Parting Should Be Painless

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Parting Should Be Painless
Parting Should Be Painless.jpg
Studio album by Roger Daltrey
Released February 1984
Length 40:03
Producer Mike Thorne
Roger Daltrey chronology
Best Bits
Parting Should Be Painless
Under a Raging Moon
Singles from Parting Should Be Painless
  1. "Walking in My Sleep"
    Released: February 1984[1]
  2. "Parting Should Be Painless"
    Released: June 1984[2]
  3. "Would a Stranger Do?"
    Released: 1984[3]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars link
The Wall Street Journal (negative)
Record (negative)

Parting Should Be Painless is the fifth studio album by the English singer Roger Daltrey. It was originally released in February 1984, on the labels Atlantic, in the United States, and on WEA in Germany, and Japan. The album was Daltrey's first solo album since the first breakup of The Who, and the first by any member of the band. "Walking in My Sleep", "Parting Would Be Painless", and "Would a Stranger Do" were all released as singles. Two of those singles failed to chart, while "Walking in My Sleep" was a success, peaking at No. 4 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

On release, the album was received negatively by the majority of music critics. It was Daltrey's poorest selling studio album up to that point, peaking at No. 102 on the US Billboard chart, however it did make the Top 60 in the Netherlands, peaking at No. 45 on the MegaCharts. The album was produced by Mike Thorne, with the executive producer listed under the pseudonym "Spike". This is presumably the same female who was credited as the executive producer of Pete Townshend's compilation album Scoop, later revealed to be Helen Wilkins. The album was re-released as a limited edition audio CD on 12 October 2004, by Wounded Bird Records, but it vanished from the market almost as quickly as it was issued, becoming something of a rarity and by 2014 copies in very good condition were trading for £250.[4][5]

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. These included a track contributed by Bryan Ferry ("Going Strong"), and one contributed by Eurythmics ("Somebody Told Me"). The album featured contributions from bass player Norman Watt-Roy, and keyboardist Mick Gallagher who were both members of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. It also features contributions from the critically acclaimed saxophonist Michael Brecker, and from two prolific session musicians, guitarist Chris Spedding, and drummer Allan Schwartzberg.

Production and recording[edit]

Musically, according to Daltrey the album covered areas that 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 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 to tears, too."[6]


The track Parting Should Be Painless was one of two tracks written by the former Marshall Hain bass player, Kit Hain, whose songs were written for or covered by many artists. Daltrey had reached out to famous friends for writing contributions, and this time, the list included former Roxy Music lead singer, 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 noted on the original LP's lyric sheet as being copyrighted in 1981. This suggests that it was a possible out-take from the classic chart-topping Roxy Music album Avalon, or that the track was a possible b-side for the chart-topping single "Jealous Guy" as it was copyrighted during this time.

"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."[7]

Critical reception[edit]

The album received negative reviews upon its release, with William Ruhlmann of AllMusic retrospectively writing 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."[8] Writing for The Wall Street Journal, critic Pam Lambert described the album as "bland". And Wayne King in Record called it disappointing and wondered how much Daltrey had wanted to have a solo career.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Walking in My Sleep"
2. "Parting Should Be Painless" Kit Hain 3:41
3. "Is There Anybody Out There?"
4. "Would a Stranger Do?"
5. "Going Strong" Bryan Ferry 5:08
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Looking for You" Kit Hain 3:20
7. "Somebody Told Me" 3:07
8. "One Day" Gerald Milne 3:10
9. "How Does the Cold Wind Cry" Colin Towns 3:46
10. "Don't Wait on the Stairs" Steve Swindells 6:33
Total length: 40:03


A promotional poster for the album.

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[10]

Production team
  • Mike Thorne – producer
  • Harvey Goldberg – engineer
  • John Brand – engineer
  • Don Wershba – engineer
  • Lincoln Clapp – engineer
  • Graham Hughes - photography

Chart performance[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Billboard Charts (US) 102
Netherlands charts (NLD)[11] 45

See also[edit]


External links[edit]