ARTIST: Pete Townshend
TITLE: Who Came First
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #69
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Pure and Easy, (Nothing Is Everything) Let’s See Action
LINEUP: Pete Townsend. Ronnie Lane, Billy Nicholls, Caleb Quaye are on one track each.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: An almost pure solo album from the Who leader is a personal and spiritual record, but the purpose really wasn’t to sell a bunch of records.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Pete Townshend became a devout follower of Meher Baba, and many of his songs by the Who were dedicated to him. This album features more songs, many of them very personal in nature, that he offered to Baba as a tribute.
It also features a few demos of tracks that didn’t fit into the current Who project (but were later released), including “Pure and Easy”, which was the basis behind Lifehouse and to this day, I don’t think anyone but Townshend really understands what it all means.
On almost every song, Townshend plays solo – just like he did for many of the demos of the Who. What that shows is that the Who were needed collaborators for Townshend – he’s a competent singer, bassist and drummer, but nothing like his bandmates.
There are some songs I don’t get into, and I exiled them. I wasn’t the audience this was intended for, though.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: A couple of songs appeared on earlier albums recorded as tribute to Baba that were privately recorded and distributed amongst his followers. The appearances by Lane and Nicholls/Quaye were part of those projects (and feature very little from Townshend).
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Bonus cuts in the same vein and a demo of “The Seeker”
GRADE: C+: I think hardcore Townshend fans will find this interesting. To me, I can find some songs okay and some just flat and boring.