Thursday, November 09, 2006

145. The Who - Tommy (1969)

Track Listing

1. Overture
2. It's A Boy
3. 1921
4. Amazing Journey
5. Sparks
6. Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
7. Christmas
8. Cousin Kevin
9. Acid Queen
10. Underture
11. Do You Think It's Alright
12. Fiddle About
13. Pinball Wizard
14. There's A Doctor
15. Go To The Mirror
16. Tommy
17. Can You Hear Me
18. Smash The Mirror
19. Sensation
20. Miracle Cure
21. Sally Simpson
22. I'm Free
23. Welcome
24. Tommy's Holiday Camp
25. We're Not Gonna Take It


There are some good things to be said about Tommy. Firstly it is very accomplished technicaly. Secondly it sounds pretty good, in fact musically there is a lot to enjoy here, and thirdly it is quite an innovative thing, to create a Rock Opera.

There are a lot of bad things with Tommy. It is a wankathon, it is pretentious and does not pull it off because it ends up being on the wrong side of stupid. The concept is risible, a mute, deaf and blind boy becomes a Pinball champion and recovers his senses to found a cult! The less said about the lyrics the better, and it sounds like they are being serious as well! It is a slightly retarded high-school dropout idea of what art is all about. Let's be arty shall we? Yeah loads of crazy and deep ideas and lets call it a rock opera! Even though there's nothing operatic about it, no sets, no acting, but we don't know what a lieder or a song-cycle is so we call it an opera!

Ok, so the concept is retarded, a lot of the tracks exist for the sake of advancing the flimsy plot onward and those are trashable, the album feels overly long, and where The Who really shine is on the instrumentals or in the tracks which are not as confined by the stupid concept. Because, as I said before, they are fucking brilliant technically, the acoustic guitar rocks harder than ever before, Keith Moon is an amazing drummer... other than that it is a bit stupid. Well, I do think you should listen to it, it is a landmark, so either stream it from Napster or buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Sparks
2. Underture
3. Pinball Wizard
4. Overture

Final Grade

7/10 (if they weren't so good technically or the songs weren't so catchy it would go down to 1, lost 3 points to concept and lyrics here).


I could put parts of the film here, but it is so astonishingly bad that I won't inflict it on you, so here's The Who playing Pinball Wizard:

Roger Daltrey is not the messiah... he's a very naughty boy.

No comments: