October 21, 2020

1993-02-28 – The Post Star

1993 02 28 The_Post_Star_Sun__Feb_28__1993_

"Who Came F irst,’ a Townshend reissue

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Despite what its title 'might
suggest, “Who Came First” wasn‘t
a statement of ego, but of religion.
And even now, more than 20 years
since it was recorded, it remains a
revealing portrait of the Who’s
leadet.

“Who Came F irst” (1972) was
Townshend’s first solo album,
basically a tribute to his spiritual
guide, Meher Baba. It was also
mainly an acoustic album; he was

"unplugged” before his time.

Townshend’s songs had to stand
on their own, without the benefit of
Roger Daltrey’ s powerful voice,
Keith Moon’ s manic drums, John
Entwistle’ s steady bass or
Townshend’s own wall- of-sound
guitar. And— surprise! — not only
did they hold up, but they revealed

Review

Pete Townshend.

~ (Rykodisc; CD and

cassette). 3 stars.

a new depth to Townshend’s
songwriting talents.

The nine songs on the original
release include “Pure and Easy” and
“Let’ s See Action,” two
outstanding songs from
Townshend’s abandoned
“Lifehouse” film project, which
was the nucleus of “Who’s Next”

(though neither song was a part of
that album), and “Time Is Passing."
Townshend also accompanies
fellow Baba devotee and friend
Ronnie Lane on his composition,
“Evolution,” which Lane had
released earlier as “Stone” on the
Small Faces’ “First Step” album
(1970).

This rerelease "adds six bonus
tracks, including an acoustic demo
of “The Seeker" (later recorded by
the. Who), taken from a series of
rare albums put out by Baba’s

followers.
A deluxe limited edition also

includes a 64-page book with rare
photos and notes by journalist and

Who fanaticlraRobbins.
“Who Came First” endures
because the songs weren’t

smothered by the album’s religious
theme, even with the oflen-sparse
arrangements. And it showed that
the leader of the rough-and-tumble
Who had a softer side, which only
made the group’s raucous sounds
all the more amazing.