October 27, 2020

Sister Disco

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

Recorded at Ramport and Goring Studios during October, 1977.
‘Sister Disco’ was performed regularly on stage when The Who toured with Kenney Jones on drums.

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

Recorded at Ramport and Goring Studios during October, 1977.
‘Sister Disco’ was performed regularly on stage when The Who toured with Kenney Jones on drums.

"For this track I spent a lot of hours programming my analogue sequencers in my ARP 2500 studio synthesizer. It isn’t quite KRAFTWERK, but in 1976 I don’t think they were doing much better. This is a perfect example of the progression I was making towards theatrical music writing. I was trying to evoke absurd Baron Munchausen musical textures. Roger sounds so seriously intent about everything that the pomposity becomes real and threatening rather than pictorial."
–Pete Townshend

Pete from 1978: "I felt the need to say that the group would never, ever, in any way do anything like the Bee Gees. We stand over here and what we stand with is all right. They might say we’re boring old farts but we still feel more at home with the boring old farts than any of that crowd."
–Pete Townshend (1978)

Pete from 1979: "It’s got nothing to do with disco at all! It’s only a series of lines put together. The chorus ‘Goodbye Sister Disco, now I go where the music fits my soul’…that is not an indictment of disco music. I like a lot of disco music; I even like discos. It’s to do with saying goodbye to, I think, a sort of self-conscious poseur kind of thing the The Who had been for such a long time."
–Pete Townshend (1979)

Roger: "I really like ‘Sister Disco’ but I don’t necessarily understand what he’s saying. I do understand what he’s trying to say but I don’t know whether it comes off. It was a song about getting too old for discos and that whole line that Pete sings, ‘Goodbye Sister Disco, I go where the music fits my soul,’ is kind of operatic; it’s a bit pompous. That’s why I personally didn’t sing that line because I can’t…when Pete sings it he’s got enough kind of tongue-in-cheek quality to get away with it and it works, but if I sang it it would be a total disaster."
–Roger Daltrey

The Who played "Sister Disco" live during their 1979-1982 and 1989 shows. Live versions appear on the LP Concerts for the People Of Kampuchea (1979) and the Who Rocks America video (1982). Their is also a live in the studio version with Kenney Jones on drums on the 30 Years of Maximum R&B video (1979). Pete’s original demo was released on his 1999 solo album Lifehouse Chronicles.