The Who has at last officially announced its first new album in 13 years, set for release on November 22nd, titled, WHO. The band unveiled the album’s title and artwork on Thursday night (September 12th), when they played an acoustic mini-set at the opening of Manhattan’s Pace contemporary art gallery. Legendary pop artist Sir Peter Blake — and old friend of the Who’s and the designer of such iconic albums as the band’s own 1981 Face Dances collection, is best known for his work on the Beatles‘ 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
The Who have released the lead single from the set online, titled “Ball And Chain.”
According to the band’s official press release:
55 years after they made their first recordings, the Who are back with their first new album in thirteen years entitled WHO due for release on 22 November 2019 and is preceded by “Ball And Chain” which is available on all streaming services now.
The eleven-track album was mostly recorded in London and Los Angeles during Spring and Summer 2019 and was co-produced by Pete Townshend and D. Sardy (who has worked with Noel Gallagher, Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz) with vocal production by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Roger Daltrey, Wilko Johnson).
Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend are joined on the album by long-time Who drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Pino Palladino along with contributions from Simon Townshend, Benmont Tench, Carla Azar, Joey Waronker, and Gordon Giltrap.
Pete Townshend added: “This album is almost all new songs written last year, with just two exceptions. There is no theme, no concept, no story, just a set of songs that I (and my brother Simon) wrote to give Roger Daltrey some inspiration, challenges and scope for his newly revived singing voice. Roger and I are both old men now, by any measure, so I’ve tried to stay away from romance, but also from nostalgia if I can. I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Memories are OK, and some of the songs refer to the explosive state of things today. I made new home studio demos of all these songs in the summer of 2018 using a wide collection of instruments old and new. We started recording as the Who in March 2019, and have finished now in late August just in time to make some vinyl. . . maybe even some cassettes. . . ready for release in November.”