|Single by The Who|
|B-side||"Waspman" (Keith Moon)|
|Released||16 June 1972 (US)
23 December 1972 (UK)
|Recorded||26 May 1972 at Olympic Studios, London|
|The Who singles chronology|
"Relay" (titled "The Relay" in the United States) is a song written by Pete Townshend, the guitarist of The Who, for the band's abortive Lifehouse project. It was released as a single, reaching #21 in the United Kingdom and #39 in the United States, and was the last of three singles relating to Lifehouse (that did not appear on Who's Next,) the others being "Let's See Action" and "Join Together". It was also the last non-album single by The Who until "Real Good Looking Boy", thirty-two years later.
Lyrics and music
"Relay" begins with a strong guitar line fed through the sample and hold-controlled VCF of an ARP-2600 synthesiser, which persists throughout the song. It also features an ordinary electric guitar and acoustic guitar. Intended to feature near the end of Lifehouse, "Relay" is thought to refer to the final setting up of and spreading the word about the Lifehouse concert. The fictional Relay bears strong similarities to the modern Internet, and as such in concerts in the 21st Century, Pete Townshend introduces the song as being about the Internet.
Live and alternate versions
"Relay" was performed throughout the Who's 1972 tour, but was dropped from the setlist afterwards, and would not return until after Keith Moon's death; it was performed twice in the 1979 tour (once as an encore, once as a snippet) and frequently through the 1980 tour, before returning to the full setlist in 2000 and 2002. However, it was then dropped again until 2006, and remained in the setlist through 2009. Live performances from 2000 onwards were often performed in an extended format, frequently exceeding seven minutes.
The Who albums and videos featuring "Relay"
In order of release;
- Hooligans (labelled as "The Relay")
- "The Hypertext Who " Liner Notes " Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy". Thewho.net.
- "The Who Backing Tracks". Wbtracks.co.uk.