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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "Mod Summit"
Old friends Ronnie Lane & Pete Townshend join forces in late Winter 76 / Spring 77 and the result was: " Rough Mix".

The Who had been idle in the studio for almost two years at this point. Their last project "The Who By Numbers" was a great record but more than a few folks took it as if it was a Pete Towshend solo record because of the theme of Pete's songs...
Published on August 4, 2006 by Philip S. Wolf

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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Might Be 5 Stars If Properly Mastered
I own tons of Dual Discs and have had no problems with any of them. I own a Sony high-end SACD/DVD player and it'll play anything I throw at it. The CD side of this item plays fine. The extra features are pretty swell, too. The very opening seconds of the DVD side are improperly mastered which causes an annoying "stutter" as the disc attempts to initiate the Surround...
Published on January 9, 2007 by tommytunz


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "Mod Summit", August 4, 2006
By 
Philip S. Wolf (SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA. USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
Old friends Ronnie Lane & Pete Townshend join forces in late Winter 76 / Spring 77 and the result was: " Rough Mix".

The Who had been idle in the studio for almost two years at this point. Their last project "The Who By Numbers" was a great record but more than a few folks took it as if it was a Pete Towshend solo record because of the theme of Pete's songs were very personal and Roger didn't sound comfortable singing that batch of songs. The overall sound of "The Who By Numbers" wasn't considered a bold move forward and Pete was writing songs that looked back and his tone was quite angry on that recording. Overall, that project wasn't as popular than if Pete had writen another rock-opera and it wasn't considered worthy to stand next to his greatest works.

That said, a lot of us approached: "Rough Mix" as if was the new "Who" record. Well, it's not that BUT it stands on it's own merit as one of the best projects that Pete was ever involved in. Ronnie Lane, had been on his own for a few years at this time and he is an important partner for Pete on this piece of work. He is of great contrast in style to Mr. Townshend and helps "Rough Mix" work as a balanced record. His tunes: "Nowhere To Run", "Annie" & "April Fool" seem to have had an amazing effect on Pete's writting and playing to free him up from the turmoils of The Who and the results here are some of the best Pete Songs, some of you have never heard.

It all begins with "My Baby Gives It Away" a very loose and happy but raunchy love song that sounds nothing like The Who has done since "Magic Bus", Pete sounds like a new man on a mission and it's a good opener. Ronnie, get's to shine on "Nowhere to Run" & "Annie" and he seems a little more relaxed than Pete, but he sure can write good tunes. The title tune is from a studio jam the boys undertook with Eric Clapton, and it's just OK but it does not hold interest for repeated listenings. Same goes for "Catmelody" as you can tell this also devolped from a jam featuring a few guys from The Rolling Stones.

But, "Keep Me Turning" is the great lost Who song that we had been waiting to hear for years...fantastic !!! The same could be said for: "Heart To Hang Onto", as this could have been an epic number if Roger had the chance to sing on this, both of these great songs, still pop up in Pete's solo concerts to this day . For my money the best thing recorded for this project was the great: "Misunderstood" it is as loose as you could ever get from Pete, but at the same time it has a very tight focus due to his writing...fantastic plus two. And let's not forget: "Street In The City" which is just Pete, and an orchestra doing a: "Mini-Opera", this experiment works for some but is a shock to lovers of: "Live at Leeds" as our hero has done a 180 from the power chords of old, and on this has steered close to a classical work. I think it is an experiment, that he indeed pulls off well, and it's rumored that Pete has demos of more along this line, I hope they get to see the light of day Things come to a close with one of Baba's favorite songs: "Till The Rivers All Run Dry" and it's like a prayer, as was the intention.

This being the: "Deluxe Edition", there is an essay on the making of this classic and complete lyrics and recording information. Three bonus tracks are added here; "Only You" & "Silly Little Man" by Ronnie Lane and another studio jam called: "Good Question", they are OK, but they are not the great lost recordings we are searching for.

