Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Album : Rough Mix – Pete Townshend / Ronnie Lane

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Didn’t know what to expect from this album.  Bought it because I liked the Who and also Townshend’s solo album ‘Who Came First’.

‘My Baby Gives It Away’ is a little rocker that opens the album.  Pete takes the vocals.  Second cut is the first time CB knowingly heard Ronnie Lane (Had listened to the Faces but was unaware of the connection).  It didn’t take long to like the song or Lane.  Some good harp and violin help it along.  Liked the lyrics and Lane’s vocals.  Title cut is an instrumental with some help from Eric Clapton and some guy named Rabbit playing some mean organ.

Fell in love with ‘Annie’ on the first listen.  What a beautiful song, sung with subtle passion and feeling.  Charlie Hart’s violin didn’t hurt.  From this point on Ronnie Lane was on CB’s favorite list.  Not to be out done, Pete comes next with ‘Keep Me Turning’.  Had heard this side of Townshend on Who records and solo work but he nailed it here.  Great lyrics and images.  “Bow tie tying”.  ‘Catmelody’ is a raucous tune with Mel Collins doing a number on the sax.  Henry Spinetti* (see note below) drums lay it down.  CB has felt “black and blue” after a night of having a few sociables.  Great tune.

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At this point in the LP, Babyhead was completely hooked and looking forward to side two.  ‘Misunderstood’ is a cool little Townshend tune.  ‘April Fool’ is another Ronnie Lane song and it’s another beauty.  Lyrics (“we used to rogue so freely”), violin, Lane’s heartfelt singing.  What can I say, the music just  got to CB.  ‘City’ is a Pete gem.  It conjured up a mini film in CB’s head.  Love the strings and the narrator in the song.  ‘Heart To Hang Onto’ is a real good tune with Townshend singing the chorus and Lane the verses.  Both sing with passion and soul.  The song kicks into a little rock interlude then gets back to original tempo.  The two voices remind me of the Band and their use of different voices among the group members.  Love this song.  Album ends with Pete dedicating the last cut to “the Old Man”.  Nice way to finish the record.

CB was familiar with lots of the musicians that played on the LP.  Eric Clapton, Mel Collins, John Entwistle, Ian Stewart.  It also introduced him to some new ones.  Henry Spinetti’s drumming was solid , Pete Hope Evans on harp, Rabbit on organ, Lyle and Gallagher.  Everyone that played contributed to a fantastic record.  Absolutely loved this album.  It was my intro to Ronnie Lane which opened up a whole bunch of new music.  Lane’s music became some of Babyhead’s favorite stuff.  Something about him and his style.

Pete and Ronnie made some great music together and then rode off into the sunset.  ‘Rough Mix’ is a special record for CB.  It hit something in him on a lot of levels.  It made him feel good.  What else can I say.

(Note : One of the cool things about sharing thoughts on music I love,  I get to rap with knowledgeable music people.  Case in point.  ‘yeahanotherblogger’ commented on this piece and mentioned that he “thought Charlie Watts played on a couple cuts”.   CB has listened to this record since 1977 and didn’t know that.  So on ‘My Baby Gives it Away’ and ‘Catmelody” Charlie is on the skins.  And he sounds great!  Henry still does a solid job on the rest.  Thanks Neil )

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39 comments on “Album : Rough Mix – Pete Townshend / Ronnie Lane

  1. Jim S.
    January 8, 2017

    CB, you read my mind on this one. I was just thinking about Clapton. Townshend, Lane in light of the Rainbow Concert and then thought of this album. The eerie part is I haven’t listened to the album in years, but spun it up online, like, three days ago! I added it to my ‘to blog about’ list, but I dunno, maybe just reblog your fine review one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 8, 2017

      I love this album and figured you’d know the Clapton link. He got around in those days. (Played on Rick Danko’s solo album, another fave). Love to hear your take on ‘Rough Mix’. One of the reasons I’m doing this thing we do. Want to hear Jim’s (and others) personal reaction to music that moved him. Makes it interesting for CB. Especially albums like this that are off the beaten track. I’m sure you have some hidden gems up your sleeve.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        January 9, 2017

        If you’re cool with it, I’d like to (at some point) just use the WP reblog facility. Have you done that? Allows me to reblog your post, at the same time credit you and make a few pithy comments. I can add my two cents there. Plus saves me a few brain cells.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 9, 2017

