October 22, 2020

1983-04-03 – The Pittsburgh Press

1983 04 03 The_Pittsburgh_Press_Sun__Apr_3__1983_

Getting The ‘Scoop’
Early Years Of The Who’s Pete Townshend


In the jacket notes. Pete Town-
shend writes that the tracks on the
two—record “Sc00p” (Atco 7 90063-1-
F) are “music that was never in-
tended to be heard by a wide

What they are are demos (demon-
stration tapes) Townshend made in
a variety of studios. including a
primitive one in his parents' home.
With an even wider variety of in-
struments: guitar, bass. drums. pi-
ano, synthesmer, organ, accordion,
V1018, cello. even his children’s plas-
tic whirling tubes (a fad toy in
England at one time).

Taken that way. “Scoop" is an
interesting peek into one of rock‘s
most fertile and talented minds. a
glimpse as to how some songs which
later became favorites in The Who‘s
repertoire were born.


Sun., April 3, 1983


Taken as an ordinary double al-
bum, “Scoop," like almost every
double album, has a lot of dead-
wood: short. throwaway instrumen-
tals; very early songs like “Thin s
Have Changed” that are amazing y
lightweight; a poor prototype of
“Magic Bus.” with weak, almost
astral voices fading in and out.

But it has a lot of good. too.
starting with a marvelous version of
"Squeeze Box," far jauntier and
more infectiome grabbing than the
group effort on “The Who By Num-

bers." and ending with a powerful
solo rendition of “Quadrophenia’s”
“Love Reign O’er Me."

In between, there’s a Zippy barn-
burner called “Dirty Water” on
which Townshend sang the vocals
“lying flat on my back on the studio
floor." There's “Bargain." strong
and sturdy though lean; Roger Dal-
trey‘s fiery voice sure helped when
it turned up on "Who‘s Next."

There are big. rough rocker
“Cache, Cache," the gentle. folk-
flavored “Mary” and techno-pop
“You’re So Clever." which well
could be a hit today as is.

Speaking of his writings. the
sleeve notes alone are worth aying
for. be they painful (“ ache,
Cache”). technical (“You’re So Clev-
er." “Goin’ Fishin'”). incredulous
(“ ueeze Box") or tongue-in-cheek
(“ agic Bus”).

Don’t expect polished, “finished"
songs. These are embryos, and
Townshend writes that he has hun-
dreds more stuffed away some-
where. I'd like to hear some more,
and most of those who listen to
“Scoop" probably will, too.

P.S. An extra star to Ian Wright
for his cover illustration.


WHAT'S GOOD and what’s not so
good about today's dance-beat mu-
sic is aptl demonstrated on two
albums, alltravox’s “Quartet”
(Chrysalis CHR 86V 41394) and
Felon ’s “The Fanatic” (Rock ’n‘
Roll ecords BFZ 38453).

Negatives first (they’re more fun
to write about). Ultravox kicks off
its disc with a synthesizer-dominato
ed mood iece. “Reap the Wild
Wind,” an continua Side 1 that
way, perked up only by a hit strong-