"Rough Mix" still holds up well almost thirty years later and this is the edition to purchase, Ronnie went on to rock in Heaven, and Pete didn't die OR get old, thank goodness.
This is one of Pete's finest efforts, and with Ronnie's help, the mix is good.
Four Stars!!!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Townshend-Lane Shine on This Collaboration, January 27, 2000
This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
This would be ex-Faces Ronnie Lane's next-to-last record. [He would release only one more solo album, 1979's See Me, before multiple sclerosis no longer permitted him to record.] Together with Pete Townshend they create a memorable album.
Rough Mix kicks off with the most Who-like of the albums tracks--"My Baby Gives It Away," which is propelled by the drumming of Stones' drummer Charlie Watts. Townshend's vocal performance is fine, but he doesn't have the instensity that Roger Daltry could have added to the song.
Only two other tracks rock as hard as the opening track. The instrumental "Rough Mix," which features Eric Clapton's lead guitar and the organ work of John "Rabbit" Bundrick, who would go on to tour with the Who in 1979. The other is Ronnie Lane's "Catmelody," a jumping number featuring Stones sideman Ian Stewart on piano.
The rest of the album is a mostly accoustic affair. One of the album's standout tracks is Lane's absolutely gorgeous "Annie," which features his former Slim Chance members Graham Lyle on guitar and Benny Gallagher on accordian. Equally lovely is Lane's "April Fool" with Clapton on Dobro. Townshend also turns in one of his prettiest melodies and excellent acoustic guitar playing with "Keep Me Turning."
Only the string-laden "Street in the City" seems out of place on this disc, and at over six minutes is too long.
The album closes, however, with the melancholy "Heart to Hang on To" with Lane and Townshend sharing vocal chores, and the Don Williams country classic "Till the Rivers All Run Dry."
This is one of Townsend's strongest non-Who projects and Lane's contributions are stunning. If you enjoy either of these artists you will enjoy this collaboration. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing mix of Townshend and Lane originals a pity they didn't do this again..., November 26, 2006
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This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
When Ronnie Lane was having financial difficulty he asked Pete Townshend for a loan. Pete said no. He then suggested that Pete produce his solo album and contribute songs to a solo album Townshend had a counter proposal; they record an album together. The result is the marvelous "Rough Mix" which features both songwriters in top form and meshing to create a unique sythesizer of both their sounds. The album sounds like a collison of these two unique songwriters and their bands (Lane was a member at one time of the Faces and The Small Faces)than just about anything either one of them created by themselves. The production by Glyn Johns and musical contributions from John Entwhistle, Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts and Rabbit makes this marvelous musical confection come together and gel.

Does this album sound better than the previously mastered version? Yeah it's improved but only for the 5.1 mix. The Redbook layer (which sometimes doesn't play in CD players) is brighter, louder and more compressed. We get the original album remastered for CD with video interviews with producer Johns and Townshend on the DVD-audio side of things. There are also stills from Townshend's collection of the recording of the album. The 5.1 mix of the album sounds quite good as well although I find myself listening a bit more to the stereo CD side only because I tend to listen to music much more in the car than I do at home.

The booklet has information on the recording of the album in a brief essay as well as the original lyrics for all the songs. The big find though is three previously unreleased songs two by Lane and one by Townshend. "Good Question" builds on a demo from "Scoop" that Townshend recorded called "Brrr". Both "Only You" and "Silly Little Man" are exceptional Lane tunes that add to his musical legacy.

A warning to Townshend/Who fans; don't except "Empty Glass" this album has much more in common in tone, feel and sound to Townshend's "Who Came First" album than his later albums.

Pete's in great voice throughout. Townshend's songs tend to rock out a bit more than Lane's but the two provide perfect balance to each other here. My advice--if you're going to listen to the Redbook CD layer a lot stick with your original CD.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why doesn't Amazon allow for 6 stars?, May 27, 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
Having bought this on vinyl when it first came out, I awaited the CD release which has rarely left my playlist in the last decade-and-a-half. This is an album that defies pigeon-holing and it's highpoints overshadow its flaws (and there are several) by a high exponential factor. This is one of the saddest and most joyous recordings I've ever heard. Sad because it marked Ronnie Lane's diagnosis with MS and joyous because it souded like a bunch of guys just happy to play music together. The hits outrank the stiffs by a large margin as well. "Street in the City" threatens to be an other self-indulgent Townshend epic, but the sweetness of his singing and the wistful feel redeem its flaws. Nearly every Lane track is flawless and the arrangements are great, bringing in banjos, mandolins and harmonicas, where needed,to give it a timeless sound. Just writing about the record makes me smile.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most underrated albums in popular music ever!, November 18, 1998
This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
There is likely a touch of bias here, as I've long loved Rough Mix since I first heard it in my college dorm room back in '83. Nonetheless, the contrast in styles between Pete Townshend and the late Ronnie Lane work beautifully, particularly when the duo cross-pollenate like the addictive "Heart To Hang Onto."
One reason you should own Rough Mix alone is summed up in four words: "Street In The City." Without question, song for song, this is truly one of Pete's finest moments. Combined an impassioned vocal, relentless fingerpicking and the orchestra strings, and you are taken on a journey to downtown London and witness a window-worker who loses balance and falls. This description does no justice to the song, but for anyone who appreciates the pure joy of music, you haven't lived life until you have experienced "Street In The City".
Street aside, every song has plenty to offer. You want rockers? There is Pete's driving "My Baby Gives It Away", augmented by the unmistakenable drumming of Charlie Watts. There's Ronnie's playful, horn-laden "Catmelody". Not to mention the instrumental title track, led by Clapton's electric leads and John "Rabbit" Bundrick's organ.
Rough Mix is marked, though, by its softer, simpler sides. Ronnie contributes two gorgeous ballads: the inflective "April Fool" and the timeless "Annie" with its final verse "Hear the children, they call, Annie/Every leaf must fall, Annie/God bless us all, Annie/ Wherever we'll be." Pete also contributes the coying "Misunderstood".
The album is capped by its only cover, a graceful reading of Hank Williams' "'Til The Rivers All Run Dry", touched by sincere harmony vocals, Eric Clapton's dobro and Pete's acoustic.
The only shame about this album is the fact that there wasn't a follow-up. Nevertheless, Rough Mix is such that it deserves a home in every music lover's collection.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for content and effort, October 18, 2006
By 
Gordon Pfannenstiel (Russell, KS United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
This is a 5-star album. Period. And while I lobbied for a decent remaster, I certainly never expected all this. They did a very good (not great) job of remastering, and you get your choice of conventional CD stereo, Dolby DVD stereo or Dolby DVD 5.1. No DTS, unfortunately. I know I'm picking nits, but I don't find the 5.1 mix all that alluring. First, the sound is anemic, requiring much more volume and amp power to get a decent listening experience. The mix lacks punch and high end and is not at all realistic, e.g. the drums are all in the right front channel, kind of a throwback to the "2-track" stereo mixes of the 60s. Also, some of the vocal tracks are different, which is OK, I guess, but off-putting and not as good as the finished vocal tracks. It's one of the most curious, and disappointing surround sound mixes I've heard. I don't know how the stereo master can be so much improved from the previous LP and CD releases, yet the 5.1 mix sound so different and disappointing.

