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The Who - Quadrophenia CD (album) cover

QUADROPHENIA

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

4.54 | 397 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Well, here's the Big One! Although not as balanced as WHO'S NEXT, QUADROPHENIA is beyond doubt the Who's most symphonic album, and for that reason alone it deserves five stars.

Heavy rock numbers like "The real me" and "The punk and the godfather" sound as triumphant as anything the Who ever recorded, while songs like "I am one" and "I've had enough" perfectly encapsulate adolescent despair.

From a progressive point of view, it's worth considering that Pete Townshend based QUADROPHENIA on four leitmotifs, each representing one of the musicians in the band. Two of these motifs are first sung by Roger Daltrey at the beginning of the album, and all four are developed instrumentally during the title track. They get their most exuberant treatment on the original 'fourth side' of the album (tracks 5 - 7 of the second disc), where they are sandwiched between the glorious (but desperate) "Dr Jimmy" (which makes superb use of John Entwistle's brass) and the exultant "Love reign o'er me", which has never been matched, as conclusion to an album, by any prog band I can think of.

Apart from his trademark guitar Pete Townshend employes synths liberally on this album, providing an appropriate orchestral feel, and some of the sounds he uses may now have dated, but that does not diminish, in my view, the sheer power of this extraordinary album. The wild crescendo on the drums at the end of "Love reign o'er me" is one of Keith Moon's best ever moments: his last truly great studio performance.

fuxi | 5/5 |

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