October 27, 2020

Too Much Of Anything

Although played onstage at the Young Vic, this studio version wasn’t released until 1974’s Odds and Sods. Completed at Olympic on April 12, 1971. Nicky Hopkins played piano. [This is the original version of the track as recorded and mixed in 1971. For the 1974 Odds and Sods LP a different vocal was used, the guitar part was expanded and the channels reversed. The original studio version appears only on the 1995 Who’s Next reissue CD. The song was originally known as "Bit Too Much". Pete’s original demo was released on his 1999 solo album Lifehouse Chronicles.]

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

Produced by The Who and associate producer Glyn Johns at Olympic Studios, Barnes April 12, 1971.
New vocal and additional guitar added May 1972.
Nicky Hopkins on piano.

 

"A song about temperance in all things. The insidious horror of excess. Did you hear about the poor chap who died because he drank too much carrot juice? I dedicate this ditty to him. This track was a song recorded in the Who’s Next sessions by Glyn Johns for the LIFEHOUSE film which never happened. We felt this summed up just what too much of anything could do to a person — too much sex, drink, drugs, even rock and roll or nasty blues music. Realizing at the last minute how totally hypocritical it would be for a load of face-stuffing drug-addicted alcoholics like us to put this out, we didn’t. Of course, today we’re all different; more mature, less greedy. Anyway why waste a good money-spinning number like this? I’m being a bit too honest now, aren’t I?"
–Pete Townshend

This song was originally known as "Bit Too Much".

It was performed and recorded live at the Young Vic Theatre April 26, 1971 and a chunk of that version was played on the 1996 BBC Radio special Lifehouse: The One That Got Away. It was not performed live after that show until it was revived during the 1989 tour.

Pete’s demo appears on his 1999 solo album Lifehouse Chronicles.