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The Who return with 1st studio album in 25 years

NEW YORK, NY. (Universal Republic Records) – Universal Republic Records will release new music from the legendary rock band The Who, it was announced today by Mel Lewinter, Chairman and CEO of the Universal Motown Records Group, and Monte Lipman, President of Universal Republic Records. The historic signing with Universal Republic will include the first studio album by the band in 25 years, Endless Wire, scheduled to hit stores October 31, 2006.

“We are thrilled beyond words to welcome The Who to Universal Republic,”stated Mr. Lewinter. “They are truly one of the quintessential rock bands of all time. Larger than life, never compromising – The Who’s profound insight and willingness to push the musical envelope embodies everything vital about the indispensable music culture they helped spawn.”

Stated Mr. Lipman: “The Who not only defined their generation, but every generation of artists that followed with their genre-defying mixture of rock, R&B, and conceptual breakthroughs. We’re honored they’ve chosen Universal Republic and are certain their new album is poised to reinvigorate the music world all over again.”

Commented Doug Morris, Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group: “I join Mel and Monte in welcoming The Who to the Universal Republic family, and look forward to the next great chapter in one of the most indomitable and innovative legacies in the history of rock n’ roll.”

Universal Republic will inaugurate the new pact with the release of the first new Who studio album since 1982. The disc will include all new songs, as well as music culled from a 29 minute operatic work, described by The Who’s co-founder Pete Townshend as “A Mini-Opera inspired by his Novella The Boy Who Heard Music.” Townshend has made the book available online at www.petetownshend.co.uk/projects/tbwhim/.

A recent EP, Wire & Glass, (available only on import in the U.S.), which includes music from the mini-opera, and one full length song, “Mirror Door”, all of which will be available on the new studio album, has garnered rave reviews, proving the venerable band has not lost their magic touch.

The multi-talented Townshend, who along with vocalist Roger Daltrey has been the long-standing dynamic force behind The Who (drummer Keith Moon died in 1978 and bassist John Entwistle died in 2002) indicates that the new material is definitely on par with what Who fans have come to expect from the legendary band.

The formidable duo also recently described themselves as “fit and ready to rock”, as they announced their first world tour in almost 20 years. The Who will embark on a whirlwind trek that will find them hitting the U.S. in September, kicking off in Philadelphia on September 12th, with more shows to follow in U.S. and Canada in October and November, as well as South America, East Asia, Europe and Australia in 2007. The band’s touring lineup is also to include Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr’s son on drums, and Simon Townshend, Pete Townshend’s brother on guitar, Pino Palladino on bass guitar, John Bundrick on keyboards.

Few bands have had a more lasting impact on the rock era than The Who. Inducted into the Rock n’ roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their incendiary style garnered them one of rock’s most loyal fan bases, with the brash foursome bursting onto the scene in the mid-1960’s armed with a searing new template for rock, punk and everything after. Their 1965 coming of age anthem “My Generation,” also heralded the arrival of Pete Townshend as one of rock’s most prescient songwriters, with the prolific icon going on to pen one of the most influential and recognizable canon’s in rock, an evocative musical repertoire that has endured for more than 4 decades. The Who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, including ferocious and diverse classics such as the 1969 groundbreaking rock opera Tommy (which won 5 Tony awards for its Broadway adaptation in 1993), 1971’s pummeling Live At Leeds which has recently voted best live album of all time in the UK, 1973’s Quadrophenia, 1978’s Who Are You, and their final studio album 1982’s It’s Hard. Known for their combustible live shows as much as their conceptual and innovative album and song structures, their electrifying presence onstage and off has garnered comparisons with the Rolling Stones for the title of ‘world’s greatest rock n’ roll band.’
Most recently, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey reunited for the 2005 Live 8 Concert in London’s Hyde Park, as well as the 9/11 Benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, receiving glowing reviews for both shows. This summer, The Who offered a glimpse of their upcoming U.S. live show with a string of well received, sold-out concerts in Europe. Dates in South America, East Asia, Europe and Australia are tentatively scheduled for early 2007. Filling out the touring lineup will be Zak Starkey on drums, Pete Townshend’s brother Simon on guitar, Pino Palladino on bass and John Bundrick on keyboards. Dates are as follows:

09-12 Philadelphia, PA – Wachovia Center

09-13 Wantagh, NY – Jones Beach Theater

09-15 Ottawa, ON – Scotia Place

09-16 Boston, MA – TD Bank North Garden

09-18 New York, NY – Madison Square Garden

09-19 New York, NY – Madison Square Garden

09-21 Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center

09-23 Baltimore, MD – Pimlico Race Course

09-25 Chicago, IL – United Center

09-26 Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Center

09-29 Detroit, MI – Palace at Auburn Hills

09-30 London, ON – John Labatt Centre

10-03 Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre

10-05 Calgary, AB – Pengrowth Saddledome

10-06 Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place

10-08 Vancouver, BC – GM Place

10-10 Portland, OR – Rose Garden

10-11 Seattle, WA – Key Arena

11-04 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl

11-05 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl

11-08 San Jose, CA – HP Pavillion

11-24 Atlantic City, NJ – The Borgata

11-25 Philadelphia, PA – Wachovia Center

12-04 Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre