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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great box but could be so much better, f-f-frustrating
I love this album. It connects somehow, the frustration of My g-g-g-generation extended to an entire double album, played with the frenetic energy and genius of The Who, and intermingled with a dash of Pete Townshend's mystical leanings. I am the sea.

It is not only the music, the whole package was perfect when it arrived in autumn 1973. The black and white...
Published on 14 Nov 2011 by Mr. T. Anderson

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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars QUADROHERNIA!
I thought I'd give this release a few months' stay of grace before delivering my verdict. Too often, day-of-release reviews are either over-exultant or suicidally dissatisfied. And now that the dust has settled and 'Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut' is bending the shelf, what do I think? Was this 70-something quid well spent?
The answer, in short, is 'No'. I feel...
Published on 7 Mar 2012 by Obadiah Horseflesh


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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars QUADROHERNIA!, 7 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
I thought I'd give this release a few months' stay of grace before delivering my verdict. Too often, day-of-release reviews are either over-exultant or suicidally dissatisfied. And now that the dust has settled and 'Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut' is bending the shelf, what do I think? Was this 70-something quid well spent?
The answer, in short, is 'No'. I feel shortchanged in almost every regard. True, Pete Townshend's extended essay is very interesting, and there is some tasty period memorabilia (the letter from Townshend to his solicitor asking to get him out of the band is astonishing). And there is something perversely pleasing, in this age where everything in the world can be stored on the head of a pin, in turning a record into a monumental box.
But where it falls apart is when we look at what is actually IN the box. The original 1973 vinyl double-album came with a book of black and white photos to visualise, or set the scene, of 'Quadrophenia'. They are reprinted here - however, they are not FAITHFULLY reproduced. They are, judging by the poor quality, merely scans or photocopies of the 1973 photos. These pictures are not taken from the original negatives.
The two CDs of 'Quadrophenia' itself sounds pretty identical to the Jon Astley-remixed/remastered reissue from over 10 years ago. I didn't like the changes made - some of Roger's yells disappearing on 'The Real Me', the removal of the brilliant, mad chicken-squawk noise on the last verse of 'The Dirty Jobs'. In comparison to the original mix, it's bland, frankly.
As for the 5.1 disc, I can't really comment as to its quality because I haven't got that kind of audio rig, but, if I had, I would be utterly crestfallen to be fobbed off with a mere selection of songs instead of the complete album. Much as though the Pink Floyd Immersion sets have come in for a fair bit of stick with their silly marbles and scarves, what can't be denied is that, when it came to the music itself, the listener was well served. If they can fit 5.1, original stereo and 4.0 Quad mixes of an album onto one Blu-ray disc (and still find room for stereo and 5.1 mixes of Concert Screen Films), why couldn't The Who?
The two CDs of Townshend demos are worthwhile - both musically and historically. It's interesting to see, for example, the altered lyric emphasis in the early 'Punk & The Godfather', and revelatory to learn that, in a few cases, John Entwistle and Keith Moon were merely replacing Townshend's bass and drums on fully-realized instrumentals.
Townshend missed out on a golden opportunity with this release. He could have unleashed a brain-boggling monster of a record here, not the tame tabby cat content to sleep undisturbed on the shelf all day. This is what the Quadrophenia box should have contained:
- The original, wayward, eccentric 1973 mix on two CDs;
- The Jon Astley-neutered mix on two CDs;
- The Townshend demos (WITHOUT the new drum tracks, and WITH the song 'Ambition'. This track was supposed to be available on Q-Cloud website but, when I went there, this cut was unavailable for some specious reason);
- A CD of John Entwistle's mixes for the 'Quadrophenia' film, plus album outtakes ('We Close Tonight') and band studio recordings (early run-throughs, rehearsals, chatter, alternative takes);
- A DVD of film footage. The Who shot some footage to be screened onstage (a snippet appears in the 'Amazing Journey' biopic) - although it was a rejected idea, it'd have been good to see it. Plus live footage of The Who performing 'Quadrophenia'. Contrary to legend, it worked powerfully onstage. There's a good hour's worth of basically-shot but extremely effective footage available to see on YouTube. Why couldn't it have been cleaned up and included here? Plus TV clips - '5.15' on 'Top Of The Pops' or other relevant TV news items;
- A live CD of 'Quadrophenia' material. The 2010 'Greatest Hits & More' CD included a 1973 live '5.15' so there ARE tapes in existence. Let's hear them!
- The original photos reproduced from the actual negatives;
- Blu-ray disc with 5.1 mix of the entire album (with chicken noises reinstated).
Oh, and rather than house it in a box, place it inside a GS scooter.
Now THAT would have been worth shelling out 70 sheets for!
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great box but could be so much better, f-f-frustrating, 14 Nov 2011
By 
Mr. T. Anderson "onlyconnect" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
I love this album. It connects somehow, the frustration of My g-g-g-generation extended to an entire double album, played with the frenetic energy and genius of The Who, and intermingled with a dash of Pete Townshend's mystical leanings. I am the sea.

