in that they consisted mainly of early rock and R&B covers, with the only Townshend originals being recorded of the twelve were the paltry “Out in the Street” and a stunning song that attempted to sonically marry both the melodic and chaotic elements of The Who, “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”. 

The later was released in May as a single that charted as high as number 10 and Talmy reached a dilemma: should he release the covers-heavy recordings from April as-is, Daltrey’s vision of The Who?  Or should Townshend be pushed to pen all-original material, as proven he could with both “I Can’t Explain” and “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”?  In a move that set in motion the band’s legendary trajectory, Talmy pressed a nine-song acetate from the sessions and shopped it around to music journalists.  The acetate featured: I’m a Man / Heat Wave / I Don’t Mind / Lubie / Out In The Streets / Please, Please, Please / Leaving Here / Motoring and a final song (most likely “Shout and Shimmy”, as it was the only unheard song from the remaining four, with “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” already released as a single, “Daddy Rolling Stone” as it’s b-side in the UK and “Anytime You Want Me” as it’s b-side in the US).  Aside from Townshend later claiming he hated the album in this early configuration, the feedback was dismal and the material was deemed unoriginal and lacked the electric spark heard on the previous singles.  It was decided that the whole album should be scrapped and to start again from scratch; Townshend had beaten Daltrey over the direction of The Who. 

After a summer tour, the band reconvened to IBC Studios in October with all-new original material and recorded eight more tracks: “A Legal Matter”, “The Good’s Gone”, “It’s Not True”, “The Kids Are Alright”, “La-La-La Lies”, “Much Too Much”, “The Ox” and a little two-chord tune with a bass solo called “My Generation”.  Creating the bulk of the remade debut, The Who rescued “Out in the Street”, “I Don’t Mind”, “Please Please Please” and “I’m A Man” from the April sessions and the album was released in December as My Generation, with its title track as the lead single released the previous month.  The rest may be history, but the twisted path The Who took to find their generation could have yielded a completely different introduction. 

Our first step in reconstructing this early version of My Generation—which I have aptly titled Introducing The Who—is to simply recreate Shel Telmay’s nine-song acetate, sifting in the three remaining songs into side B.  The results create a surprisingly well-balanced album, with side A beginning with the ruckus of "I'm a Man", side A ending with the slow-tempo “Please Please Please” and side B beginning with the up-tempo “Leaving Here” (intended as a single anyways!).  Also seemingly much more than coincidence, the covers-heavy album would then have one Townshend-original buried deep within each LP side full of cover versions, much like another popular rock band also on Decca Records: The Rolling Stones, in which both of their 1965 releases The Rolling Stones No. 2 and Out of Our Heads featured the exact same layout!  As for source material, we will only use the original mono mixes and focus on the very best master of the available material: the 2011 Japanese SHM-SACD remaster of My Generation.  All other source material (the 2008 My Generation box set and the 2011 remaster of Who’s Missing Two’s Missing) was A/Bed, re-EQed and volume adjusted to match the parameters of that excellent 2011 SHM-SACD remaster to make a cohesive whole and as close to the sound of the master tapes as possible. 

Side A specifically follows Telmay’s acetate, which begins with “I’m A Man” from the 2011 remaster of My Generation, followed by “Heat Wave” from the 2008 My Generation box set.  Next is “I Don’t Mind” from the 2011 SHM-SACD followed by “Lubie” from the 2008 remaster, with the side concluding with “Out On The Street” and “Please Please Please” from the 2011 remaster.  Side B deviates slightly from the Telmay acetate in order to include the three songs that were initially dropped due to the single release, although retaining the side opener and closer.  The side begins with The Who single-that-never-was “Leaving Here” from the 2008 box, followed by “Daddy Rolling Stone” and “Motoring” also from the box.  “Anytime You Want Me” is next, taken from the superb 2011 remaster of Who’s Missing Two’s Missing.  Closing out the album is the single version of “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” from the 2008 box and “Shout and Shimmy” from the 2011 remaster. 




