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Deluxe Releases For ‘The Who Live At Fillmore East’ and Pete Townshend’s ‘Who Came First’

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The 50th anniversary of the celebrated New York shows of 1968 by The Who will be released by USM as the restored and remastered The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968 on double CD and triple vinyl on 20 April. The same day  sees the release of a 45th anniversary, 2CD expanded edition of Pete Townshend’s first solo album, 1972’s Who Came First.

The Who’s 1968 New York gigs took place on 5 and 6 April at Bill Graham’s famous Fillmore East in Manhattan, which had reopened only the month before from its previous incarnation as the Village Theatre. They took place during a time of fearful civil unrest in America, heightened by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King on 4 April.

The booking was originally intended to comprise four performances, two per night. But after, fears of further disturbances prompted the decision to compact these into one show per night. The Who performed two suitably incendiary concerts, and both shows were recorded by manager Kit Lambert, with a view to an official live album release to follow The Who Sell Out and to precede Tommy.

Due either to faulty equipment or human error, it was found that only part of the first show was captured. The official release was cancelled, with the result that the band’s first live album didn’t arrive until the fabled Live At Leeds in 1970. But the second Fillmore show was recorded, and after an acetate recording hit the market as a bootleg in the early 1970s, the concerts grew to legendary status on a par with that afforded the Leeds show.

That second concert has now been restored and mixed, from the original four-track tapes, by longtime Who sound engineer Bob Pridden, the very man who was responsible for the sound mix at the shows themselves. In both LP and CD configurations, The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968 features performances of three Eddie Cochran songs, ‘My Way,”Summertime Blues’ and the never- before-released Who version of ‘C’mon Everybody.’

The album also includes their interpretation of Benny Spellman’s ‘Fortune Teller,’ which they also played on Live At Leeds. The much-loved soul hit, written by Allen Toussaint, had been popularised by the Rolling Stones and was remade by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss for their highly successful 2007 collaboration Raising Sand.

The Fillmore shows also saw The Who showcasing  ‘Tattoo’ and ‘Relax’ from The Who Sell Out and extended versions of ‘A Quick One’ and ‘My Generation.’ The latter turns into a 30-minute jam with a characteristic Who climax of guitar-smashing and drum demolition.

The 2CD deluxe edition has a six-panel digipak 12-page booklet including new liner notes and rare photos. The 3LP heavyweight vinyl version has a gatefold sleeve, three printed inner bags, new liner notes and rare photos.

The original of Townshend’s Who Came First featured tracks from his private pressings of his tributes to the Indian spiritual master Meher Baba, ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘I Am’, plus demos from the unrealised concept album Lifehouse, part of which was developed for The Who’s classic Who’s Next album of 1971.

The 2CD expanded version of Who Came First will feature this original material plus eight previously unreleased tracks, new edits, alternative versions and live performances. The eight-panel digipak also has new sleeve notes written by Pete himself, the original poster from the 1972 release and a 24-page booklet with rare images of Townshend in his studio with Meher Baba.

The cover photo of Townshend taken by Graham Hughes, who also shot the cover of The Who’s Quadrophenia album, has been updated for the new edition. Who Came First has been remastered for this release by Jon Astley, the longtime collaborator of both Pete Townshend and The Who.

Pre-order the double CD and triple vinyl versions of The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968, and the 2CD expanded edition of Who Came First.

Explore our The Who Artist Page.

Track listings are as follows:

The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968:

CD
Disc One
Summertime Blues 4.14
Fortune Teller 2.38
Tattoo 2.58
Little Billy 3.38
I Can’t Explain   2.28
Happy Jack 2.18
Relax 11.57
I’m A Boy 3.23
A Quick One 11.15
My Way 3.16
C’mon Everybody 1.55
Shakin’ All Over 6.55
Boris The Spider 2.32

Disc Two
My Generation 33.02

VINYL
Disc One

Side One
Summertime Blues 4.14
Fortune Teller 2.38
Tattoo 2.58
Little Billy 3.38

Side Two
I Can’t Explain 2.28
Happy Jack 2.18
Relax  11.57

Disc Two

Side One
I’m A Boy 3.23
A Quick One 11.15

Side Two
My Way 3.16
C’mon Everybody 1.55
Shakin’ All Over 6.55
Boris The Spider 2.32

Disc Three

Side One
My Generation (pt 1) 17.14

Side Two
My Generation (pt 2)        16.08

Who Came First:
* Denotes previously unreleased

CD1
1. Pure and Easy
2. Evolution
3. Forever’s No Time At All
4. Let’s See Action
5. Time Is Passing
6. There’s a Heartache Following Me
7. Sheraton Gibson
8. Content
9. Parvardigar

CD2
1. His Hands
2. The Seeker (2017 edit)
3. Day Of Silence
4. Sleeping Dog
5. Mary Jane (Stage A Version)
6. I Always Say (2017 Edit)
7. Begin The Beguine (2017 edit)
8. Baba O’Reilly (Instrumental)
9. The Love Man (Stage C)*
10. Content (Stage A)*
11. Day Of Silence (Alternate Version)*
12. Parvardigar (Alternate take)*
13. Nothing Is Everything*
14. There’s A Fortune In Those Hills*
15. Meher Baba In Italy*
16. Drowned (live in India)*
17. Evolution (live at Ronnie Lane Memorial)

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