Pete Townshend Wanted Roger Daltrey To Rap On The New Who Album
Over the years, the Who have tried plenty of far-out ideas that maybe shouldn’t have worked. The concept album! The big, anthemic, synthesizer-driven rock song! The rock opera! The extended-freakout movie version of the rock opera that includes many, many hallucinatory images of baked beans! In the ’60s and ’70s, the Who pulled off even their most ungainly ideas. But we haven’t heard what might be the weirdest idea that Who mastermind Pete Townshend has ever had: 75-year-old Roger Daltrey spitting bars.
Earlier this month, Townshend and Daltrey got together to release WHO, the Who’s first new album in 13 years. Most of the reviews are of the “pleasantly surprised” variety. But the album itself has nothing on the press tour, where we’re learning all sorts of wild shit about the Who. For instance: Townshend told Rolling Stone that he’s glad his late bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle are gone. (Townshend later apologized.) And now we’re learning that Townshend wanted Daltrey to rap on the new album.
Talking to Billboard, Daltrey mentions that Townshend wrote a rap verse for him to perform on “All This Music Must Fade,” the opening track from WHO. Daltrey says that he rejected it: “I ain’t going there. I love people that do that. It’s incredibly clever. It’s incredibly technical and they’re brilliant, but if I did it, it would be laughable. I could probably do it, but it would be pastiche. I had to convince [Townshend] to cut it out; I said, ‘You’re welcome to leave it in if you do the rap.’ Obviously, he didn’t feel comfortable doing it, either.” I don’t feel comfortable with any of this!
WHO is out now on Polydor, and there is no rapping on it.