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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 37, Number 5. 3rd April 1974

Daltrey: Roger Daltrey. Track Records 2406 107

Daltrey: Roger Daltrey. Track Records 2406 107.

Roger Daltrey is vocalist with The Who', a group in the rock elite. So why has he recorded a solo album?

Why? Because he's found a buncha nice songs and he wants to record them outside the environment of a group, whose material is dominated by songs written by Peter Townshend.

All but two of the tracks on this LP are the work of Dave Courtney and Leo Sayer (who is making a name for himself as a solo performer in Britain). They are uncomplicated melodies, with basic lyrics. Daltrey wrote none of the song nor did he produce the album: this is an unpretentious LP. Daltrey is primarily a vocalist, and apart from some competent acoustic guitar, he knows it.

But by what criteria should this album be judged? Daltrey as Daltrey, or Daltrey as a member of The Who? As a debut album it has potential: Daltrey deserved the chance. But then there are many who deserve the chance and never even get close to a recording studio. The name Daltrey would have contributed to this album getting high in the British charts.

But compared to the work, recent or otherwise, of The Who this album does not make it Daltrey's voice, so suited to accompanying Townshend's jarring guitar on the great numbers that have punctuated The Who's inconsistent, if long, career ('Magic Bus, 'My Generation', 'Pinball Wizard'), here, is weak in the context of these more mildly arranged songs. That is generalising though because Daltrey proves me wrong on three tracks on Side Two: 'It's a Hard Life', 'Giving it All Away', (the best track and cheaper as a single) and 'Reasons'. However, these aren't sufficient to carry the remainder of the album.

Daltrey's got the money to gamble on this sort of experiment (it was recorded at his own studio, in Sussex). From all reports, it was financially a success. With a few exceptions, it is musically bland, commercial and uninspired.