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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Tommy - As Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Choir album cover
2.79 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

Overture (3:14)
It's a Boy (2:27)
1921 (1:54)
Amazing Journey (3:14)
Sparks (3:21)
Eyesight to the Blind (2:30)
Christmas (4:41)
Cousin Kevin (4:22)
The Acid Queen (3:48)
Underture (4:38)
Do You Think It's Alright? (:31)
Fiddle About (1:25)
Pinball Wizard (3:46)
There's a Doctor (2:47)
Go to the Mirror (1:46)
Tommy, Can You Hear Me? (1:50)
Smash the Mirror (1:25)
I'm Free (2:31)
Miracle Cure (:11)
Sensation (2:36)
Sally Simpson (5:12)
Welcome (4:42)
Tommy's Holiday Camp (2:21)
We're Not Gonna Take It (2:24)
See Me, Feel Me (3:04)

Total Time: 70:51

Line-up / Musicians

Sandy Denny / (Performer),
Richie Havens
Richard Harris / (Drum Technician),
Roger Daltrey / (Performer),
The London Symphony Orchestra / (Performer),
Ringo Starr / (Performer),
Rod Stewart / (Performer),
Pete Townshend / (Narrator),
The Who / (Main Performer),
Steve Winwood / (Performer),
Graham Bell / (Performer),
Maggie Bell / (Drums),

Releases information

Label: Rhino

Thanks to jan1234 for the addition
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Tommy - As Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Choir ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Tommy - As Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Choir reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by fuxi
1 stars This particular set was my first introduction to TOMMY; I borrowed it, back in 1975, from the same guy who introduced me to the incomparable WHO's NEXT, to the YES ALBUM, THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII, AQUALUNG, A PASSION PLAY, THE ALCHEMIST (by Home) and Neil Young's best-known solo albums. What a summer of discovery that was! (The guy in question was merely the elder brother of someone who wasn't even a close friend of mine.)

But what a dud version of TOMMY this is! It intrigued me at the time, because it seemed a little similar to one of my old favourites, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (which rocks much harder) and because, well, you know, 'Pinball Wizard' has such a great opening. Even when played by the London Symphony Orchestra. However, let's face it, Pete Townshend's original material is not at all suited to Big Orchestra treatment (no matter how superb a rocker Townshend may be), especially if there's hardly any trace of an accompanying rock combo. Most of the music here sounds so pompous that it falls flat on its face; it's like all the weakest moments from JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH combined and (almost) endlessly multiplied, but without honky-tonk pianos or bubbling synths, of course. Perhaps the most ridiculous (and pseudo-operatic) moment comes when you get the entire London Chamber Choir anxiously intoning: 'Hooow can he be saaaaved?' ad nauseam.

No, this set now has curiosity value only. Do you really want to hear Rod Stewart as the Pinball Wizard, Ringo Starr as Uncle Ernie and Sandy Denny as the Acid Queen? (Accompanied by a gigantic orchestra, and by nothing else?) Then, and only then, should you check this one out.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The Who's Who of rock perform Tommy

In 1972, noted producer Lou Reizner decided to call upon the services of a number of top musicians to create his own take on The Who's most famous work, "Tommy". What he ended up with is a magnificent prog (my opinion only!) version of that album.

The basis for the album is laid by the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir, who between them supply a rich bedrock for the performers to exploit. The various guests each perform a role, Steve Winwood is the father, Maggie Bell the mother, Ringo Starr is Uncle Ernie etc. Not surprisingly, Roger Daltry retains his role as Tommy, while Pete Townsend is the narrator. For me though, the most striking performance is that of Sandy Denny as the nurse, although her delivery of "It's a boy Mrs Walker, it's a boy" is over before you know it.

The orchestra come into their own on "Underture", which is transformed from a rather nondescript filler to a full blown piece of orchestral magic. There are occasional disappointments along the way, such as Richard Harris' spoken rendition of "Go to the mirror", but such let downs are rare. The length too is somewhat brief, with tracks being abbreviated or omitted altogether.

The original double LP set was a lavish affair, coming in an outer box containing an embossed gatefold sleeve and a colourful booklet. At the time of its release, Reizner also co-ordained a couple of stage performances of his work, with The Who and many other noted guests participating in the production.

This interpretation of "Tommy" is not for everyone by any means. Some will find it overblown, pretentious, and even sacrilegious. For me though, this is a fine work which captures the essence of Townsend's opera while presenting it in a completely new dimension.

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