Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23, 2014

THE WHO...Tommy (1969)
Label – Track
Producer – Kit Lambert
Art Direction – Mike Innerneny
Nationality – UK
Running Time – 75:03

Track Listing (standout tracks listed in bold)

1. Overture
2. It's A Boy
3. 1921
4. Amazing Journey
5. Sparks
6. Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
7. Christmas
8. Cousin Kevin
9. Acid Queen
10. Underture
11. Do You Think It's Alright
12. Fiddle About
13. Pinball Wizard
14. There's A Doctor
15. Go To The Mirror
16. Tommy Can You Hear Me
17. Smash The Mirror
18. Sensation
19. Miracle Cure
20. Sally Simpson
21. I'm Free
22. Welcome
23. Tommy's Holiday Camp
24. We're Not Gonna Take It

“Tommy” is the fourth album by the English rock band The Who, and it was a double album telling a VERY loose story about a "deaf, dumb, and blind boy" who eventually becomes the leader of a religious movement and becomes the messiah. Simple enough right? This was also the first record be touted as a “rock opera” and is still considered by many to be Pete Townshend’s masterpiece.
I do however have my reservations about the record. True – as a whole it is an astonishing work, and certainly in 1969 when it was released to the world, nothing like it had ever been heard before – and for that alone it deserves it’s lofty status in rock and roll history. True – the record has some fantastic tracks including "I'm Free," "Pinball Wizard," "Sally Simpson," "Pinball Wizard," and "We're Not Gonna Take It," but for the most part, the record is bogged down with filler tracks that exist merely to advance the story line. A story line that isn’t the greatest to begin with. There are also several instrumentals which while some are good (particularly the dramatic 10 minute epic “Underture ) do nothing to tell the story of Tommy.
The record upon it’s release was hailed as a breakthrough, but it’s critical standing has diminished somewhat in the passing decades mainly from the shortcomings I mentioned above, but also because of some of Townshend’s other works that have followed and greatly surpassed this one. Still this stepping stone was needed and deserves it place in history.
In 1998 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant" value. It has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. In 2003, the album was ranked number 96 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album was ranked number 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Albums of Rock & Roll. NME named it the 16th on "NME Writers All Time Top 100" in 1974.Q ranked it 9th on their list of "The Music That Changed The World: Part One 1954-1969" in 2004
It is recommended.
(vinyl, CD, Allmusic review)

Phil Selway of Radiohead is 47;

1969 'Tommy' by the Who is released
1975 Peter Gabriel plays his final show with Genesis in St. Etienne, France
1979 The Who documentary 'The Kids Are Alright' premieres in New York
1979 Tom Petty files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in a financial battle with his record label, MCA
1979 'Dynasty' by Kiss is released
2000 'Mad Season' by Matchbox 20 is released
2006 'Yeah' by Def Leppard is released
2010 Bret Michaels of Poison wins Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice"
2012 Bo Diddley's single "I'm A Man/Bo Diddley" from 1955 and the Grateful Dead's "Live At Barton Hall" album from 1977 are added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress

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