THE WHO has one of the greatest rock legacies in music history — they're one of the all-time great live bands, have sold over 100 million records worldwide and scored nine U.S. and 10 U.K .top ten albums and 14 U.K. top 10 singles in a career spanning six decades.
Now, 55 years after it made its first recordings, THE WHO is back with its first new album in 13 years, titled "Who", due for release on November 22. A new single, "Ball And Chain", is now available on all streaming services.
The songs on "Who" cover a myriad of subjects, including the Grenfell Tower fire, musical theft, spirituality, reincarnation, the power of memory and "an old rock star that has lost his marbles." Singer Roger Daltrey rates it amongst their strongest.
"I think we've made our best album since 'Quadrophenia' in 1973," he said. "Pete [Townshend, guitar] hasn't lost it — he's still a fabulous songwriter, and he's still got that cutting edge."
Added Townshend: "This album is almost all new songs written last year, with just two exceptions. There is no theme, no concept, no story, just a set of songs that I (and my brother Simon) wrote to give Roger Daltrey some inspiration, challenges and scope for his newly revived singing voice.
"Roger and I are both old men now, by any measure, so I've tried to stay away from romance, but also from nostalgia, if I can. I didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Memories are okay, and some of the songs refer to the explosive state of things today.
"I made new home studio demos of all these songs in the summer of 2018 using a wide collection of instruments old and new. We started recording as THE WHO in March 2019, and have finished now in late August just in time to make some vinyl — maybe even some cassettes — ready for release in November."
Two songs on the record — the epic "Ball And Chain" and string-laden "Hero Ground Zero" — recently got their world premiere when the band played with a 40-piece orchestra to a packed Wembley Stadium. Spring 2020 will see the band embarking on a U.K. tour featuring an orchestra.
"Who" track listing:
01. All This Music Must Fade
02. Ball And Chain
03. I Don't Wanna Get Wise
05. Beads On One String
06. Hero Ground Zero
07. Street Song
08. I'll Be Back
09. Break The News
10. Rockin' In Rage
11. She Rocked My World
Photo credit: Rick Guest / courtesy of NEC Group