ODDS AND SODS stands out a bit in the Who canon. The aptly titled 1974 collection features songs that, for one reason or another, didn't end up on their initial recordings. It's a mixed bag to be sure, one that includes pre-Who numbers like "I'm the Face," introspective and religious-themed pop ("Too Much of Anything," "Faith in Something Bigger"), and some inspired goofiness like the anti-smoking "Little Billy." Unlike a lot of out-takes collections, there are no clinkers here, and there are several gems.
"Pure and Easy," from the aborted "Lighthouse" project, ranks with any of the great melodies Pete Townshend has written. The slowly building "Naked Eye," passionately sung in alternating verses by Daltrey and Townshend, ebbs and flows to an explosive climax. The most familiar tune here is probably "Long Live Rock," whose canny lyrics look back at the band's early days and boast, "We were the first band to vomit in the bar/and find the distance to the stage too far." A quirky collection that grows more appealing as time goes by.