This week’s Flashback is not to a band of the past, but to an album of the past: 1982’s All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes by Pete Townshend. Most folks probably wouldn’t choose this album as their favorite Townshend solo album. Hell, most folks have probably never heard it or knew it existed. Officially Townshend’s third solo album outside of The Who, it was released in June of 1982 – between The Who’s Face Dances and It’s Hard albums. At the time I wasn’t a big Who fan, I knew the songs that everyone knows, and I had liked the songs from his solo album Empty Glass that I’d heard. I do remember that my best friend in high school, Tom Rinaldi (the same Tom Rinaldi that you may have seen on ESPN in recent years reporting from things like the Super Bowl and The Masters) was a much bigger fan of both The Who and Townshend’s solo work than I was. Probably because he had an older brother and sister who were also big music fans. I can remember first hearing this album at his house and borrowing it a number of times. In retrospect, I might argue that it is one of his masterpieces. A collection that would also include, obviously, Tommy, Quadrophenia, Who’s Next, “My Generation,” “I Can’t Explain,” “Magic Bus,” the Rough Mix album with Ronnie Lane, and heaven knows what else.

Without question, my all-time favorite Townshend composition -“Slit Skirts.”

“Communication”

“Stardom In Action”

From the absolutely bizarre promo video for the album, “Face Dances Part Two”

And, from the Laserdisc (still not released on DVD) “Deep End Live” 1985 concert film, “The Sea Refuses No River”

And “Stop Hurting People”

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