It is not only the music, the whole package was perfect when it arrived in autumn 1973. The black and white cover with the scooter and the four faces of the band reflected in its mirrors, and a breathtakingly good series of monochrome photographs. If any record deserves a deluxe edition, this one does.

And here it is - or is it? What we have is something half-way between the sumptuous, informative, historic collector's edition which the album merits, and the kind of money grabbing release you get when some record company notices how much people are paying for boxed sets these days and says, "Quick, let's get Quadrophenia out before the CD market disappears completely".

Because there is a lot wrong with this release, though I still cannot give it less than four stars. Still, time to stop rambling and tell you what you get. Within a very solid slipcase you will find a poster advertising the original double album (actually this is a fine reproduction and one of the better things here), a colour envelope holding various bits of memorabilia: reproductions of some of Townshend's draft lyrics, a rather darkly reproduced colour photo of Jimmy (the central character) on a scooter, and a 7-inch single of 5.15 backed with the slightly rare track Water.

Then there is the main event: a 100-page hardback book of photos and an essay by Townshend, within which nestle the original double CD remastered, a DVD with 8 tracks remixed for 5.1 surround sound, and two CDs of Townshend's demos for the album.

The book is certainly nice to have, though bear in mind that the original album came with a 46 page insert which is all included in the book, so that accounts for nearly a quarter of it. I am also upset to report that the quality of those wonderful photographs is poor; I was really hoping that I would get better copies than those in my falling-apart LP but in fact these are noticeably worse; they have that grainy look you get when photos are reprinted from a print rather than from the originals.

Still, the *other* photos in the book are nicely reproduced and the essay is fascinating if you love Quadrophenia half as much as I do. Townshend recounts how he came up with the story that is printed in the front cover of the LP (and also here), when remembering how he slept under Brighton pier once "after a riotous night at the Aquarium ballroom." He also describes how the album came together, how it was recorded, and adds notes on the songs and demos.

If you are a fan, you will definitely want to hear the demos too. They form a sort-of alternate version of the album, lacking the Who's energy but with its own appeal. There are also songs here that are not on the album, and others that did not show up until the soundtrack of the Quadrophenia film. Some of the songs have overdubs which I personally would rather had been omitted.

Note that the standard-price 2CD set has 11 of the demos as bonus tracks. This box has 25 demo tracks.

The 5.1 mix is enjoyable too. This album is ideal for surround sound, especially at those moments when sea noises swirl around.

It's curious though that only 8 tracks have been mixed to 5.1. Why? But the rest of 5.1 Quadrophenia is not the only thing missing.

The important thing to realise is that this is Townshend's deluxe box, rather than The Who's deluxe box. I have not spotted any contribution to the package from Roger Daltrey, despite his massive contribution to the quality of the album, nor even any attempt to collect existing quotes from the two members of the band who are no longer with us, Keith Moon and John Entwistle. There are no outtakes from band sessions, nor are there any live tracks from when Quadrophenia was performed live back in the day; yes I realise that the concerts at the time had some problems but I would still love to hear how they sounded.

Quadrophenia was remixed in 1996 and it is the remix that is offered here - there are small differences in the remaster including a new train noise in 5.15 but no big leap in sound quality - but for completeness I would have liked both mixes to be included, in line with what has been done in deluxe boxes for other classic albums such as Jethro Tull's Aqualung and King Crimson's In the Court of. To my mind the original mix is still important, the Quadrophenia that is as I first heard it in the seventies.

