Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Who - Rock is Dead - Long Live Rock

The Who – Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock

(soniclovenoize reconstruction)

Side A:
1.  Relay
2.  Long Live Rock
3.  Is It In My Head?
4.  Put The Money Down
5.  Join Together

Side B:
6.  Cut My Hair

This is the final entry in a series of alternate Who albums, a reconstruction of the unreleased album Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock, a project scrapped in 1972 for sounding too much like Who’s Next.  Intended as a concept album about The Who themselves, the idea was further developed the following year into their seminal double album Quadrophenia.  Rather than simply emulating Pete Townshend’s original demo sequence for Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock, this reconstruction attempts to replicate what The Who had intended for the album just before abandoning it during their European Tour in August 1972: standalone singles on Side A and a rock opera occupying all of Side B.  All the best and most dynamic masters were used and all tracks volume adjusted for continuity. 

1971 was a landmark year for The Who, releasing Who’s Next—born from the ashes of the aborted Lifehouse album—and achieving some of the band’s greatest hits throughout the year.  After a brief but much-deserved break after the Who’s Next Tour was completed, the band slowly began to regroup in the spring of 1972 to plot it’s follow-up.  Although creative mastermind Pete Townshend swore to the media that he would never tackle another long-form concept album after Tommy’s success and Lifehouse’s demise, he had a jumble of concepts bouncing around in his head, waiting for the opportunity to use them.  Drawing from several alleged unrecorded Lifehouse leftovers and additional newer compositions, Townshend recorded demos that charted out the entirety of this next Who album, provisionally titled Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock.  A final 40-minute compilation tape of Townshend's demos contained: “Relay”; “Get Inside”; “Love Rein O’er Me”; “Woman’s Liberation (Riot in the Femail Jail)”; “Long Live Rock”; “Is It In My head?”; “Put The Money Down”; “Can’t You See I’m Easy”; and “Join Together”.

Heading into Olympic Studios with Glyn Johns in May 1972 to properly record band versions of Pete’s Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock demo album, the band tracked suburb versions of “Join Together”, “Relay” and “Is It In My Head?”.  The following month, three more of the songs were tracked: “Long Live Rock”, “Put The Money Down” and “Love, Reign O’er Me”.  At this point in time, a conceptual theme emerged and was applied to the project: an autobiographical history of The Who themselves.  Early brainstorming included plans to musically represent the various eras of The Who: from early-60s Mod to late 60s neo-psyche to early 70s stadium rock.  This idea was quickly discarded and the band instead stuck with a jumble of songs vaguely about themselves or their rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, particularly in “Join Together” and “Long Live Rock”. 

While The Who seemed to have a good start on a new album, the band themselves were not so sure.  Reviewing the six songs properly tracked—as well as the remaining songs from Townshend’s Rock is Dead demo that still needed to be recorded (the flimsy faux-Eastern “Can’t You See I’m Easy”, the meaningless whimsy of “Get Inside” and the abysmally dismal “Woman’s Liberation”)—the collection seemed as a pale imitation of Who’s Next.   Wanting an album of more substance, Townshend told Johns that he wished to write another rock opera to at least occupy one whole side of the album, with the best of the material from the Olympic sessions occupying the other.   Needing more time to write the opera, the album’s release date was postponed from August to December and “Join Together” was released as a single in June, an apparent preview of the upcoming album.   After tracking a throw-away Keith Moon original entitled “Wasp Man” for future B-side use, the band embarked on a brief tour of Europe in August, debuting both “Join Together” and “Relay” and touting them as a part of their upcoming album.  While promoting the tour, Townshend dropped hints of the rock opera he was in the process of composing, claiming it was about teenage adolescence and reminiscent of earlier mid-60s-era Who singles, and was to be called “Cut My Hair”. 

