Empty Glass by Pete Townshend

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Empty Glass by Pete Townshend
Empty Glass by Pete Townshend

Album Released: 1980

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Cole Reviews  22nd Aug 2018
Anyone who feels a sudden urge to buy a Pete Townshend album should acquire Empty Glass. Though the dominating instrument is the synthesizer, and Townshend's voice isn't as expressive as his old bandmate Roger Daltrey's, he manages to inject the album with enough enthusiasm that it doesn't fall apart as dull synth/pop. Good album!

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1.Rough Boys3:59
2.I Am An Animal3:46
3.And I Moved3:22
4.Let My Love Open The Door2:42
5.Jools And Jim2:35
6.Keep On Working3:22
7.Cat's In The Cupboard3:32
8.A Little Is Enough4:39
9.Empty Glass5:20
10.Gonna Get Ya6:22


Townshend's best solo album not coincidentally is also the one that sounds the most like a Who album. With backing from future members of Big Country, he delivers a surprisingly solid and exciting effort, especially considering the late date - most of his peers were releasing tripe by then.

I don't know what the band politics within The Who were, but it's obvious that Townshend was saving most of his good material for his solo work instead of for the band.

Empty Glass also seems to be the album in which he 'comes out of the closet', which might've been another reason its songs didn't wind up as Who numbers - I can't see Daltrey singing Rough boys, I want to bite and kiss you. "And I Moved" likewise hints at sexual ambiguity.

"Jools and Jim" is Townshend's defensive reaction to the press' handling of Moon's death, and one of the hardest-rocking and angriest songs he'd written in years. "Let My Love Open the Door" was the other big hit, and "I Am An Animal" and "Keep On Working" are almost as strong.

This is one of Townshend's best efforts, and actually stronger than any number of Who albums.

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise