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Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 30, 2015
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend
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Editorial Reviews

Truancy was remastered at Abbey Road Studios, features new liner notes, an introduction to the two new songs by Townshend and highlights from nine key Townshend albums including the singles - 'Rough Boys,' 'Let My Love Open The Door,' 'Face Dances (Pt. 2),' 'English Boy' and 'Face The Face.'
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 30, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: UMe
  • ASIN: B00WLGOFXO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,143 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 1, 2015
Format: Audio CD
Music: 4.5 stars; new relevancy: 2.5 stars; bang-for-the-buck: 3.5 stars

Almost 20 years ago (1996, to be exact), Pete Townshend was treated to his first `best of' compilation called "The Best of Pete Townshend: Coolwalkingsmoothtalkingstraightsmokingfirestoking". It certainly wasn't a bad compilation, but neither was it the definitive overview that it could've or should've been. Then there was the 2007 compilation called "The Definitive Overview", which in my book was excellent. Since then, new Townshend solo studio material has been pretty much non-existent, even if Townshend of course continues to be busy in all kinds of ways, including with the Who. Now out of nowhere comes this newest `best of', and the question is how does it compare to the 1996 and 2007 compilations?

"Truancy: The Very Best of Pete Townshend" (17 tracks; 75 min.) differs in a number of ways from the previous compilations: (1) first and foremost, and very thankfully, the new compilation plays chronologically from start to finish, which in my book makes for a more coherent listening experience. The 1996 compilation was not sequenced chronologically. (2) Despite there basically being no new studio material from Townshend in recent years, the song selection on this differs significantly (only 7 of the 17 songs on here also appeared on the 1996 compilation, and only 8 also appeared on the 2007 compilation). Those overlapping songs are of course the most recognizable (Let My Love Open The Door, Face to Face, English Boy, Rough Boys, etc.). As to the selection of the other old stuff that wasn't on the previous compilation, one can argue from now until the cows come home whether these songs are `better' or more relevant. (3) There are two band new songs on here: "Guantanamo" and "How Can I Help You".
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Format: Audio CD
Not much to tell outside of it being a good set of Pete's best songs, as the title implies, with an obvious omission that has to be an oversight. "Give Blood", while not a hit (not that Pete had many hit singles to begin with) but is essential, in not only being a well-known song released by Pete, but is clearly one of his most ambitious songs to date.

Being a Who fan, this omission is the main reason for the 4-star review, otherwise you'll appreciate the rest of the tracks included and the sound quality is excellent. This set certainly does give an insight to Pete's genius and talents.
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If you're interested in Pete Townshend, there are a number of good songs here, but here's what you need to listen to that I don't see on this CD:
1) Who Came First-Time Is Passing, Sleeping Dog, Lantern Cabin (reminds me of Debussy)-this is all mellow singer/songwriter stuff
2) Empty Glass-Jools and Jim
3) All the Best Cowboys-North Country Girl, Slit Skirts
4) White City-Hiding Out, Brilliant Blues, Give Blood
5) Iron Man-A Friend Is a Friend
6) Deep End Live-After the Fire, Save It For Later, I'm One
7) Psychoderelict-Outlive the Dinosaur, Don't Try To Make Me Real
8) Live At the House of Blues-On the Road Again
9) Scooped-Eminence Front (solo piano version), Lonely Words, I Like It the Way It Is

These are some SUPERB cuts that haven't seen the light of day recently because the people that run radio stations (and record companies) are a bunch of Ernies that wouldn't know good taste if it ran up and bit them on the bum.
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This is a very good PT compilation with one glaring omission...how can "A Little Is Enough" not be on this? I did really liked the two new compositions. So, Pete, when is "Scoop 4" coming out, or a complete box set of your demos?
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I'd be more forgiving to yet another compilation of Pete Townshend solo work if there wasn't this supposed magnum opus (called "Floss") still sitting around that he's been working on for years.

If you are a seasoned fan, you can name the albums by heart and off the top of your head. Who Came First, Rough Mix, Empty Glass, ....Chinese Eyes, White City, Iron Man, Psychoderelict, Lifehouse boxed set, Scoop comps and Live material both only from his site and more commonly released. That's it.

Is there anything here a completest needs? Then buy the last two tracks as an MP3. The, in my opinion, too little and far too late protest song,Guantanamo and a forgettable rocker, How Can I Help You. If these songs were surrounded by even 6 other new songs, then I'd like them more and probably would like the album. Instead, you are stuck rethinking the same tired old material in a different context AGAIN with two new songs tacked on behind them. I am so thankful for digital technology. Now musicians and greedy record companies need to find another method of marketing these "The Very Best of" compilations because people can just pay for each song and flip off the rest of this album. I hate it when they offer a fig leaf of new material to rope in fans to buy the same other songs twice or even more if you bought other best ofs before buying the original albums. It's the same with that Who compilation, Then and Now from a few years ago.

As for the material, it's not what most people would associate as Townshend's "Very Best". Three from his debut album, three from the Ronnie Lane collaboration, only two from Empty Glass, two from Chinese Eyes et al. Sure, it covers all of them but what's the point?
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