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Liner Notes › Endless Wire

ENDLESS WIRE
 
 

Roger Daltrey Vocals
Pete Townshend Vocals, All instruments (including programmed drum tracks) unless noted. See individual entries.

 

 

Produced by Pete Townshend

Roger Daltrey's vocals produced by Bob Pridden and Billy Nicholls

Tracks recorded discontinuously Autumn 2002 to Summer 2006 at Pete Townshend's home studio and Eel Pie Oceanic Studios, Twickenham. [according to a diary entry by Pete May 20, 2006, he had finished recording all his parts by that date. Roger was to record his vocals for the album "this week."]

Senior Engineer: Myles Clarke.

Additional Engineering: Bob Pridden and Sean Witt

Technical Engineers: Lincoln Fong (Oceanic) and Darren Westbrook (Mobile)

Mixed by Pete Townshend between performances on The Who's 2006 European tour. [The tour officially began June 17 at Leeds University and concluded July 29 at Zaragoza, Spain.]

Rebalanced and finalised by Myles Clarke.

Mastered by Ian Cooper at Metropolis Mastering, London [Mastering was reported completed August 24.]
 

Front cover by Richard Evans utilizing elements created with the Visual Harmony software designed by Dave Snowdon and Lawrence Ball. Evans also designed the covers for Who's Missing, Two's Missing, and The Blues to The Bush.

 

Endless Wire was released as Polydor B000J3DEI8 Oct. 30, 2006 in the U.K. It reached #9. 
Released in the U.S. as Universal Republic B0007967-10 on Oct. 31, 2006, it reached #7.


[Most editions of Endless Wire feature the two bonus tracks listed below. The U.S. edition included the bonus tracks for the vinyl version, added the DVD Live At Lyon for the Limited Edition and added a second CD of Live At Lyon as well for a limited release at Best Buy music stores. Canada got the Live At Lyon CD but not the DVD for its Deluxe Edition. Argentina, Germany, France, Indonesia and Taiwan got the single CD without the bonus tracks. ]

 

 

FRAGMENTS 3'58 
(Pete Townshend/Lawrence Ball) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd. 
Roger Daltrey: Vocals

Lawrence Ball: electronic music


Pete Townshend: "...the song is  based on the continuation of the 'Method' music way of creating individual  pieces of music dictated by parameters and information from individuals, which I  first explored in the 'Lifehouse' project in the early Seventies. 'Fragments' is  based on the initial experiments with composer Lawrence Ball who helped create a  software system and website. The Method has been a recurring theme of mine over the years and I returned to it in my novella 'The Boy Who Heard Music' in which 3 young people form a band called The Glass Household, and the song 'Fragments'  is their first big hit."

 

Co-author Lawrence Ball is a composer and musician of the "minimalist" style (he cites Terry Riley as an influence) who is also a highly sought-after mathematics and physics tutor. His website is located here. "Fragments" had its live premiere performed by The Who Sept. 12, 2006 and was the first song of new material performed during shows for the remainder of the Endless Wire tour. The background screens accompanying the song showed waves crashing on rocks. Pete opened his "Method" website, using the same computer program that generated the music in "Fragments," to the general public May 1, 2007. It is located here.

 

A MAN IN A PURPLE DRESS 4'14
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Roger Daltrey: Vocals


Pete: "After watching Mel Gibson's harrowing 2004 film  'The Passion of the Christ,' I immediately wrote three songs. This was one of  them. It is not so much a rail against the principles of justice through the  ages, but a challenge to the vanity of the men who need to put on some kind of  ridiculous outfit in order to pass sentence on one of their peers. It is the  idea that men need dress up in order to represent God that appalls me. If I  wanted to be as insane as to attempt to represent God, I'd just go ahead and do  it. I wouldn't dress up like a drag-queen."

