Pete Townshend / Introspective new single marks solo comeback after 30 years

Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist and songwriter of The Who, has recently released a new single titled Can’t Outrun The Truth and it will help raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Can’t Outrun The Truth is a powerful and introspective track that showcases Townshend’s signature songwriting style. The song features a driving guitar riff and catchy chorus, as well as thought-provoking lyrics that explore themes of truth, self-reflection, and redemption.

The lyrics of Can’t Outrun The Truth are particularly poignant, as they reflect Townshend’s own struggles with addiction and personal demons. In the song, he sings about the importance of facing the truth about oneself, even if it is painful or uncomfortable. He acknowledges that he has made mistakes in the past, but emphasizes that he is committed to moving forward and staying true to himself.

Pete Townshend - Can’t Outrun The Truth. Artwork by Damien Hirst
Pete Townshend – Can’t Outrun The Truth. Artwork by Damien Hirst

Inspired by the pandemic, the new song was written and produced by Pete’s wife, Rachel Fuller, under her pen name Charlie Pepper, and all proceeds from vinyl sales plus at least 10p from every download will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

“We’d just moved house, and Pete was as happy as larry up in his studio, working every day,” Rachel says. “I put my back out. I was just climbing the walls, couldn’t do any creative work, and obviously, we couldn’t go anywhere. And I really started to think about how unbelievably difficult this period of time was going to be for so many people. I wrote lyrics, and then I sat at the piano and wrote the music, and then I thought, ‘Oh, I really would like to record it,’ because it’s really not a bad song at all. My singing days are long over, so I asked Pete to record the demo.”

“I’ve helped Rachel make the demos for several of her theatrical projects,” Townshend said. “She’s a really a fast worker. It’s not that you say to me, let’s go into the studio for two weeks and work on this project. We do it, and two hours later or an hour later, it’s done. So it’s easy to work with her.”

Recorded in September 2021, the couple decided to release the track to support Teenage Cancer Trust. “The pandemic years were terrible for charities,” Pete says. “The Teenage Cancer Trust was created in order to take the money from a series of concerts at the Albert Hall every year and various other things, and that had all dropped out. 

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“So, the idea of doing this, which is it’s something that has sprung out of lockdown about mental illness, but also for this particular charity. If you’ve got a scenario in which somebody in your family or a teenager has got cancer, they’re being treated, lockdown hits, and you’re not allowed to go and visit them. There’s a poignancy to the whole thing about the song.”

Rachel and Pete reached out to renowned British artist Damien Hirst to create artwork for the track. The result is a unique one-off spin painting of Townshend, which adorns the sleeve of 200 12″ singles of Can’t Outrun The Truth (which also features Pete’s solo classic Let My Love Open The Door on the B side). Pete has also signed each of the singles, which are destined to become instant collector’s pieces. The 12″ singles will be available exclusively to fans in attendance at the Teenage Cancer Trust shows at the Royal Albert Hall from March 21st to March 26th.

The music video for Can’t Outrun The Truth is also worth noting, as it features a compelling and visually stunning storyline. The video follows a young woman as she grapples with her own truth and confronts the demons from her past. The imagery is dark and surreal, yet ultimately uplifting, as the woman finds the strength to overcome her inner struggles and move forward.

Overall, Can’t Outrun The Truth is a powerful and moving single that showcases Pete Townshend’s continued relevance as a songwriter and musician. The song is a testament to his ability to create music that is both introspective and relatable, and it is sure to resonate with fans both old and new. With his upcoming album, Townshend proves that he is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of rock music, and we can’t wait to hear what he has in store for us next.

Sleeve Notes

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