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4.8 out of 5 stars49
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 July 2012
i will brief this is a remaster od the 1996 version so is still missing various sound effects and is not then taken from the maater tapes . Packaging is nice with clearer art but thats all that is clearer the music has been tweaked with some odd sounds on 515 coming to the fore whilst the drums are muffled as is the guitar. Those expecting a revelation will be disappointed. Stick with an original vinyl copy or if you can find one the original german polydor cd which remains the best sounding digital version.
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on 20 November 2011
Touted by many as the last great Who album (I disagree - The Who By Numbers is that one for me) this really must be listened to as a whole to appreciate the amazing work of art that it is. The sheer creativity alone is worth the admission fee. I'm always amazed at how something like this can be created but if you look at the evolution of the Who up to this point you can appreciate how remarkable Pete Townshend had become not only as a songwriter but as a storyteller. Quadrophenia beats Tommy in the respect that it portrays a way of life that was recognisable. Of course, it's not necessary to know the stories behind the creation to appreciate the music. In today's climate of airbrushing, pro-tooling and autotuning it is easy to forget the ability of the musician. Alone they may not be up to much (none of the Who could ever really admit to making a classic solo album although Townshend came close) but put the parts together and you have a potent mixture that quite simply just worked.
We've been here before in terms of releases. The 1996 remaster was remixed. A subtle remix, yes, that certainly lifted elements of the mix that had perhaps been buried due to the style of production of the time. The majority of the Who's catalogue was remixed around this time and although it was done respectfully I was alarmed that they discarded the originals. I have to admit to being worried that the loudness war would strike again and hearing that Jon Astley was in charge also concerned me as he has been responsible for the destruction of several artists' repertoire over the years (Abba, Judas Priest, Boomtown Rats). However it was apparent immediately, as the waves crashed across the stereo spectrum, that the sound was pure. The fact that my volume control could be turned up considerably without having my eardrums shredded was proof that the music has been treated with the respect it needs and deserves and that the listener has been granted the right to choose their own volume level. All credit to Jon Astley for a terrific job. Maximum dynamic range equals maximum enjoyment of the music and how pleasant it is to actually get the feeling of the music instead of having to fight to hear it. Proof that CDs CAN sound good when prepared correctly.
If you're hesitant about buying this as a replacement for the 1996 version then don't be. They actually sound like different albums, both relevant. But this is the purest and best sounding issue ever and the most rewarding to listen to.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 November 2011
I've got to put my twopeneth worth in on this one. I've had the 1996 release for some years now and was completely unfamiliar with the album when I first bought it, but quickly came to recognise the quality of the album. Full of great songs, better than 'Tommy' (IMHO)and it sounded great as well. I've had varying experiences with remasters over the years (Who hasn't?)and wondered whether or not to buy this one, but in the end I succombed and forked out the readies for it. I've got to say I'm somewhat disappointed. As the title to my review suggests I cannot hear any difference, and believe me I've tried, and if you've got to listen that hard is it worth buying for a second time? The Pete Townsend demos are interesting without being essential, you won't feel any great desire to revisit them that often. If you've already got the 1996 release then my advice is wait until this comes down in price. Oh, and one last thing, it's still a classic album!!!!!
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on 25 April 2015
This is the best Who album in my opinion. I think as a rock opera it tops Tommy easily. There really are no weak songs, you just put it on and admire how great it is. It is an album taylor made to Showcase Keith Moon's drumming style. The deluxe version contains quite a few of Pete Townsend's Demo versions, whilst I appreciated these will not be played too much, they are well worth listening too. The packaging is great, the oringinal booklet is brilliant with the atmospheric black and white artwork from the film, but the deulxe version contains 2 booklets and extra artwork. I will add photos of both versions. The original remasted version has only 1 booklet but does come in a plastic double cd case (compared with the Deluxe cardboard double fold out version), which I like. I'm not sure if it worth getting the deluxe version, the extra tracks are worth a listen, but maybe not worth it if you have the original version.
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There's something about double albums. For a starter - simple 2LP logistics demands a least a gatefold sleeve - and if the band has any clout and their record label has half a sales brain – an elaborate chunky booklet can go in there too rammed to the gills with the Godlike deliberations of their hairy-bottomed creators (maybe even a poster boys and other sexy emporia). Besides if a group produces two whole LPs worth of music it suggests the juices are flowing and creativity is at a peak - "The White Album", "Trout Mask Replica", "Tommy", "Exile On Main Street", "Stephen Stills Manassas", "Tales From Topographic Oceans" and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" to name but a few). And so it was with The Who's second double-album – the much anticipated 'kids are alright' Mod opus "Quadrophenia". To this day my 1973 Track Records original is an object I regularly pet with alarming middle-aged fetishness. Which brings us to this natty 2012 'Deluxe Edition' 2CD Reissue...

UK and USA released November 2011 – "Quadrophenia: Deluxe Edition" by THE WHO on Universal/Polydor 2780503 (Barcode 0602527805030) is a 2CD set with Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows:

Disc 1 (55:48 minutes):
1. I Am The Sea
2. The Real Me
3. Quadrophenia
4. Cut My Hair
5. The Punk And The Godfather
6. I'm One [Side 2]
7. The Dirty Jobs
8. Helpless Dancer
9. Is It In My Head
10. I've Had Enough
11. 5:15 [Side 3]
12. Sea And Sand
13. Drowned

Disc 2 (78:17 minutes):
1. Bell Boy
2. Doctor Jimmy
3. The Rock
4. Love Reign O'er Me
Tracks 1 to 13 and Tracks 1 to 4 are the 4-sides of double-album "Quadrophenia" – released November 1973 on Track Records 2657 013 and in the USA on Track/MCA Records MCA2-10004. It peaked at No. 2 in both the UK and USA. CHRIS STAINTON (of The Grease Band) plays piano on "Dirty Jobs", "5:15" and "Drowned" - all other instrumentation by the Band - Roger Daltrey (Vocals), Pete Townshend (Guitar and Keyboards), John Entwistle (Bass) and Keith Moon (Drums and Percussion).

(PETE TOWNSHEND) BONUS TRACKS:
5. The Real Me (Demo) – recorded October 1972
6. Cut My Hair (Demo) – recorded June 1972
7. Punk (Demo) – recorded November 1972
8. Dirty Jobs (Demo) – recorded July 1972
9. Is It In My Head (Demo) – recorded April 1972
10. Anymore (Demo) – recorded November 1971
11. I've Had Enough (Demo)- recorded December 1972
12. Is It Me? (Demo) – recorded March 1973
13. Doctor Jimmy (Demo) – recorded July 1972
14. Love Reign O'er Me (Demo) – recorded May 1972

A smart move is to have two booklets – the one in the left flap of the gatefold card digipak has the original 22-page booklet that was attached to the centre of the 1973 double-album. All of Ethan Russell's beautifully expressive black and white 'Mod' photography is there – but true fans will notice immediately that some of the photos are sloppily clipped on the right – The Who at The Hammersmith Odeon double-page spread has the neon details clipped out over to the right – but worse is the mods around the stage pages before it where the guy on the far right is gone entirely. The lyrics to Side 1 and 2 that followed the terraced houses and came at the end of the original vinyl booklet have been moved to CD booklet two when it might have been better to keep them as the original was. And while the 2CD digipak and its 5" booklets could never have the sheer 12" x 12" impact of the original vinyl issue – it's still nicely done - and hell even the pictures of the mods in the café by the pinball machines seems slightly more defined for some reason. The black and white photos of the Who on the inner flap are period and the photo of the main story character 'Jimmy' on his beloved Vespa motorbike is drop-dead gorgeous. There’s handwritten lyrics, a photo of Pete in the Studio, snaps of master tape boxes beneath the see-through plastic trays. It’s all very tasteful and tactile...

The second booklet contains Pete Townshend's deliberations on the making of the record and its subsequent impact across the decades (1996 Remix CD, DVD release of the film with a Mono soundtrack) and now finally the tapes prepped once again to offset the original limitations of the 1973 vinyl original (especially Daltrey's great vocals). Very cool is the song-by-song notes by PT on the 'Demos' presented for the first time on Disc 2 and Bonus Tracks. They stretch from March 1970 for "Drowned" (done while recording the Thunderclap Newman debut LP) to March 1973 for "Is It Me?" which chronicles the Mods 'Ace Face' and 'Jimmy'.

