You can now buy 'Gettin' In Tune - The Alan's Album Archives Guide To The Music Of...The Who' in e-book form by clicking here!
Unlike some AAA bands who keep their unreleased and discarded works under lock and key, The Who have always been quite open about the songs that didn't quite make it -just as they've always been open about revisiting their past on later works. As early as 1974 (and after just six albums worth of material) they were pining for the old days so badly they released 'Odds and Sods', one of the better compilations of unreleased material. The Who have since had great fun in the age of the compact disc, re-issuing their albums in deluxe, super deluxe and deluxe deluxe deluxe editions with unreleased bonus tracks at such a rate most fans (me included) can't keep up with them all. Even Pete Townshend's demos have been pretty much comprehensively covered thanks to no less than three double-disc sets of his 'Scoop' series (although there is still easily enough tapes around for a fourth volume one day - probably a fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth too). In addition the six-disc 'Lifehouse Chronicle' box set released through Pete Townshend's website also mopped up ever-so-nearly everything from 'Lifehouse', The Who's most prolific period for unreleased songs and outtakes, while 'Tommy' can be heard nearly complete in demo form now on the 'super deluxe' set and 'Quadrophenia' can also be bought as a set of demos. As a result there isn't quite the prime collection of Who outtakes for our regular column of unreleased classics as you might expect - pretty much everything that used to be the domain of the bootleggers is now out on some disc or internet download, usually in far better sound than it ever used to be. There are of course a whole load of live recordings out there made by the many Who fans and occasionally by the band themselves (the best of them being a 1971 show in San Francisco mooted as a possible sequel to 'Live At Leeds' before the band reckoned it was 'too soon' - a shame as it features a rather glorious collection of 'Lifehouse' songs, while a 1979 radio broadcast from Paris is easily the best the Kenney Jones era of the band ever sounded). However we've decided to skip these from our article because there are so many official live recordings out there from almost every era around now and the unreleased gigs aren't that different to what's out there, just occasionally better. So, instead, enjoy a further collection of Townshend demos not yet included in the 'Scoop' series, plus the odd revealing alternate mix with the guitarist dominating our list!