Well all know Pete Townshend is a genius, but here is more proof. As a lifelong fan of The Who, I have recently re-discovered the treasure trove that are Townshend's "Scoop" releases. Currently totally four and counting, "Scoop" is a collection of Pete's solo work covering everything from Who demos to instrumental piano pieces. The albums also include liner notes written by Pete that explain each song in detail as well as the recording process used for them.
These releases are a must have for any fan of Pete's and in my book, are the most interesting collection of self-released material from any living popular musician. Listening to these, you get a much wider picture of Pete then what you thought you already knew. Almost like a window into Pete's soul, I only wish more artists would consider collections like these.
Below you can hear one of the most interesting selections in the collection. "Eminence Front" has long being one of my favorite songs, but this version from 2005 puts the song in a completely different light. I may even like it better then The Who's fiery take. Here are Pete's notes for this fascinating version:
"I was preparing at this time for a solo appearance at The Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York as part of a benefit by and for Paul Simon and his charity The Children's Health Fund on Sept 10 1995. Agreeing to appear, I picked up a guitar and realised that since the middle1992 I had probably spent more time home playing piano than guitar (I was recovering from a serious wrist accident and keyboard practice was more useful physiotherapy). So it seamed to me I should play piano in public for the first time. On this occasion the Wynton Marsalis orchestra, some of the best jazz musicians on the planet, were in attendance. I was nervous. But I did well. This demo was to help me get idea of how I might sound on the night."