Who Came First
was Pete Townshend
's first effort as a solo artist. It was recorded in late 1971 and was released on Decca Records
in October of 1972, reaching #69
in the charts.
Who Came First was a collection of Demos and thrown-out songs. Three came from the Lifehouse project, "Pure and Easy", "Nothing is Everything (Let's See Action)", and "Time is Passing." Pete played all the instruments, and produced the album himself. Who Came First was sort of an homage to Pete's mentor, Meher Baba, who had passed away three years prior; and was directed more at his followers.
Like his songs in the Who, the album is pure and sensitive. It seems that sometimes, Pete's voice is more suited for some of the songs that the Who sings, and his solo albums often present those songs.
A mostly acoustic album, it is beautiful, achingly sweet, innocently conceived music. At the time, no one (other than the one and only George Harrison) would dare to bare themselves like this on record.
From the beginning notes of "Pure and Easy" until the beautiful fade of "Parvardigar", Townshend's "attempt" is a classic gem. It wasn't trying to make hits, it wasn't trying to be hip or cool-it was just a humble nod to his spirituality.
Who Came First was re-released in October of 1992 with six bonus tracks, including Pete's take on The Who's "The Seeker".
1. Pure & Easy
- The main song of the Lifehouse
project, it lays down the "one note" theory
. I've always semi-interpreted this as to being the "om
", since Pete was so spiritual
at the time. Explainging the literal meaning would mean going into an explaination of Lifehouse
, which I won't do here, but "Pure and Easy" just lays down the theory that one pure note can bring us all together
- written and sung by Ronnie Lane, this is a quirky
acoustic incarnation of Ronnie's signature song.
3. Forever's No Time at All
- The loudest song on the album, it's signature raunchy Pete guitar. It came from that point where Pete could do anything
with his guitarwork.
4. Nothing is Everything (Let's See Action)
- A more dynamic version than the Who's, this is another selection from Lifehouse
about finding yourself, as most of the Who's numbers were in that time period...
5. There's a Heartache Following Me
6. Sheraton Gibson
- a tribute to Pete's signature red Gibson SG
- another angel
ic spritual song, this song is very revealing, poetic
, and sensitive. It flows, thematically, with the next song, "Parvardigar"
- In my opinion, the best song
on the album. A great choice for the ender, "Parvardigar" is adpated from Meher Baba's Universal Prayer
. The first time I heard this song, I got shiver
y all over. Pete's vocals are passionate and deep-he sounds naked (vocally
It's so beautiful
, and bliss
ful. This is Pete Townshend
at his purest, when his mind, heart
, and spirit
culminated in the expression of all his best attributes, both musical
ly and personal