The Who - Endless Wire

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Posted on Fri, 09/12/2014 - 7:38am
by John MacMillan

Member since: Tue, 01/07/2014

Release Type

Studio Album

Release Year


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Polydor/Universal Republic


Album Overview

Endless Wire is the eleventh studio album by English rock band the Who released on 31 October 2006 in the UK through Polydor Records and the following day in the US by Universal Republic. It was their first new album of original material in 24 years following the release of It's Hard in 1982. The album was originally to be released in early 2005 under the working title WHO2.

Endless Wire received generally positive reviews from music critics. It debuted at #7 on the Billboard album chart and #9 in the UK. Portions of it were featured on The Who Tour 2006-2007. Most of the songs from this album were used in the rock musical adaptation of The Boy Who Heard Music which debuted in July 2007 as part of Vassar College's Powerhouse Summer Theater workshop series.



    Written-By: Lawrence Ball
    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-2A Man In A Purple Dress4:14

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-3Mike Post Theme4:28

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-4In The Ether3:35

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-5Black Widow's Eyes3:07

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-6Two Thousand Years2:50

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-7God Speaks Of Marty Robbins3:26

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-8It's Not Enough4:02

    Written-By: Pete Townshend
    Written-By: Rachel Fuller

    CD-9You Stand By Me1:36

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    Wire & Glass - A Mini-Opera
    CD-10Sound Round1:21

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-11Pick Up The Peace1:28

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-12Unholy Trinity2:07

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-13Trilby's Piano2:04

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-14Endless Wire1:51

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-15Fragments Of Fragments2:23

    Written-By: Lawrence Ball
    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-16We Got A Hit1:18

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-17They Made My Dream Come True1:13

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-18Mirror Door4:14

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-19Tea & Theatre3:24

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-20We Got A Hit (Extended Version)3:03

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    CD-21Endless Wire (Extended Version)3:03

    Written-By: Pete Townshend

    Bonus DVD - Live At Lyon
    DVD-1I Can't Explain3:04
    DVD-2Behind Blue Eyes4:39
    DVD-3Mike Post Theme3:41
    DVD-4Baba O'Riley5:59
    DVD-5Won't Get Fooled Again10:03

    History and composition

    Most of what is known about the development of the album has come from Pete Townshend's website. On 21 March 2005, Townshend announced the postponement of the new Who album. On 24 December 2005, Townshend announced that manager Bill Curbishley had introduced a "great scheme" to allow the band to tour in mid-2006 in support of new material, even if Townshend did not have "a full thirty tracks ready to go." On 20 March 2006, Daltrey announced that he and Townshend were making progress with the album and that Townshend had written a song about Stockholm Syndrome, entitled "Black Widow's Eyes". Daltrey also said that Townshend is playing some bass on the album.

    On 28 March 2006, Townshend announced through the diary portion of his website that a mini-opera, entitled "The Glass Household" now forms the core of the album. It is based on his novella "The Boy Who Heard Music". He also announced plans to have a shortened version of the opera released prior to the release of the full album. This diary entry also confirmed the line-up of the band: Pino Palladino on bass, Pete Townshend on guitars, his brother Simon Townshend on backing vocals, and John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards. Peter Huntington, from Rachel Fuller's band, was on drums because Zak Starkey was touring with Oasis.

    On 9 April 2006, Townshend announced that the shortened version of "The Glass Household" had been played to executives at Polydor, and a release date has been set for June, with a tour of Europe following, and the album in September. On 3 May 2006, Pete Townshend posted on his diary page that the mastering for the new EP, titled Wire & Glass, was complete and that the tracks would soon be sent to Polydor. Townshend anticipated a mid-June release for the EP, and a mid-September release for the full album. He had also announced that The Who would begin rehearsing for their tour, during which time Townshend would finish recording the rest of the album with Roger Daltrey.

    A version of "It's Not Enough" was released online at "It's Not Enough" had tentatively been announced as the first single off the album, to be released simultaneously.

    On 3 October 2006, "It's Not Enough" was made available on iTunes. "Tea & Theatre" was also made available. Then on 14 October 2006, Polydor built a website for the album. It was announced from Pete Townshend's website. On the website, samples of the songs "We Got a Hit", "Endless Wire", "It's Not Enough", "Black Widow's Eyes", "Mike Post Theme", and "Man in a Purple Dress" are available to listen to, but not to download. As of 23 October 2006, the entire album was available to stream on

    Endless Wire debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200, selling about 81,000 units in its first week of release.

    Additional songs

    In addition to the 19 tracks listed above, three songs were either considered for inclusion on the album or reportedly recorded for the album but were left off:

    • "Ambition"

    Reportedly written in 1971 for the Lifehouse concept, Townshend debuted this song on In the Attic in 2006.

    • "Uncertain Girl"

    Another song that was debuted by Townshend on In the Attic in 2006. It was recorded in the studio with Zak Starkey on drums, and Daltrey on vocals, but Townshend expressed doubt on whether it would make it on the album or not when he first played it on In the Attic, and it was not included. However, it did make an appearance in the Vassar College workshop performance of the rock musical The Boy Who Heard Music.

    • "How Can I Help You, Sir?"

    On 18 December 2005, Pete Townshend posted a diary entry that chronicled the recording of this track:

    Here is a film I made of a working day developing a demo of a song for the next Who album called "How Can I Help You, Sir?" I have played this in raw form on Rachel Fuller's IN THE ATTIC and last night on her Pay For View Christmas Special. That is the way it sounds played acoustic. What you can hear here is the way it is beginning to evolve as a rock track. Adding Roger's voice will increase the edge.

