Parting Should Be Painless

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Parting Should Be Painless
Studio album by Roger Daltrey
Released February 1984
Genre Rock
Art rock
New Wave
Length 40:03
Label Atlantic – 7 80128-1
WEA 25-0298-1
Producer Mike Thorne, "Spike"
Roger Daltrey chronology
Best Bits
Parting Should Be Painless
Under a Raging Moon

Parting Should Be Painless is Roger Daltrey's fifth solo album released in 1984, the album is his first solo studio album since the demise of The Who. The vinyl album was released on Atlantic 80128-1, USA, and reached #102 on the US music charts. The single, "Walking in My Sleep", reached #56 on the US singles charts. The album was produced by Mike Thorne, with executive producer listed as "Spike". This is presumably the same woman who was credited as executive producer of Pete Townshend's Scoop album, later revealed to be Helen Wilkins. The album was re-released as an audio CD on 12 October 2004, by Wounded Bird Records.[1]

The album was a concerted effort on Daltrey's part to vent his frustrations in the wake of The Who's breakup by assembling a set of roughly autobiographical songs, which includes a track contributed by the Eurythmics ("Somebody Told Me") and one contributed by Bryan Ferry ("Going Strong").

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars link

Production and recording[edit]

Musically, says Daltrey, the album covers areas he had wanted The Who to pursue. "Pete [Townshend] and I both said The Who was an alternative to heavy metal, but toward the end, John [Entwistle] got more into that and Pete [Townshend] and I further away from it. Because we were compromising so much, we ended up just settling into what we knew how to do best. It bored me to tears, and I know it bored Pete [Townshend] to tears, too.[2]


The track Parting Would Be Painless was one of two tracks written by former Marshall Hain bassist, Kit Hain, who found her songs written for or covered by many artists. Daltrey had reached out to famous friends for writing contributions, and this time, the his list included former Roxy Music lead vocalist, Bryan Ferry ("Going Strong"), Eurythmics co-founders Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart ("Somebody Told Me"), and ex-Ian Gillan keyboardist Colin Towns ("How Does the Cold Wind Cry"), as well as successful professional songwriters Nicky Chinn and Simon Climie.

The track "Going Strong" written by Bryan Ferry is a possible out-take from the classic chart-topping Roxy Music album Avalon, or the track was a possible b-side for chart-topping single Jealous Guy, as it is noted on the original LP's lyric sheet for being copyrighted in 1981.

"I'm not a songwriter, but within this album I tried to get songs that — the majority of the songs, anyway — sum up my feelings in the last year," he explained during an appearance on Good Morning America. "Parting Would Be Painless" is a song that refers to the demise of The Who.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Writing for AllMusic, critic William Ruhlmann said that the album "contains some interesting tracks, including Bryan Ferry's "Going Strong," which gives you an idea what Roxy Music would sound like if Daltrey was its lead singer", but "for the most part, it consists of mediocre material indifferently sung."[4]

Track listing[edit]

The original US album track listing is as follows:

Side One
No. Title Length
1. "Walking in My Sleep" (Jack Green, Leslie Adey) 3:28
2. "Parting Should Be Painless" (Kit Hain) 3:41
3. "Is There Anybody Out There?" (Nicky Chinn, Steve Glen) 4:17
4. "Would a Stranger Do?" (Steve Andrews, Simon Climie) 3:33
5. "Going Strong" (Bryan Ferry) 5:08
Side Two
No. Title Length
1. "Looking for You" (Kit Hain) 3:20
2. "Somebody Told Me" (Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart) 3:07
3. "One Day" (Gerald Milne) 3:10
4. "How Does the Cold Wind Cry" (Colin Towns) 3:46
5. "Don't Wait on the Stairs" (Steve Swindells) 6:33[5]


A promotional poster for the album.

Singles chart position[edit]

"Walking in My Sleep": #56[1]

Sales chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1984 Billboard Charts (US) 102
Year Single Chart Position
1984 "Walking in My Sleep" NME Charts (UK) 56
Billboard Charts (US) 62
Mainstream Rock Charts (US) 4
MegaCharts (NZ) 40
Ö3 Austria Top 40 Charts (AU) 19

See also[edit]