Music News

ROGER DALTREY CREDITS THE BEATLES FOR FREEDOM TO RECORD 'TOMMY'

11/7/2013

Roger Daltrey says that the boundaries the Beatles broke down in 1967 helped inspire the Who to record and release their 1969 double album, Tommy. On November 11th, the band will release the new "Super Deluxe" version of the album, which includes composer Pete Townshend's one man band "blueprint" demos of nearly the entire double album set.

 

Daltrey spoke to Rolling Stone and was asked if the Who made a conscious effort to move into recording a concept album in order to keep up with the likes of the Beatles and the Kinks who had already scored album hits outside of the pop box: "No, because St. Pepper's (Lonely Hearts Club Band) gave us confidence that the public would be willing to accept new ideas. There's no doubt about that. George Martin's work with the Beatles and the songs they were writing really gave us confidence that the public would accept anything if it was good."

  • Daltrey maintains that although he was always able to drive home Townshend's songs for the band, it wasn't until the recording and eventual touring behind Tommy that he found his true voice, recalling, "'I'm A Boy' and 'Pictures Of Lily' -- those were interesting songs. I think that 'Pictures Of Lily' is a great song, but they were very different in the vocal area than I was ever used to singing and I found it difficult. I was in a vocal no man's land. I started to improve with 'I Can See For Miles.' but I wasn't quite there. Once we got into doing all the songs on Tommy, as a vocalist I realized they really needed a stronger interpretation. It gave me a canvas that was big enough to really, really take some chances. Once we got out on the road and sang it live, it just took off on it's own and my voice grew with it."
  • Roger Daltrey told us that singing the Tommy material completely freed him creatively -- both in terms of how he sang and performed in front of an audience: "It means the same to me, I'm just trying to explain to people that I never saw 'Tommy' as an individual. I sang Tommy from the inside, I'm an emoter. So Tommy to me was always my inner journey. It was the journey of my spirit. Y'know, the human condition."

SIDE NOTES

  • Roger Daltrey has signed on to appear on the Moody Blues' "Moody Blues Cruise II." Among the other artists set for the Caribbean cruise will be Carl Palmer, the Zombies, The Orchestra Starring ELO, Starship, and the Little River Band, among others. The cruise's theme this time out is "Return To The Isle of Wight," based on legendary 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, which featured, among may other acts, the Who and the Moodies.
  • Fans will have access to private concerts, Q&A sessions, karaoke bar, special events and activities, "while interacting with musical guests that influenced the music of the 1970's and beyond."
  • The cruise sets sail on April 2nd from Miami for five days and nights, visiting tropical ports including Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos and Nassau, Bahamas aboard the cruise ship, MSC Divina.

CHECK IT OUT: The Who on July 2nd, 1989 performing "Pinball Wizard" live at Giants Stadium:

Roger Daltrey On Singing 'Tommy'

Read more at Classic Rock and Rolling Stone

Win the super deluxe four-disc edition of the Who’s "Tommy" at Ultimate Classic Rock

Billboard posts The Who's "Tommy": premiere of "Overture" Live with an intro from Pete Townshend


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