Archival Townshend Album Due Next Month
Rhino has set an Oct. 16 release date for "The Oceanic Concerts," a previously unreleased collection of live recordings from the Who's Pete Townshend and pianist/harpist Raphael Rudd. The 18 tracks arRhino has set an Oct. 16 release date for "The Oceanic Concerts," a previously unreleased collection of live recordings from the Who's Pete Townshend and pianist/harpist Raphael Rudd. The 18 tracks are drawn from two invite-only benefit concerts in 1979 and 1980 at London's Oceanic Center, which Townshend founded to further study of the Eastern mystic Meher Baba. Rudd, a fellow Meher Baba devotee, arranged the Who's "Quadrophenia" soundtrack.
"The Oceanic Concerts" includes acoustic performances of a host of Who favorites, such as "Drowned," "The Seeker," "Bargain," and "Tattoo." Also featured are early versions of "Let My Love Open the Door" and "A Little Is Enough," which were later recorded for Townshend's 1980 solo debut album, "Empty Glass." Of special interest to fans are the only known live recordings of the Townshend originals "Sleeping Dog" and "The Ferryman." Rudd's performances of a number of solo instrumental pieces are also included.
In related news, Townshend has begun posting free MP3 files of unreleased songs on his official Web site. The first track is "Flying Boy," which the artist wrote in 1990 for his then-one-year-old son.
"I promise you that in my opinion this stuff is not 'crumbs'," Townshend wrote of the unheard tracks he is planning to make available. "I've decided at 56 years old that if I wait any longer to try to put out all my music in the conventional manner -- whether I sell on my Web site or do a record deal -- I will be dead before you've heard a tenth of what I already have ready to go."
Townshend was expected to perform and accept the Online Pioneer award at the Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Online Music Awards on Thursday (Sept. 20) in New York. However, in the wake of last week's terrorist bombings, the event has been postponed indefinitely.
And while the Who remain inactive, the first-ever DVD edition of "Quadrophenia" is due Sept. 25 from Rhino Home Video. Special features include commentary by director Franc Roddam, a photo gallery, and Cockney to English subtitles.