Sources Used:
My Generation (2011 Japanese SHM-SACD remaster)
My Generation (2008 Japanese Collector’s box set)
Who’s Missing Two’s Missing (2011 Japanese SHM-SACD remaster)


flac --> wav --> SONAR and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
* md5 files, track notes and artwork included


53 comments:

  1. I found the Fortune Teller song lower than the original versions, in dispite of the fact that the music is apparently faster in the Who cover. Useless coverversion, like for the Rolling Stones. But Picture of Lily was better played in the Bowie cover, with disrupted melody, more intensity on the terrible experience made by the poor teenager trying to find some peace of... mind. It could have been a great song by the Who. I wonder if it could be possible to leave the 'candide' Who's view upon it and put big strengh into it like powerfull riffs from Who's next or Tommy or even more breaks with instrumental joyful da-daaamm or ti-du-di-du-di-du-di segments ?

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    1. Not sure how your comment is relevant to this particular album? However, the original Who version of 'Pictures of Lily' is an undisputed classic - the Bowie version, by comparison, is actually pretty wretched! As for the Who or Stones doing 'useless' cover versions, that is an over-statement. Both did some great covers, as well as some lesser ones. 'Fortune Teller' is one of the great ones!

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  2. Hey Sonic!What a cool recontruction,represents perfectly their "Maximum R'N'B" phase.I'd like to suggest you to reconstruct "Fungo Bat" by The Nazz. Their second album (Nazz Nazz) was supposed to be a double album,with material from their third album,Nazz III. There is an official release that contains all these songs (the versions with Todd Rundgen's vocals),but out of a good order.I'd appreciate if you tried to reconstruct it!

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    1. Hmmm, sounds interesting... I'll see if I can do it! I do like the first Nazz album.

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    2. Here's something I saw that was pretty cool,a proposed tracklist for the "Fungo Bat" LP
      Side A
      1. Forget All About It
      2. There's Only One Winner
      3. Magic Me
      4. Gonna Cry Today
      5. Meridian Leeward
      6. Under the Ice
      Side B
      1. Some People
      2. Rain Rider
      3. Resolution
      4. Old Time Love-Makin'
      5. Featherbedding Lover
      6. Take The Hand
      7. How Can You Call That Beautiful
      Side C
      1. Loosen Up
      2. Sing You A Song / Blues Tune
      3. It's Not That Easy
      4. Plenty of Lovin'
      5. Letters Don't Count
      6. Kiddie Boy
      7. Christopher Columbus
      Side D
      1. Hang On Paul
      2. Not Wrong Long
      3. You Are My Window
      4. A Beautiful Song
      And also a "Bonus Track EP":
      1. Sidney's Lunchbox
      2. Love Everywhrere
      3. Train Kept A Rollin'
      4. Kicks
      5. Oxymoron

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    3. Yep I found that tracklisting last week. Working on it now. All of this material needs to be EQd because all three remasters of Nazz Nazz and Nazz III sound like butt.

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    4. You could also use this as the cover art: http://idesignalbumcovers.tumblr.com/post/14267054721/the-nazz-fungo-bat

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  3. How about a reconstruction of the intended double-album version of "Abacab" by Genesis. I made my own reconstruction of it a few years ago but I'm interested in hearing your take on it.

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  4. Thanks for this, love early Who and your notes are quite informative.

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  5. Thanks! This may be my favorite of everything you've done, and that's really saying something. I've always loved My Generation and counted it in the distinguished list of wonderful first albums (Beatles, Elvis, Stones, Kinks ...). But this beats it! Turns out that MG was really a truly classic second album (like Dylan, for instance), while this stands up there as a first album that represents the energy and freshness and roots from which everything later (and arguably better) would develop. With that one superb track that points the way forward ... Brilliant (them and you, both)!

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  6. BTW, they never did release an album called Who's on First, did they?

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  7. I really really really like this! Superb flow and cohesion.
    Using the film soundtrack "Zabriskie's Point" (1970), i made an all-instrumental record of Jerry Garcia's, using instrumentals - Love Scene (all 5 versions (including the main one.), as well as the light, not too spacey, instrumental tracks from Garcia (1972) [Eep Hour, An Odd Little Place] ... very sonically cohesive and blissful to say the least. Love the work! Keep it up! I'll be having this Who album on repeat until i see them in October!

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  8. Wow. I can recognize the care and love that went into re-creating this. Pretty amazing. Providing history and something new to listen to that almost never was. Nice job as always. I guess one has to be careful to mess with something so iconic…. I can appreciate the effort and I say Wow!! and Thanks!!

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  9. Cool idea for a blog.

