Various Artists

Secret Policeman's Ball

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A by-product of the first of several Amnesty International fund-raising "balls," this album is interesting because it features new, acoustic versions of some Who classics. Since Pete Townshend used to lay down basic tracks before presenting them to the band to flesh out, he must have felt right at home on stage playing "Pinball Wizard" solo. His plaintive voice carries the day as the crowd eagerly sings along in one of the album's highlights. Tom Robinson checks in with his alternative-lifestyle anthem "Glad to be Gay," and Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes supplies a light moment. Classical guitarist John Williams teams with Townshend on "Won't Get Fooled Again," which loses some power from the electrified Who version, but still provides a strong conclusion to an album that was daringly unplugged a decade before it became fashionable.