Pete Townshend’s First Solo Single in 30 Years Is ‘Can’t Outrun the Truth’
The Who's Pete Townshend has shared his first solo single in 30 years, according to Stereogum. Called "Can't Outrun the Truth" and written with Townshend's partner, fellow English artist Rachel Fuller, it was created in response to the ennui of COVID-19 lockdowns.
"This lockdown's been bringin' me down," Townshend intones in the song, which emerged as a charitable single this week. Its proceeds will help the U.K. cancer care and support charity Teenage Cancer Trust.
Listen down toward the bottom of this post.
Townshend, the 77-year-old guitarist and co-vocalist of The Who, hasn't released a solo studio album since 1993's Psychoderelict. Not including one-offs such as a re-recording of Townshend's 1972 "Parvardigar" and his 2014 work on The Americans score, "Can't Outrun the Truth" is indeed his first solo single since Psychoderelict's "Don't Try to Make Me Real."
How Did the Song Come About?
"We'd just moved house and Pete was as happy as Larry up in his studio, working every day, and I put my back out," Fuller explains in a press release. "I was just climbing the walls. I couldn't do any creative work and obviously we couldn't go anywhere.'
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She continues, "I really started to think about how unbelievably difficult this period of time was going to be for so many people. I wrote lyrics and then I sat at the piano and wrote the music, and then I thought I really would like to record it, because it's really not a bad song at all. And my singing days are long over, so I asked Pete to record the demo."
Townshend says, "I've helped Rachel make the demos for several of her theatrical projects. She's a really a fast worker — it's not that you say to me, let's go into the studio for two weeks and work on this project. We do it, two hours later or an hour later, it's done."
He continues, "The pandemic years were terrible for charities — the Teenage Cancer Trust was created in order to take the money from a series of concerts at the Albert Hall every year and various other things and that had all dropped out. So the idea of doing this, which is something that has sprung out of lockdown about mental illness, but also for this particular charity."
Townshend adds, "If you've got a scenario in which somebody in your family or a teenager has got cancer, they're being treated, lockdown hits, and you're not allowed to go and visit them. There's a poignancy to the whole thing about the song."