Listen: Unreleased Song From Teenaged Pete Townshend

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The English edition of the Who's debut album

The English edition of the Who’s debut album

Earlier this month, we shared the news that The Who will be releasing an expanded, super deluxe edition of their debut album, My Generation. The 79-track collection features previously unheard demos for the album including three totally unreleased songs.

The first of those three songs, “The Girls I Could’ve Had,” has been made available in advance of the release. It’s from a teenaged Pete Townshend, from 1965, prior to My Generation‘s release.

Townshend says about the song: “It’s about my lack of success with girls when I lived at Chesham Place, partly because I spent all my time in my studio. Roger did very well with girls; it would never have worked for him to sing this lyric.”

Chicks would talk, we’d take a walk
And I’d get nervous and go home

If I’d a had the nerve
I could’ve had more chicks than I deserved

Upon the official announcement of the box set, Townshend noted: “Gathering these demos for this collection has been enjoyable; it’s wonderful for me to have these tapes made 52 years ago to listen to. I hope you enjoy them. They have a naiveté and innocence, a simplicity and directness, and an ingenuousness that reveals me as a young man struggling to keep up with the more mature and developed men around me. What an incredible group of strong, talented, young and engaging men they were!”

Brunswick Records first issued My Generation in the U.K. in 1965. Decca released it in the U.S. in 1966 under the title The Who Sings My Generation.

The original album of course features the title cut (in many versions). It was a big hit in England, reaching #2 but only a modest success when released in America, peaking at #74 on the single chart. The album also includes “The Kids Are Alright,” which although not successful in any territory, ultimately became a fan favorite and a constant presence in The Who’s live setlist.

Full details of the My Generation super deluxe edition are here. The CD version of the set, with an 80-page color book featuring rare and unseen period photos, new notes from Townshend and period memorabilia arrives on November 18. Pre-order is available here. A 3-LP version and 2-LP E-commerce version are coming February 10, 2017.

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