“I do not want to write with Roger so we can pass ourselves off as a ‘new’ Who,” Townshend writes in a Web post. “I want to see if he and I have anything we can say together, that we could not say separately. Whether we call an album a Who album is not the point.”
According to Townshend, his friend the longtime sound engineer Tom Wright, put the idea in his head: “[Tom] feels Roger and I need to make a ‘last’ album. One that is real, passionate, earthy, and innovative — but also accessible.”
The news continues a year of dramatic ups and downs for the legendary British rockers. They recently wrapped an emotional three-month-long summer tour without founding bassist John Entwistle, who died of a heart attack in Las Vegas on June 27th, just prior to the outing’s originally scheduled kickoff. In 1978, the Who lost their original drummer, the mercurial Keith Moon, to a drug overdose.
Although the new Who material will be collaborative, guitarist/songwriter Townshend and singer Daltrey will not abandon their traditional roles. “I am not shying away from the usual division of labour,” Townshend writes. “Roger is more of a singer than a writer, and I am claiming to be more of a writer than a performer. What I am shying away from is trying to pick up the Who recording legacy where it was dropped in 1976.”