    I thought I was the only one who did this sort of thing. In my book "Grateful Dead FAQ" I put together two albums that the Dead never made but should have. One was their "lost" studio album from 1972. But another was a swan song that never came to pass.

    I actually put that one together for a YouTube video: "Days Between: The Final Album That Never Was." Message me through my Web site if you want more info or if you'd like it for this blog.
    https://youtu.be/V-HXABGKQoA

    PS: There's also a Temptations album to be made using cuts that preceded "Meet the Temptations" and a Jan & Dean album that can be kludged together using various '70s solo and duo releases.

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    1. Do provide an example of the Jan & Dean never-never-album.

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  10. Very nice. I like the concept. You should do more like this, "first album that never was"...'s

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  11. It may be Heresy, but I'd say The Who were among the top 5 over-rated bands in rocknroll history. They had their moments but......by and large...i thought their songwriting pedestrian @ best and juvenile @ it's worst

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    1. Who (no pun intended) are the other 4 just out of curiosity? I'm not a big fan of The Who but I enjoyed this reconstruction and their best songs are memorable, pedestrian sounds a bit harsh.

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    2. You are talking out of your arse mate.

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    3. If anything, the scale of the Who's achievements is still under-rated by most. I get really sick of pompous critics trying to convince the world that the Kinks were the 'obviously' superior band. Bull! Pete Townshend was / is a true visionary and I cannot think of another individual in Rock who has achieved more. The other three were among the very best on their respective instruments into the bargain and their merits as a live band simply aren't open to debate.

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    4. Your blazed to think any of the members of the who were even great musicians, let alone among the best hahahahahahaha. I envy you, because you have some extremely great music to discover.

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    5. You're out of your mind if you really believe that. I assume you think technical proficiency or 'maturity' is what makes a 'great' rock musician? If so, I pity you for being such a dullard. You clearly simply don't understand what great rock music is really all about. The Who exemplify it. Oh, and if you're going to argue with someone who knows better, at least give examples to back up your argument!

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    6. Yes Kurt CObain was the best guitarist also then, if we are using your warped logic.

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  12. Another excellent effort that's going straight into my iTunes Library. Just happened to check your site at a time when I'm on an early Who kick and building playlists that follow their recording history. Perfect timing! Looking forward to more of the same, especially from the Who.

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  13. Hey Sonic! Longtime listener, first time commenter. Just wanted to say thank you for all of these reconstructions. Your blog has become one of my favorites, and I always look forward to what you come up with. This reconstruction is pretty fantastic. Can't wait to see what's next. A few suggestions for you:

    The Who-Quads

    Bob Dylan-Tangled Up In Blue Original

    The final Neutral Milk Hotel Album
    In honor of their last show on the 11th, this would be a much appreciated reconstruction. I'm pretty sure their are enough available studio recordings of Jeff to fill up an album, but if there isn't, you could always use unreleased songs recorded during their live set at the Aquarius in 1996 (same place where the widely available version of "My Dreamgirl Don't Exist" comes from. High quality audio with minimal crowd noise).Or you could use parts of Jeff's various sound collages from his radio show, the Korena Pang tapes, or Field Works Vol. 1.

    It would be great to see any of these, but regardless, I will be back, enjoying all your reconstructions. Keep up the great work!

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    1. The only real post Aeroplane song we have is "Little Birds." Can't really be done, and just stuffing it with every non-LP song would be cheating.

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    2. Dude, the Blood on the Tracks acetate has been out there forever.

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  14. An amazing suggestion would be Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (Double album version) - most of these songs can be found on bootlegs/ b-sides etc.

    Parker intended for Innerspeaker to be a double album, but eventually lacked the motivation to make it. Many of the songs demos intended for the double album were later leaked onto YouTube in unmixed form.

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  15. How about an alternate version of Meat Loaf's "Midnight at the Lost and Found?"

    Released: 1983

    Includes the following tracks:

    Total Eclipse of the Heart
    Making Love out of Nothing at All
    Left in the Dark

    The first two were reportedly written for Meat Loaf by his longtime collaborator Jim Steinman, but Meat's record company couldn't afford him, so they went to Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply, becoming huge hits in the process. Left in the Dark was recorded by Barbara Streisand.

    It would have been interesting indeed to see if these songs could have helped Meat Loaf have a huge comeback in 1983.

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    1. > Total Eclipse of the Heart

      Thank you so much for reminding of that accursed jingle that I had successful suppressed from my consciousness.

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  16. Interesting you chose to reconstruct this end of the pendulum swing. I haven't heard the JP disc you are pulling from. How does it compare to the MCA 30-track release?

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    1. The primary concern is that the MCA release are the stereo mixes, and I don't believe this material was meant to be heard in stereo. Some of the mixes sound alright, but many feature fake stereo processing. With early Who, I'd stick to vintage mono mixes whenever possible.

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  17. I'm with you on the Stereo vs. Mono thing (also Beatles, Stones, etc.). I should have been more specific: I was asking about sound quality.

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  18. The Kinks "Preservation Act" was originally conceived to be one album. I think that would be a worthy endeavor and adhering to your new guidelines.

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  19. If The Who had started with this as their debut, and recorded "My Generation" as part of their second album, no damage would have been done and we would have two excellent albums and a clear progression towards the band they became.

    Is there any chance that an alternate sophomore album be scheduled? It would only need to replace four tracks with Townshend originals (or any left-over cover versions)

    Anyway, anyhow, Right there.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. If you add the first version of Circles and its B Side Instant Party Mixture you're already halfway there.

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  20. What about an actual 3rd Blind Melon album?

    Soup (Soup Demos)
    Hell (Nico)
    All That I Need (Nico)
    Glitch (Nico)
    Brittle Little Baby (instrumental) [Soup Demos]
    Pull (Nico)
    Swallowed (Nico)
    Every Day (The Way You Looked Before)
    Frosting A Cake (Soup Demos)
    Ever Had The Feeling (bootleg)
    Tickled Pink (bootleg)
    Letters From a Porcupine (From You and You and You)

    It makes for a good listen, and makes the compilation "Nico" obsolete, in ways of a 3rd album, instead of the compilation that it is.

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  21. Love this. Back when The Who were actually a great band, before they became a parody of themselves later on. This tour of what could have been their first album is great, and truly appreciated.

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  22. Here are some other suggestions:

    Ryan Adams - 48 Hours
    Ryan Adams - Suicide Handbook

    Neil Young - Times Square
    Neil Young - Old Ways (first Version)

    Bob Dylan - In Concert

    Prince - The Black Album

    Yes - untitled 1979 Paris Sessions

    Bruce Springsteen - The Ties That Bind

    Paul McCartney "McCartney II" double LP version

    Iggy & The Stooges - Fourth LP (1973,74,75)

    The Posies - Eclipse (original version)

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    1. At least two of those (The Black Album and McCartney II) exist as final products. Though I guess you could reconstruct McCartney II in high quality using the boxed set material (and a couple slight speed adjustments).

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  23. The Cowboy Junkies - "Sharon" (which was a followup to the "trinity Sessions" ) They scrapped it and instead recorded "CAUTION HORSES" in an actual studio.

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  24. Only one Who album left to do - "Jigsaw Puzzle"! Please? And maybe an updated/revised "Lifehouse" with the live tracks as intended? :)

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    1. Jigsaw Puzzle was originally going to be The Who's second album. The track list was rearranged and the album was released as A Quick One instead.

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  25. Been holding my tongue for months here, but I'm finally gonna jump in with some Bee Gees thoughts. These have been done, and some reconstructions exist on Youtube, but generally crappy-sounding, and with intermittently questionable running orders.

    The three things that deserve better than they've got over the years:

    Maurice Gibb's unreleased solo album from 1970, The Loner
    Barry's ditto, The Kid's No Good
    And the band's rejected elpee from the big ballad years, 1973's provisionally entitled A Kick In The Head Is Worth Eight In The Pants.

    What think you?

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    1. "The Kid's No Good" and "A Kick In The Pants" circulate in high quality from finished masters, if you know what bootlegs to look for.

      "The Loner" material sadly only exists in poor quality.

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  26. Hi, I just discovered your blog and just wanted to thank you for all these great projects. You've created a great resource for music fans. Thank you!

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  27. Love it. I'm late to the Instant Party, but I love it anyway, anyhow.

    Here's an alternate cover, just because:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/j6bu6qe3u5vrq0r/the%20who%20maximum%20r%20%26%20b.jpg?dl=0

    Thanks! Great job!

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