Dropping the Who's Next bomb: A sad, sad day

obsoleteshockobsoleteshock Road Warrior
edited July 2008 in Rock Band
I just joined the official Who fan club, which costs $50/year in order to get a T-shirt, live CD and (most importantly) advance tickets to their upcoming VH1 Rock honors show. As a member, you are granted access to special interviews/forums with all sorts of nice info. I stumbled across an interview with Pete Townshend here:

http://forums.thewho.com/index.php?t=msg&th=1518&start=0&S=d02efafa3e0b8456bfeb8ae721330864

You may need to be a member to see this; I'm not sure. Regardless, here is the very sad excerpt that seems to definitively indicate that we will not be seeing at least half of Who's Next. Since we have Won't Get Fooled Again, I'm guessing that means Side 1, which means no Baba, no Bargain. At least Behind Blue Eyes is probably safe... Here it is:



"johnmcdonald: Back in 2004 Tommy was remixed for the 5.1 DVD-Audio format. At the
time, rumours suggested that you were working on 5.1 mixes for the other albums, such as
Who’s Next and Quadrophenia. Are these remixes ever likely to be released?

PETE: That’s right. I gave up on Quadrophenia as I decided I really want to re-record a
director’s cut of it (the way Jean Michel Jarre has just done with Oxygene). One day I
will do this if I get time. Who’s Next, it turns out, is no longer a complete set of masters.
An entire side has been stolen from our vaults at some point. These things happen.
Someone, somewhere, has it in a cupboard and is waiting for us to die? What then?"

I hate to break the bad news, but there it is...

*Update*
I just picked up the 1999 DVD of the Classic Albums series for Who's Next, and there were some very interesting tidbits that both reinforce the Townshend interview, as well as offer a ray of hope for at least one song from side one of Who's Next.

Basically the DVD does its best to discuss the ideas, techniques and history of the album and is supplemented with interviews from the three (at the time) surviving members of the band. Of particular interest, they sat down with the original producer/recording engineer for a tour of selected tracks from the album at a multi-track mixing board. I almost jumped out of my chair with joy when he would isolate various tracks to highlight a particular drum fill or bass part, as it meant that, at least in 1999, isolated mutli-track masters existed for each of the songs (except for one, but I'll get to that in a moment). The songs present at the mixing board were:

Behind Blue Eyes (Side 2)
Won't Get Fooled Again (Side 2)
Going Mobile (Side 2)
Baba O'Reilly (Side 1)
My Wife (Side 1)

First off, I can very clearly say that Behind Blue Eyes and Going Mobile had isolated tracks, with Going Mobile even including a relatively blistering guitar solo by Pete Townshend that didn't make it into the final mix.

The real treat here, though, was the fact that My Wife, from side one of the album clearly had isolated vocals, drums and horns, which would imply to me that hopefully the bass and guitar are isolated as well. We may actually be getting this one.

For Baba O'Reilly, the bag was definitely mixed. As the song started playing, the engineer isolated the synth loop from the piano (so that you could hear the piano, but not the synth) and then said that he recorded the piano and band playing live for the track. When the bass entered, he started talking about it and the sound of the recorded song faded away to John Entwistle playing the bass line live (in a studio for the documentary). The interesting thing here was that it sounded for a moment like I could hear an isolated vocal track as everything faded away to Entwistle's playing. Obviously, though, he couldn't just isolate the bass in the mix, hence the necessity to show Entwistle playing the part. After that, he started talking about Pete's guitar part, and it cut to live concert footage of the iconic crashing power chords, once again, presumably because they couldn't be isolated at the mixing board. Finally, at the end of the song, they cut to the violinist who originally played on the track playing the outro live in studio.

With every other song, they illustrated points about the performances of individual instruments by isolating them at the sound board, but Baba O'Reilly appeared to have been mixed down to just two tracks: one for the synth loop, and one for everything else.

One might ask if this DVD was produced before or after the theft of one side of the album, but I would argue that the choice of songs and especially the presentation of Baba O'Reilly makes a very strong case that the missing side is indeed side one and that it was missing when the documentary was filmed.

One other significant note: Every song from side two of the album except for Getting in Tune was demonstrated to have isolated tracks at the soundboard. Since My Wife (from side one) was demonstrated to have isolated tracks, it is entirely conceivable that the split wasn't exactly even between the two sides. If I had to pick one track from side two that might not show up, it would definitely be Getting in Tune, as now all of the other tracks from that side have been demonstrated to be workable for RB.

Comments

  • obsoleteshockobsoleteshock Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    Die-Guitar-Hero;711693 said:
    Dudes, dudes. "At some point" only implies that he is not sure when they were stolen. He is not necessarily implying that he is not sure when he discovered they were missing.
    I think the most important point is that he says there is no chance of a 5.1 master, meaning that whatever is needed for that is no longer acquireable, which means no RB tracks from the missing side. If they had digital copies, they could supply them to The Who's record label and Who's Next 5.1 could come to fuition.
  • ForgottenHeroForgottenHero Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    Can anyone answer my earlier question?

