From the Vault...


The Who

© Decca Records

Year of Release: 1973

track listing
Disc One:
  • I Am The Sea
  • The Real Me
  • Quadrophenia
  • Cut My Hair
  • The Punk Meets
    The Godfather
  • I'm One
  • The Dirty Jobs
  • Helpless Dancer
  • Is It In My Head
  • I've Had Enough
    Disc Two:
  • 5:15
  • Sea And Sand
  • Drowned
  • Bell Boy
  • Dr. Jimmy
  • The Rock
  • Love Reign O'er Me

  • WSVNRadio Archives
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    The Who

    The Who returns once again, as our Album Pick of the Week, with a classic: Quadrophenia, from 1973. I first discovered this album as a soundtrack to the film of the same name on vinyl. The actual Who version of the album was brought to my attention more, as some of the songs were on various radio shows I had done with friends, back in the early 1980s. I had never seen the film, but one thing to agree on, is that the soundtrack and the Who release were exceptional. Another "rock opera" as it was called for the Who, as their previous successful opera, was 1969's Tommy.

    Quadrophenia, (both the soundtrack and by The Who) was a 2-album set. Obvious remembrances are "The Real Me," "5:15," and the anthem "Love Reign O'er Me." All of the remaining tracks may not have stood out for some, but overall, this album ranks as truly one of the many best that The Who had ever recorded.

    The album leads off with "I Am The Sea." Like Tommy, this song is a bridge of various pieces of songs from Quadrophenia, as the phrase "Is it me for the moment," becomes a staple throughout the album; not just by hearing the lyrics, but the melody as well. Everyone remembers this line, right before it kicks into one of the best songs The Who recorded -- "The Real Me."

    The title track is more of a Rock Opera theme, as it showcases melodies of "Love Reign O'er Me." "Cut My Hair" is more of a ballad, as it features the melody of a later song, "5:15."

    The rest of the first album - "The Punk And The Godfather," "I'm One," "The Dirty Jobs," "Hopeless Dancer" -- are not your familiar Who tunes, yet I do recall the track "I've Had Enough," from the radio shows we did, back in the early 1980s. [All great tracks, though, nonetheless...] (And another mention from the second album of a track from the radio shows - "Bell Boy.")

    Continuing the "not your familiar Who tunes" ... "Sea And Sand," "Drowned" (which has the melody from "5:15"), the rocking "Dr. Jimmy. "The Rock" is a preparation for the album's closing and most familiar track, "Love Reign O'er Me."

    Quadrophenia is a classic. The name is a variation of the terms schizophrenia, and quadrophonic sound. (The tale is about the distinct personalities of the character "Jimmy," which was said to be that of one of the members of the Who. (It was not known which member, but my guess would be drummer Keith Moon.) In 2009, Pete Townshend noted that Jimmy's personalities did represent each member of the Who: A tough guy, a helpless dancer - Roger Daltrey, A romantic, is it me for a moment? - John Entwistle, A bloody lunatic, I'll even carry your bags - Keith Moon, A beggar, a hyprocrite, love reign o'er me - Pete Townshend.

    Interesting notes: Two songs, which were never released on a Who album, "Long Live Rock" and "Join Together" were recorded around 1972. Whether these two songs were to be included on Quadrophenia is unknown. Both songs were released in later years on Who compilation albums.

    Quadrophenia is listed as one of the many best albums recorded of all time, ranking #314 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time. The film's cast included a young gentleman by the name of Sting, who would become famous later in the band The Police. The music has been featured by others, including the band Phish, and surviving members of The Who performed at London's Hyde Park, in 1996. This concert was released on DVD in 2005. Cast members included Zak Starkey (drums), Gary Glitter, and David Gilmour. The Who performed Quadrophenia again at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010. Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was a cast member. In 2012, The Who started a 37 date tour of Quadrophenia. There is a sequel planned for Quadrophenia, and also in the works, is a biography movie based on the life of drummer Keith Moon.

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    Previous Review: #1382
    Russ Morgan--The Best Of Russ Morgan: Music In The Morgan Manner
    Next Review: #1384
    Elton John--A Single Man