Pete Townshend – Scoop 3 (2001/2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Pete Townshend – Scoop 3 (2001/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:58:54 minutes | 2,57 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Universal Music

On this third collection of Pete Townshend rarities and demos, the Who guitarist/mastermind offers up another compelling set of curiosities that draws from both his solo career and his tenure with his legendary band. In addition to pensive, minimal takes on Who tunes such as “Sea & Sand” and “Eminence Front” (the latter sounding almost nothing like its popular synth-laden counterpart), Townshend presents previously unreleased tracks such as the majestic rock tune “Commonwealth Boys” and the delicate piano-only instrumental “Poem Disturbed.” While the compilation is mainly geared toward Townshend’s diehard fans, Who aficionados will have much to admire as well, making the anthology a welcome addition to his well-compiled SCOOP series.

As Townshend points out in his liner notes, Scoop 3 isn’t quite the same as its two predecessors, since it has a healthy dose of recent material instead of being devoted to songs entirely from his large archive of demos and home recordings. As he notes, this new material is almost entirely instrumental because, “(W)ithout a ‘commission’ from the Who (or for my own solo career), I simply write less songs.” This does give Scoop 3 a different feel – as the songs and song sketches intertwine and twist with the instrumentals, the collection gets a meditative, reflective feel, creating a bit of an aural self-portrait, which ironically enough means that it flows better as an album than any of his projects since White City. However, it may mean that those legions of die-hard fans looking for a collection overflowing with unheard songs, starkly revelatory early demos, and covers – like on the first two Scoop releases – may be a little disappointed, because there simply aren’t as many. But they are here, in the form of previously unheard songs like “Commonwealth Boys” and “I Like It the Way It Is” as well as early versions of “Rough Boys” (called “Tough Boys”), “However Much I Booze” (called “No Way Out”), and – most remarkably – “Eminence Front” and “Athena” (called “Teresa”), in slower renditions that reveal the heart of the songs. Actually, that’s true for most of the material here, as the selections from Who by Numbers, Quadrophenia, Face Dances, All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, and The Iron Man – even songs that worked brilliantly on the albums – sound more of a piece when delivered in these delicate, passionate, synth-heavy but warm homemade versions, especially when they’re bridged by Townshend’s evocative instrumentals. It does wind up sounding like a musical diary, and if that isn’t enough to satisfy listeners who have eagerly awaited a third Scoop for over a decade, they’re simply ungrateful, since few musicians would have the guts or the inclination (or the material, for that matter) to release something as raggedly lovely and personal as this.

01 – Can You See The Real Me
02 – Dirty Water
03 – Commonwealth Boys
04 – Theme 015
05 – Marty Robbins
06 – I Like It The Way It Is
07 – Theme 016
08 – No Way Out (However Much I Booze)
09 – Collings
10 – Parvardigar
11 – Sea And Sand
12 – 971104 Arpeggio Piano
13 – Theme 017
14 – I Am Afraid
15 – Maxims For Lunch
16 – Wistful
17 – Eminence Front
18 – Lonely Words
19 – Prelude 970519
20 – Iron Man Recitative
21 – Tough Boys
22 – Did You Steal My Money?
23 – Can You Really Dance?
24 – Variations On Dirty Jobs
25 – All Lovers Are Deranged
26 – Elephants
27 – Wired To The Moon
28 – How Can You Do It Alone
29 – Poem Disturbed
30 – Squirm Squirm
31 – Outlive The Dinosaur
32 – Teresa
33 – Man And Machines
34 – It’s In Ya

Digitally Remastered.