JON ASTLEY has handled the Remaster at Close To The Edge with the involvement of Pete Townshend. Pete plays all instruments on the Demos and each has been cleaned to almost audiophile quality by a team at Woody Studios in Richmond, London. I have to say that the sonic results are simply a little less bombastic than the 1996 remix of old - and that's a good thing. Overall - the punch and clarity is still up there - if not nearly as spectacular as I had hoped. Biggest improvements I'd say are in the rhythm sections - Bass and Drums - absolutely sweet as...

As the waves crash on the Brighton shore in the opening "I Am The Sea" – the Audio fills your speakers with fabulous clarity – Daltrey's vocal jabs on key lyrics acting as a sort of lead-in overture. But the remaster really takes off with "The Real Me" – Townshend's thrashing guitar to the right – Entwistle's heavy bass strings sounding like he's playing lead guitar - all of it complimented by that fantastic brass section. You're also struck by the power and clarity that surrounds Moon's amazing drumming – rattling and crashing through your speakers all of a sudden on the instrumental "Quadrophenia". And that silver-toned establishment radio announcer (John Curle) on "Cut My Hair" reporting with detachment about 'two leather clad rockers' being chased into a hotel by a gang of 1000 'yuths'.

Side 2's "The Dirty Jobs" and "Helpless Dancer" are the amongst the most politically charged songs on the record – a man who drives a local bus taking miners to work (if the pits are open). And when the stunning "Love Reign O'er Me" prelude turns up at about 1:20 in the six-minute "I've Had Enough" – it still feels extraordinarily moving and even beautiful. The catchy brass/guitar of "5:15" was a genius choice as a single and how could you not love growling-Daltrey sung lyrics like "...out of my brain on the train..." and "...gravely outrageous in my high heel shoes..." And that wonderful opening guitar melody on "Sea And Sand" is so The Who – rocking one moment – soothing the next. The piano/guitar boogie opening of "Drowned" has to be one of many fave tunes on the album – "set me free" Daltrey screams with such passion.

Townshend's ornery sense of humour comes shining through on the witty and acidic "Bell Boy" – Moon doing his best loony Bob voice as he moans "...always running up someone's bleeding hill..." The eight and half minutes of Doctor Jimmy still test my patience a tad – but I love the end two pieces – the instrumentally adventurous "The Rock" and the sublime melody and hope contained in "Love Reign O'er Me". Mooney's drumming comes roaring through "The Rock" as those riffs build and build and that wicked "Who's Next" keyboard work unfolds (stunning remaster). The forlorn piano notes and falling rain play in the wonderful "Love Reign O'er" – a song that turns up in movies whenever a filmmaker wants to move the audience. Genius...

I have to admit that some of the 'Demos' left me cold – they're interesting for sure but feel like something I'll play once and leave there. The audio on them is awesome it has to be said. For instance his guitar and piano on "Cut My Hair" are incredible and the remaster practically makes the thing kick down your speaker stacks. For me loveliest is the "Love Reign O’er Me" demo because it hasn't got the interfering waves/rain soundtrack in the background – so you just get that gorgeous piano playing – then the song kicks in. It's here that you realise what happens when PT hands the song to the other three – Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon – they add the band magic it needs...

Niggles – the non-album song "Water" – B-side to the UK issue of "5:15" on Track 2094 115 in November 1973 could easily have been fitted onto Disc 1 (kept back for the Single Boxes no doubt) and the American 3:11 minute edit of "Love Reign O'er Me" (A-side in the USA on Track/MCA-40152) is AWOL too. Might have also been nice to feature some of those fantastic foreign picture sleeves for singles around the album on a Deluxe Edition - "Love Reign O'er Me" from Holland or "5:15" from France to name but a few. But apart from those minor gripes – I'm a happy Mod bunny.

