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The Who Quadrophenia [Deluxe Edition]

November 23, 2011

This album was a very important part of my youth.  When I was 19 this album perfectly captured the mood of an angry young man.  I am sure I listened to it several hundred times.  My roommate had a copy and I mainly listened to a cassette dub of his vinyl.

Early in the CD era I had a CD edition (1985 MCA version not the mid 90s remaster) and it sounded pretty good, but this version sounds fantastic. Early CDs reissues often were issued without much care.  I never listened to the mid 90s remaster, so I can’t compare this to that. There is nothing better than hearing a familiar piece and noticing nuances you have never noticed before.  That has happened on almost every song on this edition.

There are several versions that have just been reissued, but this is the most economical version.  This deluxe edition adds a handful of demos.  These are interesting, but nothing close to the main event.  I am much more impressed with The Stones approach with Exile on Main Street and Some Girls where they basically give you a whole new lost album.  I am glad I did not splurge for one of the more expensive editions.

Personally I think Quadrophenia is the most coherent of Townsend’s rock operas.  I find it a much more advanced work than Tommy – both in the libretto and in the score.  All the players are amazing.  Entwistle’s bass plays like a lead guitar.  Daltrey is both subtle and bombastic. Moon is tight and chaotic. Townsend plays some of the best guitar and keyboards of his career.

One of the best parts about Quadrophenia is that is an album whose cuts have been rarely played to death on classic rock radio.  So they still sound fresh.  There are wonderful instrumentals and themes that recur throughout the album. There are parts of this album I swear that bands like Radiohead have listened too.  It is a real genius to have an album that is both symphonic and rock and roll.  This album pulls together all the best aspects of The Who and is solid from beginning to end.  Highly recommended.

From → Music Reviews

  1. “5.15” is one of my favorite Who songs.

  2. Charlie Moonbeam permalink

    “Love, Reign O’er Me” changed my life.

  3. Review is top notch. CB has listened to this more times than he can count. Have a few copies on record, CD and now this…..if I do it I can’t tell Baby.

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