By the end of the tour in September, Townshend began to have doubts about the intended Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock album.  Most of his thoughts centered on the rock opera provisionally titled “Cut My Hair”; as he added new sections to it, the piece began to outweigh the collection of songs recorded at Olympic in the spring.  It is at this point when Townshend’s plan changed: instead of having one side of standalone songs vaguely about the history of The Who with a mini rock opera about adolescence on the other side, Townshend combined the two concepts into one.  Going as far back as 1971, Townshend had always wanted to make a single album that embodied the character of each individual member of The Who, so this was woven into “Cut My Hair” and expounded into the length of one whole album.  Now, the adolescent protagonist of the rock opera became a schizophrenic, harboring the four personalities of  The Who: Townshend (the “good boy”), Daltrey (the “bad boy”), Entwhistle (the romantic) and Moon (the madman).  That autumn, Townshend continued writing new pieces for the opera, with Rock Is Dead – Long Live Rock’s own death signaled by the single release of “Relay” b/w “Wasp Man” in November 1972, a stopgap as Townshend bought time to polish off this song cycle. 

Early 1973  saw The Who build their own 16-track recording studio out of an old church, dubbed Ramport Studios.  By March Townshend had completed demoing his new song cycle and The Who convened at Ramport in June to record their opus.  Aside from “Is It In My Head?” and “Love, Reign O’er Me”, nothing from the previous year’s Olympic session was used.  The resulting album—now titled Quadrophenia—became what many hail as the band’s masterpiece, a seamless double album with a concept more comprehensible than Lifehouse but musically more impressive than Tommy.  While Quadrophenia is certainly the last great work of The Who, is it the real album it could have been?  Can we join together the castaway material and revive Rock is Dead? 

The most obvious way to reconstruct Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock is to simply gather the six songs from the 1972 Olympic sessions and pair them with Pete’s demos of “Get Inside” (found on the Quadrophenia box set), “Woman’s Liberation” and “Can’t You See I’m Easy” (found on bootlegs), and sequence them as per his demo reel—and possibly even throw on “Wasp Man” for good measure!  The problem is that this assemblage becomes a very weak album and one can understand why The Who scrapped it.  As a more interesting and musically fulfilling experiment, we will instead attempt to construct Townshend’s August concept of having the “Cut My Hair” rock opera filling an entire side of the album and leaving the best of the Olympic sessions to their own side.  But what exactly would have the mini rock opera “Cut My Hair” consisted of? 

Luckily, recording dates for Pete Townshend’s demos are stated in the Quadrophenia box set.  Plowing through the data, Townshend had essentially demoed the album over two distinct periods, separated by The Who’s August 1972 Tour (roughly spanning April-July 1972 and October 1972-March 1973).  Based on this, it is reasonable to believe that any material demoed during that first period was meant for the “Cut My Hair” mini-rock opera, since it occurred before Rock Is Dead’s death in September.  These would include: “Drowned”, “Anymore”, “Joker James”, “Cut My Hair”, “Four Faces”, “We Close Tonight”, “You Came Back”, “Dirty Jobs” and “Doctor Jimmy”.  Using a supposed imaginary timeline, this reconstruction assumes The Who wrapped Side A of Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock before the tour, but required additional time to properly record Side B’s mini rock opera; thus any material recorded the following year in the Quadrophenia sessions proper is fair game. 

Side A (the standalone singles half) begins as Townshend’s demo of Rock is Dead does, with “Relay”, here the full-length version taken from The Who Hit 50.  This is followed by the title track, “Long Live Rock”, taken from the 2011 SACD remaster of Odds & Sodds.  “Is It In My Head?”—here considered its own song separate from any concept, as was originally intended in 1972—follows, taken from the 2012 SACD remaster of Quadrophenia, the original 1973 mix of the song.  “Put The Money Down” from Odds & Sodds is next, with Side A concluding with “Join Together” from The Who Hit 50.   

Side B (the rock opera half) consists of an edit of “Dirty Jobs”, “Cut My Hair”, “Doctor Jimmy” and “Love, Reign O’er Me”, all taken from the 2012 remaster of the original mix of Quadrophenia.  Much like “A Quick One While He’s Away”, all four tracks are crossfaded into one 20-minute continuous piece, more or less about adolescence.  We will hope for a suspension of disbelief from the listener and request to set aside the knowledge of Quadrophenia's plot.  Here, the "Cut My Hair" mini opera describes a teenage protagonist who works a dead-end job and receives guff about his hair and clothes from his elders.  He laments his self-destructive nature and at it's conclusion, has an epiphany that only love can save him.   

