The Who Unveil Massive 'My Generation' Box Set - Rolling Stone
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The Who Pack Massive ‘My Generation’ Box Set With Demos, Rarities

Hear previously unreleased track “The Girls I Could Have Had” from upcoming five-disc collection

The Who, Detail, Massive, My Generation, Box SetThe Who, Detail, Massive, My Generation, Box Set

The Who will put out a five-disc, super deluxe box set version of 'My Generation,' which includes the unreleased "The Girls I Could Have Had."

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The Who will mark the 50th anniversary of their debut album, My Generation, this fall with a giant box set. The album, which came out in late 1965 in the U.K. and in April of the following year in the U.S., contained the iconic, stuttering title track, as well as the singles “A Legal Matter,” “The Kids Are Alright” (b/w fan favorite “The Ox”) and “La-La-La-Lies.” The five-CD box set, which contains dozens of never-before-released demos and mixes, will mark the first time the tunes “The Girls I Could Have Had,” “As Children We Grew” and “My Own Love” will be released. It will come out on November 18th, while triple-LP and double-LP editions are set for February 10th.

The first disc of the CD box set contains a newly remastered edition of the album in mono, while the second presents the 2014 stereo remix that was previously available only on iTunes and contained new overdubs by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend using the same gear they used 50 years ago. The third disc presents bonus tracks in mono, the fourth in stereo. And the final disc sports a spate of recently rediscovered demo recordings, which Townshend discovered last year while on a break from touring.

One of the previously unreleased songs, “The Girls I Could Have Had” is now streaming via Spotify. Townshend recorded the tune in his London flat.”I have often said about my early songs that I tried hard to appeal to Roger’s sense of late teenage machismo,” the guitarist and songwriter said of the tune, according to NME. “Either that, or I attempted to sound like Jan and Dean so that Keith Moon – who was a surf music fan – would get behind the song. Here, a rather machismo and bragging song slipped away because it was more about me than Roger Daltrey, and certainly not a surf number. 

“It’s about my lack of success with girls when I lived at Chesham Place, partly because I spent all my time in my studio,” he added. “Roger did very well with girls; it would never have worked for him to sing this lyric. The lyric is also fantastical. I make it sound as though I was turning down girls every day. In real life I was probably piqued that rarely happened. My tape machine was my mistress.”

In another statement, he commented on the box set as a whole. “Gathering these demos for this collection has been enjoyable; it’s wonderful for me to have these tapes made 52 years ago to listen to,” he said. “I hope you enjoy them. They have a naiveté and innocence, a simplicity and directness, and an ingenuousness that reveals me as a young man struggling to keep up with the more mature and developed men around me. What an incredible group of strong, talented, young and engaging men they were!”

The package also includes an 80-page book with many rare and previously unpublished photos of the group and memorabilia from the time, including flyers, a business card, a Ready Steady Go! Ticket, posters and more. It also contains new liner notes by Townshend giving the backstory of the demos and explaining the group’s creative process at the time alongside an essay by journalist Mark Blake and track annotation by Who biographer Andy Neill.

The three-LP version, due next year, contains a disc of mono mixes, another containing mono bonus tracks, and a third with 11 demos. The double-vinyl edition features the album in stereo and an LP of stereo bonus tracks.

The Who are currently in the midst of the two-weekend Desert Trip festival on the same ground where Coachella is held, performing alongside the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Roger Waters. Over the last two years, they’ve been touring the world to celebrate their 50th anniversary as a band. “We were a 1967 version of Adele or Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber,” Townshend joked with the crowd during the first weekend. “We were a bunch of reprobates actually.”

The Who, My Generation Super Deluxe Edition Track List

Disc One (Original Abum – Mono Mixes)

1. “Out in the Street”
2. “I Don’t Mind”
3. “The Good’s Gone”
4. “La-La-La Lies”
5. “Much Too Much”
6. “My Generation”
7. “The Kids Are Alright”
8. “Please, Please, Please”
9. “It’s Not True”
10. “I’m a Man”
11. “A Legal Matter”
12. “The Ox”

Disc Two (Original Album – New Stereo Mixes)

1. “Out in the Street”
2. “I Don’t Mind”
3. “The Good’s Gone”
4. “La-La-La Lies”
5. “Much Too Much”
6. “My Generation”
7. “The Kids Are Alright”
8. “Please, Please, Please”
9. “It’s Not True”
10. “I’m a Man”
11. “A Legal Matter”
12. “The Ox”

Disc Three (Mono Mixes – Bonus Tracks)

1. “I Can’t Explain”
2. “Bald Headed Woman”
3. “Daddy Rolling Stone”
4. “Leaving Here”
5. “Lubie, Come Back Home”
6. “Shout and Shimmy”
7. “(Love Is Like a) Heatwave”
8. “Motoring”
9. “Anytime You Want Me”
10. “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”
11. “Instant Party Mixture”
12. “Circles”
13. “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (French EP Mix)”
14. “Out in the Street (Alternate Guitar Break)”
15. “Out in the Street (Alternate Early Vocal)”
16. “I Don’t Mind (Full Length)”
17. “The Good’s Gone (Full Length)”
18. “My Generation (Alternate Version)”
19. “I’m a Man (Version Two – Early Vocal)”
20. “Daddy Rolling Stone (Alternate Take)”
21. “Lubie (Alternate Mix)”
22. “Shout and Shimmy (Alternate mix)”
23. “Circles (Alternate Mix)”

Disc Four (Stereo Mixes – Bonus Tracks)

1. “Out in the Street (Alternate – Take One)”
2. “I Don’t Mind (Full Length Version)”
3. “The Good’s Gone (Full Length Version)”
4. “My Generation (Instrumental Version)”
5. “The Kids Are Alright (Alternate – Take One)”
6. “I Can’t Explain”
7. “Bald Headed Woman”
8. “Daddy Rolling Stone”
9. “Daddy Rolling Stone (Alternate Version)”
10. “Leaving Here”
11. “Lubie, Come Back Home”
12. “Shout and Shimmy”
13. “(Love Is Like a) Heatwave”
14. “Motoring”
15. “Anytime You Want Me”
16. “Instant Party Mixture”
17. “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”
18. “Circles (New Mix)”
19. “Daddy Rolling Stone (Alternate Take B – New Mix)”
20. “Out in the Street (Alternate Take 2)”
21. “I’m a Man (Alternate – New Mix)”

Disc Five (Demos)

1. “My Generation (Version Three)”
2. “My Generation (Version Two – Fragment)”
3. “The Girls I Could’ve Had”
4. “It’s Not True”
5. “As Children We Grew”
6. “Legal Matter”
7. “Sunrise (Version One)”
8. “Much Too Much”
9. “My Own Love”
10. “La-La-La Lies”
11. “The Good’s Gone”

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