 

Pete premiered this song on the Mar. 22, 2006 webcast In The Attic. It has strong ties in style and vitriol to the songs on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963), an album that greatly influenced Pete as a young songwriter (as it did most every other English-language songwriter for that matter). In concert this song was illustrated on the monitors by Francis Bacon's painting Head VI (1946).

 

 

MIKE POST THEME 4'28
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Roger Daltrey: Vocals

Analog Drums: Pete Townshend

Pete: "Who songs have been used recently for TV shows. I  thought a lot about why there are people who feel that isn't a cool thing to do.  Mike Post is a man who has written a number of TV themes that I feel have  created a kind of regular sparkle in my life -- they have reminded me that life  comes one day at a time, and that it is truly the little things in life (like  soap operas on TV) that help ease the big troubles. The larger theme in the  background of this song is the statement that we are no longer strong enough or  young enough to love. In a very real way, movies, novels and TV series do help  us to express selfless emotions as we once did when we were in love. Men cry quietly watching TV and movies, women maybe a little more openly, but when we do  that we are reconnecting with our innocent and free-flowing feelings. If only we could still do that with the principle lover in our lives."

 

From an interview with Mercury News: "TV series, and their theme tunes, do two impossible things: They defy time and ageing by allowing us to live forever vicariously in the characters we watch, but they remind us that time is passing, show by show, week by week. When I first came to the U.S. in 1967, I Love Lucy was always on TV somewhere. When I saw her pretty face, I was reminded how much older she must have become, how much younger I was (then) than she. Today the same shows remind me I have overtaken her TV persona. There is a valuable poignancy there that is not sentimental in any way, and yet reaches to the heart of human vulnerability. Mike Post's theme from Hill Street Blues reminds me that once I associated the sound with a cop who couldn't deal with his drink problem. Now I hear it and I remember a brother, for pretty soon I was facing the same problem."

 

From an interview with the St. Petersburg Times (Florida): "TV music lives in a different pocket to other pop music. It is ubiquitous and perennial, and we are constantly revisited by music from other eras as series are rehashed over and over. This cycle of new and old music, woven into the ordinary rhythm of our daily lives, creates a real sense of timelessness. When we hear the theme from M.A.S.H. we remember so many aching feelings – of course we are reminded of the Vietnam war, but at the same time of how old we were, and in my case how apolitical I was about it all, who we were in love with, where we lived. We grow older and hopefully wiser, but the music remains the same."

 

"Mike Post Theme" was first played live by The Who in their return performance at Leeds University June 17, 2006. The composer Mike Post has won an Emmy and five Grammys and had two Top Ten singles in the U.S., "Theme from 'The Rockford Files'" and "Theme from 'Hill Street Blues'." He is four months younger than Pete and is reported pleased with the salute from his fellow TV-theme composer.


 

IN THE ETHER 3'35
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Pete Townshend: Vocals

Pete: "In my Novella The Boy Who Heard Music the narrator is Ray High, a rock star whose drug-abuse has led him to a sanatorium. While there he learns to meditate and begins to sense that someone is interfering with his quietude up in the place where he allows his mind to go. It seems almost as though they are using a Ham Radio, and old fashioned long-wave radio that was the specialist precursor to the modern internet Chat-Room. He may sense another presence, but this song reinforces how lonely it is to be ‘spiritual’. If the intention of the spiritual aspirant is to ‘become one with the infinite’, and yet life is almost the universally finite antidote to the infinite, isn’t he likely to get very lonely?"

 

In the Observer Music Monthly (Sept. 2006) Pete said "In The Ether" was one of the first songs he wrote inspired by his novella The Boy Who Heard Music and was intended to resemble the theatrical songs of Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George). To Mercury News he denied that the voice he uses on this track was an imitation of Tom Waits: "That's me singing. I'm 60 years old pretending to be 80. My voice is an instrument I can't always control. I love Tom Waits, but listen to him, he sounds like gravel being hauled through an oil can. I just sound a teensy bit gruff."

