All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes
Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
By 1982, Townshend's personal life was a mess even as he became reinvigorated by all the young bands who were name-checking the Who. So for this album, he fearlessly banged together intricately arranged guitars with keyboards, poetry and autobiographical allusions. The set is overly arty (have you heard Tommy?), yet it works because the tunes are often so strong. "Slit Skirts" is a midlife crisis classic; "Exquisitely Bored" beats The Eagles at their own doomed SoCal game; "Stop Hurting People" treads lighter than it has any right to; and "North Country Girl" is a ravishing folk memory.