Released in December 1967 – the album reflected a remarkable year in popular culture. As well as being forever immortalised as the moment when the counterculture and the ‘Love Generation’ went global, 1967 produced tremendous musical upheavals as “pop” metamorphosed to “rock”. Originally planned by Pete Townshend and the band’s managers, as a loose concept album including jingles and commercials linking the songs styled as a Radio London broadcast – born out of necessity as the band’s managers wanted a new album and there weren’t enough songs. The original plan was to sell advertising space on the album – Jaguar cars, Coca-Cola etc. The jingles pay tribute to the pirate radio stations and expose the myths of ‘pop-culture’ and mock consumer society – way ahead of their time… The homage to pop-art is evident in both the advertising jingles and the iconic sleeve design – created by David King (art director at the Sunday Times) and Roger Law (who invented Spitting Image) producing four giant images for each band member – Odorono deodorant, Medac spot cream, Charles Atlas and Heinz baked beans (Roger apparently caught pneumonia from sitting in the cold beans for too long). Photography by renowned portrait photographer David Montgomery (rare out-takes included) The album is a bold depiction of the period in which it was made – the tail-end of the ‘swinging-60s’ meets pop-art mixed with psychedelia and straight-ahead pop craft. It’s glorious blend of classic powerful Who instrumentation, melodic harmonies, satirical lyrical imagery crystallised for what was only the group’s third album – the ambition and scope is unrivalled by the Who, or any others from that period. Within the bold concept, were a batch of fabulous and diverse songs – I Can See for Miles (a Top Ten hit) is a Who classic, Rael, a Townshend ‘mini-opera’ with musical motifs that reappeared in Tommy and the psychedelic blast of Armenia City in the Sky and Relax are among the very best material of the 1960s. One of the most extraordinary albums of any era – it’s The Who’s last ‘pop’ album. Two years later came Tommy – a double concept album about a deaf, dumb and blind kid…
Disc 1 – original mono mix, mono As & Bs and unreleasedmono mixes
Disc 2– original stereo mix and stereo bonus tracks
Disc 3 – Studio out-takes, ‘fly-on-the-wall’ versions of early takes of songs from the album sessions, ‘studio chat’ etc. – previously unreleased
Disc 4 – ‘The Road To Tommy’ will contain stereo mixes of the studio tracks recorded in 1968 – some previously unreleased– plus 1968 As and Bs mono mixes (all tracks remixed from original 4 and 8-track session tapes in The Who vault)
Disc 5 – 14 of Pete Townshend’s original demos – previously unreleased and exclusive to this set…
Bonus 7” discs:
Track UK 45 repro:
Decca USA 45 repro:
112 tracks – many unreleased!
80-page, hard-back full-colour book, including rare period photos, memorabilia and Track annotation and new liner notes by Pete Townshend
Comments from from Pete Drummond (Radio Caroline DJ), Chris Huston (Talentmasters Studio), Richard Evans (designer), Roy Flynn (Speakeasy Club manager), Arnold Schwartzman (designer) and Andy Neill (Who biographer)
Nine posters and inserts, including replicas of…
20” x 30” original Adrian George poster
Gig poster – City Hall, Newcastle: The Who, Traffic, Tremeloes etc.
Saville Theatre 8-page programme.
Business card for the Bag o’ Nails club, Kingly Street.
Fan Club photo of group.
Flyer for Bath Pavilion concerts including The Who.
Crack-back bumper sticker for Wonderful Radio London.
Keith Moon’s Speakeasy Club membership card
Who Fan Club newsletter.