The Who: Check Out this Unreleased Gem from the Forthcoming Box Set

10/21/2016

The Who: Check Out this Previously Unreleased Gem from the Forthcoming Box Set, My Generation: Super Deluxe

–Joe Lund

Who fans, take note: A previously unreleased demo, recorded by Pete Townshend in 1965, is now available for streaming. What’s more, the track is absolutely first-rate–a stunning example of the vintage Who style.

Along with two other previously unreleased demos, “The Girls I Could Have Had” is part of a forthcoming Super Deluxe remastered packaging of the Who’s 1965 debut album, My Generation. The expanded set will be available as a 5-CD box set beginning Nov. 18, with triple-LP and double-LP versions coming in February. One of the set’s biggest enticements is the inclusion of the three demos, all recorded by Townshend the same year that he composed the songs for My Generation.

Townshend released the following statement about “The Girls I Could Have Had”:

I have often said about my early songs that I tried hard to appeal to Roger’s sense of late teenage machismo. Either that, or I attempted to sound like Jan & Dean so that Keith Moon – who was a surf music fan – would get behind the song. Here, a rather machismo and bragging song slipped away because it was more about me than Roger Daltrey, and certainly not a surf number. 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. The lyric is also fantastical. I make it sound as though I was turning down girls every day. In real life I was probably piqued that rarely happened. My tape machine was my mistress.

Speaking with this author in 2002, Townshend revealed how he always strived to write toward the strengths of his Who bandmates: “On ‘My Generation,’ I made the demo with a 6-string bass and played a solo, because I knew that would suit John [Entwistle]. I put in a stutter because Roger and I were both huge fans of both John Lee Hooker and Johnny Cash, and both occasionally stuttered. When I started to employ drums on my demos I tried not to overplay, but I certainly would have played like Keith sometimes if I could.”

My Generation: Super Deluxe features a total of 79 tracks, and comes packaged with an 80-page book featuring rare photos and memorabilia, newly written notes by Townshend, and six replica inserts, including two concert posters. Check out “The Girls I Could Have Had” below:

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