    In a very real sense every song I write when I sit at home with an acoustic guitar has two distinct lives. The acoustic version may seem to be softer and more intimate. But in this case — in a song about a sick person's refusal to allow anyone to help them, a lonely person refusing to allow anyone to get close — the acoustic version has more bite. The rock version seems altogether more jolly, almost a throwaway. It will be interesting to see how it sounds when Roger and I get it into the studio together.

    The video can be downloaded from Townshend's site.

    Adaptation as a rock musical

    Pete Townshend is also working the songs from this album into a full-length rock musical, a rough version of which debuted 13 July 2007 as part of Vassar College's Powerhouse Summer Theater workshop series. The production was adapted and directed by Ethan Silverman and presented as a staged concert reading with minimal dialogue. The cast included John Hickok as Ray High, Jon Patrick Walker as Josh, Matt McGrath as Gabriel, and Bree Sharp as Leila. Songs in this adaptation included:

    Act I

    • "Prelude"
    • "Pick Up the Peace" - Ray
    • "In the Ether" - Josh, Ray
    • "God Predicts Marty Robbins" - Gabriel, Ray
    • "Unholy Trinity" - Gabriel, Josh, Leila
    • "Trilby's Piano I" - Gabriel
    • "I Can Fly" (Fuller) - Leila
    • "There's No Doubt" - Gabriel, Josh, Ray
    • "Endless Wire Prelude" - Josh, Leila, Gabriel, Ray
    • "Sound Round" - Ray and Company
    • "Real Good Looking Boy" - Ray, Josh, Gabriel
    • "Trilby's Piano II" - Trio
    • "Fragments" - Company
    • "Endless Wire" - Company

    Act II

    • "We Got a Hit" - Company
    • "She Said He Said" - Gabriel, Leila
    • "Uncertain Girl" - Josh
    • "Heart Condition" - Leila
    • "It's Not Enough" (Townshend/Fuller) - Gabriel, Josh, Leila
    • "They Made My Dream Come True" - Ray
    • "In the Ether" - Ray
    • "Trilby's Piano III" - Gabriel, Josh, Leila
    • "Mirror Door" - Company
    • "Fragments" - Company
    • "Tea & Theatre" - Ray, Josh, Leila

    The song "Real Good Looking Boy" was previously issued on The Who's compilation album Then and Now. The song "I Can Fly" was previously issued on Fuller's EP Shine.


    • Roger Daltrey – lead vocals
    • Pete Townshend – guitars, vocals, bass guitar, drums, piano, keyboards, violin, banjo, mandolin, drum machine

    Additional musicians

    • Lawrence Ball – electronic music on "Fragments"
    • Ellen Blair – viola on "Trilby's Piano"
    • John "Rabbit" Bundrick – Hammond organ, backing vocals
    • Jolyon Dixon – acoustic guitar on "It's Not Enough"
    • Rachel Fuller – keyboards on "It's Not Enough", orchestration supervisor on "Trilby's Piano"
    • Peter Huntington – drums
    • Gill Morley – violin on "Trilby's Piano"
    • Vicky Matthews – cello on "Trilby's Piano"
    • Billy Nicholls – backing vocals
    • Pino Palladino – bass guitar
    • Stuart Ross – bass guitar on "It's Not Enough"
    • Zak Starkey – drums on "Black Widow's Eyes"
    • Simon Townshend – backing vocals
    • Brian Wright – violin on "Trilby's Piano"


    Design, Art Direction: Andy Engel
    Engineer: Myles Clarke
    Engineer [Additional Engineering, Mobile]: Darren Westbrook
    Engineer [Additional Engineering, Oceanic]: Lincoln Fong
    Engineer [Recording]: Bob Pridden
    Engineer [Recording]: Matt Hay
    Engineer [Recording]: Paul Ramsey
    Engineer [Senior]: Myles Clarke
    Mastered By: Ian Cooper
    Mixed By: Lincoln Fong
    Mixed By: Myles Clarke
    Mixed By: Pete Townshend
    Mixed By [Rebalanced And Finalised]: Myles Clarke
    Producer: Pete Townshend
    Producer [Roger Daltrey's Vocals]: Billy Nicholls
    Producer [Roger Daltrey's Vocals]: Bob Pridden
    Supervised By, Producer [Video]: Nick Fry
    Supervised By, Producer [Video]: Stuart Roswell
    Technician [Guitar]: Allan Rogan
    Text By [Recording Notes]: Pete Townshend
    Text By [Recording Notes]: Roger Daltrey


    Recorded discontinuosly at Pete Townshend's home studio and at Pie Oceanic Studios, Twickham between autumn 2002 and summer 2006. Mixed between performances on The Who's 2006 European tour. Mastered at Metropolis Mastering, London All songs published by Eel Pie Publishing Ltd. / BMG Music Publishing Ltd. CD: Tracks CD-10 to CD-19 are part of the mini-opera "Wire & Glass" directly based on the unfolding novella of "The Boy Who Heard Music" written by Pete Townshend on his weblog. Bonus DVD recorded at The Vienne Amphitheatre, Lyon, France on 17th July 2006 DVD: Mixed at Oceanic Studios Video editing at Left Coast Digital, Santa Cruz, CA ℗© 2006 Universal Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. Distributed by Universal Music Distribution.



    Endless Wire (The Who album) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from -