        Yeah I’m cool with that. Like I said, I’d be interested on your “two cents” also. Plus you could clean up CB’s “never got out of grade school grammar”. There were a lot of good musicians that helped out with that album that did some nice work. EC being one. The album just has that good feel. Maybe it had a lot to do with Ronnie Lanes personality. He was a likable guy. (Tech questions. Not CB’s thing)

        Like

  2. catchgroove
    January 9, 2017

    I have the 4 CD Faces “Five Guys Walk Into A Bar” box and it is phenomenal. I remember playing it on a road trip with my (a the time) 14 year old son and even he was impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim S.
      January 9, 2017

      I was a pretty big Faces fan and have several of their albums. But I was not aware of this box set. AllMusic says it’s the best ever. Thanks for the tip!

      Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 9, 2017

      Good pick up! I went on an everything Ronnie Lane binge. Dug some of the Faces early singles but really went to town on the early albums up to ‘Nod’ and ‘Ooh La La’. I made the Humble Pie connection at the same time even though I’d been listening to them for a while. Lot of really good music came from that band. But it was Ronnie who I latched on to. Kuschty Rye and Debris (probably one of my all time favorite songs) are CB staples. Thanks for the input. The son is getting some cool exposure.

      Like

    • Jim S.
      January 10, 2017

      Ditto on reading your posts. Good stuff. Now following.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. yeahanotherblogger
    January 9, 2017

    I haven’t heard this album in a long, long time. I think my copy is on cassette tape. Anyway, thanks for the review. I agree with you that it’s a really good record. I seem to remember that Charlie Watts makes an appearance on one or two tracks. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 9, 2017

      Thanks for stopping by. This is really cool Neil. I’ve been listening to this album since it came out (not every day) and you mention Charlie. In the credits of the original album no mention of him. So I go to the CD version and yup, you are bang on. I will have to amend the piece with a nod to you. Here’s the cool part. When you mentioned that, I was thinking that drum sound kinda had a CW feel. And sure enough on ‘Catmelody’ it was him. One thing CB isn’t is a know it all. Thanks I love Charlie. (Just did a piece on ‘Satisfaction’ and noted his drumming so it is fresh in my mind).

      Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 9, 2017

      Charlie can sleep better now and so can I.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 1537
    January 10, 2017

    I don’t know this one at all. Rabbit being on it is interesting to me, I’m just getting into all the Free stuff now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 10, 2017

      I know him mostly from his work with Townshend. He pops up all over the place. Like all the music and film ” I speak my mind on”, this album just grabbed me and I had no choice. I don’t think it was a big seller but it works for CB. Plus it introduced me to Lanes music.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. catchgroove
    January 10, 2017

    I was inspired to listen to this album after your review and forgot how great it is. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 10, 2017

      Very cool! I’m surprised at how many people have been responding to this album. Great that others have a connection to it. It is a good record. As far as reminders and new leads, you do the same thing.

      Like

  6. greenpete58
    January 10, 2017

    Enjoyed the article, and follow-up conversation, CB. Ronnie Lane is one of my rock heroes, mainly for his work in the Small Faces [all here may already know this, but when the Small Faces lost lead singer Steve Marriott (who formed Humble Pie with Peter Frampton), the other 3 brought in Rod Stewart and Ron Wood and were no longer so “Small”]. The Small Faces were huge in England, but only had one “hit” in the U.S., the evocative “Itchycoo Park” (penned mainly by Lane). One of the best rock bios I’ve ever read is “All the Rage” by Small/Faces keyboardist Ian MacLagen, who practically worshipped Lane and talks about him in great detail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 10, 2017

      Hey Pete thanks for weighing in, all good stuff. I will definitely check out Ian’s book. A pretty glowing recommendation. There is a fantastic Doc from the BBC called ‘The Passing Show’ on Ronnie. It gives a real sense of Ronnie’s personality. A lot of his old mates like Ian are interviewed and the one thing that shines through is the love they all had for him. CB shed a few tears. They open it up with’April Fool’. If you haven’t seen it check it out well worth it. It also gives a peek at the music scene those guys were involved in and RL’s personal and musical journeys. Nice to hear from you Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • greenpete58
        January 10, 2017

        Hi CB…I think I saw the BBC doc a while ago, and you’re right, it’s very touching. Lane was definitely admired by many, and that feeling also comes across in McLagen’s book. Mac was a beautiful guy, too. My wife ordered his book for me for Xmas, from his website, and he wrote a really cool, personal note inside the cover (sadly, he died unexpectedly just over 2 years ago). He was a longtime resident of Austin, Texas, relegated to working small, smoky clubs, but he shared a lotta love with his fans.

