Hear: Townshend’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ Extended Version

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Although it was actually released in October 1972, a “45th anniversary reissue” of Pete Townshend’s debut solo album, Who Came First, is set for release in the U.K. and U.S. on April 20.

Pre-order the CD here.

The original album collected together tracks from Townshend’s private pressings of his tributes to his then-guru Meher Baba, Happy Birthday and I Am, as well as demos from the unrealized concept album Lifehouse, part of which became The Who’s classic Who’s Next album.

The original album contains Townshend’s early versions of such favorites as “Pure and Easy,” “Time is Passing,” “Nothing Is Everything (Let’s See Action)” and “Sheraton Gibson.”

This 2-CD expanded version of the album features eight previously unreleased tracks (including a breathtaking and nearly 10-minute instrumental version of “Baba O’Riley”), new edits, alternative versions and live performances.

Listen to one of the previously unreleased tracks, “There’s a Fortune in Those Hills”

Also included in the eight-panel digipak are new sleeve notes provided by Townshend himself, the original poster from the 1972 release and a 24-page booklet that contains rare images of Meher Baba and Townshend in his recording studio.

Listen to the lengthy instrumental version of “Baba O’Riley”

Related: How “Baba O’Riley” came to be

The anniversary edition has been remastered by longtime Who collaborator Jon Astley using the original master tapes. CD1 is the original album as it was released. CD2 includes unreleased tracks, alternative versions of many of the songs and live performances. Also included in the eight panel digipak are new sleeve notes provided by Townshend himself, the original poster from the 1972 release and a 24-page booklet which contains rare images of Meher Baba and Townshend in his recording studio. The cover photo of Townshend, taken by Graham Hughes (who also shot the cover of The Who’s Quadrophenia), has been updated for this release.

Townshend is working with his wife on her musical, The Seeker. His Who bandmate Roger Daltrey has scheduled a solo tour performing the music of Tommy with various orchestras. Go here to get the details on Daltrey’s tour.

CD1 Original Who Came First Track Listing

1. “Pure and Easy”
2. “Evolution”
3. “Forever’s No Time at All”
4. “Nothing Is Everything (Let’s See Action)”
5. “Time Is Passing”
6. “There’s a Heartache Following Me”
7. “Sheraton Gibson”
8. “Content”
9. “Parvardigar”

CD2
1. His Hands
2. The Seeker (2017 edit)
3. Day Of Silence
4. Sleeping Dog
5. Mary Jane (Stage A Version)
6. I Always Say (2017 Edit)
7. Begin The Beguine (2017 edit)
8. Baba O’Riley (Instrumental)
9. The Love Man (Stage C)*
10. Content (Stage A)*
11. Day Of Silence (Alternate Version)*
12. Parvardigar (Alternate take)*
13. Nothing Is Everything*
14. There’s A Fortune In Those Hills*
15. Meher Baba In Italy*
16. Drowned (live in India)*
17. Evolution (live at Ronnie Lane Memorial)

*Denotes previously unreleased

Watch a live performance of “Pure and Easy” by Townshend and others

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