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Pete Townsend’s decision to sing as opposed to Daltrey?
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Author Pete Townsend’s decision to sing as opposed to Daltrey?
Gringo Starr
When I hear Pete Townsend playing guitar I want to shake his hand and hug him. When I hear him sing I want to punch him in the face. Anyone else feel this way? The end of Goin’ Mobile when he starts making those whiny squeals specifically. The MSN Smack!

I mean how can you have a singer like Roger Daltrey at your disposal and decide to sing instead?
neandrewthal
How dare anyone but John sing? I mean c'mon, Boris the Spider.
Gringo Starr
neandrewthal wrote:
How dare anyone but John sing? I mean c'mon, Boris the Spider.


No doubt!!! Haha... when I was a kid I loved that song. My older sister took me to see The Who on their tour in 1988 or 1989. They played that song and I was the happiest 14 year old in the crowd... and the most sober person there. Good ol’ Alpine Valley.

Btw I was exaggerating a little bit... a little bit.
JohnLRice
Yeah, sometimes his vocals are on the weak side but, and I'm probably just dumb Cheesy! , but some of the parts Pete sang I often mistakenly think that I was hearing Roger singing them. d'oh! I think The Who is absolutely amazing and one of the best ever examples of musicians that collectively have both great strengths and weaknesses but coming together to create a band that was greater then the sum of their parts. Lotsa Love Rawk!

eek! meh Every time I go to post a top favorite example of The Who I end up listening to the whole Quadrophenia album because it's so hard to choose just one! Dead Banana nanners OK, here's one:


"For Quadrophenia, and the string sounds for the Tommy movie soundtrack that I did straight afterwards, I used a combination of a real violin (that I played myself, sometimes set up to open tunings to suit the track) and sounds from a combination of subtractive synth 'chains' I set up on my ARP 2500 studio synthesizer. I was able to produce between six to eight of these chains at once, each one a single violin emulation. I used the keyboard to state the note, but I produced the output by "bowing" one side of a ring modulator using a potentiometer with a knitting needle stuck into the shaft -- the other side of the ring-mod, of course, had the combined six violin sounds passing through it. I probably took down four tracks of that, giving me a section of 24 to 32 'violins.' The real violin simply added 'rosin.'"


Photo by Rosa Menkman - originally posted to Flickr as Serge modular synthesizer + ARP 2500, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7511570
Gringo Starr
When marijuana was a new thing for me as a kid Quadrophenia was one of those albums I got lost in. Good stuff.

I will say though that the older I get the more I appreciate them. Especially Keith Moon. I always thought he was very good but I never understood why everyone thought he was so great. However now in my older years with more developed ears I think he’s the second greatest rock drummer of all time right behind John Bonham.
ambrohski
"Who is she, I'll..." people would lose their minds if those lyrics were sung by a major artist today. I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood where the Who were the band that all of the older hoodlums worshiped. Even though it was the middle of the eighties, the full catalog of the Who was always the soundtrack of all the gatherings... I second the admiration for Kieth Moon, for me, he's #2 to Ginger Baker. Animal!
hsosdrum
I've always felt that Townshend's singing conveyed much more raw, human emotion than Daltrey's singing ever did. Daltrey was a great rock singer, but to me his singing was always one-dimensional and lacked the subtlety he needed to be a good storyteller through song. If Pete's voice had been more powerful they never would have needed Daltrey in the band at all (and would have been the first power trio)!

P.S. I saw The Who live in 1967 (right after they played at Monterey), 1969 (the "Tommy" tour), 1970 (a month before they recorded "Live at Leeds", and they were abso-fucking-lutely amazing!) and in 1982 (with Kenny Jones, so they abso-fucking-lutely sucked). I've always been a huge fan, but only of the music they made with Moon. Townshend should have followed Page's lead and when Keith died should have said: "The Who was Pete, Roger, John and Keith. Take any one of them away and you no longer have The Who." But they always seemed to need money (and Entwhistle liked touring) so The Who soldiered on long after they should have been put to rest.

During the 2000s I heard several of their live concerts on Sirius radio (Sirius broadcast several shows of one tour the day after they played them) and Daltrey's batting average was around .500: During half the shows he sang with power and was able to hit just about all of his notes, and during half the shows his voice sounded weak (much weaker than demanded by The Who's material). But worse, when his voice was weak his intonation went to hell and listening to him miss note after note went from merely embarrassing to downright painful.
bhinton
Same. Always preferred Pete's voice, for exactly the reasons above.
Often prefer his demos though there's no denying the magical combustion resulting from the original four coming together.
My first concert was the Who at Winterland, I think the second to last tour with Keith Moon. Parents agreed to let me enter the ticket raffle thinking I'd have no chance. I was too young to drive. They waited outside in the car, terrified.
My hearing was damaged permanently (I ended up sandwiched against the left speaker tower in the front for about 1/3 of the show). It was almost worth it.
adaris
Gringo Starr wrote:
When I hear Pete Townsend playing guitar I want to shake his hand and hug him. When I hear him sing I want to punch him in the face. Anyone else feel this way? The end of Goin’ Mobile when he starts making those whiny squeals specifically. The MSN Smack!

I mean how can you have a singer like Roger Daltrey at your disposal and decide to sing instead?


Sorry, no. Daltrey was great but Townshend was a damn good singer himself, rather underrated IMO. I think they complemented each other very well. I can't think of any tracks that Townshend sings where I wished Daltrey had sung them instead.
onthebandwagon
hsosdrum wrote:
I've always felt that Townshend's singing conveyed much more raw, human emotion than Daltrey's singing ever did. Daltrey was a great rock singer, but to me his singing was always one-dimensional and lacked the subtlety he needed to be a good storyteller through song. If Pete's voice had been more powerful they never would have needed Daltrey in the band at all (and would have been the first power trio)!



I couldn’t agree more—I also find his stage persona to be painful to watch.
veets
I always preferred Pete. I'm a big Who fan from the old days, but I always felt Daltry was the weakest link in the band. However, Behind Blue Eyes and Roger's performance on Live at Leeds are extraordinary.
Idunno
I almost prefer the demo version of Won't Get Fooled Again that Pete sings and plays all the instruments on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwSP_gh8VvI

Hasn't got the raw power, but seems sorta more cohesive in a way, lots of subtleties.
adaris
Idunno wrote:
I almost prefer the demo version of Won't Get Fooled Again that Pete sings and plays all the instruments on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwSP_gh8VvI

Hasn't got the raw power, but seems sorta more cohesive in a way, lots of subtleties.


That demo is cool but I think it definitely shows what the others, including Daltrey, all brought to the band.
Idunno
adaris wrote:
Idunno wrote:
I almost prefer the demo version of Won't Get Fooled Again that Pete sings and plays all the instruments on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwSP_gh8VvI

Hasn't got the raw power, but seems sorta more cohesive in a way, lots of subtleties.


That demo is cool but I think it definitely shows what the others, including Daltrey, all brought to the band.


Well, I did say "almost".

I've never been a fan of Daltrey's singing, but I'd never want The Who to be anything other than The Who. The band bring to it energy and dynamics, and the band would never have been what it was without the friction between the four of 'em.
MindMachine
Eminence Front.
umma gumma
I think Dalty and Townshend's voices compliment each other really well

like the songs they both sing on, and it keeps things interesting when they switch it up
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