This resultant Rock is Dead – Long Live Rock becomes a midpoint between Pete’s scrapped nine-song demo reel and the eventual Quadrophenia album.  It becomes a much better listen minus the atrocious “Women’s Liberation/Riot In The Female Jail”, and including what could be thought of as a condensed Quadrophenia itself on Side B.  And with that, let love reign o'er you.  Special thanks to Jon Hunt for his original artwork, found on his blog. 

Sources used:
The Who - Quadrophenia (2012 SACD remaster – original mix)
The Who - Odds & Sods (2011 SHM remaster)
The Who – Hits 50! (2014 Geffen Records)


  1. I stumbled across your site awhile back and you are just so, so of a similar mind and aesthetic value as I am when it comes to these things and appreciating and collating them and assemblage. It's just so inspiring and I've enjoyed all of your work so so so much. I've wanted to comment for a long time but always kind of opt out for fear of going on and on, but this last Who post is fucking beyond masterful. I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your work and just know that there are folks out there in the tiny niche you occupy that are really incredible inspired and motivated by what you do and follow it.

  2. Hello soniclovenoize,
    Your posts, and mainly those related to the Who reconstructed albums, are always interesting for all Who's fan such myself.
    Thanks a lot

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. The one track is a 20-minute reconstructed rock opera

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Happy days are here again! Sonic makes his triumphant return

  5. Looking forward to it! Thanks Sonic.

  6. Another fabulous piece of work, SLN. Cheers to you and your stellar blog! Thank you.

    - DC

  7. Welcome back, dude - thanks for the work!

  8. Listening to your reconstructions have gotten me more into The Who. Thanks!

  9. Would love to see your take on Neil Young's "Old Ways 1" - the scrapped 1983 record that became Old Ways (1985)

    1. And the original "After the Gold Rush"--after all, the track list is on the fold-out contained within what surfaced as AtGR.

  10. There's 22 days of summer left if you still want to make 1862 a "summer album" :)

  11. Hey do you think you could do the Small Faces' 1862 I'd love to hear your take on it

    1. Already done. Was going to upload it this summer, but unfortunately I was too busy to work on this at all this summer. I'll try to get it up soon then, since you guys want to hear it. September's album will be an upgrade of an older one, so possibly in October.

    2. by the way I'm gonna do a wild guess and say the upgrade is either Human Highway, Celebration of the Lizard or Chrome Dreams

  12. Great addition to the ever growing collection. Thanks for keeping this project alive!

  13. Great to see you back......and great band

  14. Once again, great job, bravo!. You´re the One. Thanks for all and Long Live to You, my friend. So Great!

  15. Thank you for this very coherent and enjoyable album. I think that it could have been released like this. It is made in the continuity of Who's Next and there is nothing to be ashamed of in there. In the both "albums", the energy sometimes lower down. Maybe the riffs end apparent keyboard loops (in fact, it was really played note by note) make the "real" one better. But you can listened to Bowie's "the man who sold the world" and enjoy it whenever the precedent album where better. I don't believe that was written about Quatrophenia is true. Concept albums are often a way the put ups and downs in the same logical or emotional package hoping that the listener will remember the best part only. Everything is fine in this present re-animated project / object, and I hope that Zeus lightnings will avoid me after this comment.

  16. You know your music, and you know your Who. I'm guessing you know your Mods, as well, but we'll find out when 1862 surfaces! I am continually amazed by the level of genius you bring to the recombinant DNA of your albums. Please, don't ever stop! Cheers, and lots of love for all you do.

  17. Amazing! I always love your Who and Beach Boys releases. The others too, but those have helped cement my love for those bands. Thank you so much!

  18. A new challenge for you: The Byrds, Unrealized 1968 Double-LP Concept Album on the History of 20th Century Music

    1. You know for a long time I considered this impossible because the band basically gave up on the concept before it even began. But the other day I had an idea about this: take the songs from "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" and "Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde," rearrange them in chronological order style-wise (traditional songs first, slowly going into country, Bakersfield sound, rock/blues, folk rock, hard rock, etc. So I did it, and it kicks off with "Pretty Polly" and ends with "Moog Raga" -- 24 tracks in all (I cut "Canadian Rockies" as I didn't think it fit the concept).

