During the '70s, Tommy
went from being the Who's finest hour to excessive pop-culture cliché--precisely the sort of bloated musical albatross that fueled the decade's punk and new wave reactionaries. Consequently, director Frank Roddam imbued his 1979 version of Quadrophenia
(Pete Townshend's 1973 introspective ode to teen angst set against the English mod versus rocker clashes of the early '60s) with a conscious sense of scale and humanity. Unlike the often embarrassing Tommy
film spectacle, the band's musical presence on Quadrophenia
is both concise and surprisingly fresh. They contribute three new songs ("Get Out and Stay Out," "Four Faces," "Joker James") that help flesh out the story and cut much of the original material down to its musical and emotional essence. Credit Who bassist/film musical director John Entwistle (who'd no doubt perceived the sharp musical changes just then happening around him) with stripping Quadrophenia
down to size, in the process underscoring his thunderous, cascading bass lines; Pete Townshend's slashing power chords; Keith Moon's maniacal drum fills; and Roger Daltrey's vocal power. After Tommy
, less was indeed more. --Jerry McCulley
First CD release of the complete original soundtrack album, with those rare High Numbers tracks and 20-bit mastering!