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The Who - Tommy CD (album) cover

TOMMY

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

3.97 | 547 ratings

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mr.cub
3 stars The Tommy album itself is good, personally it has a very surreal innocence and naivety to it that I do not really enjoy; I prefer the live performances found on Live at Leeds or Live at the Isle of Wight Festival to the music found on this disc. Tommy at times can provide entertainment and sustained listening but it does not have the lasting power of their follow up albums. Too me this album is caught in all its glory live onstage and why I consider an album like Live at Leeds an essential album. This is simply a good album with good music thinly stretched over four album sides with a very thin and underdeveloped storyline. It is not one of those album that I listen to with the same regularity as I do with Who's Next, Quadrophenia, Who Are You, Live at Leeds, Sell Out and By the Numbers.

There are some essential songs throughout the album, 'Overture', 'Amazing Journey, 'Sparks', 'The Acid Queen', 'Smash the Mirror', 'Sally Simpson' 'I'm Free' and 'We're Not Gonna Take It' being the standout tracks. Many of the other songs just move the storyline along, which is the ultimate weakness of this album as it seems the music itself suffers and falls subject to the concept at times. However, 'We're not Gonna Take It' is a masterpiece, ending the album with a three part suite that is among Townsend's best compositions; Roger's voice is much more powerful on live versions (see Isle of Wight) and the band is very much in transition, with their sound between their art-pop perfection on Sell Out and its art-rock experimentation on Who's Next. Live versions demonstrate The Who at the top of their art with Entwhistle, Moon and Townsend expanding on their work in studio (see Amazing Journey/Sparks on Live at Leeds).

Again Townsend had some incredible ideas and this album really did not come to fruition as he intended due to financial difficulties within the band, preventing further recording and editing. Essentially a good album that pales in comparison to Who's Next and Quadrophenia.

mr.cub | 3/5 |

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