But, honest, I'm not complaining. You don't have to listen to the 5.1 mix, it's there if you want it, and I'm well pleased with the stereo mixes. The CD stereo remaster seems a bit better than the Dolby DVD remaster, but they are close.

At any rate, I am glad they finally remastered this classic album, and the extras are very much appreciated.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top favorite albums of all time, November 23, 2005
By 
C. Wilson (SCAPPOOSE, OR USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
I remember the first time I heard this on record,and I was blown away.

Years later to be able to get this on cd is thrilling.

The album has held up well,their voices together are magic.

Ronnie was so gifted..a shame to lose him so young.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, January 22, 2006
This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
Hey, all all star collaborative efforts should be like this. This album shows what Townshend would have been capable of in The Who with someone like Ronnie to compete with. While Entwistle was a good song writer, he was no genius, and not even interested in trying to be, concentrating mostly on his bass playing. While Ronnie may not be Townshend quality, he's great, and it forced Pete to heights he hadn't achieved in a long time. If The Who had Ronnie in it from the beginning, they'd have been better than The Beatles.

The album runs the gauntlet from hard charging roots rock to beautiful ballads, to massive Townshend experimentation. It's kind of a schizophrenic album, but everything is done with such gall, such joy, and such pure craft, that the album is a delight the whole time its on. The most fun album of Townshend's career (both Who and solo) and while it may not make it his best, it makes is a huge highlight. Find it, buy it, love it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 5.1 Mix, August 31, 2006
This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
When I bought this disc I was skeptical as to how good the 5.1 mix would be. First, of all of Townshend's solo albums, this one seemed to me to be the least best candidate for a surround sound mix. Second, the 5.1 mix that Townshend had done for the Who's classic Tommy had not impressed me. Within one minute of putting this dual disc into my dvd player though, I realized that this was exactly the sort of surround sound mix I always hope I will be getting. There are enough unique, specific events going on in the rear speakers so that you know they're there, but not so much as to be overwhelming. The 5.1 mix was done by long-time Who soundman Bob Pridden who should be given high praise. Hopefully Pridden will be in charge of any future surround sound mixes that are to be done for the Who/Townshend catalog. The interview section of the disc could have had some more talk from Pete, but that's the only minor complaint I can think of.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic from Two Greats, January 11, 2007
By 
J P Ryan (Waltham, Massachusetts United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rough Mix (Audio CD)
Pete Townshend Ronnie Lane had a history that was rooted in British mid '60s Mod culture - Lane had been writer/bassist for Small Faces (1965-69) and Faces (1969-75), Townshend of course led The Who - and had a common spiritual path that led to a pair of privately produced albums as well as Pete's 1972 debut "Who Came First." "Rough Mix," issued in 1977, seemed rather slight in its time (with punk stealing attention as both musical and cultural phenomenon), but has aged very well. Though the two greats write seperately, except for the title track, a rocking instrumental, Lane sings lead on the most appropriate Townshend song ('Heart To Hang Onto'), and each adds a great deal to the whole. The music is nuanced, meticulously textured, and utterly undated. Highlights include Lane's hauntingly poetic 'April Fool,' 'Annie' and Townshend's aforementioned 'Heart' and 'Street In The City,' but really this is a powerful yet unassuming gem in its entirety. As stated the auteurs play most of the guitars, basses, and vocals, but guests include the Stones' Charlie Watts and Ian Stewart, plus Eric Clapton, John Entwistle, and others. I suggest the interested reader click over to the newly issued SACD/CD remaster on the Hip-O label, which features exquisite sound and three fine bonus tracks (two by Lane, one by Pete). The upgrade is substantial even if like me you only have a stereo CD player, and sonically blows previous CD editions out of the water.
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Rough Mix
Rough Mix by Pete Townshend (Audio CD - 1989)
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