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Sensation: The Story of the Who's Tommy [Blu-ray] [2014] [US Import]

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x95cf04bc) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x939640c0) out of 5 stars NEW BD Documentary tells the full story of "Tommy" from Pete Townshen's mind through the Broadway production - nice bonus too! 6 Mar. 2014
By Steve Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
This is another fine original documentary going direct to DVD and BD from Eagle Rock Entertainment. Though the copyright at the end of the (approx) 90 minute documentary says 2013, it is not being released until March 11, 2014. With an additional 32 minutes of "Bonus material" (more on that in a minute) there is nearly two hours of material here to delight any fan of The Who, especially fans of their rock opera "Tommy".

Every living person connected with the project is interviewed here, from really lengthy, insightful comments by Pete Townshend, who concieved of the idea and wrote nearly all the songs and Roger Daltrey (the lead singer who admits to life being harder after "Tommy " was released and the Who started playing 120,000 seat stadiums). Archival interviews from the late John Entwhisle are here as well. The artist who designed the Lp jacket, the sound engineer and the group's manager during this period are here also. There comments from Townshend's biographer, critic Anthony Decurtis (who seems to be interviewed in nearly every rock doc I've seen) and Jann Wenner, the cocky founder of Rolling Stone. And there are clips from many performances of the opera. It was truly - as the film's title says - a "sensation".

The bonus material consists of eight songs from "Tommy" as well interview segments from a 1969 episode of the German TV pop/rock show "Beat Club". It's in black and white and BC always used weird video effects to give things a "psychedelic" touch. Still, a nice bonus.

The images and sound on the BD are great. The BC material probably looks just as great on the DVD version.
As I said above, this is something all Who fans will want to see and own.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93964114) out of 5 stars Sensation - The Story Of Tommy (DVD) 1 Jun. 2014
By Buyer of CDs/DVDs & BluRays - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I was not sure if I should get this DVD, there are so many Who documentary's out there on DVD but they are all good. I decided to take the plunge. This is a detailed look at the album with Pete Townshend giving us his deep thoughts into the making and meaning of Tommy. There are also comments from Roger and posthumously from John and Keith Moon. There are a lot of music footage included and what impressed me is the fact the producers of this DVD were kind enough to include mostly full performances of these classic songs from various concerts. Some of the footage rare and not seen before.
It is an enjoyable show throughout and well paced. Pete's an extraordinary man and his vision of Tommy is well told here.
The bonus footage is a TV special the Who did in Germany in 1969 highlighting the best songs from Tommy like a long music clip in B&W unfortunately. It would be far better in colour.

Overall a worthy DVD if you love the Who.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93cec2a0) out of 5 stars Covers the album nicely , but not the phenomenom after...... 9 July 2014
By TEXMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I would give this 5 stars as a reveiw of the album "TOMMY" , but I would liked to have heard more about the band trying to live up to the the album , the Tommy film and the play . This album was the turning point of The Who and this bio does a great job at explaining it .Pete and Roger give recent interveiws , John and Keith archival . The bluray picture and sound quality are fantastic (as expected) . I would have liked to hear more of the music in between interveiws but this is a bio and not a music video . Roger Daltrey is never used enough in these Who documenturies , as he gives the best insights into how the band interpets Pete's songs . He is also able to take a step back and critique The Who as a fan . I would also liked if they covered more on the the movie Tommy , as I have heard conflicting reports that members of the band either hated the movie or loved Ken Russell's interpretation . Anyway , I would highly recommend this film to any fan of The Who .
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93cec21c) out of 5 stars A MUST FOR ANY WHO FAN 6 April 2014
By Joyce Rommel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This DVD was excellent and far exceeded my expectations. This DVD and the Eagle rock Classic Album DVD "The making of Who's Next "are a must have for any die hard WHO fan!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93964c3c) out of 5 stars Back To '69 With Pete & Roger! 17 Sept. 2014
By RJ Nuzzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
For us 'Tommy' freaks this 2013 DVD release is a welcome. We all know that Pete Townsend is a genius both as a seminal & premiere rock composer & lead band member of The Who but also as the first author of the 'rock opera', his being the iconic 'Tommy'. This score has had many incarnations since its inception in 1969, beginning life as a double album recorded entirely by Townsend & The Who. That version is sacred terrain for not only Who fans but legions of classic rock & roll zealots. Like The Beatles 'Srgt. Pepper' before it, 'Tommy' brought theater to rock & roll, complete with plot-lines up the whazoo! Along with pinball machines, eye-shades, ear-plugs, & smashing mirrors, Townsend managed to cram a potpourri of mega themes ranging from childhood abuse to religious megalomania all in one opus. 'Tommy' made history as well as mega-stars of Townsend & The Who.

This 'anniversary' DVD document does provide some keen insight into the making of 'Tommy', much of which we Who fans have heard before. The interviews with Roger Daltrey & Pete Townsend are informative enough, culled both from current interviews to file footage, particularly from the two deceased members of the band, John Entwistle & Keith Moon. However, what is lacking is the nuts & bolts of the recording of the album. Yes, Kit Lambert gives his insight as to his input into the original recording, as he was one of the original producers of the piece. Still, for real 'Tommy' fans & historians, there's seems to be more to the making of the opera, particularly as the many demos reveal just what a patchwork of previous musical passages were resurrected from Townsend's earlier recordings as well as what additional songs were omitted from the final song list.

I always found the original '69 album a bit flat & stiff, particularly after the band's blistering recordings of 'I Can See For Miles' & 'Pictures Of Lily'. Townsend's electric guitar is not nearly as prominent as it is on these former tracks. Also, the subsequent versions of 'Tommy' not only have new song additions, but more importantly they have a corrected & more definitive song order. Townsend's 1975 soundtrack gets the better treatment all around (when not looking at it as a film). So why aren't these great & significant revisions discussed. The 'rock opera' has had many lives & all were quite successful, right up to Broadway musical. In viewing this DVD, it feels that we are jipped of some of the author's insights & lasting associations with his great work.

All in all, anything about this piece of rock history is a welcome, especially when it mostly comes out of the mouths of its surviving members. As a footnote, it's always a great joy to have Roger Daltrey commenting on Pete Townsend's genius. As time passed, Daltrey has realized just how talented Pete Townsend is, & what history was made by his unique composing style & insights. Pete Townsend is a true pioneer in the history of modern music. 'Tommy' is only one part of his genius. Now, how about one on 'Quadrophenia'!?!
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