My friend posted an appreciation of drummer Andy Newmark on Facebook, discussing his work, which includes Sly & The Family Stone's "Fresh" and Ron Wood's "I've Got My Own Album To Do." I started to chime in, writing up a paragraph or two about how amazing his playing is on the "Deep End Live" album by Pete Townshend, when I realized it was Simon Phillips and not Andy Newmark. So much for that. But, of course, I now had to listen to "Deep End Live."
I don't know why this album isn't widely revered as one of the greatest live documents on record. Maybe it came out when no one really cared about Townshend's solo work. Or, maybe it is considered a great live record by everyone and I just don't know it. Whatever the answer is, "Deep End Live," recorded in Brixton in 1985, employs a band that includes the aforementioned monster of the skins, Simon Phillips, Billy Nicholls of Immediate cult album fame on backing vocals, "Rabbit" Bundrick on keys and David Gilmour on lead guitar. It's a great set list of Who tracks, Pete solo tracks and choice covers, and everyone involved is at he top of their game.
Check out "I Put A Spell On You" up top. I absolutely love what Townshend puts into the vocals, as if he himself has been put under a spell. Simon Phillips is rock solid, as always. And Gilmour's solo is spine-tingling. It even has touches of "Comfortably Numb" here and there.
Somewhere among the thousands of discs here, I have a two CD set of the complete concert, which was ripped from a laserdisc many moons ago. It has an additional 8 or 10 tracks.
Here are the links for the whole show.