Restoring The Last 4 VEP British Rail Class 423 (Part 2)

The British Rail 423 class of train entered service in 1967 and continued to be a mainstay of lines in South London as well as Kent, Sussex and Hampshire for the next 38 years. Here, in the second and last part of this series, the Squire meets up with a dedicated band of enthusiasts who are looking to restore the last remaining 423.

If you wish to help with the restoration of this train, please follow this link.

The Who – The Collection Vol.4

So here is the fourth and last of my Who compilations. As I said before, I have never listened to any of the bands records after they originally split up in the mid 80s so this compilation covers the period of the last albums with Keith Moon. All of the songs on Disc 1 come from ‘The Who By Numbers’ and ‘Who Are You’, except one. That song is ‘Love Is Coming Down’ which is Pete Townshend’s demo, which as far as I know has yet to be officially released. 

Disc 2 takes in the two albums recorded with Kenny Jones as the drummer and the sound of the band changes dramatically at this point. Kenny Jones is a great drummer, but he does not play in the same way as Keith Moon (who does really) and the material that was being written at this time was very different from the hard rock, progressive sound that they had for the majority of the 70s. There are a lot more electronics in there, as well as the odd drum machine. 

This was not a happy period for the band either, with tensions in the air. Jones’ drumming style had drawn criticism from some in the band. Townshend had released a solo album in 1980 and it was felt, but Daltrey most specifically, that the songs on that were stronger than the material that was presented for the ‘Face Dances’ album. Townshend had fallen into a depression and was taking drugs as well as drinking heavily. He also felt that he was not writing material that was suitable for the band so decided to leave, essentially ending the group. 

There have been numerous reunions (one of which I saw in Hyde Park in 1996) and two new albums, but they just didn’t appeal. Sometimes bands just need to know when to stop before they become just a parody of themselves. 

Disc 1

  1. Who Are You (Lost Verse Version)
  2. New Song
  3. Success Story
  4. However Much I Booze
  5. Squeeze Box
  6. In A Hand or A  Face
  7. Slip Kid
  8. Trick of The Light
  9. 905
  10. Had Enough
  11. Dreaming From the Waist
  12. How Many Friends
  13. Love Is Coming Down (Pete Townshend Demo)
  14. Guitar & Pen
  15. No Road Romance
  16. Imagine A Man
  17. They Are All In Love
  18. Blue Red & Grey

Disc 2

  1. Daily Records
  2. Athena
  3. It’s In You
  4. Did You Steal My Money?
  5. Another Tricky Day
  6. Cache Cache
  7. The Quiet One
  8. It’s Your Turn
  9. Cooks County
  10. It’s Hard
  11. You Better You Bet
  12. One Life’s Enough
  13. Somebody Saved Me
  14. Eminence Front
  15. I’ve Known No War
  16. Cry If You Want

The cover is adapted from the US version of the bands 2002 compilation, ‘The Ultimate Collection’.

The Who – The Collection Vol.3

In the third of my Who compilations, I am looking at the period of time just after ’Tommy’ up to and including ‘Qudropheania’.  With the success of ‘Tommy’, the band became financially secure but were not keen to sit on their laurels. Having played two key festivals in Woodstock and the Isle Wight (both in 1969), the band decided to release a live album that would show how different their sound was on stage compared to the studio. ‘Live at Leeds’ is considered one of the greatest live albums of all time and some of those songs are included here as I prefer them to their studio versions. The rest of disc 1 is made up of some tracks that were written for the ‘Lifehouse Project’ with some like ‘Sister Disco’ being Pete Townshend demos. 

Disc 2 cover the ‘Quadrophenia’ sessions and so does not follow the storyline of the original album. Like Disc 2 on the previous collection, I was going with how it sounded to me as a compilation without having to worry about maintain the narrative. I used the 2011 Super Deluxe Edition of the album and took from that a number of songs that had originally been dropped from the LPs running order and some that only exist in demo form. It does not follow the story of the original album, but it still finishes with the main character of Jimmy sitting on a rock and his final fate is once again ambiguous. 

Disc 1

  1. Baba O’Riley (Instrumental Version)
  2. Heaven & Hell (Live)
  3. Eyesight To The Blind (Live)
  4. Young Man Blues (Live)
  5. Boney Marone (Live)
  6. Summertime Blues (Live)
  7. Shaking All Over (Live)
  8. Postcard (1970 Version)
  9. I Don’t Even Know Myself
  10. Sister Disco (Pete Townshend Demo)
  11. Mary (Pete Townshend Demo)
  12. Long Live Rock
  13. Love Ain’t For Keeping (New York Recording)
  14. Going Mobile
  15. Behind Blue Eyes
  16. Too Much Of Anything
  17. Greyhound Girl (Pete Townshend Demo)
  18. When I Was A Boy

This disc could not be replicated due to one ore more songs not available on Spotify.