 

One of the reasons Pete sings the song on the album is that, when he initially played the song for Roger, it got a rather cool reception. "I played it to Roger and about a month passed. In the end, I got on the phone and said, 'So, what did you think?'" Daltrey: 'It's a bit music-theatre. Maybe if you didn’t have piano but just had guitar…' Townshend: ‘Yeah, and maybe if it was three guitars and was rock'n'roll and sounded like "Young Man Blues" it would be OK.' And then Townshend put the phone down. 'I was really, really hurt...'

 

"In The Ether" was premiered by Pete with his partner Rachel Fuller Sept. 25, 2005 at the Poetry Olympics held in the Royal Albert Hall, London. On Oct. 29, 2005, Pete supplied this track as an mp3 download on his website. It featured a different mix from the album release version.

 

 

BLACK WIDOW'S EYES 3'07
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey

Drums: Zak Starkey

 

Pete: "A love song. We sometimes fall in love when we do not want to, and when we do not expect to. Suddenly. Foolishly. This song is about the man holding a child in the Beslan massacre who described the female terrorist who blew herself up, killing the child he held, as ‘having the most penetrating and beautiful eyes’." Roger: "Pete's written a song about Stockholm syndrome. It's called 'Black Widow's Eyes.' The fact that he's done that in music and words, and he completely sums up Stockholm syndrome in this song, is so haunting."

 

The song refers to a hostage crisis at School Number One in the town of Beslan in North Ossetia. On September 1, 2004, Islamic Chechan terrorists seized the school, holding over 1200 adults and children hostage. Russian troops stormed the school and 344 people were killed, either murdered by the terrorists or caught in the crossfire. Among the Chechan terrorists were women wearing traditional niqabs (veils) covering their faces showing only their eyes. They were wearing explosives in order to be used as suicide bombers. Such terrorists were given the name "shahidka" in Russian or "black widows" in English after a similar hostage taking in a Moscow theatre in 2002. At press time, I have been unable to find the article with the words of the survivor of the Beslan massacre Pete quotes above but there is a similar quote from a survivor of the Moscow theatre massacre: "But her eyes! You should have seen these eyes - crazed and shining, awful, as if she was doped up with some narcotic. Our guard was always with us, but I never saw her shoot up or swallow any pills. Such are the eyes of a kamikaze." (L. Stepanova, Okna, Apr. 2005).

 

"Black Widow's Eyes" was released as a promotional CD single in Europe backed with "It's Not Enough." It had its live premiere performed by The Who in Philadelphia Sept. 12, 2006.
 
 

TWO THOUSAND YEARS 2'50
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.
Vocals: Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey

Violins and viols: Pete Townshend


Pete: "This is one of the three songs I wrote after watching The Passion of the Christ. This one is about the fact that Judas may not have been acting to betray Christ at all, but precisely following his instructions. He waits two thousand years for us to consider this a possibility. We wait two thousand years for the New Christ. We need a lot of patience." Pete from In The Attic: "The song is about waiting for Jesus to come two thousand years and, of course, he's been a couple of times already but we missed it because we've been looking for a man with a beard and actually he was in Iran and his name was Mohammed but we missed him and a few others probably in between as well."

 

The song performed by Pete solo had its live premiere on an In The Attic webcast March 22, 2006. Could one be forgiven thinking this is an answer song to all those who complained about waiting twenty-four years for a new Who album? Try waiting 2000 years for a messiah!

 

 

 

GOD SPEAKS OF MARTY ROBBINS 3'26
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.
Vocals: Pete Townshend

 

Pete: "Very simple song. God is asleep, before Creation – before the Big Bang – and gets the whim to wake, and decides it could be worth going through it all in order to be able to hear some music, and most of all, one of his best creations, Marty Robbins." Pete also wrote about the origin of the song on his website Nov. 29, 2005: "I am going to show The Theme of Creation on TowserTV...This is a film made by Tim Thelen about Meher Baba's extraordinary (and somewhat baffling) book God Speaks in which he explains the Universe. The film closes with a guitar piece I wrote called Marty Robbins. Tim's film really helps me get to grips with what the book is conveying about our human function. I have since written words for the piece, that I've rechristened "God Speaks - through Marty Robbins." When I've done a vocal on it I'll post it."

