The Who’s Pete Townshend has released his first solo single in 30 years. “Can’t Outrun The Truth” was composed and produced by Townshend’s partner Rachel Fuller under the name Charlie Pepper. It’s a charity single, so all proceeds from vinyl sales — plus a portion of every download — will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Fuller and Townshend worked with Damien Hirst to create a unique one-off spin painting of Townshend for the record’s artwork. The 12″ also features a recording of Townshend’s 1980 “Let My Love Open The Door” as the B-side.
“We’d just moved house and Pete was as happy as Larry up in his studio, working every day, and I put my back out, I was just climbing the walls, I couldn’t do any creative work and obviously, we couldn’t go anywhere,” Fuller said in a statement. “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 – and my singing days are long over. So, I asked Pete to record the demo.”
Townshend adds: “I’ve helped Rachel make the demos for several of her theatrical projects. 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 two hours later, or an hour later, it’s done – so it’s easy to work with her.”
Townshend continues: “The pandemic years were terrible for charities; 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. 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.”
Listen to “Can’t Outrun The Truth” below.