    Also, you said that "Bargain" and "Baba" won't be able to be used, but does this mean they can't make covers of the songs?

    I (like every other sane person in the world) prefer masters of songs, but if the choices are cover, or nothing at all, I'll take a cover.
  • JimmikJimmik Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    That really sucks. Honestly, I don't even care. Maybe HMX knows this and will finally ANNOUNCE SOMETHING! Give us half the songs, I don't care! Talk to meeee >.>
  • krammkrackerkrammkracker Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
  • obsoleteshockobsoleteshock Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    ForgottenHero;711703 said:
    Can anyone answer my earlier question?

    Also, you said that "Bargain" and "Baba" won't be able to be used, but does this mean they can't make covers of the songs?

    I (like every other sane person in the world) prefer masters of songs, but if the choices are cover, or nothing at all, I'll take a cover.
    I've been trying to find the answer to your question. I'm not sure if "The Song is Over" was on side 1 or 2, but you can pretty much count on:

    1. Baba O'Reilly
    2. Bargain
    3. Love Ain't for Keeping
    4. My Wife

    Which would make the "available" songs:

    6. Getting in Tune
    7. Going Mobile
    8. Behind Blue Eyes
    9. Won't Get Fooled Again (which we already have)
  • Alvarado6411Alvarado6411 Dethbringer
    edited June 2008
    GWAAAHH, well that sucks. And the first side of that album has the best ones. This also happened with the Sex Pistols. Shame they don't have hem safely in an archive somewhere. Ahh well.
  • mazzymazzy Rising Star
    edited June 2008
    Maybe HMX is busy working on plan B... like a Who 6 pack...

    1. Pinball Wizard
    2. My Generation
    3. Behind Blue Eyes
    4. Who Are You?
    5. Magic Bus (or I can't explain)
    6. Love Reign O'er Me

    That would be nice!
  • HendrixxHendrixx Opening Act
    edited June 2008
    I find this super puzzling... how'd they remix Baba O'Reilly for the CSI:NY theme if they didn't have separated master tracks?
  • Alvarado6411Alvarado6411 Dethbringer
    edited June 2008
    mazzy;711743 said:
    Maybe HMX is busy working on plan B... like a Who 6 pack...

    1. Pinball Wizard
    2. My Generation
    3. Behind Blue Eyes
    4. Who Are You?
    5. Magic Bus (or I can't explain)
    6. Love Reign O'er Me

    That would be nice!
    That's probably what they are going to do. Some who songs appeared in the leaked list thing. Baba I hardly knew ye ;_;
  • KainKain Unsigned
    edited June 2008
    All this would seem to indicate is that when we get Who's Next, it won't be comprised entirely of Master tracks. Who's to say the missing tracks won't be covers?
  • toMsons1987toMsons1987 Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    They should make a release that when Red Tandy sells over 100K songs, they will release the Who's Next album! ;)
  • bmore007bmore007 Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    They should see if the Who would be willing to rerecord the missing masters.
  • obsoleteshockobsoleteshock Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    Hopefully that's what we're waiting on.
  • GyoGyo Opening Act
    edited June 2008
    honestly i just wish at this point harmonix would make some comment on the issue
  • mazzymazzy Rising Star
    edited June 2008
    Hendrixx;711744 said:
    I find this super puzzling... how'd they remix Baba O'Reilly for the CSI:NY theme if they didn't have separated master tracks?
    Was that song not "Who Are You?"

    Maybe I have my CSI's mixed up...
  • JimmikJimmik Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    bmore007;711765 said:
    They should see if the Who would be willing to rerecord the missing masters.
    Sounds like a good idea to me
  • bmore007bmore007 Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    This would also explain why they've moved on to saying they would be providing a type of The Who discography.
  • T-HybridT-Hybrid Washed Up
    edited June 2008
    Gyo;711773 said:
    honestly i just wish at this point harmonix would make some comment on the issue
    And say what? "We're working on it?"
  • mazzymazzy Rising Star
    edited June 2008
    bmore007;711765 said:
    They should see if the Who would be willing to rerecord the missing masters.
    Well, it is one thing to get Jimmy Buffett to re-record some songs... an entirely different situation to gather up all the remaining members of The Who.... those guys are expensive!
  • kosherrangerkosherranger Unsigned
    edited June 2008
    First I find out the Yes tour has been canceled, Notice my red pad is starting to crack, now this..... bad day today
  • R4di4ti0nR4di4ti0n Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    kosherranger;711804 said:
    First I find out the Yes tour has been canceled, Notice my red pad is starting to crack, now this..... bad day today
    Girlfriends car breaks, will cost 1500+ fix, xbox breaks wont read discs. Not covered by RROD warranty and im out of my 1 year, tv breaks for the 3rd time, same problem, AND the who masters are gone. Seriously, im about to just curl up and cry myself to sleep.
  • obsoleteshockobsoleteshock Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    R4di4ti0n;711822 said:
    Girlfriends car breaks, will cost 1500+ fix, xbox breaks wont read discs. Not covered by RROD warranty and im out of my 1 year, tv breaks for the 3rd time, same problem, AND the who masters are gone. Seriously, im about to just curl up and cry myself to sleep.
    Well, on the plus side, I think Microsoft extended RROD warranties to 3 years. Plus, it sounds like half of Who's Next, all of Quadraphenia and all of Tommy are available as usable masters. Plus, Roger and Pete are still alive, so there's a chance (however unlikely) of re-recordings.

