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The Who - Tommy CD (album) cover

TOMMY

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

3.98 | 553 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Tommy"... Aaaaaaaaargh....

I have expressed my feelings about this album already when I was reviewing "The Wall" and "The Lamb". I had of course no idea that I would be able to review it on this site. Because "Tommy" is a concept album, a rock opera but by no means prog of course.

Anyway, IMO it tops any other concept album of the rock history, being "Ziggy Stardust" or "The Lamb".

I am just nuts about it. I discovered it in 1970 with the single "See Me, Feel Me" bw "Overture" while I got to know the whole album in 1971. Their fantastic live appearence at Woodstock was also a a shock for the little boy I was (I was born in 1959).

I can listen to "Tommy" almost endlessly, I love it so much, I am always so thrilled to hear it again and again. Even after so many (over 35) years of spinning it.

As most concept albums, it is best to listen to it in its integrality altough some "transistion" songs do not really belong to the best of it.

If you except these, almost each song is a very good one. And a bunch of them are superb like "Overture", "1921", "Amazing Journey", "Sparks", "Eyesight to the Blind", "Christmas" (Tommy can you hear me ?), "Cousin Kevin", "The Acid Queen"...

Oups, I am mentioning almost each track... well I guess you got the idea. Almost the whole of "Tommy" it is just outstanding.

The music theme just drives me mad and is repeated countless times throughout the whole work (and was already featured on earlier Who albums). I can't help. The story is also extraordinary well constructed.

Everyone knows of course about the poor Tommy being tortured by his awful cousin Kevin, brutalized by his Uncle Ernie and suffering the loss of his father who was wounded during WWII and killed by Uncle Ernie several years later when he came back home but discovered that Uncle Ernie had taken his place. The acid Queen being fetched to cure him, but with no success. Being deaf, dumb and blind he will turn into a Pinball Wizard...

All those characters being immortalized respectively by Keith Moon, Tina turner and Elton John in the great movie released in 1975.

"Underture" is a very long instrumental piece of music and was ignored from their live representations of this work. It is a very psyche oriented piece of music clocking at over nine minutes.

So, if The who are not well known by some of you, just give "Tommy" a try, go to the mirror and smash it. And even if after Tommy's recovery, the crowd will tell him that they're not going to take it, I'm sure sure you will.

My fave out of this fabulous album is the closing number "We're not gonna take it". Fabulous, really : "Listening to you, I get the music. Gazing at you, I get the heat. Following you, I climb the mountains. I get excitement at your feet." And that's exactly what you'll get.

Because "Tommy" is just so great. A monument of rock music. Five stars of course.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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