    2. Hmmm I wonder where you got that idea https://lpredoreview.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-byrds-20c-imagined-lp.html?m=0

    3. Not possible. For one thing, the 2 albums mentioned are by 2 different bands. The "Sweetheart Byrds", are what's left of the real Byrds; The Dr. Byrds group is not the real Byrds, it's McGuinn and 3 other guys. Plus, the original concept was Appalachian folk;, country music, R&R, and Moog. The "Sweetheart " band did not cut enough material to fulfill the concept album McGuinn envisioned, and Hillman wanted no part of the Moog crap. Trying to do this without tracks which were never cut, would be a waste of time.

    4. Smash Addams -- first I've ever seen of that blog. My tracklist is similar, but not exactly the same. Great minds...

    5. Cheers! Fair enuff :) You do some great work, man.

  19. ...Byrds...Moby Grape 2nd...Gene Clark...T.Rex...???

  20. I know, but can you put the complete set list?

  21. ...and the unrealized 1969 musical "Gene Trip"?.I think that, twenty-six songs that were written for the musical."Chestnut Mare", "Lover of the Bayou", "All the Things", "Just a Season" "Kathleen's Song" and "I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician". Can you make it?.

    1. It'd be hard since only 5 songs are out there...

    2. Byrds, Gene Clark, GP, etc.

    3. I reimagined "5D":
      2)She Don't Care About Time
      4)I See You
      5)I Come and Stand At Every Door
      6)I Know My Rider
      7)Eight Miles High
      9)The Day Walk
      10)What's Happening
      11)It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

      I wanted another Byrds w/Gene...

    4. Oh, and "Eight Miles"and"Why"are the RCA versions, natch...

    5. As much as I'd love another Byrds lp with Gene Clark, this one doesn't work. The TTT and Fifth Dimension stuff sound different ( audio wise ) and they both have a different "feel " to them. I'd rather improve the TTT lp, by removing some of the weaker tracks, and include the ones left off. By the way, have you heard Sundazed's new issue of the RCA Eight Miles High / Why 45 ? They found a new source, and the quality is amazing. If you don't yet have it, I would highly recommend it

    6. If this list is to be believed, three songs for Gene Tryp have yet to surface: "Solveig's Song," "The Robbin of the Stage" and "Home on the Hillside." And "Kathleen's Song" is on the list

    7. I did already with TTT and u r right...I just wanted a 3rd album w/Gene,and this was how I did it, not caring about slight audio differences, and the "feel" is Byrds throughout..this is fantasy,after all...

  22. More ideas for U: A doll´s house from the Beatles. The unreleased edit version "White álbum double-Lp".

  23. Hey man what ever happened to some of your Oasis stuff? specifically your 'Be Here Now'Concise version?

  24. alternate set list "Be here now" - Oasis

    1- Be here now.
    2- Stay Young.
    3- Stand by me.
    4- (I got) The Fever.
    5- My sister lover.
    6- Going nowhere.
    7- D´you know what I mean?.
    8- The Fame.
    9- Flashbax.
    10- All around the world.
    11- Heroes.
    12- St.Fighting man.

  25. More from Oasis - (What´s the Story) Morning Glory - promotional set list.

    1- Hello.
    2- Roll with it.
    3- Wonderwall.
    4- Don´t look back in anger.
    5- Hey now.
    6- Link track #1
    7- Some might say.
    8- Step out.
    9- Cast no shadow.
    10- She´s electric.
    11- Morning Glory.
    12- Link track #2
    13- Champagne Supernova.
    14- Bonehead´s bank holyday

  26. ...and more Byrds...alt.version of "Dr.Byrds and Mr. Hyde", or Roger's 1st. solo album and/or the most underrated/unknown Psych country-rock album...
    1.King Apathy III
    2.This Wheel's On Fire
    3.Your Gentle Way Of Loving Me
    4.Child Of The Universe
    6.Drug Store Truck-Driving Man
    7.Nashville West
    8.Oil In My Lamp
    9.Bad Night At The Whiskey
    10.Stanley's Song
    11.Jesus Is Just Alright
    12.Mae Jean Goes To Hollywood

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. ...a Little bit more from Oasis. The original and complet set list from "Definitely Maybe" 2 cd versión.

