"Substitute -- The Songs of the Who," a multi-artist tribute set featuring Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Paul Weller, Sheryl Crow, Phish, and many others, will be released in the U.K. by Edel on May 28 and
"Substitute -- The Songs of the Who," a multi-artist tribute set featuring Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Paul Weller, Sheryl Crow, Phish, and many others, will be released in the U.K. by Edel on May 28 and on June 12 in North America. The album, made with the approval of Who guitarist Pete Townshend, was overseen and executive produced by longtime Who live sound engineer Bob Pridden.
The Who will also appear on the album with a live version of "Substitute" featuring Kelly Jones of Welsh rock act Stereophonics, taped at the Who's fundraiser show last November at the Royal Albert Hall. Stereophonics also handle "Who Are You" on the set, while Crow tackles "Behind Blue Eyes." Pearl Jam turns in a live version of "The Kids Are Alright," a song which has been part of the group's concert repertoire for years.
Weller remakes "Circles" and Bowie covers "Pictures of Lily." Writing in the album's liner notes, Bowie describes the Who's work as "a major template for so many of us." Other tracks on "Substitute" include a live Phish version of "5.15," British rock favorites Ocean Colour Scene's "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," Fastball's "The Real Me," and new U.K. band Unamerican's cover of "Naked Eye."
In the liner notes, Pridden explains that the set was inspired by a recording session with Liverpool band Cast. After they had suggested recording a version of "The Seeker," which will be on the album, Pridden took the track home and played it to his family, whereupon his daughter Lily hit upon the notion of an entire tribute set. "What a great idea," he writes. "The young bands I had been working with were always telling me what a great influence the Who had been to their careers and this was a great opportunity for them to give something back."
Townshend adds that it was Pridden's involvement that encouraged him to back the project. "Although I'd been approached to do this many times before, for the first time I felt comfortable with the idea of having Bobby at the helm. Since then I've left him to it and I'm amazed and flattered at the number of great artists he's managed to involve."