New Who: UK rock legends' first new album in 13 years, 'WHO,' arrives today
December 6, 2019 3:00 AM
The Who's new album, WHO, is out today. The 11-track collection is the band's first studio effort since 2006's Endless Wire.
WHO was mostly recorded during the spring and summer of 2019 in London and Los Angeles; guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend co-produced the project with veteran engineer and producer Dave Sardy.
The album's songs find Townshend reflecting on a wide range of topics, including the plight of being an aging rocker, the tragic 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, musical plagiarism, and the way men approach their interactions with women in the era of the #MeToo movement.
Pete wrote nine of WHO's 11 tracks, and co-wrote one tune, "Beads on One String," with a singer/songwriter Josh Hunsacker. In addition, Townshend's brother Simon, who plays rhythm guitar and sings backing vocals with The Who on tour, penned the song "Break the News."
Besides Pete and lead singer Roger Daltrey, the record includes musical contributions from Simon Townshend, Who touring drummer Zak Starkey, longtime touring bassist Pino Palladino, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench and session drummer Joey Waronker.
In advance of the new album, The Who released three tracks as digital singles -- "Ball and Chain," "All This Music Must Fade" and "I Don't Wanna Get Wise." Interestingly, Townshend's own version of "Ball and Chain," titled "Guantanamo," appeared on his 2015 solo compilation, Truancy.
The WHO album's striking cover art was created by famed pop artist Pete Blake, who also designed the covers of the group's 1981 album, Face Dances, and The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
A three-LP colored-vinyl edition of WHO features a bonus track called "Sand," while a deluxe CD version includes three other extra songs.
Here's the WHO track list:
"All This Music Must Fade"
"Ball and Chain"
"I Don't Wanna Get Wise"
"Beads on One String"
"Hero Ground Zero"
"I'll Be Back"
"Break the News"
"Rockin' in Rage"
"She Rocked My World"
Colored-vinyl edition's bonus track:
Deluxe CD's bonus tracks:
"This Gun Will Misfire"
"Got Nothing to Prove"
"Danny & My Ponies"
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