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Quadrophenia Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews

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Total price: £15.67
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Jun. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polydor Records
  • ASIN: B000007620
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  Blu-ray Audio
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 636 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I Am The Sea - The Who
  2. The Real Me - The Who
  3. Quadrophenia
  4. Cut my hair
  5. Punk and the godfather
  6. I'm one
  7. Dirty jobs
  8. Helpless dancer
  9. Is it in my head
  10. I've had enough
  11. 5.15
  12. Sea and sand
  13. Drowned
  14. Bell boy
  15. Dr Jimmy
  16. Rock
  17. Love reign o'er me

Disc: 2

  1. 5:15 - The Who
  2. Sea And Sand - The Who
  3. Drowned - The Who
  4. Bell Boy - The Who
  5. Doctor Jimmy - The Who
  6. The Rock - The Who
  7. Love Reign O'er Me - The Who

Product Description


An excellent and frequently astonishing album, Quadrophenia is both more ambitious and less accessible than Tommy, the first and most well known rock opera. At its simplest level, Quadrophenia is a coming-of-age story with an awesome soundtrack. The album features some of the Who's finest material, in songs like the enraged "Real Me", the cynical "Punk Meets the Godfather", the wistful "5:15" and "Sea and Sand", and the powerful "Love, Reign O'er Me". The songwriting (courtesy of Pete Townshend) is top-notch, as is the production (the Who actually managed to use synthesizers in an original manner, something few rock bands can aspire to). The mix of powerful songwriting and skilful composition makes this one of the Who's finest moments. --Genevieve Williams

BBC Review

By 1973 Pete Townshend was courting disaster, fighting demons both interior and exterior. In 1971 the writer and guitarist had dealt with the blow of his second full rock opera, Lifehouse, being sunk by a falling out with friend and manager, Kit Lambert. An intense work schedule, combined with an inability to turn his ideas into reality (plus a hefty drink intake), drove him to a breakdown. Added to this was the constant battling between certain fellow band members. So in retrospect it looks like nothing short of a miracle that he not only salvaged the Lifehouse prime cuts to make the mighty Who's Next album, but that he then went on to channel all that sturm und drang into his greatest work: Quadrophenia.

Drawing on his experiences as a young mod-about-town as well as the spiritual quest that had lead him to the feet of his guru, Meher Baba, Townshend created the tale of Jimmy The Mod. A dispossessed youth whose psychological problems were rooted in home life, teenage relationship angst and plain old peer pressure; the anti-hero goes on a metaphorical journey from urban London to the rainswept beaches of Brighton in search of meaning. The concept was also shoe-horned into the group dynamic by using each member of the band as a signifier for the four personalities that inhabit Jimmy's double schizophrenia, with a recurring theme to match.

While the concept may be unwieldy, as a musical statement it's fabulous. The band could rock harder and looser than most others by this point. Moon's drums, always on the verge of chaos, drive the hit, 5'15 like a wild beast through the very heart of the double album. Entwistle's bass bubbles and restlessly explores all the empty corners of the arrangements while his french horn injects the 'is it me for a moment?' theme seamlessly. And Daltry's voice, having proven its maturity on Who's Next was here allowed to roar as Townshend could now write songs to fit his range. The closing, triumphant Love Reign O'er Me or the opening The Real Me remain amongst his finest moments. Meanwhile Pete's guitar work is at its most expressive and his use of early synths withstands the usual cheese-factor that blights so much music from this period.

Band egos, inflated by the dual pitfalls of fame and indulgence, led to the recording being fraught. There were reported fisticuffs between Pete and Roger. And any assuaging of the writer's inner turmoil was nixed by a gruelling tour (which saw Moon collapse mid-gig on one occasion) and pushed him even further into chemical overload. Yet, as Townshend now admits, and as all Who fans know, everything great about the Who is contained herein. --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: Blu-ray Audio Verified Purchase
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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Format: Blu-ray Audio Verified Purchase
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!!!).
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