A2-90473 White City
Produced by Chris Thomas
Released on November 1985
UK CHART POSITION #70 . . . US CHART POSITION #26 . . . GOLD RECORD (1/22/86)
Find it at GEMM
A2-90473 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

W hite City had the misfortune of being allied with the inscrutable short film of the same name, though outside of that context it’s a stirring album of top-notch material. Forgetting the movie for a moment (handily done), these songs represent the most polished rock tunes to come from Pete’s pen in some time. “Give Blood,” “Brilliant Blues,” “Hiding Out,” “Secondhand Love” and “White City Fighting” belong with his best: rousing, resilient rock songs that treat self-assessment as a contact sport. In fact, you could make the case that White City is his best solo album, song-for-song perhaps his strongest collection since Who Are You. The tracks are well laid out, alternating between impassioned rockers and more melodic pieces, enabling songs drawn from the same well to develop different tastes. It’s a less wordy affair than All the Best Cowboys…, returning to the guitar-driven energy of Empty Glass, which should delight fans of that album. What it all means, though, is anybody’s guess. The references to soul-searching at a critical point in life seem obvious, peace is made with the world, and the narrator returns re-charged to his home (finding his purpose in the process). At least, that was my take on White City until I saw the film, which just kind of follows some guy around in his home town, devoid of much action or interest. Townshend’s desire to again fuse music and theatre into an epic whole has been his unscratchable itch in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The efforts, long in the making and generally uneven, have marginalized his impact in popular music. Yet, as an album of music, White City is a towering success.

TRACK LISTING

  1. GIVE BLOOD    5:44
  2. BRILLIANT BLUES    3:06
  3. FACE THE FACE    5:51
  4. HIDING OUT    3:00
  5. SECONDHAND LOVE    4:12
  6. CRASHING BY DESIGN    3:14
  7. I AM SECURE    4:00
  8. WHITE CITY FIGHTING    (Pete Townshend/Dave Gilmour)    4:40
  9. COME TO MAMA    4:40

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  10. SECONDHAND LOVE (LIVE)
  11. FACE THE FACE (LIVE)

    All songs written by Pete Townshend unless noted. Kick Horns arranged by Kick Horns.

CREDITS

PETE TOWNSHEND --
STEVE BARNACLE --
MARK BRZEZICKI --
JOHN (RABBIT) BUNDRICK --
TONY BUTLER --
PETER HOPE-EVANS --
DAVE GILMOUR --
KICK HORNS:
  SIMON CLARKE --
  RODDY LORIMER --
  DAVE SANDERS --
  TIM SANDERS --
  PETER THOMS --
CHUCHO MERCHAN --
PINO PALLADINO --
SIMON PHILLIPS --
CLEM BURKE --
PHIL CHEN --
Jackie Challenor -- backing vocals
Mae McKenna -- backing vocals
Lorenza Johnson -- backing vocals
Emma Townshend -- backing vocals
Ewan Stewart -- recitation
Bill Price -- engineer
Richard Evans -- design and art direction, inner sleeve photography
Alex Henderson -- front cover photography
Malcolm Heywood, Stephen Pyke -- inner sleeve photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
WW November 1985 Atco LP/CD/CS 252 392 lyric sleeve
US November 1985 Atco LP/CD/CS A2-90473 lyric sleeve
CAN 1985 Atco LP/CD/CS 79 904731 lyric sleeve
JPN 1985 Atco LP P-13209 lyric insert
JPN 2006 Imperial CDX TECI-24350 w. bonus tracks

 

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