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4.4 out of 5 stars65
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on June 9, 2004
When people talk about The Who's Tommy, they generally seem to focus on the form rather than the content of the album. Listeners will comment on the originality of Townshend's application of opera sensibilities to a rock and roll album, and so on and so forth. Yes, it's true, what made The Who's Tommy a major hit rather than a pop-culture after-thought was its structure and distinction as the first "Rock Opera," but I believe that the most artistically redeeming quality of the album is its message.
During a time when psychedelic experimentation was the order of the day, The Who had the intestinal fortitude to release an album preaching transcendence through spiritual exploration. Tommy is a wholesale rejection of the entire psychedelic culture dominating the late 60's and a plea for spiritual enlightenment. More than just great music, Tommy is an album with purpose and a positive message.
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on May 3, 2014
The 5.1 mix does not produce a great soundstage like the sadc version. The drums are sticked at The left rear speaker, The electric guitare at The right front speaker. The bass is at The left speaker and The centre channel is not used significantly. You are always confronted with an x listening pattern (rear left_rigth front pattern). This is very annoying. In the future i will be very selective with product mix by bob Britten and Richard Whittaker. why not hired Steven Wilson or Nick Davis that do great job in The 5.1 music mix world. I give a 4 stars not for the 5.1 mix, but for the high fidelity sound crisp, clear and precise of the stereo mix.
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on March 21, 2004
If you've only got a standard CD player and have the _original_ CD release of Tommy (not the mid '90's remaster), you may want to hold off on this purchase. The stereo track hasn't been remixed at all, and the bonus disc, while novel, isn't anything you'll be listening to over and over. If you're used to the 1990's remaster, you'll notice some differences, though. Which version you like better will pretty much be personal preference, as both have their merits.
However, the 5.1 SACD layer was remastered by Pete Townshend himself. It extends at least one track slightly, brings out instruments and effects that weren't really audible before, and adds some nice, largely pretty subtle, surround effects. It really is almost like hearing the album "for the first time again," as the cliche goes! The first thing I did when I bought my SACD player was to throw this disc on and sit quietly listening to the album, beginning to end. It would have been nice to have the stereo CD audio layer contained a stereo-downmixed version of this surround remix, since it changes much more than just speaker placement of the music, but it's also nice that the CD contains the original version for historical purposes, along with the new, redone 5.1 version.
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on July 10, 2006
Let's face it: 'Tommy' was The Who's final attempt to make it in show business. Even Pete said that if this didn't work, The Who were finished.

I got 'Tommy' as part of a birthday present from a friend of mine (and I nearly choked him to death (in a good way) when I saw the album cover). That being said, I think that 'Tommy' is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It's right up there with Dark Side of the Moon, Sgt. Pepper, Highway To Hell, and Led Zeppelin IV. It's a great way to get introduced to The Who if you're not all for buying a lame greatest hits compilation. You'll find NO FILLER on here at all despite the long list of songs, and what other listeners may say. Every track is worth listening to. Highlights include: 'Overture', 'Amazing Journey', 'Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)', 'Sparks' (one of the best guitar solos I've ever heard), 'Cousin Kevin', 'Acid Queen', 'Pinball Wizard', 'Sally Simpson', and 'Miracle Cure'.

