May 28, 2018 Roger Daltrey – As Long As I Have You (Album Review)
As age is only a number, Roger Daltrey, still very active in music at 74 years young, is excited to announce his new studio album, As Long As I Have You, will be released on Friday, June 1, 2018, via Republic Records.
Echoing the voice of a generation, Daltrey has prevailed at the helm of Rock-n-Roll for over a half century as the incomparable Vocalist for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s The Who. Alongside Guitar ace Pete Townshend, Bassist John Entwistle, and Drummer Keith Moon, Daltrey assisted in carrying Rock into a new hemisphere throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Raising the bar, the essence in which Daltrey conveyed the poignant lyrics in classics such as “Behind Blue Eyes,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and the undeniable “Love, Reign o’er Me” with such chilling fashion was like nothing heard before.
One of the greatest of all time, Daltrey is notably a platinum-selling recording artist, having sold over one-hundred-million records, charted ten top ten albums, and amassed a wealth of timeless top ten singles that are as relevant in 2018 as they were in 1969. A stunning showman, Daltrey’s magical presence on the concert stage has been witnessed all over the globe, from Woodstock to the Monterey Pop Festival to Live Aid. Having said this, there is even more to Daltrey than being the frontman of an iconic Rock-n-Roll band. A humanitarian, Daltrey has raised millions of dollars for multiple charities, and was honored with the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) award for his time working with The Teenage Cancer Trust.
Arriving as Daltrey’s first solo LP in 26 years, following up 1992’s Rocks In The Head, As Long As I Have You is an album of covers featuring Townshend’s guitar work on 7 tracks, plus special guests Mick Talbot on keyboards (Dexys Midnight Runners, The Style Council), and producer/musician Sean Genockey on lead guitar. Produced by studio veteran Dave Eringa, renowned for his production with the Manic Street Preachers, As Long As I Have You is far from any old cover album. Daltrey’s vision for this album is to pay homage to the Soul music he and Townshend performed early in their youth, as well as renditions of songs which inspire Daltrey. On the premise of As Long As I Have You, Daltrey stated, “This a return to the very beginning, to the time before Pete started writing our songs, to a time when we were a teenage band playing soul music to small crowds in church halls.”
All that said, As Long As I Have You begins with the bluesy title track “As Long As I Have You,” a song which Daltrey performed in the band The High Numbers, which eventually became The Who. “How Far” is a jangly number with depth, originally performed by Stephen Stills (“If you get lonely all you gotta do is call me“). Up next, taking on Dusty Springfield’s “Where Is A Man To Go,” Daltrey’s rendition is a somber and calm piece searching for solace before Parliament’s “Get On Out The Rain” brings us together as one. Then, on Bozz Scaggs’ “I’ve Got Your Love,” Daltrey’s voice perfectly portrays the lyrical content.
A powerful offering, Nick Cave’s 1997 hit “Into Your Arms” finds Daltrey giving a profound and touching performance (“And I don’t believe in the existence of angels / But looking at you I wonder if that’s true.“). Stevie Wonder’s “You Haven’t Done Nothing” is funky but holds steady in place and casts a vibrant horn section. Thereafter, The Five Keys’ “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” is a Soul-packed Blues ballad reminiscent of the days of crooner vocalists and high school dances of the 1950s. Then, Daltrey takes on an original number, written for his daughter Rose, the traditional Soul ballad, “Certified Rose.” In closing, Joe Tex’s “The Love You Save” is the grand finale of a great new album.
Roger Daltrey shows no signs of aging and his stellar performance on As Long As I Have You is a testament to this theory. The raw sound of As Long As I Have You places the emphasis on Daltrey’s gigantic voice and stunning persona. Needless to say, whether as a solo act or performing with his dear friend Pete Townshend as The Who, Daltrey’s talents are everlasting and in many avenues go unmatched. A great treat for fans of Roger Daltrey and The Who, CrypticRock gives As Long As I Have You 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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