There are albums that for some reason stand up today as much as the day they were released. An album can fall through the gap when released at a time that sees brilliance heading to your ears from all angles. This to me is one of those, it should be more than an underground recognised classic.
The Who’s Quadropheniareleased originally in 1973 and now re-released in a marvellous re-mastered deluxe edition with demos, 5.1 surround DVD mix and a book is a delight to listen to once again.
It has been awhile since I had played this album and I’ve always been fond of this work. Overshadowed by the success of Tommyand I’ve got to say I much prefer “Quadrophenia” to “Tommy”, it’s the story of the psychological and social impacts upon a group of teenagers set in Brighton and London around 1964 / 65.
This social story for me resonated much more than the “deaf, dumb and blindboy” of Tommy. Whereas “Tommy” has some great songs it is a double album that could have told it’s story in one record. It’s success proves me wrong. The Ken Russell film, album and tours by The Who all where well accepted and no doubt put “Quadrophenia” in the shade by comparison.
“Quadrophenia” has the depth that Tommy doesn’t, the playing on this album is some of the finest The Who has ever done. Roger Daltrey is superb and that great rhythm section of Keith Moon and John Entwhistle are at there peak. Pete Townsends writing of course is amazing. His ideas are flowing towards you with every song and the whole album, even though it is a double, falls together beautifully.
The digital remastering brings clarity and spaciousness and allows the playing to shine. Any band releasing this today would be viewed as the next great thing. The Who already were a great thing and this album more than proves it.
The background of teenage angst, drugs, frustrated angry parents and the styles of the time come through bitingly.
This is a truly classic album that for most has been forgotten. If you have never heard “Quadrophenia” and wish to delve back into “mod” times this re-mastered edition is the one to get.
The Who at their pinnacle.