The Who have released another song – “I Don’t Wanna Get Wise” – from their forthcoming album WHO, due out December 6, 2019, via Polydor records. Hear the track below.
The single arrives just days after fans who attended the opening of London’s new Music Walk of Fame were given a special preview of the track.
The band has also revealed that the new album will include two “lost tracks” from the ‘60s, “Got Nothing To Prove” and “Sand”.
“Both these songs are from the summer of 1966,” said Pete Townshend. “They would not have been rejected by the band members but rather by my then creative mentor, Who manager Kit Lambert.
“In 1967, when the song seemed destined for the bottom drawer, I did offer ‘Got Nothing To Prove’ to Jimmy James and the Vagabonds who used to support us at The Marquee in 1965. I remember playing him the demo at my house in Twickenham.
“They were still managed by Peter Meaden who had been so influential on me in particular in the short period he was our PR man in late 1964.
“Jimmy liked the song, and suggested making it more R&B, in a slower tempo, but nothing happened. I have a feeling Kit may have felt the song sounded as though it was sung by an older and more self-satisfied man than I was in real life. That would have applied to Roger too I suppose.”
He added, “Now, it works. Back then, perhaps it didn’t. Dave Sardy and I decided to ask George Fenton to do a Swinging Sixties band arrangement to make the song more interesting, but also to place it firmly in an Austin Powers fantasy. I love it.”
As for the track “Sand”, Townshend explained it came from the same period, noting “This is a simple idea, about a sunny beach vacation romance that doesn’t last once the lovers get back home to the rain.
“Again, Kit passed on this, even as an album track, and it simply got filed away. I have always loved it, but have been waiting for computers to get smart enough to fix some of the tape stretch problems that had affected the demo.”
According to the guitarist, some backing vocals and guitar work have been added to the track, along with “a feedback section to properly evoke the era.”
A long-anticipated follow-up to 2006’s Endless Wire, the politically-tinged WHO tackles topics like Brexit, musical theft, the Grenfell Tower fire, spirituality, the power of memory and “an old rock star who has lost his marbles.”
The deluxe edition of WHO will also include the tracks This Gun Will Misfire and Danny & His Ponies – both were recorded and sung by Townshend during the new album sessions.