Happy Birthday Pete Townshend: ‘Quadrophenia’ Demos


Famed musician Pete Townshend was born in London on this date in 1945. The guitarist went on to form The Who, one of rock’s most important bands. While The Who’s career has spanned more than 50 years, the group is still at it with a number of shows scheduled over the remainder of 2017.

Townshend is not just an amazing guitarist, but he’s an incredible songwriter who has composed over 100 songs for the band. The Who helped invent the rock opera with 1969’s Tommy and issued their second rock opera, Quadrophenia, in 1973. Quadrophenia tells the tale of Jimmy, a working-class mod as he attempted to find himself. The double LP is a story about coming of age to which many can relate. Pete Townshend composed all 17 songs on Quadrophenia.

Below is a collection of demos Pete Townshend laid down in 1972 to help guide the recording process for Quadrophenia. The 11-track compilation gives listeners a chance to hear what Townshend had in his mind upon writing songs such as “The Real Me,” “Drowned” and “Love Reign O’er Me” in 1972. Listen to the demos for Quadrophenia:

  • 00:00 “The Real Me”
  • 04:22 “Cut My Hair”
  • 07:49 “Punk”
  • 12:40 “Dirty Jobs”
  • 16:22 “Is It In My Head?”
  • 20:29 “Anymore”
  • 23:46 “I’ve Had Enough”
  • 30:05 “Drowned”
  • 34:17 “Is It Me?”
  • 38:52 “Doctor Jimmy”
  • 46:16 “Love Reign O’er Me”

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