Scoop (album)

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Compilation album by Pete Townshend
Released April 1983
Recorded 1965-1982
Genre Rock
Length 74:48
Label Atco (US)
Producer Helen Wilkins (as "Spike")
Pete Townshend chronology
All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes
White City: A Novel
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]

Scoop is a compilation album by Pete Townshend containing 25 demos of various released and unreleased songs by The Who, as well as demos of entirely new material. The album has liner notes written by Townshend.[3]


The album was the first in a series of three Scoop collections: Another Scoop was released in 1987 and Scoop 3 in 2001. All three albums were 2-disc sets, and in 2002 a pared-down compilation of them all was released as Scooped. Remastered versions of the original albums were released in 2006.

Album liner notes by Pete Townshend[edit]

For many years it has only been the people close to me who have heard the music I made for myself or by myself. I have always called these recordings 'demos.' Demos they have been whether made for my amusement, for film sound tracks, for experimentation purposes or to submit material to The Who. (I have rarely written for anyone else).

When I have come up against any kind of problem in the past, I have always dealt with it through music, either through writing a song or literally recording the problem away therapeutically. I have recorded alone at home or more recently in my own or other pro-studios for pleasure, for catharthism, for solitude, for fulfillment and most of all for fun. For many years, recording was my one and only hobby. I didn't get into sailing until a few years ago; that was preceded by a brief and fulfilling sortie into 35mm still photography, until my cameras were stolen. I then mucked around with 16mm film production, ran spiritual centres for Meher Baba aficionados, rowed a skiff, then recently set my heart on getting totally wasted by over-drinking, over-doing night clubs and over-doing everything.

Recording is a hobby once again. On the road with The Who, as I write this in San Francisco [October, 1982], I carry a TEAC portastudio for diversion. Since I bought it in August (1982), I have recorded nearly forty pieces of music, all without words. Making demos is where I find peace and sometimes even a feeling of prayer. Right now, words are still something I am newly grappling with on a day-to-day basis, trying hard not to let too much of myself get in the way. I am trying to isolate my music and lyric writing, and once again recording becomes both a hobby and a creative outlet.

In the past, people have stolen, copied, and bootlegged a few of the tapes I have made at home. Those enthusiasts of Who music and the part I played in it will probably welcome this record to add to their stockpile of obsessive memorabilia. But the best thing about this collection to me, is that compiled as it is by someone who is in no way a Who fanatic, it emerges as being a fine example of how home recording produces moods and music, innocence and naivety that could be arrived at in no other way. Music that was never intended to be heard by a wide audience, notes and scribblings take on a new value assembled in this way. Away from sophisticated studio techniques and repeated soul destroying takes the real joy I get from playing and writing comes through, and that joy is something I want to share. I have hundreds of such demos; this isn't meant to be a definitive collection, just a scoop.

Pete Townshend's 1982 notes on his demo studios[edit]

Pete Townshend in home studio 1968

Studio One Ealing 1964 Above parents home. 2 Vortexion mono tape machines, 1 microphone (A Reslo).

Studio Two Belgravia 1965 Vortex ion CBL stereo machine and some more mikes.

Studio Three Chelsea 1965/1966 2 Vortexion CBLs enabling me to bounce in stereo. I also had a Grampian spring reverb - luxury.

Studio Four Wardour Street 1967 Upgraded to REVOXES 15ips., built a rough patch bay and met Pepy Rush in Soho who built me my first limiter and 'loaned' me an eight channel mixer, old fashioned but superb.

Pete Townshend in home studio 1969

Studio Five Ebury Street 1968 Started to use piano and drums a little. Experimented with tape editing, music concrete, and sound effects recorded on an old NAGRA. Purchased two TANNOY monitors. (Up to now had been using modified MARSHALL 4x12 cabinets with tweeters nailed in).

Studio Six Twickenham 'Home' 1969 Built my first separate control room/studio in two tiny adjacent rooms. Bought Dolby A301s for my REVOXES and later a small NEVE desk and a gorgeous 7'4" BOSENDORFER grand piano. The Who did some work here when I went 8-track in 1971.

Pete Townshend in home studio 1970

1971 Discovered synthesizers!

Pete Townshend in home studio 1971

1973 Opened my studio in the country which I rented out to people. Bought a large NEVE desk, 3M 16-track and two echo plates and some STUDER B62s.

1974 Moved my 'Home' studio to the top floor of our house - upgraded to 16-track, so I could take tapes out to the country to work on them. Stupidly sold my 3M M23 8-track which is probably still running smoothly somewhere.

1975 Worked 23 hours a day on TOMMY film soundtrack at home, and swore I would never have a home studio again and tore it all out! For a while I did all my demos in the country but soon...

1976 Bought OCEANIC, my current commercial studio in Twickenham. It was a Meher Baba Centre for 5 years with 16mm film dubbing and editing suites, a cinema and 4-track studio. OCEANIC has been through vast experimental upheavals and is now (1982) equipped with a computerised SOLID STATE DESK and two STUDER A800 24-tracks with video interlock.

1979 Leased a studio building in Soho (central London) and equipped it with some of the stuff from my country studio which had a leaky roof. Purchased a custom built NEVE rack mounted mixer and 3M 24-track for home use and have used this semi-portable set up in various locations for demos in the past three years.

1982 Built a tiny studio in our new family home using the NEVE rack system. I have difficulty getting free time in either of my 'real' studios and recent advances have made it possible for me to make demos and masters on 1/2" 8-track or even Portastudio cassette systems. This year I did my first few demos on a 120 foot long Dutch canal barge on the Thames with temporary equipment. Next summer I hope to be making my demos on the beautiful French canals.

On tour with THE WHO in the USA this winter, I will be doing demos on my suitcase Portastudio system, today anything is possible. Now if the Portastudio had been invented in 1965, think how much trouble (and money) I'd have saved! But the fun I'd have missed?

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Pete Townshend, except where noted.

Disc One
No. Title Length
1. "So Sad About Us/Brrr"   4:44
2. "Squeeze Box"   2:27
3. "Zelda"   2:25
4. "Politician"   3:38
5. "Dirty Water"   2:07
6. "Circles"   2:10
7. "Piano: 'Tipperary'" (Jack Judge, Harry Williams) 0:59
8. "Unused Piano: 'Quadrophenia'"   2:33
9. "Melancholia"   3:16
10. "Bargain"   4:13
11. "Things Have Changed"   2:25
12. "Popular"   2:28
13. "Behind Blue Eyes"   3:29
Disc Two
No. Title Length
1. "The Magic Bus"   4:22
2. "Cache, Cache"   3:43
3. "Cookin'"   3:20
4. "You're So Clever"   4:18
5. "Body Language"   1:29
6. "Initial Machine Experiments"   1:54
7. "Mary"   3:20
8. "Recorders"   1:19
9. "Goin' Fishin'"   2:54
10. "To Barney Kessell"   2:00
11. "You Came Back"   4:05
12. "Love, Reign O'er Me"   4:59