Personalities | The Who | Remixed (1981) | Key Events
Longest UK Tour
Despite Townshend’s difficulties, the band announced their longest-ever UK tour beginning in January. Although they could fill the largest venues in the world they chose to play smaller ones at home, and visited towns that had often been missed off their previous itineraries. With a new album about to be released, the set list was reworked to include the first new material for three years. At a charity show at the Rainbow in aid of victims of domestic violence, Townshend’s unpredictability came to the fore as he played extended solos and harangued the audience, prompting the others to storm off stage.
Top Of The Pops
A single from the forthcoming album was released in February. ‘You Better You Bet’ was coupled with the John Entwistle composition ‘The Quiet One’, and became the band’s last single to make the Top 10 in the UK. A black-and-white video of the band performing the single in the studio was released, and became the fourth video to appear on the fledgling MTV network. The band made a rare appearance on Top Of The Pops miming to the track on 5 March, a day before the release of the album Face Dances.
The Who had signed a three-album deal with Warner Brothers as part of a $12 million contract. The first of these three albums, Face Dances, reached No. 2 in the UK charts and No. 4 in the US when released there a month later. Recording, however, was not an enjoyable affair. As well as Townshend’s problems, both Entwistle and Jones were watching their marriages dissolve and were also partial to the lure of the bottle. Daltrey, conversely, was riding a wave of success for his acclaimed film characterization of the eponymous villain McVicar. But he was critical of Townshend, believing that some of his better work appeared on Empty Glass rather than The Who’s latest offering.
Essen Grugahalle Is Televised
Amidst rumours of a split, the UK tour continued. A further date in Germany on 28 March saw their performance broadcast live across Europe as part of Rockpalast, a popular TV programme, to an estimated 50 million people. A full European tour in May was mooted but Townshend had already told Bill Curbishley that he would not participate. On 7 April Kit Lambert was found dead, a fall down the stairs of his mother’s home resulting in a brain haemorrhage. The following month, an inebriated Townshend performed in London at the culmination of the People’s March For Jobs campaign.
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