Roger Daltrey Shares The Song He Wished Pete Townshend Didn’t Sing Lead On
When a band has two lead vocalists, they have to decide who will sing which song predominately. Recently speaking to Vulture, the Who singer Roger Daltrey named one of those songs he wished to sing the lead vocals instead of Pete Townshend.
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are domineering figures in the Who, so it’s inevitable that they sometimes have clashing opinions. For instance, Townshend had previously said that he wanted to work on evolving and unfinished ideas, but Daltrey didn’t want to sell any. He also added that he didn’t really want to hit the road again, while Roger was eager to take the stage and use his voice.
Apparently, the two also have different opinions on who to sing which song. According to what Roger Daltrey told Vulture, he would want to sing lead on the song ‘A Legal Matter’ as it was about him. Daltrey was going through a divorce then, so he believed it would be more personal if he sang the song. However, he revealed that he didn’t want to interfere with the guitarist’s ego, so he didn’t really voice his opinion.
Following that, the vocalist admitted that he tried to be fair when Townshend insisted on singing a song. As the singer recalled, he chose the songs for the album ‘The Who By Numbers’ after they composed a soundtrack for ‘Tommy.’ He told the guitarist that he should sing ‘However Much I Booze,’ as it reflected his struggle with drinking. The frontman then said he recorded vocals for ‘Eminence Front,’ but Pete’s vocals sounded better.
Asked about the Who songs he wished Townshend didn’t sing the lead, Roger Daltrey said the following:
“There are some good contenders from our early years. I’d say ‘A Legal Matter’ because the song is about me. I was getting divorced at the time. It would’ve been more personal if I sang it. I never even thought about what songs Pete and I would sing. If he wanted a song, I would go, ‘Great, you sing it, go.’ I wasn’t going to interfere with the ego [Laughs]. I’d wind him up a bit. We never discussed it, and I never challenged it.
I mean, just after we made the film soundtrack for ‘Tommy,’ I chose the songs for ‘The Who By Numbers’ album. I’d insisted that he sing ‘However Much I Booze’ because of its own personal nature. [There are] quite a few songs I’ve always preferred that he sings the lead. Like ‘Eminence Front,’ for instance — I did a vocal on it, but I listened to his vocals, and it just sounded better in my ears. I prefer his vocals to mine any day of the week. He prefers mine, which is weird. He’s got a thinner voice.”
Both Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend appear to prefer each other’s vocals in some of the Who songs. However, Daltrey tries to be just about who should sing the lead, as he believes the one who has a personal bond with a song should sing it.