Pete Townshend

The Definitive Collection

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This 17-track collection by Universal surveys the solo career of Pete Townshend relatively well with one major flaw: there is nothing here from the Lifehouse project that Townshend gave up on. Certainly it was a Who record he was working on at the time, but he completed what he could on his own. It's great that "Pure & Easy" and two more are here from Who Came First, and "My Baby Gives It Away" and another from the Rough Mix offering with the late Ronnie Lane, but those recordings are readily available now as well. The best cuts here, without question, are from Empty Glass and the same for the cuts from All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes. But how is "Mary" from all the volumes of Scoop the most definitive Townshend? More to the point, how are cuts from White City, The Iron Man and Psychoderelict even included except to provide an overview of his solo work? His solo acoustic "Pinball Wizard" from the Secret Policeman's Ball certainly counts more than this. Bottom line: it's just the machine at work. Anyone who is really into Pete Townshend has everything they need anyway, so this one can safely be avoided without causing hurt.

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