In 1973, when I was 14 years old, I was going through all of the changes associated with that age. Trying to sort out all of the feelings inside of me, trying to fit in with the group of kids I hung out with, just trying to make sense of life. While I was a fan of The Who, nothing prepared me for the juggernaut that was, and is Quadrophenia. While the events of the album took place a generation before me, they spoke to me in a loud and clear voice, and still do to this day.
Before Generation X, before grunge, before Nirvana, there was the Who and most especially Pete Townshend. For all of the good music that Cobain and others of the early 90's churned out, it all still pales in comparison to this masterpiece of teen angst. Townshend manages to create images of alienation, confusion, lust, and pain that still resonate. Daltrey's throaty, pounding voice is the engine that drives Towshend's pent up emotions. Entwistle and Moon complete the picture, and quite frankly, I think that it is the finest rock bass playing ever recorded, period, end of discussion.
Thirty years on, kids of today should be listening to this this album (ooh, I'm dating myself!) if they want to find something that expresses what they are feeling inside. There is nothing that, in my mind, will ever match Quadrophenia.