More sprawling than the simple balls-to-the-wall brilliance of 1971's "Who's Next" but just as ambitious as 1969's Rock Opera "Tommy" – The Who's "Quadrophenia" is one of those albums you can't really be rational about. Across 4 sides there's filler on there for sure and at times all those 'waves crashing on the shore' interludes/inclusions do your head in – but would we have PT's double masterpiece any other way. I'm off to pet my original again with white gloves and consider buying a Parka at the age of 57.

And the sight of that crashed Vespa leaning to in the water on the rear cover still gives me the willies...
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 24 November 2011
I thought that I'd celebrate my 500th review on Amazon by reviewing my favourite album of all time, probably the only one that I know all the lyrics and every musical squiggle and squonk on. Yes indeed let my add my voice to the chorus of praise for Quadrophenia. The words "classic" and "masterpiece" are often misused - but they are not in this instance and I would go even further to call this album "quite literally the best piece of music ever released". The new edition is better than the original as a listening experience as well, clarity and precision have been added with no diminution of power especially on tracks like Dr Jimmy (How much do I like that track? - I'm swooning as I type). This is just Soooo good.

However there is a fair bit of extra "baggage" attached to the re-release and the question is; is it worth getting the 2 disc version or even the bumper super deluxe one?. Well the fact that this review is on the 2 disc version gives away the answer. This is a Must Buy, not just for fans of the Who but also for fans of rock of all ages as this is and was a truly momentous release, up there with Sgt Pepper, Led Zep IV and never Mind the b*ll*cks as era defining and as the BBC review re-printed above suggests hasn't aged a bit. The relevance of the subject matter is as true today as it was in the early 70's when this was originally released or the 60's when it is "set" or in any decade before or since. Teenage "angst" has never been as well described as on this album and many of the issues documented here are as pertinent now as then.

Although very much Pete Townsend's album, I believe it has more of his vocals than any other album, they other 3 excel here as never before. Listen to John Entwhistle's bass and his peerless brass arrangements; Moon has never been more exuberant yet strangely disciplined as well, and Daltrey's voice reaches new heights. This is emphasised by the demos included in this package which are decent enough songs in their own right but lack the something "extra" the full band effort brings to the party.

And whilst I'm on about the demos whilst they are interesting in a completist sense, and serve as a record of the creative processes Townsend went through they don't add much to the package in their own right. By this I mean you'll probably listen to them once or twice but I am sure you will re-visit the actual album a lot more and that is what gets the 5 stars from me.

As for the super deluxe set it is interesting to read Pete Townsend's essay, but once read are you likely to read it again? Yes some more demos are interesting and one can admire the photos, but at 70 quid? Sorry not for me. I'll stick to the music.
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on 28 November 2011
I had some spare vouchers and waited eagerly for this re-release.Firstly de-luxe editions now have no de-luxe packaging just a annoying sticker labelled deluxe instead of the plastic wallet which keeps everthing together(the same was done with the kinks re-issued deluxe editions)we are spending money here and expect better.Now the sound difference to the 96' version is hardly if at all noticable to my ears and the demo's are poor and add nothing to the album.I took the cd back and have started to enjoy my 96'version again and what the re-release has done is make me listen to this fantastic record again.If you already own Quadrophenia there really is no need to shell out again if you do not already have the album then buy with confidence the music is great.
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on 4 March 2013
Stunning grand opus from the pen of Pete Townsend, dissafected youth, drugs, booze, fun and tragedy. great songs, powerfull and delicate in the same breath, iconic tunes evoke life and dificulties as it was for young adults in any era, not just 60's I had not heard this album for 30 years, but knew every word as if it was yesterday. recommended listening for anyone who has ever felt left out by society and wants to be recognised.
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on 10 February 2013
A must for all quadophenia fans. The extras are worth the money. If you don't have this album you need to get it as it is one of the best albums ever made.
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on 22 January 2012
Certainly one of the greatest albums ever made and a my personal favourite. I have bought this on vinyl, then a couple more remastered cd versions; now the deluxe version. We get some demos - interesting - but why not include a live set from 1973? This would add greatly to the package; there are recordings of several gigs - go to wolfgang's vault to hear a couple from the US - Or are they waiting for the next version?
Come on Pete & Roger - let's have some classic '70s live stuff released officially!
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