October 27, 2020

New Song

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

‘New Song’ was recorded at Ramport Studios, Battersea on October 24 and 27, 1977 and features background vocals by Andy Fairweather-Low and Billy Nichols.

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

‘New Song’ was recorded at Ramport Studios, Battersea on October 24 and 27, 1977 and features background vocals by Andy Fairweather-Low and Billy Nichols.

"This is a diatribe against the requirements of FM radio (at the time) for every band of the day to produce ‘clones’ of their earlier successful airplay hits. This was my signal to everyone that I had decided to deal a wonky deck full of theatrical parodies and anachronisms. Needless to say, the song didn’t get airplay and neither did it make the critics happy. Great sounding cut, such a pity it is full of such cynical sentiment. ‘New Song’ was the first song I ever wrote on a polyphonic synthesizer. It was blocked out on an ARP OMNI, that company’s first polyphonic machine. It may have been the first multi-voice synth ever. But I cheated quite a lot; it had only one filter and envelope-shaping amplifier."
–Pete Townshend

The demo, available on Pete’s 2000 solo CD Lifehouse Elements, has the additional lines:

"You need a new song, but why not sing the change ‘Underneath The Harvest Moon’?
The mood was all wrong and while the singer raged, somebody switched the tune.
It’s easy being obnoxious and queer; your difference can earn you fame.
Nothing’s left unsaid, it’s just another year, but we need shaking up just the same, just the same."

The 1996 remix is the same as the original except for adding a "Whoooo" from Roger in the middle and a slightly quicker fadeout.
The 1992 Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs CD has a somewhat longer fadeout tracking at 4’24.

"New Song" was never performed live by The Who.