Rough Mix

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Rough Mix
Studio album by
Released16 September 1977 (1977-09-16)
RecordedWinter 1976 and Spring 1977
StudioOlympic Studios (London)
LabelMCA (US)
Polydor (UK)
ProducerGlyn Johns
Pete Townshend chronology
With Love
Rough Mix
Empty Glass
Ronnie Lane chronology
Mahoney's Last Stand
(with Ron Wood)

Rough Mix
See Me

Rough Mix is an album by the Who's guitarist Pete Townshend and former Small Faces and Faces bassist Ronnie Lane. The album was released in September 1977 as Polydor 2442 in the UK and MCA 2295 in the US.[1] It peaked at number 44 on the UK album chart,[2] and at number 45 on the Billboard 200.


On 21 October 1976, the Who closed a brief North American tour in Toronto at Maple Leaf Gardens, a show that would be the last with Keith Moon before a paying audience.[3] The Who then took a hiatus as band members pursued various individual interests.

Pete Townshend had been initially contacted by Ronnie Lane to produce his next album. The project instead turned into a full-blown collaboration between the pair.[4] Lane expressed an interest in a songwriting collaboration but Townshend, who has very rarely co-written songs, was unwilling.[5] The instrumental title track is credited to both musicians, however.

During the recording of Rough Mix, Lane's multiple sclerosis was diagnosed but still not revealed generally. In one instance, Lane had an emotional issue related to his MS that caused an argument between him and an unknowing Townshend. Nonetheless Lane toured, wrote and recorded (with Eric Clapton among others) and in 1979 released another album, See Me, which features several songs written by Lane and Clapton. Around this time Lane travelled the highways and byways of England and lived a 'passing show' modern nomadic life in full Gypsy traveller costume and accommodation.

The album featured songs written by both principals in a vein less like that of the Who or Faces but instead close to the British folk rock vogue of the early 1970s among various English bands. The band on the track "Annie" comprised members of Lane's Slim Chance group, which played in that very style. A number of more famous colleagues also appeared on the recording, among them Who bassist John Entwistle, Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts from The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton.[6] Orchestral arrangements for the track "Street in the City" were provided by Townshend's father-in-law, noted British film and television theme composer Edwin Astley.

Rough Mix was remastered in 2006 and released by Hip-O Records, the reissue label for the Universal Music Group, in both 5.1 surround sound format on Dualdisc and standard stereo compact disc. The reissue featured three outtakes as bonus tracks.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA−[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[9]
MusicHound Rock3.5/5[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]
The Village VoiceB+[11]

The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau wrote in his review of the album: "Meher Baba inspired psalmody so plain and sharply observed, maybe he was all reet after all. Three of Townshend's contributions—'Keep Me Turning,' 'Misunderstood,' and an unlikely song of adoration called 'My Baby Gives It Away'—are his keenest in years, and while Lane's evocations of the passing scene are more poignant on his Island import, One for the Road, 'Annie' is a suitably modest folk classic. Together, the two disciples prove that charity needn't be sentimental, detachment cold, nor peace boring. Selah."[8]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."My Baby Gives It Away"Pete Townshend4:02
2."Nowhere to Run"Ronnie Lane3:17
3."Rough Mix"
  • Townshend
  • Lane
5."Keep Me Turning"Townshend3:46
  • Lane
  • Lambert
Side two
2."April Fool"Lane3:34
3."Street in the City"Townshend6:07
4."Heart to Hang Onto"Townshend4:29
5."'Til the Rivers All Run Dry"3:54
2006 CD bonus tracks
12."Only You"Lane4:29
13."Good Question"Townshend3:34
14."Silly Little Man"Lane3:44



Chart (1977) Peak
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[13] 70
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 44
US Billboard 200[15] 45


  1. ^ Neill, Andy, and Kent, Matt. Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of The Who 1958–1978. 2009, ISBN 978-1-4027-6691-6, p. 299.
  2. ^ UK Chart Stats
  3. ^ The Who. Thirty Years of Maximum R&B. 1994, MCA Records CD-207146, liner notes booklet.
  4. ^ Heinz Rudolf Kunze. Rough Mix. 2006, SPV 304852, liner notes.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane, 'Rough Mix' (10/03/77)". 10 November 2014.
  7. ^ AllMusic review
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: T". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 16 March 2019 – via
  9. ^ a b "Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane Rough Mix". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  10. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel, eds. (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 404. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (31 October 1977). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  12. ^ Markee's surname is incorrectly listed as "Marquee" on most editions of the album.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 5455b". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
  14. ^ "Pete Townshend | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved June 10, 2023.
  15. ^ "Pete Townshend Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 10, 2023.

External links[edit]