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142 Reviews
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album Ever Made without Exception
To say I am biased about this album is somewhat of an understatement - no other musical recording, for me, carries the depth of emotion that this masterpiece conveys. Other great recordings can be described as emotional roller-coasters - not Quadrophenia. This album doesn't throw you blindly from one emotion to the next - every feeling invoked is meticulously planned and...
Published on 26 Jun. 2003 by veteranmod

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spoilt in the lab
This is a superlative album - but the sound HAS been altered!!! Not only have bits of music gone awol/been rearranged, but at least some of the vocals seem to have been "re-sung". There is a definitely more melodious tone to Pete's and even Roger's vocals, where on the vinyl you could feel the raw anger/emotion. For me, this has hugely spoilt my absolutely favourite...
Published on 13 Aug. 2008 by Em


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album Ever Made without Exception, 26 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
To say I am biased about this album is somewhat of an understatement - no other musical recording, for me, carries the depth of emotion that this masterpiece conveys. Other great recordings can be described as emotional roller-coasters - not Quadrophenia. This album doesn't throw you blindly from one emotion to the next - every feeling invoked is meticulously planned and even though you sometimes feel it coming a long way off you still reel with wonder when it gets to you. Jollity, pride, Confusion, Anger, derision, depression, a great emptiness then enlightenment and fulfilment. A journey I never tire of. Quadrophenia is in essence a melancholy work but is not limited solely to the realms of sadness and reminiscence. This album proves that you don't have to be an acne ridden teen to feel angst in every cell of your body - Townshend was in his early thirties when he completed this work. It really was a labour of love for him - with embryonic snippets of the themes being played out on several WHO albums in the mid-late sixties before finally coalescing into the familiar work I glorify here. Listen to the lyrics of 'Helpless Dancer' and then try to convince yourself that the 21st century is different from the time 30 years ago when it was written. Technology only makes a better life for the man who invents and markets it. Only after listening to this album can you get caught out in a traditional miserable English downpour and get the thrill of your life out of it - those who already own this album know what I mean. I challenge anybody to listen to 'Love Reign o'er me' and not be at once uplifted to emotional ecstacy and cast down to despair.
When viewed analytically, the music is composed of pure rock, some blues and even some folk themes - harldy the Rhythm'n'Soul of the beat generation but it is still the best Mod Overture ever Composed, and I say composed without reservation - in years to come this work will be revered alongside Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Holst and others. All that remains to be said is - if you don't already have this album BUY IT or be a rocker.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Who Reign O'er Me, 24 May 2004
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
I had completely forgotten how good this album was until I bought the remastered version on CD from Amazon. It was probably the last great album the Who did, and they really put a whole lot into this!
There are no bonus tracks like other albums have, which is a bit of a disappointment, and maybe it could have been made into a single CD as 'Tommy' was. However, these are minor quibbles and don't at all distract from the fact that this is one of their best.
It's probably the only Who album that consists entirely of Pete Townsend songs, and unusually there is a Keith Moon vocal on 'Bell Boy'. Keith was notoriously bad at pitching, and was the only band member to be excluded from vocals most of the time. His performance as The Face's bell boy alter ego is perfect though.
Pete Townsend uses repeating musical themes in the same way that he did in Tommy, but this time there is more subtlety, and his composing skills have come a long way from then. There are some great songs, including the single '5:15', and other well-known numbers like 'The Real Me' and 'Love Reign O'er Me'.
From 'A Quick One' through to this album, the Who produced their best material. After this it was downhill, but they really did excel themselves with this album!
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Recording Ever!, 29 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
Its a journey through pain, angst, love, confusion, realisation, it's all those emotions and more still....it is the most powerful album of all time, and it doesnt date almost 40 years after it was originally written.
If i had one wish....i would wish for every boy/girl band to be strapped to chairs in a large room and have this CD on repeat play at 20000 watts until the penny dropped with each and every one of them that what they do might bring in the bucks, but its all meaningless drivel.
Having this on a minidisc player whilst cruising to the coast in the summer on board a shiny vespa makes everything fall into place.
I absolutely adore each and every track, and each time i listen to this recording, i fall in love with them all again.
It's simply the best thing ever recorded. nuff said.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remixed not Remastered, 9 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
I had the original vinyl pressing of this work of art, and unless my music system is playing tricks on me, I have to question where some of the instruments have gone? Most noticed is the lack of the piano on the track "I'm One" - this is just for starters, The whole CD album just sounds so different (not better) to the vinyl version. This is the reason I've given it four stars when I should be giving it five. This is no fault of the artistes it's some meddler thinking he/she can change things for the better. Something like that new Beatles compilation with George Martin & Son. With Quadrophenia I expected the original sound but cleaner without the static and scratches of vinyl, but sounds are definitely missing. Anyone else care to comment?
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning masterpiece of british rock music, 1 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
Well, my hair (what's left of it) isn't cut neat and my war-time coat hasn't seen the wind and sleet in many a year but I still can't put this album down. This 'rock opera' follows on from Tommy in the way of telling a story. It leaves Tommy well-behind in the overall scheme of things though. Whereas Tommy was an acid trip, Quadrophenia is 'real'. In the lyrics you can taste the egg and chips in the dodgy sea-side cafe, feel the pain of the guy desperately trying to fit in and his hopelessness of the situation. Well, that's the idea anyway. What you REALLY get are masterful performances from one of the most underrated bands in the world. Soaring guitars, a bass to die for, vocals that range with the best ever and sublime drumming; forget Moon-the-Loon, this is rock drumming at its finest, timing and delicacy meshed in with the power required to push this whole project along. What the hell is 'quadrophenia' anyway....who cares!. This album is a wonderful insight into truly GREAT British rock music. Forget the play on 4 'themes.....listen instead to the power of the music. Oh, and don't forget to taste the egg and chips!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the Entire Record in Surround, With Your Choice of Mix. Incredible., 30 July 2014
By 
Wildgift (Pacific Palisades, CA) - See all my reviews
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A stunning hi res reissue of my second favorite record, ever. Nice to hear the 1973 and the remastered versions both available; you can now hear the barking seals in "The Dirty Jobs", which I missed. I won't go into the merits of the record, because that would take pages. It's amazing. It's a genuine classic.

