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Rock - Released June 14, 2019 | Polydor Records

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Rock - Released June 1, 2018 | Polydor Records

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There was a time not so long ago when these two men wouldn't holiday together, or indeed spend any studio time together on each other's projects once their "obligations" to the Who were out of the way. But that's all water under the bridge and today it's hardly a surprise to see Roger Daltrey accompanied by Pete Townshend on his ninth studio album. The last time he deigned to lend a helping hand was on McVicar in 1980. After that, not only did he play no part in Under A Raging Moon, a song on the album of the same name by the much-missed Keith Moon, but he also forbade John Entwistle from playing bass on it, on pain of reprisals.But perhaps the latter got vexed listening to the joyful Going Back Home recorded in 2014 by the singer, alongside Wilco Johnson. Note that, apart from the success of his two first albums, which even made some fear for the future of the Who in the mid-70s, Daltrey is far from being as serious about his solo career as Townshend is in his. His avowed inability to write music has seen him make choices which are often surprising, and more than once, dismaying. And we're not talking about his fairly honourable cover of Cargo by Axel Bauer. Here, he has put effort into his writing and Certified Rose and Always Heading Home show that he possesses a rare mastery of the soul idiom.Even with Townshend on hand, As Long As I Have You doesn't feel at all like a Who album in disguise, as does much of Daltrey's non-Who output, with the exception of How Far by Stephen Stills. Even a big number like You Haven’t Done Nothing, the 1974 Stevie Wonder hit, would be quite out of place on Quadrophenia, Who’s Next or even Endless Wire... And who's complaining about his pronounced taste for smooth ballads? Just listen to his reserved rendition of Nick Cave's Into My Arms. This album, which relies more on savoir-faire than innovation, is in no danger of eclipsing the Who's fiftieth birthday celebrations: but it's absolutely up to scratch for all that. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz
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Rock - Released June 1, 2018 | Polydor Records

As Long as I Have You was a long time coming for Roger Daltrey. Set aside the fact that it's his first solo album since 1992's Rocks in the Head: the album was nearly four years in the making, started after his 2014 Wilko Johnson collaboration, Going Back Home, and not released until June of 2018. During that time, Daltrey battled viral meningitis, a struggle that had him on the verge of ditching the record, but his old Who cohort Pete Townshend heard some rough mixes and encouraged the singer to finish, volunteering his services as a session musician. Townshend's presence may suggest that he contributed original songs, but that's not the case. He's strictly a guitarist, playing rhythm on the soul covers that dominate As Long as I Have You. While the album isn't strictly covers -- Daltrey co-wrote two sentimental tunes, "Certified Rose" and "Always Heading Home" -- the record is built upon older material, songs that allow Daltrey to tie his past to the present. He chooses some songs that date back to the '60s, when he was just starting out as a singer -- Joe Tex's "The Love You Save"; the title track, which was originally cut by Garnet Mimms -- and balances them with his '70s contemporaries (Stephen Stills' "How Far," Boz Scaggs' "I've Got Your Love," Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothing") along with Nick Cave's "Into My Arms." Daltrey stumbles upon the latter -- it's too somber and stately for his style -- but the rest of the record finds him in a fleet fashion, alternating between soulful testifying and empathy. Like Going Back Home before it, As Long as I Have You benefits from Daltrey's diminished range, as it adds gravity and grit to his interpretation. This album also benefits from its tight backing band, which is graced with a swinging horn section but distinguished by Townshend playing a secondary, sympathetic role to Daltrey, helping to give this muscular, occasionally moving record an air of grace. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released August 16, 2004 | Rhino Atlantic

In a certain sense, Roger Daltrey's solo career should be divided into two parts. The first part, running from 1973 to 1980 and including the albums Daltrey, Ride A Rock Horse, One Of The Boys, and McVicar, consists of work Daltrey did in between making records and touring with The Who. The second part, from 1984 on, is Daltrey's post-Who career, during which you might expect be would be more focused and would concentrate on making his solo albums primary statements rather than diversions. Guess again. Daltrey was much more successful, commercially as well as artistically, when his solo career was a side project. Parting Should Be Painless, the first album Daltrey made after The Who's breakup in 1982, contains some interesting tracks, including Bryan Ferry's "Going Strong," which gives you an idea what Roxy Music would sound like if Daltrey was its lead singer, and "Somebody Told Me," written by Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox of Eurythmics. But for the most part, it consists of mediocre material indifferently sung. The message: Parting was painful, especially to Daltrey. ~ William Ruhlmann