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The Who - Tommy CD (album) cover


The Who



3.97 | 546 ratings

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mystic fred
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Christmas Story...

Christmas eve 1969 (or was it 1970..?).....after spending most of the afternoon in the pub I had something left of my first Christmas bonus and found myself in the local record shop. Browsing through the racks i came across TOMMY, and, though I was somewhat inebriated and it was something I wouldn't have normally bought as I'd never seen much publicity for the album, it was the WHO and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. Double albums weren't cheap in those days and on the way home I pondered on the wisdom of my purchase..... I needn't have worried, the music was fantastic... I'd never heard any thing like it before. My elder brother scorned it, saying it doesn't sound like the Who, but I couldn't stop playing it for months (...years!).

There seemed to be two camps of Who fans (not so much nowadays), Before Tommy and After Tommy. The Who, verging on bankruptcy, came up with this work of genius which took them up into the stratosphere, leaving mod bands like the Small faces, the Kinks and the Move far behind, filling football stadiums and setting themselves among the greats like Led Zeppelin and the Stones. The immediacy and freshness of the original recording comes through brilliantly on stereo SACD, the original recording was great but this is like hearing it for the first time. Keith's drums and cymbals come crashing through the speakers like never before, John's bass, Pete's guitar parts and Roger's vocals are so clear you can literally almost see them.

The latest SACD 5.1 / stereo version is a highly recommended recording, 5.1 surround SACD is definately the way forward if they keep to this standard of remastering. The music is timeless - the story of a boy shocked into deaf dumb and blindness by his father's murder on returning from the war, and the various experiences and "cures" he is subjected to before turning the tables and fooling everybody - this Christmas, like every Christmas since, will again see me digging out my copy of TOMMY and going through the whole story, very much like most Christmas stories, really...

mystic fred | 4/5 |


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