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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 November 2013
Tommy had a tremendous impact at the time of its release and rightly so.
With hints of what to expect on their earlier albums The Who Sell Out and A Quick One
However, in my own personal opinion this impact was short lived with the follow up releases of Live At Leeds and Who's Next gaining more of my attention.
And the fabulous Quadrophenia, released four years later was also played far more extensively than Tommy.
Although.......and here comes the glaring contradiction Tommy witnessed live on stage is undeniably a 'tour de force' and has remained so, to some extent for 45 years.
Revisiting the live versions and experiencing the raw power of the Live at Leeds and Live at Hull versions undeniably showcases the true impact of one of the first 'Rock Operas'.
This 'Stunning Limited Edition Super-Deluxe Box Set' provides everything, the Remastered Original Album in HD, Pete Townshend's Demo's, The 5.1 Album Mix and The Live Bootleg from 1969.
The Deluxe hard-back book provides an insight into the development of Tommy along with extensive photographs, notes, hand written song lyrics and memorabilia.
The convenience of the CD format (as opposed to having to change each side on vinyl) now allows me to truly enjoy this ground breaking piece of music as I really should have done on its release.
Live at Leeds and Who's Next are still the best the Who have produced but Tommy definitely has a place in history, 'live' or otherwise and to me 45 years later it now sounds so much more coherent.
I will now pay Tommy the respect it deserved but wasn't given on its original release.
This Box Set will take pride of place alongside my Quadrophenia, Super Deluxe Edition and Live At Leeds 40th Anniversary Special Edition awaiting to be joined by the Who's Next Super Deluxe Edition Box Set.
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on 26 November 2003
Finally mastered from the totally original tapes this really is THE ultimate version of Tommy. Pete Townshend has done a cracking job of the 5.1 mix with clarity and seperation so accurate that it'll make your ears bleed! Pinball Wizard is an especially good example where the acoustic intro comes from one side only for the electric guitar to literally jump out from somewhere else. Out of all the SACDs I have this must be the best in terms of mix quality and the way the various instrumentation is distributed to the 5 channels. The bass is pretty forceful too but never overpowering. All in all the over-equalised sound of the previous remaster is removed and in a way it sounds like the instruments have been set free from any restraints. I haven't yet played the standard CD layer so I can't comment on what the previous reviewer said. If you don't have an SACD player yet then if you are a Who fan you're doing yourself a serious disservice. This disc is a good enough reason to invest. Here's to a few more Who classics being given the same treatment.
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VINE VOICEon 24 June 2003
It's well known that the phenomenal success of Pete Townshend's classic 'rock opera' "Tommy" became a bit of an albatross for the group, in that they could never play another live set again without playing 'Pinball Wizard' or atleast half of this album. That is as maybe, and seasoned Who veterans may be well sick of it by now as well, but the only reason you CAN get sick of this album is because you just can't stop listening to it.
From the first listen I knew I was on to something great... the album is essentially a storyboard, and the songs are interspersed with small 'links' which can't really be called songs, but add to the album's 'concept' of being a so-called 'rock opera'. But it is not just the wild variety in the music that made this album so successful. The range of issues that the narrative of "Tommy" tackles is uniquely broad, challenging and (especially at the time) hugely controversial. Tommy, a deaf, dumb and blind boy, we discover is not physically dysfunctional in any way. Rather, he has become conditioned to be 'deaf, dumb and blind' through the manipulation, mistreatment and abuse of those around him, particularly his family. The way that Townshend addresses these issues in song is really quite remarkable. The lyrics lend the album a disturbing overtone which gives the music an extra cutting edge.
The musicianship throughout the album is of the highest order as well. Townshend's guitar is unerringly brilliant, from his carefully crafted finger picks, to his characteristically fierce rhythm and powerful electric riffs. He also has his lion's share of lead vocals ('Sensation' being an outstanding example), although it is Daltrey once again who steals the show with some powerhouse performances, including 'I'm Free', 'Pinball Wizard' and 'Amazing Journey'. John Entwistle is furiously inventive on bass, as is Keith Moon on drums, who enjoyed a much more free role than we would hear on 'Who's Next'.
This album impresses from the first listen, but then grows and grows until it becomes a behemoth within any rock collection. Far from being typical of The Who, this is still (and always was) a 'concept' album that has aged slightly, but contains so many timeless classics that it is sure to live on for many years to come.