Marty Robbins was a well-known Country & Western artist from Arizona who won the first Grammy for a C&W song, "El Paso." He also had the first hit record featuring fuzz-tone guitar, "Don't Worry," in 1961 and became one of country music's giants long before his death in 1982. This song originally appeared as an instrumental demo called "Marty Robbins" recorded by Pete in June 1984 and included on his Scoop 3 album. The song had its live premiere performed by Pete on an In The Attic webcast at Oceanic Studios Dec. 17, 2005. In Pete's liner notes, the title contains a comma: "God Speaks, Of Marty Robbins." Although not otherwise listed as related to the piece, this song was included in the 2007 theatrical workshop version of The Boy Who Heard Music, sung by the characters of Gabriel and Ray High.

 

 

IT'S NOT ENOUGH 4'02
(Pete Townshend/Rachel Fuller) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey

Drums: Peter Huntington

Keyboards: Rachel Fuller

Bass: Stuart Ross

Acoustic guitars: Jolyon Dixon

Pete: "Watching Mépris, the ‘60s film by Lean Luc Godard starring Bridget Bardot, I found myself wondering why it is that we choose people to partner who we feel aren’t quite right. Bardot asks her lover, 'Do you adore my legs?' He nods. 'My breasts?' He nods. 'My arms?' He nods. She goes over her entire body. He nods every time. When she’s finished she gets up and tells him, 'It’s not enough'. Co-author Rachel Fuller: "The track that's gone to radio from the Who album, funnily enough, is 'It's Not Enough.' I wrote that. I don't know how Who fans are going to feel about that [laughs]. It's a song that I had written and recorded with my band, and Pete said, 'I think this would make a really good Who track -- can I have it?' He didn't use the lyrics I originally had on the song. So I suppose you could say that I wrote the music, and he wrote the lyrics."

The movie Le Mépris (1963) is best known in the English-speaking world under the title Contempt. It concerns a French screenwriter who loses his wife's respect when he sells out to a crass American producer (Jack Palance). The scene Pete refers to above is the movie's second scene, included at producer Carlo Ponti's insistence in order to provide some Brigitte Bardot nudity. However, the scene does not end as Pete describes above but rather with the writer declaring his love and Bardot's character agreeing. "It's Not Enough" was released in the U.S. and U.K. as a promotional CD credited as "Chris Lord-Alge Mix." CD singles pressed in the U.K. feature an extended guitar part unavailable elsewhere and clocks at 4'08. Although not otherwise listed as related to the piece, this song was included in the 2007 theatrical workshop version of The Boy Who Heard Music, sung by Gabriel, Josh and Leila.
 

 

YOU STAND BY ME 1'36
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd. 

Pete: "I wrote this a few minutes before appearing on my partner Rachel Fuller’s In The Attic Live webcast show from my studio in London. I had nothing new to play, and decide to write a song. This just came out. It is for her, and for Roger, for believing in me, and standing by me when I have been completely out of order. It could be for many of my family, friends and fans who have done the same. I have often been a very tricky man to live with."

 

Pete added in an interview with the Los Angeles City Beat, "What then actually happened is Roger spotted this stuff and fed back to me, 'Hey, I love this!' And I was taken by surprise. Really?"
 