    Regardless, I just found something that sums this whole situation up very nicely:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=WWaLxFIVX1s
  • BukketheadBukkethead Opening Act
    edited June 2008
    Armand330;711611 said:
    An incredible find indeed! Something tells me HMX still wont say a darn word either way and keep stringing everyone along as if they have the access to the masters and are still releasing who's next. Gotta sell those bundles before everyone wises up!

    A sad sad day it truly is.
    Has it occurred to you that perhaps the folks at the record label in charge of getting the masters to HMX didn't tell them? Last we heard, HMX was still waiting to get all of the masters so they could get to work. All this does is explain what the delay was, and why they were still waiting.
    but does this mean they can't make covers of the songs?
    Of course they can still cover the songs.
  • gonadsandstrifegonadsandstrife Opening Act
    edited June 2008
    I would take Quadrophenia over Who's Next anyday of the week. For those who havent listened to this album, find a way and you will see why The Who are Rock Legends.
  • ForgottenHeroForgottenHero Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    obsoleteshock;711733 said:
    I've been trying to find the answer to your question. I'm not sure if "The Song is Over" was on side 1 or 2, but you can pretty much count on:

    1. Baba O'Reilly
    2. Bargain
    3. Love Ain't for Keeping
    4. My Wife

    Which would make the "available" songs:

    6. Getting in Tune
    7. Going Mobile
    8. Behind Blue Eyes
    9. Won't Get Fooled Again (which we already have)
    Thanks for the reply, I like GM and BBE (and WGFA, but obviously we have that), but I'd pass on Gettin In Tune.
  • CPT_DestroyerCPT_Destroyer Banned
    edited June 2008
    mazzy;711789 said:
    Well, it is one thing to get Jimmy Buffett to re-record some songs... an entirely different situation to gather up all the remaining members of The Who.... those guys are expensive!
    ...and Keith Moon is dead. So yeah.
  • obsoleteshockobsoleteshock Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    CPT_Destroyer;711967 said:
    ...and Keith Moon is dead. So yeah.
    As is John Entwistle (bass player). Only Pete and Roger remain.
    Kenny Jones doesn't count.
  • JimmyRyanJimmyRyan Opening Act
    edited June 2008
    I bet it's taking so long because they're getting the surviving members of The Who to rerecord the side that was lost. That's probably best case scenario.

    If not, why wouldn't we just get covers instead? I think the wait is a result either of rerecording by The Who themselves, or they really are trying to execute every possible option to get master tracks in any form.

    Just remember, patience is a virtue. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.
  • newwaveboynewwaveboy Unsigned
    edited June 2008
    Guys, there's one important thing to remember here; there are other places to get master recordings of this stuff other than the actual "master" 24 track tapes. Who's Next is one of those records that has seen so many different iterations, so many releases and re-releases (a deluxe edition was recently remastered several years ago) that there are certainly a myriad of places to go for the source material.

    True, there's no way to create an accurate 5.1 mix without every recorded track, but the songs in Rock Band are NOT mixed in 5.1. The game certainly is- sound effects, etc, but most of the music comes out of the front channel speakers. Rest assured there's gotta be some type of digital or analog copy in some MCA vault somewhere in the world that Harmonix can/will used if they didn't get to it before the theft. There just has to be.

    It's important to keep in mind that the term "Master Recording" is relative when used for RB or GH in that it's used to separate the source recording from the actual band licensed for the game, and the covers that were created later on. I doubt that labels or individual artists would willingly hand over the genuine master tapes to some of these staple songs and let some crazy developers have their way with them. Nah, I wouldn't worry too much about this.
  • obsoleteshockobsoleteshock Road Warrior
    edited June 2008
    It certainly has to be big and satisfying, otherwise they just would have just told us from the get go that some songs were missing, then given us what was left. Obviously, given the statement from Rigopolous, they have plans and they should be good, which means either:

    1. Who mega-pack of available master tracks with possible covers where necessary.
    2. Who's Next with some covers of missing songs plus a bunch of Who songs as a peace offering
    3. Re-recordings of missing tracks from Who's Next by Pete & Roger
    4. Re-recordings of many key Who tracks by Pete & Roger
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