The bluray finishes what The Who started when the Director's disc set was issued with only a handful of songs in 5.1. The surround is going to be subjective, but I can't think of a record more suited to a good 5.1 mix, what with the ocean and overall theme of 4 personalities.

This is pretty much indispensable for even a casual fan of the record. For those like me who hold it dear, it's a long overdue treasure
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quadrophenia (Original 1973 Album) Blu Ray Audio (Pure Audio) Review, 26 Jun. 2014
By 
Stephen E. Andrews "Writer" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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I'll confess: I'm not the world's biggest Who fan - I've always felt that in the rock pantheon, they are somewhat overrated. I love the early singles, but find much of their work contrived, overly clinical and lacking in visceral flow, while as stylists, the band as instrumentalists have often left me cold. These comments are simply a reflection of my personal taste.

However, I am a big fan of 'Quadrophenia', believing that it belongs in every serious collection of Rock music and I've always enjoyed its scope, visionary quality, audacity and - as I'm a big reader (and published literary critic) - its story, which for me is an iconic piece of 'youth culture' fiction. Also, as an example of that much-maligned form, the concept album, it's a blinder.

This will not be a detailed audiophile comparison style review, as I don't feel I know the album as well as serious Who fans will. I've played it a fair bit over the years, but it's not in my top 20 albums as it were. However, I'll state unequivocally now that I believe that this BRA (Blu Ray Audio) should be regarded as the reference version of the album.

The Pure Audio series of BRAs have come in for a fair amount of stick - a lot of it deserved - from Hi Def enthusiasts, as they have so often promised so much, but delivered little. Common complaints have been lack of surround mixes (quite right in most cases), minimal menu screening and immediate programme start before you can even select which audio option you prefer to hear and so on. Plus, it's virtually impossible to find BRAs in high street shops. So far in this series, I've purchased the first VU album (stereo only, but excellent), the sole Sex Pistols album (not bad) and Deep Purple's 'Made In Japan' (nice, but no 5.1 mix!!!). Altogether, I own about 50 surround/hi-def discs on various formats (not including Japanese SHMCDs and Japanese Blu Spec 2 cds), so I'm a bit of a hi-res/surround veteran.

I'm delighted to say that Pure Audio have, with this release, produced the best disc of theirs I've heard yet. The disc has a proper top menu (there are four audio options including the original 1973 stereo version) and best of all, when you select your preferred audio setting and select play, the disc has a PROPER screen-saver, which means that if you have a plasma TV like me, there is no risk of screenburn from a static image -instead, the disc slideshow-fades through the iconic black and white photographs from the booklet we all know and love from the original vinyl and CD issues of the album. So while the music plays, Jimmy's 'story' unfolds before our eyes. This is a much welcome improvement from a static image for an entire album, or a picture change for each track.