So this is a frustrating production, much less than it should be; but then again frustration is what Quadrophenia is all about so that is curiously fitting. Fans will still want this package, hard though it is to justify the cost. And I suppose when and if the full 5.1 release is done eventually we will be asked to pay again.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Badly done Pete, 18 Nov 2011
By 
B. Kuin - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Who's bright idea was it to only put half the album on the DVD?
Who buys these box sets? The fans and collectors who have supported the band for years and are willing to part with 70 quid to get something special, so why not mix the whole album in 5.1? That would be wasted on those people, it's only a concept album so who's going to miss half of it? This shows a total disrespect for the loyal fans.
Badly done Pete, very badly done.
The album itself is worth 5 stars but it's loosing 2 stars because of the bad taste it's leaving me with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So close but yet so far..., 2 Mar 2012
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Star ratings are always difficult, especially in cases such as this - do they apply to the core product or the additions and peripherals? Four stars for a work of the stature of Quadrophenia is simply plain wrong - it's a five star album through and through. So the four stars are for the overall super-deluxe-directors-bells & whistles box. But even with this it's difficult since it's not uniform - the various components all merit varying awards, so four is just an average for the whole thing.

So, the album's existence came in to being by being demoed, so what of the 25 tracks on the two CDs of demos? I suppose "interesting" is an apt description. Ten are for pieces that didn't make the final album, and you can hear why - they don't fit, but some are terrific songs in their own right - such as "Get Inside". (One minor grumble - the package directs you to Q-cloud- the accompanying website - to download additional tracks not on the CDs. However, when you go there you're met with a message stating that they aren't in fact available which is a tad disappointing.) The rest are like an artist's sketches made when planning and preparing a work - a mixture of try-outs and templates for the final piece. And much like artists' sketches, they are of interest, but you always come back to the final work.

And what a piece of work. The demos have the effect of really bringing into focus the majesty of the actual album delivered through the performances of all four members of the band. Right at the top of their respective games, they all play out of their skins - just compare the vocals between the two versions of Punk/The Punk & the Godfather. No disrespect to Pete's, but Daltrey just shreds it with great power and emotion and really demonstrates the often inadequately credited effect on the material of his vocal performances. It really is a case of all four playing lead - never better heard than on "The Real Me" which is almost violent in its intensity. This effect is enhanced because the quality of the remaster is superb, a wonderful dynamic range with exquisite clarity which just leaps out of the speakers. Five stars without a shadow of a doubt.

Five stars also for the 5.1 mix on the DVD. Nothing gimmicky, just wonderfully done and a fantastic experience - the wind and water swirling and crashing all around, Entwhistle's brass behind you, crunching guitars front and back, left and right. But here's the big grumble (and one that other reviewers have already voiced) - where's the rest? Half an album - that's all. I know Pete has already gone on record to say he regrets not having completed the whole album, but it's now too late - how will those of us who've already shelled-out over seventy quid get hold of it without further expenditure? And where's the video content? There isn't any. Another missed opportunity - surely there must be some live performance captured somewhere, if not the album in its entirety then some tracks (there's "Drowned" and "Bell Boy" from Charlton in '74 and previously released on Maximum R&B Live for starters). Also, there's really good interview footage with Townshend available to stream from the aforementioned website, why couldn't that have been included? (It's not like there's no space.) So, what there is is blinding, but there's so much more that could have been added...

...for example, remastered vinyl of the album for completists/audiophiles. It would have made a fabulous addition - both practical and aesthetic (more than the 7" that is included) - and even adding a tenner to the cost probably wouldn't have affected sales (if you're going to fork-out £80 chances are you'd stretch ten quid more).

But that said, on the subject of aesthetics the whole package is a touchy-feely dream. Robust and substantial are the words that best describe it. The paper stock is of the best quality, Pete's essay, studio diary and commentary on the demos excellently written and of great interest to anyone loving this music, and all the original album cover content there intact (the photo book, lyrics and so on). The other bits and bobs (posters, lyric sheets, photos) are fine but hardly essential, but the whole is a great item, one that you'd want out on display, not hidden away from sight.

