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Tommy

The Who

1969

Tommy

Album Summary

Tommy is the fourth studio album by the English rock band The Who, a double album first released on 17 May 1969. The album was mostly composed by guitarist Pete Townshend, and is a rock opera that tells the story of Tommy Walker, a "deaf, dumb and blind" boy, including his experiences with life and his relationship with his family. Townshend came up with the concept of Tommy after being introduced to the work of Meher Baba, and attempted to translate Baba's teachings into music. Recording on the album began in September 1968, but took six months to complete as material needed to be arranged and re-recorded in the studio. Tommy was acclaimed upon its release by critics, who hailed it as The Who's breakthrough. Its critical standing diminished slightly in later years; nonetheless, several writers view it as an important and influential album in the history of rock music. The Who promoted the album's release with an extensive tour, including a live version of Tommy, which lasted throughout 1969 and 1970. Key gigs from the tour included appearances at Woodstock, the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, the University of Leeds, the Metropolitan Opera House, and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. The live performances of Tommy drew critical praise and revitalized the band's career. Subsequently, the rock opera developed into other media, including a Seattle Opera production in 1971, an orchestral version by Lou Reizner in 1972, a film in 1975, and a Broadway musical in 1992. The original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It has been reissued several times on CD, including a remix by Jon Astley in 1996, a deluxe Super Audio CD in 2003, and a super deluxe box set in 2013, including previously unreleased demos and live material.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.4

Votes

4812

Genres

  • Rock
  • Hard Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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5

The tale of a boy who endures abuse, reaches stardom, becomes a messianic figure, and ultimately has his cult turn on him feels like some kind of loose metaphor for the 60s. There's something really admirable about the ambition and execution of this record: the first real rock opera. And for the most part, I think the Who hit the mark (barring a few tracks that don't quite stand up as well). I particularly appreciate how the band works so well within their musical language, rather than taking too many ill-advised detours. At its highest highs, this album is something almost otherworldly. This era, 1967-1971, is the Who at their best. Rating 4.5/5 Favourite tracks: "Go To The Mirror!", "I'm Free", "Pinball Wizard", "Amazing Journey", and "Underture"

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5

Other bands that describe their albums as "concept albums" sure sound silly after you hear Tommy. I can't believe Pete was only 23 when he wrote this masterpiece.   He is also one of the best acoustic players and has the knowledge of music and the guitar that allows him to compose and play things that few others can. The strumming after the initial vocals in the  Overture shows his prowess on acoustic.  Amazing Journey is one of the best songs ever written and was made for a live Who performance as there are lots of short pauses between chords so Pete can windmill and jump, plenty of 5 second breaks from singing so Roger can twirl the mic, and ample opportunities for ass kicking drum and bass sequences. When they played Tommy  live, Amazing Journey is when the rocket that is a Who concert blasts off. Tis the season . . .  The song Christmas is amazing. Moon is on fire.  Cousin Kevin is an excellent song about the school bully. Pete asked John to write the two songs that addressed bullying and molesting since John was better at creepy songs. I guess Boris the Spider was the creepy example pre-Tommy. John stepped up and wrote two good creepy ones.   The Acid Queen was perfect for the times given the popularity of experimenting with acid.  Sure the underture is a little too long but this really is a musical so it comes with the territory. The two opening chords to Pinball Wizard are iconic. Since Pete is as far as you can get from a three chord wonder, the two chords are difficult for mere mortals. The fingering for the two opening chords are: 7x997x and 7x987x so the 1st and 5th strings must be deadened. This means strumming the other four strings very quickly while making sure the 6th string is in play but the 5th and 1st aren't. Next time a guitar is nearby, ask the best player in the room to try and make those chords sound right. And wish him luck. Some of the lesser known songs are now among my favourites.  Songs like Go To The Mirror! and Sally Simpson with excellent keyboards that I think were played by Pete?? (I wouldn't have been surprised to see an Ian Stewart credit but there are no credits for him or anyone else.) We're Not Gonna Take is an amazing finish. Yeah See Me Feel Me gets a little long the 5 millionth time I heard it. But hey, the sun rose at Woodstock when they played this song. After Jimi upstaged them by burning his guitar at Monterey, time was their friend as they evened the score at Woodstock. Who fans will tell you that this album fails to capture the energy the Who has live. Anyone who assumes the studio version of Tommy is The Who's sound would find the Live at Leeds album eye opening since it contains some of the non-Tommy songs The Who played on the Tommy tour and gives a hint of how Tommy was played live. I had a bootleg  called Gather Your Wits (a line from the Acid Queen),  that was the full concert from the Tommy tour and the difference in rawness and energy was unbelievable.  It's interesting that Pete gave Moon the songwriting credit for Tommy's Holiday Camp since Pete wrote it. I expect it was a way for him to give Moon some extra cash from the royalties. Pete also had an obscure unreleased Keith Moon composition be the B side for the Tommy single which would have also been a financial windfall for Keith.