    Cd 1:

    1.Rock and Roll Star.
    3.Fade away.
    4.Digsy´s dinner.
    5.Listen Up.
    7.Live forever.
    8.Bring it on down.
    9.Up in the Sky.

    Cd. 2:

    1.Slide away.
    2.Cigarettes and Alcohol.
    3.Half the world away.
    4.(It´s good) to be free.
    5.Married with children.
    6.Take me away.
    7.Sad Song.
    8.D´yer wanna be a spaceman?.

  29. The Byrds - Phoenix.

    1. Lover of The bayou.
    2. Chesnut mare.
    3. Truck stop girl.
    4. All the things (alt).
    5- Yesterday´s train (alt.)
    6. Hungry planet.
    7. Just a reason.
    8. Willin´(2nd).
    9. You all look alike.
    10. Welcome back home.
    11. White´s lighting (complet).

    1. Can Hungry Planet for Kathleen's Song. Better choice.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. ....better this way?

    1. Lover of The bayou.
    2. Chesnut mare.
    3. Truck stop girl.
    4. All the things (alt).
    5- Yesterday´s train (alt.)
    6. kathleen´s song.
    7. Just a reason.
    8. Willin´(2nd).
    9. You all look alike.
    10. Welcome back home.
    11. White´s lighting (complet).

    But, why not "hungry planet"?.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. I don't think it's that good of a song. Two other modifications I'd make : edit out the chanting on Welcome Back Home, and add Amazing Grace to the end of the LP

    1. Ok.., better now:

      Side One:

      01-Lover of the Bayou (Studio).
      02-Chestnut mare.
      03-Truck stop girl.
      04-All the things (Alt).

      Side two:

      05-Yesterday´s train (Alt).
      06-Hungry planet.
      07-Just a reason.
      08-Take a whiff on me.

      Side three:

      10-You all look alike.
      11-Kathleen´s song (Alt).
      12-Just like a woman (Studio).

      Side four:

      13-White´s lighting #1.
      14-Welcome back home.
      15-White´s lighting #2.
      16-Amazing Grace.

    2. How about this for 'Gene Tryp'

      Chestnut Mare
      Green Apple Quickstep
      All The Things
      Kathleen`s Song
      Lover Of The Bayou

      I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Politician
      Build It Up
      Just A Season
      Stanley`s Song
      Pale Blue

      35 minutes

      I used a program from a college performance and tried to fill in the blanks.

    3. ^ Yes this is as close as Gene Tryp we can get, good job!

      I'd like to see that program playbill! In researching it, I've found that Colgate University seems to have an audio recording of that play in 1992. One could base a tracklist on that, assuming that had some authorization from McGuinn. I want to say it that it did, as it was directed by co-author Jacques Levy and McGuinn might have played guitar for the play as well.

    4. Cheers man,here is what i used,

      Gene Tryp was renamed as ' Just A Season' in 1992

      World Premiere:Colgate University Theater..

      Act1:-Chestnut Mare (Peer)
      -All The Things (Peer)
      -Solveig's Song (Solveig)
      Act 2:Lover Of The Bayou (Mojo Man and Madame Hookers)
      I wanna grow up to be a Politician (Peer)
      The Robbin' of the Stage(The Plummer Gang)
      Just A season:Peer
      Home on the Hillside:Peer and Solveigh

      Kathleen Song?????

      Guitars:Roger McGuinn
      Geoffrey V S Ziegler
      Bass:Andrew Clark
      Drums:Scott Lissun

      Director:Jacques Levy
      Designer:Franco Colvecchia
      Light:Sandra Wohlleber
      T.Manager:Garda Parker

      Information:from Full Circle magazineN° 14

    5. https://www.dropbox.com/home/TB-GT

  32. Seems to me there ought to be one Entwistle song on Side 1. I'd substitute Postcard or possibly When I Was A Boy for Put The Money Down.