 

WIRE & GLASS: A MINI-OPERA

 

Wire & Glass is based on Pete's novella The Boy Who Heard Music, a sequel to his 1993 solo work Psychoderelict. In that piece, Ray High, a rocker based on a combination of Pete's history along with other rock figures, has become a recluse after the break-up of his band, endlessly tinkering with a concept called "The Grid" he developed in the early 1970's. His manager Rastus Knight, in collusion with his lover, the rock gossip columnist Ruth Streeting (based on Julie Burchill), concoct a scheme to force Ray back into the limelight by means of a phony scandal. The Boy Who Heard Music picks up many years in the future with Ray long the inmate in an insane asylum either remembering or hallucinating a 1980's band called The Glass Household that revives his Grid idea and "makes his dream come true."

 

Pete reportedly began writing a film treatment called The Boy Who Heard Music while in New York Oct. 1999. He later mentioned he began writing the work Sept. 24, 2000 during The Who's U.S. tour, finally writing it out longhand during Feb.-Mar. 2001. The first mention shared with the outside world was a short synopsis in a Pete diary entry from Dec. 23, 2001 at the end of which he wrote, "Pretentious? Self-obsessed? Grandiose? Pompous? I hope so." Matt Kent announced on Pete's website Sept. 20, 2003 that the new Who album would be built around the novella with a proposed release date of March 2004 (it was ultimately delayed by Pete). Another diary entry from Pete (Oct. 10, 2003) mentioned he was then in his home studio trying to write songs for the story. Pete shared the novella with some of his long-time friends but was discouraged by their response (Tom Wright's disapproval is mentioned in his 2007 book Roadwork). On Sept. 24, 2005, the fifth anniversary of starting the writing, Pete began serializing the novella on a blog. His readers' mostly positive responses melded with a suggestion by Eel Pie manager Nick Goderson to turn the story into a "mini-opera" along the lines of "A Quick One While He's Away." Pete started writing "seven or eight short lyric poems" sketching out the story on Jan. 10, 2006 and recorded a few demos that let him know by Jan. 17 that he had "about 30 minutes of music that would create a vigorous backbone for the Who album." Recording proper for the backing tracks began Feb. 28, 2006. Rachel Fuller's drummer Peter Huntington was used on these tracks because Zak Starkey was still on tour with Oasis at the time.

 

The theatrical workshop production of The Boy Who Heard Music, held at Vassar University July 13-15, 2007, added a number of songs to the project. In addition to those mentioned above (and "Real Good Looking Boy" -- see Who's Left [Studio] liner notes) were "Piano Prelude" (instrumental), "I Can Fly" (written by Rachel Fuller - sung by Lelia), "There's No Doubt" (Gabriel, Josh and Ray High), "She Said He Said" (Gabriel and Leila), and "Uncertain Girl" (Josh). "I Can Fly" was performed by Rachel Fuller on the Dec. 17, 2005 webcast of In The Attic and "Uncertain Girl" by Pete on the Apr. 11, 2006 webcast.

 

 

SOUND ROUND 1'21 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey

Backing vocals: Simon Townshend, Billy Nicholls

Bass: Pino Palladino

Hammond Organ: John Bundrick

Drums: Peter Huntington


Pete: "The first song from Wire & Glass, a 'Mini-Opera', ten songs that comprise the principle music composed so far for the novella The Boy Who Heard Music. A young man (the young Ray High) is driving a large camper bus with extreme air-con around an Estuary close to a large Power Station. He can see that the sea is swarming with a plague of jellyfish encouraged by the over-heated sea water (this is based on something that happened around 1971 in the Blackwater Estuary in Essex). He stops and looks at the water, throws a stick for his dog, who he has to rescue. In the sky he sees the future – nothing ecological or apocalyptic, more a vision of a society strangled by wire and communications."

 

Included in the live version of the mini-opera that had its live premiere by The Who at Leeds University June 17, 2006.


 

PICK UP THE PEACE 1'28 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey

Backing vocals: Simon Townshend, Billy Nicholls

Bass: Pino Palladino

Hammond Organ: John Bundrick

Drums: Peter Huntington


Pete: "Ray High, now an old '60s rocker, is meditating in what looks like a cell in a secure hospital. He sees three teenagers from his neighbourhood getting together as kids do, playing, flirting, talking, and forming a band. Then he has an intuition that they are going to become stars. They are Gabriel, Josh and Leila. (They call their band The Glass Household). In striking contrast he sees scenes from his own childhood in the same neighbourhood, bombed buildings and old soldiers."

