Tommy

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,353 ratings

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Product details

  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
  • Product Dimensions : 13.79 x 21.21 x 1.7 cm; 151.95 Grams
  • Manufacturer : Geffen Records
  • Item Model Number : 2072236
  • Run time : 5 hours and 54 minutes
  • Label : Geffen Records
  • ASIN : B0000DJZAH
  • Number of discs : 2
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,353 ratings

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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 5 August 2020
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Reviewed in Australia on 14 February 2021
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Mark Barry
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Amazing Journey..." - Tommy by THE WHO (The Original Album 2013 Remaster 1CD Reissue)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars "...Amazing Journey..." - Tommy by THE WHO (The Original Album 2013 Remaster 1CD Reissue)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2020
Some albums like Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon", Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and Steely Dan's "Aja" have been subject to a mind-blowing amount of CD and Audiophile reissues in the UK, USA and Japan – and it seems like The Who's 1969 double-album Rock Opera "Tommy" has been the same.

But which one do you splash the cash on? Well from my itsy-bitsy seagull perch in sunny but pooped upon Margate, I'd argue that although the 2CD Deluxe Edition has that fab live set on Disc 2 as a genuine bonus (recorded in Canada but thought lost) - if you're on a budget and still want uncompromising quality - then this humble 2013 Single CD Remaster for under six quid is the proverbial dogs dangly bits. Here are the acid queens and pinball wizards...

UK released Friday, 11 November 2013 - "Tommy: The Original Album 2013 Remaster" by THE WHO on Polydor/Universal/Track Records 3747403 (Barcode 602537474035) is the original 1969 double-album reissued and remastered onto 1CD and plays out as follows (74:58 minutes):

1. Overture [Side 1]
2. It's A Boy
3. 1921
4. Amazing Journey
5. Sparks
6. Eyesight For The Blind (The Hawker)
7. Christmas [Side 2]
8. Cousin Kevin
9. The Acid Queen
10. Underture
11. Do You Think It's Alright? [Side 3]
12. Fiddle About
13. Pinball Wizard
14. There's A Doctor
15. Go To The Mirror!
16. Tommy Can You Hear Me?
17. Smash The Mirror
18. Sensation
19. Miracle Cure [Side 4]
20. Sally Simpson
21. I'm Free
22. Welcome
23. Tommy's Holiday Camp
24. We're Not Gonna Take It
Tracks 1 to 24 are the double-album "Tommy" - released 17 May 1969 in the USA on Decca DSXW 7205 and 23 May 1969 in the UK on Track Records 613 013/4. Original copies came with a 'libretto' booklet featuring lyrics and drawings pertinent to the 'Rock Opera' – all of it is reproduced in the 24-page CD booklet with added reissue credits. Pete Townshend wrote all the songs except "Cousin Kevin" and "Fiddle About" by John Entwistle, "Tommy's Holiday Camp” by Keith Moon and "Eyesight To The Blind" aka "The Hawker" which is a cover of a Sonny Boy Williamson song. It peaked at No. 2 and No. 4 respectively on the UK and US albums charts.

THE WHO was:
ROGER DALTREY – Lead Vocals and Harmonica
PETE TOWNSHEND – Guitars, Keyboards, Lead and Backing Vocals
JOHN ENTWISTLE – Bass, French Horn, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Lead and Backing Vocals
KEITH MOON – Drums, Tympani, Gong, Tambourine, Lead and Backing Vocals

Two things jump to mind – the fabulous new 2013 sound that feels like a real improvement on the overly loud 1996 initial effort and the underwhelming 2003 SACD effort. This latest audio restoration return to the original tapes by JON ASTLEY and MYLES CLARKE now sports a rather beautifully balanced feel between poise and power – much like the music itself. The acoustic guitar strings rattle and the riffs punch like they have been unleashed and on faves like the five-minutes of "Amazing Journey", the gorgeously rich acoustic/drums ten minutes of "Underture" and the gloriously bombastic finisher "We're Not Going to Take It" – you want to press replay to go back to the start - take me away once again baby (surely the best compliment a Remaster can be given).

The other thing that jumps to mind once you've settled in with the reissue is that while the booklet at 24-pages is aesthetically pleasing to look at – it's a damn shame that an essay on the double-album's history and impact wasn't included – especially given Tommy's astonishing 50-year legacy. I can remember as a kid pouring over every nuance of this beasty and every time it felt like you discovered something new. There is no sense of that impact on this singular CD version which is a shame...still to the good bits...

The opening strums of "Overture" leap out of the speakers, as does that familiar acoustic/electric guitar melody - horns too. "It's A Boy Mrs. Walker..." Townshend sings and the clarity is fabulous as is that segue into "1921" which as I recall dipped a little on the SACD version I've had. Entwistle's Bass notes threaten your living room on "Sparks" while their cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Eyesight To The Blind" (changed over the years to "The Hawker" from the original label name) hears Daltrey and Moon right up in yer face. Side 2 opens with "Christmas" where children wake up 'excited' but Tommy doesn't know what day it is - silent and unaware of anything. The deeply sinister "Cousin Kevin" is the first of two Entwistle compositions - the other is "Fiddle About" - both featuring abuse of the deaf, dumb and blind kid. I remember I had the picture sleeve single of "Acid Queen" when Merry Clayton covered it for the 1973 double-remake of Tommy - it was issued as a 45 in the UK on Ode Records with "Underture" as its flipside (ODS 66301). Here the Who original remaster feels huge, as does "Underture" in all its instrumental glory. By the time we get to "Pinball Wizard" (the obvious single) - I'm sold on this 2013 version - fantastic song that stills packs a whack (sure plays a mean pinball for sure). And on it goes to forgotten album gems like the ego-trip song "Sensation", the blue Rolls Royce tune "Sally Simpson" and the unexpectedly pretty "Welcome" - finally stomping its legend status with "I'm Free" and that massive finisher "We're Not Going To Take It" where Tommy is aware and advising you to put in your earplugs...

For sure in 2020, "Tommy" is of its '1969 time' and truth be told, I probably return more to their 1973 double "Quadrophenia" because the music in my mind is even better. But what a great urge-splurge this early studio double-album was and still is. Re-visiting "Tommy" has been a joy and revelation.

See me, feel me, touch me - well I think this latest variant allows a punter to do just that and with genuinely improved audio too and for not a lot of wedge either. And The Who truly did have an amazing journey ahead...
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14 people found this helpful
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igloo
3.0 out of 5 stars OK sound quality, there are better remasters, original vinyl is better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 January 2020
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3 people found this helpful
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mr r s hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Classic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 July 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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T. Bucknall
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! a major record company gets why we buy bootlegs!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 October 2016
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6 people found this helpful
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Crowshott
5.0 out of 5 stars Tommy can you hear me. YES
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 October 2019
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One person found this helpful
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