Disc 2

  1. I Am The Sea
  2. The Real Me
  3. You Came Back (Demo)
  4. Cut My Hair
  5. Quadraphonic Four Faces (Demo)
  6. Wizardry (Demo)
  7. The Punk & The Godfather
  8. Drowned
  9. Sea & Sand (Demo)
  10. 5:15
  11. Get Inside (Demo)
  12. Joker James (Demo)
  13. I’m One (Demo)
  14. Is It In My Head?
  15. Helpless Dancer
  16. Doctor Jimmy
  17. The Rock
  18. Love Reign O’er Me

The cover is adapted from the band’s compilation ‘Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy’ which was released in 1971. 

This disc could not be replicated due to one ore more songs not available on Spotify.

The Who – The Collection Vol.2

By 1969, Pete Townshend had given up drugs and had taken an interest in the works of Meher Baba, an Indian spiritual master who gave teachings on two main subjects. The nature of the soul and advice on achieving spiritual ambitions. Taking these on board, he set out to develop these teachings in his music and wanted to expand on the idea of the rock opera that he had dipped his toe into with the songs ‘A Quick One, Whilst He’s Away’ and ‘Rael’. The resulting album was ‘Tommy’ the story of a deaf, dumb and blind kid who suffers from a psychosomatic condition that was caused by his childhood trauma of seeing his father killed by his mother’s lover. Eventually the mental block that has caused Tommy’s condition is broken and he becomes the leader of a religious movement that eventually collapses around him. 

To compile the first disc of this collection, I used the 2003 Deluxe and 2013 Super Deluxe editions of ‘Tommy’ as well as well as the 1998 reissue of ‘Odds & Sods’. Even though it mostly follows the story of Tommy as laid out on the original album, I have gone for what sounded good sonically instead of an understandable narrative. Well, what sounded sonically good to me anyway. ‘Tommy’ was the game changer for The Who and tuned them from a group on the slide to a commercial force that they have continued to be up to the current time. With such an album under your belt, how were they going to follow this up?

This is the point where we come to the ‘Lifehouse’ project. This is the great lost Who album project, and many people have looked to recreate what could have been. A search of the internet will throw up numerous websites discussing the album and there have been numerous attempts by other sites to create what ‘Lifehouse’ could have been. I decided against this as I didn’t want to limit myself with songs that were destined for that project. I therefore decided that anything recorded after ‘Tommy’ and before ‘Qudropheania’ could be included and that left me with two CDs worth of songs. The second being the first disc of Volume 3. This included demos for the songs that Townshend had written that would later be released on the ‘Lifehouse Chronicles’ box set in 2000. 

By 1972, The Who were light years away from the band that had released ‘My Generation’ eight years before. That did not mean that Townshend was not looking back on those days for inspiration. However, for the remainder of the 70s, the band would continue to re-imagine ‘Tommy’, with a version recorded with the London Symphony and a feature film. Both of these versions would include guests musicians singer taking on the roles originally sung by the band. Townshend also never quite gave up on the ‘Lifehouse’ project and would also return to it  at later points during the decade. 

Disc 1

  1. Overture
  2. Its A Boy
  3. 1921
  4. Amazing Journey
  5. Sparks
  6. Christmas
  7. Trying To Get Through
  8. Cousin Kevin Model Child
  9. Cousin Kevin
  10. The Acid Queen
  11. Underture
  12. Pinball Wizard
  13. Go To The Mirror
  14. Tommy, Can you See Me?
  15. Miss Simpson
  16. Smash The Mirror
  17. I’m Free
  18. Sensation
  19. Welcome
  20. We’re Not Gonna Take It
  21. Listening To You
  22. I Was

Disc 2

  1. Baba O’Riley
  2. Put The Money Down
  3. Naked Eye
  4. Getting In Tune (New York Recording)
  5. The Seeker
  6. Bargain
  7. Pure & Easy
  8. Time Is Passing
  9. Water
  10. Let’s See Action
  11. Relay
  12. My Wife
  13. The Song Is Over
  14. Won’t Get Fooled Again
  15. Join Together

The cover is adapted from the ‘Tommy’ EP the band rebased in 1970. 