 

Pete from an Oct. 16, 2006 interview with Rachel: "'Pick Up The Peace' which is about, how do we find a way to relate to the possible peace in society, and our community, and also the inherent peace in the universe?"

 

Included in the live version of the mini-opera.

 

UNHOLY TRINITY 2'07 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey


Pete: "The three kids are from very different families. Gabriel is from a show biz family of lapsed Christians. Josh is from a fairly devout Jewish family (they observe Sabbath) who have suffered a tragedy, the loss of their father in an incident in Israel [a suicide bombing - BSC]. Leila, from a Muslim family who have also suffered a loss: that of her beautiful and charismatic mother who died when she was very young. They each share fantasies, and afflictions, gifts and ideas, and become deeply committed friends. Like urchin-angels they share their secrets: Gabriel hears music; Josh voices; Leila can fly."

This was not included in most live performances of the mini-opera. It was performed at shows in Philadelphia (Sept. 12, 2006), Jones Beach (Sept. 13, 2006) and Calgary (Oct. 5, 2006).
 

TRILBY'S PIANO 2'07 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Pete Townshend

Chamber strings orchestrated by Pete Townshend

Orchestration supervised by Rachel Fuller

Violins: Gill Morley, Brian Wright

Viola: Ellen Blair

Cello: Vicky Matthews


Pete: "Josh's widowed mother vests all her hopes in her brother Hymie becoming a great man. He falls in love with Trilby, Gabriel’s goofy blonde Aunt. Trilby is the one who has nurtured Gabriel's great musical talent, unnoticed by his preoccupied mother. The kids decide to put on a musical play at Leila's father’s studio featuring this song, and it finally breaks Josh's mother's resistance to the love match. The song is sung by Gabriel. The play is a naive children's effort, but with a grand proscenium stage (like a large Victorian puppet theatre) a stairway and a cherub and angel filled backdrop."

 

Pete first mentioned this piece in a U.S. interview from Autumn 1996: "The piece I'm working on at the moment is quite a modest piece called 'Stella'; out of that grew another piece called 'Trilby's Piano,' which was a thing about something that happened to me when I was a kid with an aunt of mine--a very positive experience for me. I've started to look at the more positive experiences I've had in my life, and I find it very difficult to compose for that stuff because I've spent most of my time drawing on my negative experiences, or what I would call my growth experiences."

 

Not included in the live version of the mini-opera.
 

ENDLESS WIRE 2'04 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Pete Townshend

Bass: Pino Palladino

Hammond organ: John Bundrick

Backing vocals: Simon Townshend, Billy Nicholls

Drums: Peter Huntington

Pete: "At some point in their rehearsals for the play, the three teenagers unearth documents that turn out to have belonged to Ray High, Leila’s father’s old studio partner. The documents refer to a crazy scheme to use the global wire network Ray saw as a young man to spread unifying music to everyone. (This matches my own vision for the Lifehouse Method, a computer-driven website through which people can commission their unique musical portrait.) They pore over the plans and realize that his scheme might be something they can make happen."

 

Included in the live version of the mini-opera.

 

FRAGMENTS OF FRAGMENTS 2'23 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Pete Townshend

Bass: Pino Palladino

Hammond organ: John Bundrick

Backing vocals: Simon Townshend, Billy Nicholls

Drums: Peter Huntington


Pete: "An instrumental version of FRAGMENTS [actually more of a demo - BSC]. An example of the Method music."

 

Not included in the live version of the mini-opera.
 