        Anyway…talk to you later!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 10, 2017

        I seen a PBS program a while back called ALL ATX. Ian hooks up with Alejandro Escovedo for ‘Whatcha Gonna do About It’. They did a little tribute to Mac on the program. Alejandro, Joe Ely and that Texas gang hooked up with Ian. Not surprising. Now that is some great musical ideas coming together. You know your stuff Pete. Man what a cool touch with the book. I even like him more now. Thanks for the input. And yes we will talk later. PS, Texas was where Ronnie ended up at the end.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thom Hickey
    January 11, 2017

    Yup – a gem! Thom

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim S.
    July 7, 2017

    Reblogged this on Music Enthusiast and commented:
    When I wrote my Eric Clapton series, a train of thought led me to think about his buddy Pete Townshend. I started thinking I should write something about Townshend’s 1977 collaboration with Ronnie Lane, ‘Rough Mix.’ But maybe three days later, fellow blogger Cincinnati Babyhead wrote a nice review which some of you who also follow him have already seen.

    He asked me to put my “spin” on my reblog but the only thing I want to add is that I always believed Townshend agreed to do this album because of Lane’s MS diagnosis. In fact, Ronnie was diagnosed during the making of this album. Fortunately, he went on for another 20 years. And in addition to his great legacy with the Faces, we have this excellent album.


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  9. Heavy Metal Overload
    July 7, 2017

    Really great read. I absolutely adore this album! Lane and Townshend are both superb writers and on top – magical – form here. Sadly, I believe it was during the recording where symptoms of Lane’s MS started to appear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 7, 2017

      Thanks. I had no idea there was so much love for this record. The reason I featured it is because I absolutely dig it. Obviously you branch out from the “Metal Overload” An open mind with music is a good thing. (I take it you found this through Music Enthusiasts re-post). Thanks for chiming in on this gem.

      I went over to your site. Pretty impressive and overwhelming. Will be back for a better look. Maybe CB will find some new listening. No expert on the style but I do dig the heavier stuff from time t time. I’m going to have a guest on my next post who turned me onto ‘Fu Manchu’. I am liking it big time. You’re the first to know. SSSHHH! Thanks again for stopping by.

      Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        July 8, 2017

        Thanks for checking out my site, much appreciated. I’m looking to reading more of your posts. I did find this through Jim’s repost. But I’m sure I’ve seen your “face” at Mr 1537’s place too?

        Definitely good to have an open mind. I doubt my listening is as eclectic as my blogging friends’ but there’s definitely a healthy variety. I like my folk, Prog, classic rock stuff…

        Liked by 1 person

  10. cincinnatibabyhead
    July 8, 2017

    Cool. I dip my toes into all those genres you touched on. 1537 is a regular stop.

    Like

  11. Jim S.
    July 8, 2017

    This rarity popped up on YouTube. Interview with Ronnie Lane and Pete Townshend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      July 8, 2017

      I’ve seen it before Doc. I watched it again. Thanks. Ronnie is so damn likable. You like docs Doc. Do yourself a favor and watch ‘The Passing Show’. You will shed a tear. Good piece of music history. I’m a huge Ronnie Lane fan. I have one of his songs sitting in the wings. An all time favorite. I have about 15 Kinks songs left for todays listening.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        July 8, 2017

        I think I’ll save the watching of the Ronnie till I do my inevitable Faces series. My team is working on it right now, scheduling their trips to London and other places to interview the remaining members. I’ll put it all together later.

        Don’t listen to too much Kinks in one day. Too much happiness

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        July 8, 2017

        Faces. Another one to look forward to. I’m listening too so much Kinks I’m starting to look like them.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. jerseydreaming
    July 11, 2017

    Nice work, CB.

    Liked by 1 person

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