So, Quadrophenia is a five star work of art, and whilst elements of the package are truly superb, it's unfortunate that there are missed opportunities that had they been included would have rendered this artifect definitive, and the benchmark for all future reissues of classic albums.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best who album, 10 Mar 2013
By 
S. Bartle "Stewart" (staffordshire, England England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Not only is this the best Who album, but this is the best version ever. Great sound, great bonus discs and the book and package is fantastic.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It should have been so much more!, 15 Nov 2011
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
The packaging of this sumptuous re-release is superb, although, as another reviewer has noted, the quality of the photos from the original vinyl booklet is very disappointing; I could always read the text above the hotel door where the Ace Face is standing; now, in 2011 with all the technology we have at our fingertips, it can hardly be made out! This is a serious fault in a top-of-the-range item such as this one!

The book is, however, excellent with lots of insight into the recording process for us types who like to know about the nuts and bolts; as remarked by another reviewer, it would have been nice to hear from Roger, but this re-release is definitely Pete's baby.

Again, how come only eight tracks remixed for 5.1? If ever an album cried out for a full surround sound mix then surely it is this one! Especially in the Director's Cut Super Duper All-Singing All-Dancing Deluxe Special Edition! This seems unfathomable to me!

When the 96 (or was it 97) remix was released I bought it, of course, and raced home to get it on the stereo - I was so disappointed that I took it back the next day; it seemed a limp and pale version of the original. Imagine my dismay to find that the new edition doesn't eschew this inferior mix in favour of the original as the Deluxe Editions of Tommy and Who's Next did, restoring the original mixes. I'm currently writing this review with the original CD transfer of the original mix playing in my headphones - it still sounds better than that infernal remix!

A recent similarly priced re-issue of U2's Achtung Baby contains ten discs as opposed to this offering of just half that number; I don't think the original mix properly remastered and a full 5.1 mix would have been too much to ask!

Oh well, meet the new re-release - same as the old re-release!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pete Townshend and the Who at their best, 18 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Quadrophenia is undoubtedly the Who's best 'Rock Opera'. Tommy took all the plaudits but Pete Townshend certainly upped the ante with this collection of songs and music. The Super Deluxe Edition of Quadrophenia is quite a remarkable insight into how he actually achieved it and as such is good value for the price tag. The first two discs are the remastered album and the impact of 'the story' is as good as it was when it was first released and the songs and music sound even better. The bonus discs three and four have a similarity to 'Who Came First', Pete's first solo album, in that he prepares the songs in his image to present to the other members for them to adapt and to interpret. The hard backed book is excellent and along with the other 'odds and sods' gives you the opportunity to see the album from Pete Townshend's view point. Due to complicated production and technical difficulties Quadrophenia was not extensively played live but I was fortunate enough to see one of the earlier attempts in Belle View Manchester in late 1973. Now then! a live version of Quadrophenia would be worth adding to any CD collection.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quadropheniatastic !!!!!, 16 Nov 2011
By 
D. Smith "davidsmith151" (manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
With thousands of others i bought the original vinyl in the 70`s ( i bought it twice cause someone nicked mine ) , then the cassette version for the car, CD version and now this. This is a rock history icon at work and play. The demos , the book ( which weighs a ton and is packed with information ) the remixes and 5.1 disc for me give value for money. But its the music , its the story of a young man going on a `journey ` most of us have experienced - time has not dulled the music or the feeling it portrays. From `I am the Sea ` to ` Love Reign O`er Me it is passionate ,soul searching and powerful stuff. Whats next...`Who`s next` , `Who by Numbers` .....bring the tour !!!!!.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quadrophenia Director's Cut, 15 Dec 2011
This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
I'm not sure why certain reviewers always feel the need to slag reissues (or any issues for that matter). If you are a fan, you'll love it. The 5.1 DVD sounds fantastic (played around with various advanced settings on my receiver till I found the right sound setup ... and was glad I did as I was immersed in the sound). Pete's new essay on the process of writing this opus, and the events surrounding it, was intriguing to say the least because it offers new found insight without any wistfulness (and the bit about Keith's and his plans for the hotel waterbed gave me a real chuckle). It never ceases to amaze me how this story of a disaffected youth resonates over all these years and miles (as I write from the States). What can I say, thanks Pete!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gift, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
I bought as a gift for my partner, a life long who fan and he was thrilled with it so I guess it's good!
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Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition)
Quadrophenia (Super Deluxe Edition) by The Who (Audio CD - 2011)
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