WE GOT A HIT 1'18 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend

Bass: Pino Palladino

Drums: Peter Huntington


Pete: "In a series of intense discussions the three metamorphose from kids to adults and expert media and internet manipulators and we see them performing a hit on TV, radio and stage. The hit referred to in the lyric is FRAGMENTS."

Included in the live version of the mini-opera.
 

THEY MADE MY DREAM COME TRUE 1'13 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Pete Townshend

Bass: Pino Palladino

Drums: Peter Huntington


Pete: "Still in his cell, Ray High can observe the kids’ rise to fame while meditating. He foresees a tragedy, someone at the band’s biggest ever, and last, concert will die. He rues the fact that the rock industry seems unable to change. What is never clear is whether the concert he foresees ever takes place in reality, or actually remains a dream forever."

 

Pete gave more of the background for this song in a Sept. 10, 2006 interview in The Republican (Springfield, Mass.): "In this part of the story the aging narrator who is singing refers to two tragedies. One is an incident a little like the Stones' Altamont or the Who's Cincinnati, where audience members die. The other incident is the possible death of a member of the young band, maybe murdered by one of his band mates; it isn't entirely clear. The dream he sings about is that they bring computerized tailor-made music to the Internet..."

 

Included in the live version of the mini-opera.
 

MIRROR DOOR 4'14 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey

Bass: Pino Palladino

Hammond organ: John Bundrick

Drums: Peter Huntington


Pete: "The three pursue their own dream: to perform an extraordinary elaboration of their children’s play in Central Park in New York that is webcast to the entire world for charity, and during which they demonstrate Ray’s idea to 'turn everyone into music'. Where there was once a small puppet theatre stage, there is now a massive one; where there was once a small stairway to the back of the stage, there is now a stairway hoisted by blimps that seems to reach into the heavens. The band play, it becomes clear that there are terrorists on the streets trying to distract from the celebration, but the show goes on. At the top of the stairway appear gathered a series of legendary singers from popular music, all dead. A shot rings out and the tragedy is established. Josh, a paranoid schizophrenic, has stopped taking his medication and grabbed a pistol from someone and shot Gabriel. We cannot help our own. He ascends the stairway to join the dead. Even now, it is not clear whether this particular series of events actually takes place.

"It will be noted that one of the listed names of deceased singing geniuses (Doris Day) is still alive. In show-biz heaven, behind the 'Mirror Door' no one ever really dies (it is rather like an after-show pub gathering). FRAGMENTS, the kid’s biggest hit, becomes a moment to look back and celebrate life, death, breath, creation, science, physics, maths, literature and growth."

 

Pete elaborated on the meaning of this song in an Oct. 16, 2006 interview with Rachel: "'Mirror Door' which is really a poetic description of what I think happens when people go to concerts. I think if we're there to see a band, if it's a really great concert, we become caught up in the music, and hopefully if we forget ourselves for long enough, when the music stops, we'll find ourselves thinking, 'Something has happened.' And I don't mean that the band has made us better people, or that the band's music has raised us up. I mean that we, in the audience, have in a sense meditated. They will, in a sense, been able to escape from 'time' for a period. And in our knowledge, in our ability that we can do that, we learn a lot about ourselves, and so in a way, we learn about what we need, and what we enjoy. And the fact that we do it at a concert, in other words, with the company of other people, we share that, it's what makes it so special."

 

Included in the live version of the mini-opera.

 

"Mirror Door" was also released as a promo single in the U.K. with no crowd noise and less reverb than was used on the Wire & Glass EP. It was later re-released there using the album version without the crowd noise. This version was also issued as promos in Australia, Denmark and Israel.
 

TEA & THEATRE 3'24 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey


Pete: "Years later Josh and Leila – now old - take tea together. Coincidentally Josh’s protective sanatorium cell is next to Ray’s and they have just – together – revived once again the children’s play, this time with the inmates of the sanatorium. They reflect on their career and lives together. The inference here is that perhaps, just maybe, Ray (the narrator) has confused the play he just saw in the Sanatorium with the one they all hoped to see happen one day in New York, in the sky, and up into the universe."

