Roger Daltrey howls and yells about love on his new solo single, “As Long as I Have You,” which is the title track for his upcoming album. The song is an upbeat, rhythm-and-blues rave-up with bluesy guitar, soulful backup vocals and a swinging backbeat. The song was originally recorded by soul singer Garnet Mimms in 1964. Daltrey’s LP is due out June 1st.
“This is a return to the very beginning, to the time before Pete [Townshend] started writing our songs, to a time when we were a teenage band playing soul music to small crowds in church halls,” Daltrey said in a statement. “That’s what we were, a soul band. And now, I can sing soul with all the experience you need to sing it. Life puts the soul in.”
“It shows Roger at the height of his powers as a vocalist,” Townshend said.
Daltrey began work on the album after the release of Going Back Home, his 2014 collaborative album with Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson; he continued work on it in between breaks of touring with the Who. As Long as I Have You was produced by Dave Eringa, who previously worked with Manic Street Preachers, Idlewild and D Going Back Home. It features Townshend playing guitar on seven of its 11 songs and includes appearances by Style Council and Dexy’s Midnight Runners keyboardist Mick Talbot and guitarist Sean Genockey.
The record’s track list includes originals (“Certified Rose,” “Always Heading Home”) and covers of songs by Nick Cave (“Into My Arms”), Stevie Wonder (“You Haven’t Done Nothing”) and Stephen Stills (“How Far”). “I’ve always sung from the heart but when you’re 19, you haven’t had the life experience with all its emotional trials and traumas that you have by the time you get to my age,” Daltrey said in his statement.
“You carry all the emotional bruises of life and when you sing these songs, those emotions are in your voice. You feel the pain of a lost love. You feel it and you sing it and that’s soul. For a long time, I’ve wanted to return to the simplicity of these songs, to show people my voice, a voice they won’t have heard before. It felt like the right time. It’s where I am, looking back to that time, looking across all those years but also being here, now, in the soulful moment.”
Daltrey will be headlining the Teenage Cancer Trust benefit at London’s Royal Albert Hall next Thursday. He’ll be touring the U.S., where he’ll be performing the Who’s Tommy with orchestras, this spring.
As Long as I Have You Track List
1. “As Long as I Have You”
2. “How Far”
3. “Where Is a Man to Go?”
4. “Get On Out of the Rain”
5. “I’ve Got Your Love”
6. “Into My Arms”
7. “You Haven’t Done Nothing”
8. “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”
9. “Certified Rose”
10. “The Love You Save”
11. “Always Heading Home