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The Who - Quadrophenia CD (album) cover

QUADROPHENIA

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

4.48 | 408 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I listened for the first time to some of the songs from this album in 1977 in a bootleg recording of a concert recorded in the U.S. in late 1973. Despite the recording of this album was of low quality, I liked some of these songs. It was until mid 1998 when I finally bought this album, in the re-mixed and remastered version released in the mid nineties.

In late 1980 I saw the "Quadrophenia" film in a cinema with some friends. I was then 15 years old and I liked the film a lot. But one year ago it was broadcasted on a TV channel in my city. I recorded it on a VHS videocassette and I saw it several times. Obviously the impact of the film wasn`t the same in my taste. The film is good, but I think that the best version of this Rock Opera is the album which was originally released in 1973. I consider this album as The Who`s Masterpiece, and the re-mixed and re-mastered version is very good in sound and the cover design includes the original booklet with explanations about the story, photos to illustrate the story and lyrics of all the songs. This version of this album is so good that it is like having the band playing in your living room!

The story of "Quadrophenia" is about a teenager Mod fan of The Who. The story relates his personal confusion and hard times with his parents, friends, employers, and also a failed love relationship.

The album, musically, is very good. Each song or instrumental piece of music is very well arranged and played. The story is realistic, in my opinion. Jimmy belongs to the real world, in comparison to the main character of "Tommy", who ends like a "Messiah".

The recording of this album was a hard time, particularly for the band. By that time, Keith Moon was becoming unreliable, and he wasn`t playing very well. But in the final product his drums playing is great most of the time, with some exceptions, like in the song called "Dr. Jimmy" on which the band elected to leave some mistakes in his playing. Pete Townshend plays synthesizers in most songs of this album, apart from piano, and his use of the synthesizers in this album is very creative, very "Progressive". Chris Stainton (formerly with "Joe Cocker and the Grease Band") played piano on three songs, but the main keyboards were played by Townshend, who also played the piano very well, acoustic and electric guitars, and even sang lead vocals on some songs. He also wrote all the songs of this album for the first time, and the album has continuity, and the story is told in a better way in comparison to the film. John Entwistle played his bass, the brass instruments and sang backing vocals. Roger Daltrey sang with energy and feeling, and Keith Moon played drums and percussion and also sang lead vocals in "Bell Boy". Each one of the members of the band had their "musical theme" in a song: "Helpless Dancer" (Daltrey), "Bell Boy" (Moon), "Dr. Jimmy" (Entwistle) and "Love Reign O`er Me" (Townshend).

The story reaches the final stages on which Jimmy is tired of everything in his life and for a brief moment considers suicide as an option. Fortunately, the story has a good ending, when Jimmy finds a new meaning to his life.

The best songs in this album are: "The Real Me", "Quadrophenia", "The Punk and the Godfather", "I`m One" , "5:15", "Sea and Sand", "Bell Boy", and particularly "Doctor Jimmy", "The Rock" and "Love Reign O`er Me" are great songs, growing in tension until the story reaches the end. These three final songs are the best, in my opinion, with great arrangements and playing by all members of the band. "Love Reign O`er Me" is the best song in this album, with Daltrey singing with feeling, Moon playing great drums and percussion, Entwistle his bass and brass instruments very well, and Townshend playing very good acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards.

"Quadrophenia" is one of those albums which I like to play from start to finish without interruptions. It is an album full of emotions and a "musical journey" with a great (and positive) finale. Maybe it is The Who`s most Progressive album.

The "Quadrophenia" tour in 1973-74 was a problematic experience, because the band tried to play the songs on stage accompanied by tapes to reproduce the keyboards, sound effects and brass instruments. Unfortunately it wasn`t easy to do that, and the band stopped using the tapes and deleting many of the songs of the album from the set-list, only playing the songs which had less additional instruments on the album.

Guillermo | 5/5 |

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