Thursday 13 December 2018

Roger Daltrey says new Who songs sound ‘a bit Broadway to me’

The singer has shared his frank opinion on new material Pete Townshend wrote for the band.

Who frontman Roger Daltrey thought their new songs ‘a bit Broadway’ (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Who frontman Roger Daltrey thought their new songs ‘a bit Broadway’ (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

The Who’s frontman Roger Daltrey has said new songs composed for the group by their principal songwriter Pete Townshend sounded “a bit Broadway” for his liking.

Daltrey opened up about the working relationship he has with his long-time bandmate, saying he is one of the few people who has always been totally honest with him.

In an interview with Absolute Radio presenter Frank Skinner, the singer was asked whether it was true he had told Townshend he did not like the songs after he played them to him.

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Roger Daltrey has opened up about his working relationship with Pete Townshend in an interview with Frank Skinner. (Absolute Radio)

Daltrey replied: “I can only be honest by what I heard.  There was one that I thought had a lot of promise, lyrically.

“But the other ones, they all sounded a bit Broadway to me. And I can’t put my head in that direction.

“I’m always honest with him, I have to tell him what I feel. I’ve always told him what I feel, I’m one of the few people that haven’t brown-nosed.”

Daltrey said the work of prolific songwriters like Townshend, who wrote the band’s rock opera Tommy and rock classics such as Pinball Wizard and Won’t Get Fooled Again, can suffer if every single thing they create is met with a sycophantic reaction.

Daltrey and Townshend, with bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon, formed The Who in London in 1964 and went on to sell over 100 million records worldwide.

The pair collaborated on Daltrey’s new solo album As Long As I Have You.  Townshend played guitar on seven tracks on the album, which sees Daltrey return to the band’s early soul music roots.

For the first sort of 30 years of The Who’s career, more often than not I couldn’t ever hear myself on stage, the volume was so much Roger Daltrey

Townshend has said the album “shows Roger at the height of his powers as a vocalist.”

Daltrey revealed that he had undergone an operation on his throat to remove a “pre-cancerous” growth which had returned his voice to the condition after decades of damage singing with The Who.

Daltrey claimed that wearing hearing aids had also helped to improve his voice and they allowed him to actually hear himself sing.

Daltrey explained: “For the first sort of 30 years of The Who’s career, more often than not I couldn’t ever hear myself on stage, the volume was so much.

“I used to over-sing and all those kinds of things, but thanks to hearing myself maybe for the first time, I could actually use my voice with all the things it’s got in it.”

Frank Skinner will be in conversation with Roger Daltrey on Absolute Radio on June 2 at 10pm.

Press Association

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