The Who – The Collection Vol.1

The Who are one of the great British bands, having come to prominence in the mid 60 and after the odd break here and there, they have continued to release new music up until the modern day. This month, I am posting a series of Who playlists that I have put together which looks at their career from 1965 to 1968. The songs here are when they went out as The Who and I did not include any of the bands recordings when they were The High Numbers as these did not fit in with the rest of the compilation, sound wise. 

The first CD cover the band in earliest incarnation as an R&B covers band and even though the band recorded enough cover versions to fill an album, these were mostly rejected in favour of material written by guitar player Pete Townshend. Even though this early period of The Who would give rise to such classics as ‘Substitute’ and ‘My Generation’, I found when putting this together that the bands covers neatly fitted into the overall sound that they had. When I normally put compilations like this together I tend to ignore covers and stick to their original material. If I had done this with The Who, this first CD would have been a bit short. 

CD 2 focuses on their next two LPs (‘A Quick One’ and ‘The Who Sell Out’), one EP (‘Ready Steady Who), and assorted singles. Townshend continued to produce a number of classic songs during this period but as this was era of the single, when it came to recording ‘A Quick One’, he didn’t have enough material to fill the record. ‘A Quick One’ is a curious beast as it is the most democratic of all Who albums in terms of songwriting credits. Either to secure a publishing deal for each member of the band, or as part of the marketing push to promote it, each member of the band were tasked with supplying at least two songs. Daltrey only managed one, so a cover of ‘Heat Wave’ was included to fill the gap. Townshend supplied what he would later call a min-opera in the form of ‘A Quick One, While He’s Away’. Made up of six songs he had not finished, the song made up a cohesive narrative of a women who’s love has been away for over a year, so she had a fling with Ivor the Engine Driver. When the original lover comes back, she reveals her transgression and all is forgiven. 

Apart from Heat Wave, the second CD shows The Who evolving away from the R&B band of the first CD and into something else. It is a bit hard to say what because in the era when everyone else seemed to be going all psychedelic, The Who did not really embrace that genre. Granted, on ‘The Who Sell Out’ there are two bonafide psych classics in ‘Armenia, City In The Sky’ and ‘I Can See For Miles’.  These two songs do not make the cut here as they did not fit into the sound of this compilation; well, to my ears anyway. ‘The Who Sell Out’ could be argued to be one of the first concept albums as it was designed to celebrate the culture of Pirate Radio, so the album was mixed with jingles and fake adverts. They recorded so much material for that album that when an expanded addition of this album was released in the mid 1990s, the compilers were able to continue the fake radio concept through out the entire CD. 

‘The Who Sell Out’ also revealed a more mellow side to Townshend with the inclusion of the beautiful ‘Sunrise’ and the almost psychedelic ‘Relax’. It is also the album with the most humour, with the bands self written adverts showing a side of the band that would rarely come to the fore after this. There was even room for a mini opera in the form of ‘Real’ and the at the time unreleased ‘Glow Girl’ gave hints as to what was coming with ‘Tommy. What these two CDs highlight is how quickly the band changed their sound and how bit by bit, the pieces for what was coming next were being put into place. 

Disc 1

  1. Out In The Street
  2. Daddy Rolling Stone
  3. Leaving Here
  4. Baby Don’t You Do It (Mono Acetate Version)
  5. Lubie (Come Back Home)
  6. Just You & Me, Darling (BBC Session Saturday Club 29/05/1965)
  7. Good Lovin’ (BBC Session Saturday Club 29/05/1965)
  8. Shout & Shimmy
  9. Instant Party mix
  10. I Can’t Explain
  11. Much Too Much
  12. The Ox
  13. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (Mono)
  14. My Generation (Monaural Version w/ Guitar Overdubs)
  15. Substitute (Mono)
  16. The Kids Are Alright
  17. A Legal Matter (Monaural Version w/ Guitar Overdubs)
  18. I Don’t Mind (Full Length Version)
  19. Circles
  20. Anytime You Want Me
  21. The Good’s Gone (Full Length Version)

Disc 2

  1. Run Run Run
  2. Happy Jack
  3. Boris The Spider
  4. I’m A Boy
  5. Disguises
  6. So Sad About Us
  7. Don’t Look Away
  8. I Can’t Reach You
  9. Melancholia
  10. Jaguar
  11. Tattoo
  12. Our Love Was
  13. Sunrise
  14. Relax
  15. Magic Bus
  16. Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand
  17. Pictures Of Lily
  18. Doctor, Doctor
  19. Call Me Lightning
  20. I’ve Been Away
  21. A Quick One, While He’s Away

The cover is adapted from a band posters used to advertise some of their earliest gigs.