【THE WHO 24年ぶりに新作をリリース】

The Who's opposites find common ground (CNN.COM)

 良く「人に歴史有り」っていうけれど、24年ぶりに新作"Endless Wire"をリリースするTHE WHOの場合は、まさに「バンドに歴史有り」だ。

それにしても24年ぶりっていうのが凄い。DONALD FAGENが13年ぶりにリリースした"MORPH THE CAT"の“記録”をはるかに超えている。

個人的には、人気テレビシリーズ「CSI」のオープニングで流れる"WHO ARE YOU"で久々に彼らの音を聴いたわけだけど、それが懐かしいというよりも、むしろとても新鮮かつCOOLに感じて、改めてTHE WHOの偉大さを再認識したという感じだった。

1978年に“ロック界の奇才”ドラマーKEITH MOONが他界。そして2002年には全米ツアーを目前に控えてベーシストのJOHN ENTWISTLEを失い、オリジナル・メンバーはPETE TOWNSHENDROGER DALTREYの二人に成ってからも、活動を続けてきたTHE WHOだけれど、その活動は新作をリリースしてこなかったが故に、過去の焼き直し的なものでしかなかった。


Much like another long-lasting rock partnership between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the relationship between Daltrey and Townshend is famously complex. They have a deep personal bond and will forever be joined in rock history, but there are moments when they drive each other nuts.

"We're very different," Townshend said. "I think I've changed over the last 12 years. I'm much happier and content and much less pressured about everything in my life. Roger sees himself at the center of a great mystical circus. He exalts it. He doesn't understand that you have to write every day and suddenly you'll come up with something good. He tends to describe things as magic. If he only knew.


"We missed John, of course, but we were able to go on without him," he said. "I thought, hell, people die, things change and it's OK. I suppose I thought then that maybe I could make a Who record under these changing circumstances and maybe I can say to people that it's not the old sound or the old machine ... At that moment, I knew we would make a Who record."

Daltrey, who wasn't made available for an interview, said in a statement: "When John died, it changed the balance of the band. Pete and I are at two opposite ends of the globe and John was the equator. Something happened. And it has given us a whole new edge."

 TOWNSHENDの著作"The Boy Who Heard Music"をベースに、彼自身が投影されたかのような60代を迎えたロッカーRAY HIGHを主人公にした新作は、その半分がTOMMYのようなロック・オペラ仕立てに成っているらしい。


It is about an aging '60s rocker, Ray High, watching from a sanatorium as neighborhood kids form a band and follow the trajectory of success that he once had. It's poignant hearing the Who perform it, singing about how music "makes me strong" and "long for a place where I belong."

THE WHOの醸し出す世界観というのは、何年経ってもかつてのMODSテイストを失っていない。いつも何処かに“失われた自分の世界に対する渇望”という切なさを伴っている。

今月末リリースなので、現時点では果たしてどんな作品に成っているのか分からないけれど、今どき“ROCK OPERA”をやるなんて、やっぱりTHE WHO。変わってません。


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