January 23, 2021

Music Must Change

From the "Who Are You" liner notes by Matt Resnicoff with additions by Brian Cady.

From the Who Are You liner notes by Matt Resnicoff with additions by Brian Cady:

Recorded at Pete’s own studio in Goring-On-Thames and overdubbed by The Who at Ramport Studios in April 1978. This mix contains different guitar parts than those on the original MCA release.
Keith plays cymbals only. During his failed attempts to tackle this tune’s 6/8 time signature, the drummer exclaimed: "I know this is shit, but even though it’s shit I am still the best…the best Keith Moon-type drummer in the world!"

"(Keith) was so sad about it. He was so upset. He used to cry. Nobody knew more than Keith (that his drumming had deteriorated). It used to break his heart."
–Roger Daltrey

"I had several studios to work in while developing material for this record. After working on the Tommy film soundtrack I moved my 16-track home studio to a new retreat I built in the country. At home, in London, I built a modest 8-track studio and experimented with the new synthesizers that were appearing at the time, especially the Yamaha polyphonic, touch-pressure-sensitive CS80 which features heavily on this track. My new ‘home’ studio was a large tiled room containing a big piano and some compact recording kit. Having no drum kit, I tapped the rhythm out by walking up and down the floor, tossing a coin at one point to illustrate that as far as I could see, the word ‘music’ had transmogrified into ‘money’ for most of the musicians in my age group. Hearing Roger trying to sing like Mose Allison is a treat after all these years. There I was, trying to be like the jazz-singer’s name-sake (Moses the biblical fellow) and attempting to part the waves. I don’t think I’ve heard a song so full of clichés! ‘Music Must Change’ is earnest enough, but I don’t think I knew what was really needed to save rock from decline."
–Pete Townshend

"Music Must Change" was played live during the 1979-1981 shows where it became an extended jam featuring a lot of keyboard work from John "Rabbit" Bundrick. A live version appears on the 30 Years of Maximum R&B video (1979). The version of "Music Must Change" with the original guitar performance appears on the boxset 30 Years Of Maximum R&B. Pete’s original demo was released on his 1999 solo album Lifehouse Chronicles.