Add this to your Who collection mates!
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on May 30, 2004
I love "Tommy" for all its incredible melodies, deep insights, challenging format, and stunning production. The concept of the album was beyond even what the Beatles were doing in that it was not just held together by a theme. "Tommy" was an attempt to probe the psychology of a traumatized boy and his family, and the sick, exploitative culture that we are all (still) embedded in. That being said, it simply rocks!!! I had the Gold CD version and dumped it because the version of Eyesight to the Blind features an alternate vocal that lacks the intensity of the original. Here, instead of hitting the notes hard and high, Daltrey is singing them an octave lower with a more pensive approach. Well, nobody beats Roger for sphincter-tightening screams, so I went for the orginal/remastered version. I will probably get the newer, Deluxe 2-disc edition just for completeness' sake, and because the Who have done a fantastic job with that entire series, putting other icons (such as the Stones) to shame when it comes to class reissues. (Beatle industry--are you paying attention?) So, don't go for the gold on "Tommy", just go for what was great in the first place.
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on May 14, 2004
The Who's fourth studio album Tommy was released in May of 1969. This album was the make or break for the group because if Tommy had failed, The Who would have probably disbanded. Guitarist Pete Townshend came up with a rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind kid named Tommy whom becomes those aforementioned things after witnessing an event as a child that traumatized him(his father killing his step-father whom he considered his father). Alot of classics appear on this album like the Overture, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, the Underture(best instrumental on here), Go to the Mirror, I'm Free, Cousin Kevin(one of bassist John Entwistle's greatest compositions), Fiddle About(about the perverted Uncle Ernie), Tommy's Holiday Camp(another excellent ditty written by drummer Keith Moon whom did an excellent rendition in the film version of Tommy in 1975) and the finale We're Not Gonna Take It among many other classics. The 1996 remaster used different masters for the remixed reissue. However, this version uses the very original tapes that were found in Universal's vault after being said that the original tapes were destroyed by Kit Lambert in a fire. As a result of the discovery of the original tapes, the sound quality is amazing on here. I have yet to hear the surround mix but I know it will be great. Disc two has great outtakes and demos like I Was, The Who trying to record Sally Simpson with hilarious results and instrumental versions of Tommy Can You Hear Me and Tommy's Holiday Camp among many other rarities. Highly recommended.
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on May 6, 2004
The original versions of these songs I have to say are better than any I've heard. Sure, some of the songs on the movie soundtrack are pretty good(i.e. Cousin Kevin, The Acid Queen, Sally Simpson, Fiddle About). But, others on this album are far better(I'm Free, Pinball Wizard, Christmas, It's A Boy, Amazin Journey).
After hearing this album, I really want to write a rock opera myself.
Overture - 10/10
It's a Boy - 10/10
1921 - 10/10
Amazing Journey - 10/10
Sparks - 10/10
Eyesight to the Blind - 10/10
Christmas - 10/10
Cousin Kevin - 8/10 - I think the movie version is better. But, this one is equally good. Slow and melodic and creepy. =D
Acid Queen - 7/10 - I really love Tina Turner's version better.
Underture - 10/10 - Just beautiful to listen to all by itself.
Do You Think it's Alright? - 10/10
Fiddle About - 7/10 - Very good, but I prefer the movie version.
Pinball Wizard - 10/10 - Better than the movie version.
There's a Doctor - 10/10
Go to the Mirror - 10/10
Tommy, Can Your Hear Me? - 10/10 - Very folk sounding. And when they get to saying 'Tommy' over and over, sounds like a broken record. Very good. =)
Smash the Mirror - 10/10 - Very good to dance to.
Sensation - 10/10
Miracle Cure - 10/10 - Interesting little 12 second song.
Sally Simpson - 10/10 - I love this song.
I'm Free - 10/10 - Good music.
Welcome - 10/10 - Very laid-back song.
Tommy's Holiday Camp - 10/10 - This song is very fun and creepy in a way.
We're Not Gonna Take It - 10/10 - Better than the movie and a great way to end the album.
This album is nice to listen to on a rainy day or on a long car trip.
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on April 20, 2004
The first Who cd i bought was the Millennium Collection. I became obsessed with it and then I read the reviews. It made me realize that this timeless band was MUCH better even than I thought it was. Tommy is WOTHOUT A DOUBT a masterpeice. Some people think that a rock-opera is a silly idea. These people are ignorant and have no paitence, and most definitely have no taste in music. But I'm reviewing the actual album, right? OK.
Tommy is an album composed by Pete Townsend (*John Entwistle wrote "Fiddle About" and "Cousin Kevin"). in the late 60s. It was released in mid-1969. Tommy is a story about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who "sure plays a mean pinball." Tommy's father dies in battle before he is born, and his Mother tries to raise him. She meets another man and they wed. WHat happens next is the beginning of Tommy's journey that you will have to figure out for yourself.
Now, my biggest reccommendation to you besides buying the album is listening to it all the way through. If you don't the story literally means nothing and the songs seem very out of place. Do yourself a favor. Listen to it all the way through 2 or 3 times before you start skipping around to your favorite songs. You will thank me later, trust me. There are many tracks, but some are very short. Also, people who just try to pick out favorites completely overlook the less famous, but equally fantasic songs like 'Sally Simpson,' 'I'm Free,' The Acid Queen,' 'Cousin Kevin,' among others.
All in all, Tommy is a very highly recommended album, especially for every rock fan's library. Don't be fooled by the genre; "Rock-Opera." It is much more like a rock album. also, don't listen to people who say you should by all of their singles albums before you buy the concept albums (Tommy, Quadrophenia, and the debatable Who's Next). This is not true. Don't let Tommy be the first Who album you listen to, because it will be a lot to handle, and try to get a Who compilation first, but Tommy is a great intro. to their albums. The ultra-cheap Millennium Collection will do just fine for the compilation.
Happy listening!
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on February 18, 2004
Tommy never sounded better than in this hybrid SACD release. I don't have an SACD player, but have played other Hybrids on my normal player, and have noticed a vast improment in depth, clarity and overall dynamics. Pete's guitar, John's bass, Moon's drums and Roger's voice NEVER sounded more remarkable.
The bonus disc is a winner too. A few of the cuts are just the instrumental backing tracks. I find myself doing Kareoke to them. Pete and Roger have nothing to worry about with regard to my singing ability. The real treat is the studio chatter between Pete and Keith on track 7. Absolutely hilarious! This bonus disc is not just for avid collectors or completists only.
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on January 24, 2004
I have become an avid fan of SACD's in a short time. I have an SACD player with all the cords, the right receiver, and all the speakers. I have Pink Floyd, many of the Dylan remasters, the Police and even Elton John. The incredible clarity and experience of SACD's has me buying them just for the experience of the sound, it's that good. I recently purchased the Who - Tommy almost solely based on the fact it was an SACD. The sound is probably on par with Elton John's Yellow Brick Road, and right up there with the Pink Floyd. although it's more akin to the early Dylan efforts in some aspects, mono in stereo? For that alone it's cool.

Yet, it's really hard to believe this album has gotten the amount of kudu's it has over the 30 plus years it's been in existence. I mean, yeah, Keith Mooon's drumming is pretty wild but listening to it on SACD seems to be about the only way to really enjoy this album at all. So much of it is awkward and lacking in confidence. Who's Next absolutely blows it out of the water within the Rock n' Roll pantheon. I sort of wish rock history would be able to discern great works from some of these pretentious albums that continue to be considered important. And this comes from a fan of the Kinks, including Arthur and Village Green. At least those seem to have some sort of pastoral themes that continues to be an important theme in western art. But a blind guy playing Pong? It doesn't really have any resonance...
Having said that, the album is of incredible audio quality. I would gladly pay another $$ to get Who's Next on SACD. Hopefully, we will see quite a few new releases this year...
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