 

"Tea & Theatre" was released in the U.S. as a promotional CD credited as "Chris Lord-Alge Mix" although it is identical with the album mix. The promo was reviewed in Billboard Magazine Oct. 14, 2006. During the 2006-2007 tour, the song was the final song of the concerts, performed by Pete and Roger alone on the stage.

 

BONUS TRACKS:

 

WE GOT A HIT (EXTENDED VERSION) 3'03 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend

Bass: Pino Palladino

Drums: Peter Huntington


 

ENDLESS WIRE (EXTENDED VERSION) 3'03 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey

Bass: Pino Palladino

Hammond organ: John Bundrick

Backing vocals: Simon Townshend, Billy Nicholls

Drums: Peter Huntington

 

According to Pete on In The Attic, Roger recorded his vocal for this track March 29, 2006.

 

EP:

 

WIRE & GLASS: SIX SONGS FROM A MINI-OPERA 11'20 
(Pete Townshend) © 2006 Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing, Ltd.

Vocals: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend

Bass: Pino Palladino

Keyboards: John Bundrick

Drums: Peter Huntington

Backing vocals: Simon Townshend, Billy Nicholls

 

Consisting of "Sound Round" (1'22), "Pick Up The Peace" (1'27), "Endless Wire" (1'51), "We Got A Hit" (1'19), "They Made My Dream Come True" (1'12), "Mirror Door" (4'09). Roger's vocal on "Mirror Door" was re-recorded for the main album.

 

The CD single was released July 24, 2006 in the U.K. and Australia. It was preceded by an iTunes release in the U.K. July 17 and was also released as a one-sided 12" vinyl limited edition. Promo versions were issued in France, Germany, The Ukraine and Ireland as well.

 

 

BONUS CD:

 

THE WHO LIVE AT LYON

Recorded at Theatre Antique, Festival Côte du Rock, Vienne, France July 17, 2006

Vocals: Roger Daltrey

Lead guitar, vocals: Pete Townshend

Keyboards: John Bundrick

Drums: Zak Starkey

Bass: Pino Palladino

Secondary guitar, backing vocals: Simon Townshend

 

Although called Live At Lyon, this show actually took place in Vienne, France about 33 kilometers south of Lyon. The venue was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Restored in 1938, it is now used for rock concerts as well as an internationally famous jazz festival. "Justafrog," who supplied the picture accompanying this section, reviewed the gig at LongLiveRock.org:

"The theatre is a marvelous sounding place and everybody feels very close to the boys. Exactly the inverse of big stadiums. Pete, not in a big jive tonight tell us how amazing he feels the place.  The band is in a great mood very powerful. No pop but absolute rock to get a massive reply, which he gets of course. Pete has a fantastic energy, playing loud, hitting guitars to get more sound, jumping and smiling to the stars. Roger maybe a little down in the beginning sings in the same way, just going not so high as necessary on Behind blue eyes. He plays a nice intro on acoustic guitar on Naked eye and comes real great  on the Relay. This one is for me and Chris the French mod, my old Who fellow, the very top of the show with WGFA which finishes it. Pete is completely ecstatic trying to get more power, windmilling with perfect precision, letting go short solos nobody knows where it comes from ... Extra terrestrial playing."

 

THE SEEKER 2'36

WHO ARE YOU 6'58

MIKE POST THEME 3'55

RELAY 7'40

GREYHOUND GIRL 3'04

NAKED EYE 8'26

WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN 10'40

 

BONUS DVD:

 

THE WHO LIVE AT LYON

Same information as CD above

 

I CAN'T EXPLAIN 3'04

BEHIND BLUE EYES 4'39

MIKE POST THEME 3'41

BABA O'RILEY 5'59

WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN 10'03


If you want to contact me about something on this page, click on my name. I want corrections! Brian Cady

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