October 21, 2020

1984-03-15 – The Age

1984 03 15 The_Age_Thu__Mar_15__1984_


Who needs The Who?
Not Roger Daltrey

ROGER Daltrey always has
been one to show that being the
lead singer of the world’s great-
est rock ’n roll band, The Who,
was not necessarily the be-all
and end-all.

As long ago as 1973 when The
Who were approaching their 10th
anniversary, Daltrey set off on a
solo career with a self-titled album
which spawned a Top Five single.
Giving It All Away.

The next year he played the lead
in Ken Russell’s film of The Who’s
rock-opera Tommy and followed
that up with the lead in Russell’s

Since then he formed a record
company to help new talent and has
had several solo albums. including
the succusful Ride A Rock Horse.
Now, with Parting Should Be Pain-
less—his first release for theWEA
label — he is proving once again
that he can stand by himself very
well. And no, the title has nothing to
with the breaking up of The Who, it
simply is the title of one of the
tracks, about the break-up of two

Parting Should Be Painless
(250298-1) is a fine album which im.
proves with each outing and it finds
Daltrey in good vocal shape with
such friends as guitarist Chris Speci-
ding. keyboardsman-producer Mike
Thorne and Brecker Brother Mi-
chael with his wailing tenor sax.

Daltrey and Co picked the-.open-
ing track, Walking In My Sleep. as
the first single and already it is do-
ing well on the US charts (the video,
incidentally. features Daltrey as a
boxer with Ian Dury as his manag-
er) but they must have had a devil of
a time deciding because there is
such a great selection.

High up on the list of contenders
must be Kit Hain' 5 title track and his

U-glll-.' llll"


other contribution, the synthesiser-
based ballad Looking For You. the
big rock ballad Is There Anybody
Out There, the plaintive Would a
Stranger Do? or even the cover veto

sion of Bryan Perry’s Going Strong.

But to me the highlight of a uni-
formly high-standard albu is the
dramatic ballad [low Does Cold
Wind Cry? which has Daltrey's
voice in superb form with Colin
Towns's intensive lyrics and haunt-
ing melody.

If this album is any indication.
parting with The Who after 20 years
will indeed be painless.

ONE who won’t find it so easy to
come out from under the shadow of
The Who is Pete Townshend's broth-
er Simon with his debut album
Sweet Sound (Polydor 8157084,

through Polygram).

There are, of course. advantages
to having a famous brother — like
getting him to produce the album
and being able to call on the likes of
pianist Chris Stainton — but while
he was at it, he should have called
on a lyricist.

That is not to say that album is all
that bad and Simon certainly has
worked hard: he wrote all the mate.
rial. plays guitars and keyboards
and his voice is above average.

But what stands out about this al-
bum is what he did not do: the ar-
rangements and production have
big brother Pete' 5 presence
stamped all over them. I only wish
Simon had asked his help with those
awful lyrics, too.