- Read more: The Who’s top 10 best albums – ranked
Last year, The Who’s Pete Townshend revealed that the untitled album at the time consisted of 15 demos. He described the new album as a mixture of “dark ballads, heavy rock stuff, experimental electronica, sampled stuff and cliched Who-ish tunes that began with a guitar that goes yanga-dang.”
Speaking tonight (June 13) during a Q&A at pop-up shop ‘The Who @ 52’, Daltrey shared his initial skepticism over the band’s new album and how he’s now changed his mind and is “incredibly optimistic” about their 12th studio album.
“When I first heard the songs I was very skeptical as I didn’t think I could do it,” Daltrey explained. “I thought Pete had written a really great solo album and I said to him, ‘Pete, what do you need to do this for? Release it as a solo album, it’s great.’ But he said he wanted it to be a Who album.
“So I took the songs away and I listened to them, and listened to them some more, and I had some ideas. [Pete] let me have a bit of freedom with changing a few things, changing the tenses of songs and other little things. And he gave me complete melodic freedom. And I gotta tell you that after being very skeptical I’m now incredibly optimistic. I think we’ve made our best album since ‘Quadrophenia’.”
He added: “Pete hasn’t lost it, he’s still a fabulous songwriter and he’s still got that cutting edge, man.”
In January, The Who announced details of a huge show at London’s Wembley Stadium, due to take place Saturday July 6, 2019 – with support from Kaiser Chiefs and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.
Asked what fans can expect from this year’s Wembley show, Daltrey said that besides the band being accompanied by an orchestra, they’ll be performing songs from albums ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia’, as well as a few songs from their forthcoming new album.
“We’re hoping to do a couple of songs from our new album. I think this is when everybody will groan and go to the toilet,” he joked. “But I’m telling you, I think they will fit in with this show. It’ll prick your ears up, and even though it’s something you haven’t heard before it will captivate you.”
He added that the show “will be sometimes The Who on its own,” and sometimes it’ll be “just Pete on acoustic guitar with me singing.”
The Who kicked off their ‘Moving On! Tour’ at Madison Square Garden on May 13, and it almost went off without a hitch, had it not been for Daltrey calling out a group of fans for smoking weed at the show.