The sound is, quite simply, fantastic. Beautifully clear, with plenty of space in the soundscape, no distortion (other than that which is part of the electric instruments' tone colours), enough panning to satisfy those of us who like this novelty (what's the point of 5.1 for rock music without a bit of these dynamic effects?) and nice separation of the instruments. Fundamentally, if you like this album, you must own this version. In fact, I'd urge every rock fan with a BD and a 5.1 home theatre kit to buy this disc. Great stuff!

Pure Audio now have quite a lot to live up to with the raising of the bar this disc represents for their series. I'm inclined to think the disc is this good because of Pete Townsend's insistence on a high quality product for fans, so if so, thanks Pete and as for Pure Audio, you guys now have to continue issuing high-standard discs like this.

Some words about Amazon's handling of this release. As I write (26/6/14), it's been impossible to buy this disc from Amazon for nearly a week, if not longer. This is because they made a pigs' ear of the product listing by merging reviews from the different versions of the 2014 'Quadrophenia Live' issued on the same day as this BRA in multiple formats. The current picture of the product here on Amazon shows a standard blue plastic blu ray case, which this disc does NOT come in - it comes in a plain, transparent blu ray case with the legend 'High Fidelity Pure Audio' on the front, as is common to every release in this series. Some customer has complained, saying the item is not what they were led to believe it was, but despite Amazon's cross-posting of reviews for other products, this is the fault of the buyer in my opinion - and it has meant that other customers have not been able to buy this item while the dispute is investigated by amazon. My suspicion is that the use of the word 'widescreen' has led someone to assume this is a BD video. Well, the video material (the slideshow I refer to above) IS widescreen. Shame that just because some people can't understand that a BRA is different to a BD video, buyers have to go elsewhere...but then Amazons' use of an image that uses a blu case muddied the waters (this appeared AFTER the disc was released).

Consequently, I bought my copy from third party affliliate sellers Tracksounds-es, who delivered the disc within 2 days for a very reasonable postage charge. Amazon, sort yourselves out, please!

The above aside, I'll sum up again and say : this is a big leap forward for Pure Audio and all Who fans will love this version.

Stephen E Andrews, author, '100 Must Read Books For Men'
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good natural sound to this disc with no compression to ..., 2 Sept. 2014
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Very good natural sound to this disc with no compression to the sound this slowly grows on you a lot more rock than tommy and more refined production with little or no hiss as (Dolby A) was used by this time in the big recording studio's. The sound is very god in surround sound with excellent effects from front to back and all on just one disc in HD Stereo and HD 5.1 Audio. Unlike other pure audio discs this has black and white photos from the 1973 Album that go through as a slide show as the music is playing I did find this irritating to start with but I have got used to it now. Excellent value get it if you like the WHO and rock
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spoilt in the lab, 13 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
This is a superlative album - but the sound HAS been altered!!! Not only have bits of music gone awol/been rearranged, but at least some of the vocals seem to have been "re-sung". There is a definitely more melodious tone to Pete's and even Roger's vocals, where on the vinyl you could feel the raw anger/emotion. For me, this has hugely spoilt my absolutely favourite album, to the extent that I now don't want to listen to it, as virtually every note and sound of the original tracks have been imprinted on my brainbox, after 30 years of listening. Guess I'll just have to find an old vinyl record...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest rock album ever?, 31 Mar. 2009
By 
Denis Shaughnessy (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Audio CD)
I've lived with this album on and off for nearly 40 years. It's not easy music to listen to- you certainly wouldn't want to play it at a party. But I haven't heard any other album that delivers such emotional intensity with exquisite musical detail.

The theme underlying all the songs is male teenage angst. It's hard to imagine how or why the writer and composer of all the songs, Peter Townshend, was able to recreate such feeling as a famous rock-star in his thirties. I suspect the music will appeal to middle or working class males, more than any other group, but I could be wrong.

The music is serious, not flippant, and ultimately melancholic and introspective. You have to give it your full attention. The best way to appreciate the multi-layered sound is to listen through good headphones at high volume. Be warned- at the end you might feel washed out. It's music to listen to alone.

The standard of musicianship is very high. There might be better bass players, singers, drummers and guitarists in the world, but there no other rock album I know of where such a high standard of musicianship is combined with such integrity.

The highlights for me:

The Real Me
Cut My Hair
I'm One
I've Had Enough
Sea and Sand
Bell Boy
Dr Jimmy and Mr Jim

Might it be the best rock album? Well, it's all down to personal taste in the end, but if you think that musicianship, energy, seriousness, emotional integrity, and relevance to real life count for a lot then this album must be one of the best. The down-side? For a casual lister it might just seem to be a bit of a racket. So play it to yourself- you won't be disappointed.
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