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The Who to release EP in June
While the Who might not have its full-length album ready this summer, the group is releasing “The Glass Household” EP this June, a “Mini-Opera” inspired in part from guitarist Pete Townshend’s online novella “The Boy Who Heard Music.”
“I decided I would like to release a record prior to the European shows, even if only on the Internet,” Townshend wrote on his Web site Mar. 18. “However, Polydor has agreed in principle to release something plastic prior to the main album.”
The approximately 11-minute release will contain six songs and is being delivered to Polydor at the end of March. No song titles have been revealed.
Singer Roger Daltrey began recording vocals on Mar. 20 on the project, engineered by Bob Pridden and Myles Clarke. The songs originated from an idea Townshend had in early January and were to be “the backbone for some kind of large theatrical music event.”
Daltrey, however, declined to be a part of that particular project. “So the principle focus of my creative output seemed closed to me when it came to writing music for the Who album,” Townshend writes. “I managed a few songs that stood alone, but even those seemed to have sprung from whatever was going on in my heart as I worked on TBWHM.”
A meeting with Eel Pie manager Nick Goderson changed the idea from a “Magnum-Opus” into a “Mini-Opera” with Townshend creating roughly seven or eight lyrical poems. “I did a couple of quick demos and by January 17th I knew I had about 30 minutes of music that would create a vigorous backbone for the Who album, but allow me to continue to draw on the bloodline of ‘The Boy Who Heard Music,'” Towshend says.
After completing ten songs, including two full-length numbers and the remainder being “shorter, punchier or simple and ballad-like,” Townshend began working with musicians at his Oceanic studio in late February. The musicians include bassist Pino Palladino, John “Rabbit” Bundrick on keyboards and Simon Townshend and Billy Nicholls on backing vocals. Drummer Peter Huntington, from Townshend’s girlfriend Rachel Fuller’s band, stood in for Zak Starkey who was wrapping up dates with Oasis.
The release will be the first of entirely new material since the band’s last studio album “It’s Hard” in 1982. The group will mount a series of European festival shows June 25 at the Wireless Festival in Leeds, England.