  33. What about Green Day - Cigarettes and Valentines?

  34. Hi man just wanted to say thank you for your awesome work.
    Always great to hear all this great music under a fresh angle.

    Your blog was mentioned in yesterday's episode (S3E1) of the Fabcast.
    One of the best Beatle podcast. They mentionned your Get Back album.

    1. Hey! Cool! Thanks to those guys for the shout out!

  35. Once the Yardbirds 1968 material gets re-released, you could attempt to assemble an album from that and the Little Games leftovers, and possibly the single. I know I will.

  36. Would love a complete collection of all the Van Morrison b-sides and outtakes. BIG thanks.

  37. I would love to see your version of album of Jethro Tulls abandoned pre Thick As A Brick Session.

  38. Gethesemene?

    Wonder People
    Laughing Stock
    Tired Of Sitting
    Your Friend and Mine
    I'm With You
    Your Mind and We
    Robert Montgomery
    No. Fourteen
    Always See Your Face
    Everlasting First

    *var.sources,inc. Bryan's solo.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Hey guys.., someone knows the complete set list and in correct order of The Byrds Concerts from Felt Forum - march 1.70 and Fillmore East - september 23.70, to rebuild a live album?

  41. Fillmore East 9/23/70

    1.Introduction / Bill Graham Interview
    2.Jesus Is Just Alright
    3.Eight Miles High

    Felt Forum 1/3/70

    1.Lover Of The Bayou
    2.You Ain`t Going Nowhere
    3.Old Blue
    4.You All Look Alike
    5.My Back Pages
    6.Positively 4th Street
    7.He Was A friend Of Mine
    9.Soldiers Joy
    10.Eight Miles High
    11.Jesus Is Just Allright
    12.Ballad Of The Easy Rider
    13.So You Want To Be A Rock `n` Roll Star
    14.Hold It

    NB - Soldiers Joy might actually be `Take A City Bride'

    1. and what happend with:

      - "It´s alright Ma (I´m only bleeding)" and "This wheel´s on fire" from the Felt Fórum´70. And "Baby what you want me to do", "I Trust" & "take a whiff (on me)" from the fillmore East too.

      Set list from Colden Hall Queens College. Feb.28.70.

  42. No idea,
    found these lists on the web,
    Fillmore East is on you tube,it was filmed for TV.

  43. Can`t find a setlist for Queens College,
    Felt Forum setlist is from a site called setlist.FM

  44. I dig what you did for Lifehouse, except I put Pure & Easy first, which seemed to flow better and a few other minor change.

    So had to check this one out too. Long Live Rock got a lot of airplay in my town in the late 70s, and is a kickass rock song, so it deserved a "proper" album.

    Love what you did with Cut My Hair, but I didn't want to use Quadrophenia proper. So this album was a follow up to Who's Next, or in alternate universe, Lifehouse, but became the prototype for Quadrophenia.

    "Relay" and "Join Together" are on Lifehouse, so they can't be here. I didn't put "Put the Money Down" (ran out of room for a proper double album) so it stays. But the what? Might as well be Odds & Sods with a cooler jacket.


    The Rolling Stone article about this record references "Get Inside." Sounds like a Pete vs. Who demo, but pretty solid. Nice place to start. There's some outtakes from Quadrophenia, and We Close Now is classic Who, with a Keith opening riff and power chords, but I can only wonder how much better it would be with Roger singing. There's other Who material from that era, that isn't Pete written. So it kinda also follows the proto-Quadrophenia concept of each member of the Who being represented, without being too Roger light on vocals.

    So here's my take:

    A side

    Get Inside
    When I was a Boy
    Get Out and Stay Out
    Joker James
    Long Live Rock
    Four Faces

    B side

    Put the Money Down
    Young Man Blues
    We Close Tonight
    I'm the Face

    This is supposed to be "Long Live Rock" so a few selections from Odds & Sods, and then Waspman, which isn't that great, but is a nice rocker, apparently an homage to Rumble. Close out with a classic rocker.

  45. The Mp3 link is Flac I think after unzipped? If so, can you re-post mp3 link please....

  46. empty3


  47. Could we please get a re-up of this?

  48. I would also like this to be reuploaded.