January 28, 2021

Naked Eye

[Pete Townshend: "People were attributing so much to dope at the time and I felt that was very stupid. People just didn’t seem to be looking any further than they were seeing. ‘Naked Eye’ is a song saying, ‘Wake up … it’s not really happening the way you see it.’ It’s a sincere request for people to look a little deeper into things."]

A long-standing concert favorite from mid-1970, this was recorded live at the Young Vic on April 26, 1971. Previously issued on the box set 30 Years Of Maximum R&B in 1994

[edited down to 5’00.  The original performance ran 6’26. A 6’21 version appears on the 2003 Deluxe Edition CD]. A studio version was completed at Olympic on June 7, 1971, and released in 1974 on Odds and Sods. [This 1971 version was finished from an original take recorded at Pete’s Eel Pie studio in May 1970. Another live version appears on the Who Rocks America video (1982).]

From the "Odds & Sods" liner notes by Brian Cady.

Produced by Pete Townshend at Eel Pie Studios, London late May 1970 (some sources claim this version was produced by Glyn Johns at Olympic Studios, Barnes May 1971).

"Another track from the EP. This number was written around a riff that we often played on stage at the end of our act around the time we were touring early TOMMY. It came to be one of our best stage numbers, this was never released because we always hoped we would get a good live version one day. But then we’re such a lousy live group…"
–Pete Townshend

The melody for "Naked Eye" first appeared during end-of-show improvisations during the May/June 1969 North American tour (it can be heard in the final moments of "My Generation" at Woodstock). The version with lyrics was not incorporated into the live set until after it was recorded and a full live version from 1970 appears on the CD and DVD of Message To Love: The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970.

Track 23 on the 1998 Odds & Sods CD in an unedited version at 5’26 with an additional guitar part.