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on 26 January 2001
In 1969 with little money remaining from the previous four years of rampant destruction, mutilation,explosions,energy and orgies, The Who aimed at breaking the traditional structure of album containing song after song by releasing what many condsider to be the first proper concept album. Of course it wasn't actualy the first, See the faces 'Odgen's nut gone flake' or The Beatles 'Pepper',but what it did was set the presidence taking an idea for a story line and streching it out over the whole album instead of just a few songs ( as pepper did), or on one side of an L.P (Odgen's...). Townshend had previously experimented with the idea of a longer song with an ongoing narrative in the compositions 'A Quick one while he's away' and 'Rael' with varing success. It was in Tommy however that Townshend would finally bring together his tallent for the three minute pop song and his desire to provide the fans with a little more to digest (lyrically and musicaly) than the usual radio friendly ditties of his contempories. This was after all the period in music history when musicians would begin using the term Rock rather than Pop. Townshend would not disapoint. Tommy contains of not only a collection of Townshends finest moments as a songwriter, but also of a band at their creative height. From the rumbling bass lines of Entwhistle (then as now one of the finest bass players in this country), to the orchestrated precision of Keith's drumming, the ever present block chords of Pete and Daltrey, well, he had never sounded better. Tommy mixed the Who's tendency for loud power pop with their fondness for vocal harmonies, lyrical originality, heavy riffs, striking melodies and their unique tallent for creating so much variation out of just the basic rock set up of guitars and drums. The songs themselves dealt with everything from drug use, abandonment,childhood innocence and insequrities, sexual abuse,religious fanaticism,obsession with the self,transendental philosophy,destuction, society and of course, a healthy intrest in Pin Ball. The mere fact that the narrative makes sense at all merits its five stars and the music itself often leaves one astounded. The timing and interaction between the three musicians on songs like underture and Amazing Journey have to be heard to be believed. Not only that Tommy also has abilities to excite and repulse in equal measures such as the opening lines of Pinball Wizard and the 'see me feel me' theme which send shivers down any music lover heart, to the dread of songs such as Fiddle about, Cousin Kevin and 1921. It is not often that a album is so well put together to exist as a self contained piece of music and narrative. Not even Floyd's 'The Wall' quite managed to hold itself together as well as Tommy.There is also the raw sound that is so appealing (and refreshing to hear in a rock record) in Tommy, largely due to the fact that the Who were not the Beatles and so could not afford to spend months in the studio without financing it with endless tours which involved the constant removal and resetting of instruments. As a result Tommy has all the depth of a progressive rock masterpiece, but with the untamed edge of an works such as Hendrix or the White Album and this combination of raw attitude and complex structure make it a very intresting listen. In short Tommy is the best 'grower' album ever and it will go down in history as one of the great lost masterpieces of rock.
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on 3 June 2014
Great, great. 5.1 surround sound, nice. Sound is clear and all around you like your in the middle of the recording studio. Its a remix and done well
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on 26 July 2015
The/a story goes that Kit Lambert pushed Pete Townshend to go further than the hit song format, brilliant though these often were, and create somerthing bigger, something else, something different. I am not sure of the exact unfolding of events, or is this was exactly the case, but 'Tommy' by The Who is an inspired and outstanding work, a collaborative effort by a British rock group at the peak of their creative and performing powers. Pete Townshend's brilliant songs and vision for this project were very ably interpreted and presented by the special talents of the other members of the band as well, along with Lambert's production input. Highest recommendation. The high watermark of this great British band.
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on 15 July 2014
Widely acclaimed as popular music's first 'rock opera', 1969 saw the release of 'Tommy' to a highly expectant group of fans and music critics alike. The somewhat offbeat (and indeed controversial) subject matter had the effect of giving dear old 'Auntie Beeb' a fit of the vapours and, unsurprisingly, the BBC banished 'Tommy' from the airwaves. No matter though, the wave of publicity generated from this fall-out helped 'Tommy' greatly and, although the album's concept is rather hard to grasp at times, the music/lyrics written by Pete Townsend have, for me, stood the test of time. At 75 minutes (and containing 24 tracks) things move along fairly swiftly for the most part; only 'Underture' at around 10 minutes, though good, does feel a little overlong. Fans of solid rock music should love 'Tommy' - there is something here for everyone and I can heartily recommend it.
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on 20 June 2001
Rock music really doesn't get much better than this. Whilst the media nowadays is manifesting something of a "Tommy" blackout, the album remains a definitive article of post-war British pop, waiting for future generations to discover. The concepts may be slightly cheesy but here are some of the best pop tunes ever written. (And I liked the tommy pinball machine too)
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on 20 January 2014
A classic studio album sounding better than ever. The Live concert recording is if anything, even better. If you like live versions of favourite albums, then this can not dissapoint. The energy the guys but into it is amazing, you just wish you could have been there in the day. This is the next best thing! It's an example of why The Who is still loved today!
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on 5 February 2016
Genius. Absolute must buy for any music lover who will appreciate the quality of what they are hearing - and I'm not talking about the fact that it has been remastered - Pete Townsends magnum opus transcends any of the crap we get from the likes of todays (supposed) TV talent shows - a work of genius - I think so...
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