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4

The first real rock opera and certainly one of the greatest. I have to admire the vision and bravery it took to bring this project to completion. And I love that the arrangements were such that they could essentially play the whole of it live. Not bogged down with an orchestra and the like. Can you imagine seeing this live back in the day? My stepdad did and said they played Tommy through, then took an intermission and came back and basically played a whole nother set worth of their other material. The energy and stamina each of them possessed! Some absolute anthems in here. Only thing that really threw me off was "Tommy's Holiday Camp"

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4

Until today, known as the album William Miller was told to listen to with a candle burning so he could see his future. Zooey Deschanel knows of what she speaks of. Listen to this thing in order as the rock opera Townshend intended it to be. Both surprised and not surprised by how much I love this thing. Does Townshend sing lead on too many of the songs? Probably, but this is his baby, and Daltrey does justifiably handle lead vocals on the most famous song ("Pinball Wizard"). I have a sneaky suspicion a number of Who albums could get 5 ratings from me. And this is somewhere between a 4 and a 5. It's just a little too long. Maybe I just need to light a candle while listening to it.

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3

Dear Diary....it's been about 20 days since our last Who album. I fear we may never hear another band again. Out of morbid curiosity, I looked and saw only five Who albums on this list, and we've had four in our first 80. Something tells me these things are like the heads of the Hydra—for each one you finish, two more are created. Tommy is in an interesting experiment that overstays its welcome. The movie was entertaining, but not even "Pinball Wizard" is worth 75 minutes of generic opera-rock. Technically this fits in the "classics week" category, but it's not a classic for my taste. Favorite tracks: Pinball Wizard, I’m Free, Acid Queen. Album art: Intriguing design, I can tell someone worked hard on this. It’s very recognizable but doesn’t hold much weight for me. I’ll always think the “Who’s next?” cover is their best. 3/5

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2

Just can’t get through it. Not invested in the concept. I don’t think it holds up otherwise.

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2

This album is an utter, rotten mess. There is one hit and the rest is stream-of-conciousness rot. There's no structure to most of the songs and the story they tell is utterly reprehensible and pointless. The ONLY reason this is getting 2 stars is because "Pinball Wizard" is still pretty good, though I don't like it as much as I did before I had this album as context. What a waste of time.

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5

The best moments for me come with the Who's special brand of pop/rock in tracks like 'The Acid Queen', 'I'm Free' and the absolute classic 'Pinball Wizard'. There's also a few daft moments from Keith Moon, like 'Tommy's Holiday Camp' and 'Uncle Ernie' (albeit with a sinister story). The rest is powerful rock music that's well played and sung. Like most double albums, it does sag in places, still this is a knockout classic album.

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5

The movie Tommy was on HBO a lot when I was about 11 years old. I remember circling all of the times it aired in the HBO guide that came in the mail so that I could tune in for the last ten minutes of every airing and watch Tommy scrabble over all those rocks singing, "I get excitement at your feet!" I hoped none of my siblings would come in the room and interrupt, tears streaming down my face as I watched Tommy raise his arms, palms open toward the enormous rising sun. This was more spiritual to me than anything that happened at church. I found the rest of the movie pretty incomprehensible. But the music, especially "Listening to You" and its reprise that played over the end credits, was as moving a thing as I'd ever heard. I didn't get the original studio album until college. But once I did, it became one of my favorites. I still get a little choked up when I listen to it. Thanks Pete, Roger, John, and Keith for taking me to church. I love you for it.

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4

Such an interesting record, and I agree with Nick's sentiments that the narrative of "Tommy" feels like Townsend's cynical summary of the late 60s/Summer of Love. While this narrative is not entirely clear at times, the grand concept and sonic atmosphere of "Tommy" elevates it to a higher plane. But I wonder if the concept of a blind Tommy actually plays well into the dense storytelling. I enjoyed the interplay between the hard rock that the Who are known for, to the more fragile, softer moments. I don't think I've noticed the double tracked vocals of Daultry before, which might sound counterintuitive because of his huge voice, but it really adds to the spacey/ethereal vocals. "Tommy" feels like a signpost to show where rock music was headed into the 1970s. Fav Tracks: I'm Free, Sparks, Pinball Wizard, Underture, Go To The Mirror!, Amazing Journey Rating: 4.5/5

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4

A wholly interesting album that screams "rock opera." The album is at times catchy (Pinball Wizard), at times disturbing (Fiddle About), but on its whole it was a joy to listen to and a feat for The Who to accomplish. Following Tommy throughout his life, I suppose it would make sense to visit all of the ups and the downs, because that is what makes up all of our lives. Parts of it put me off, but in the end the album won me over.

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4

It's long, and self-indulgent, and it's not perfect. But it's damn good. Concept albums are always a tricky business because it's hard to pull it off without sounding like you're patting yourself on the back for the whole thing, lauding how clever you are. And the idea of this album, as narrative heavy and out-there as it is, is certainly lofty and far-fetched. But in all fairness, the writing, imagination, and delivery on this album are great. The whole album works as a single body of work, while also having some excellent single material, like Pinball Wizard, I'm Free, The Acid Queen... and both Overture and Underture are a delight to listen to. It does feel bloated at times, and at it's points of greatest contrivances, it is a bit ridiculous. But you've got to say that in as far as they could, they pulled this one off

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3

Good album with some classic who tracks. Dragged on a bit

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2

Cool story song and theme about Tommy but not a big fan of the lyrics “we’re going to rape you”

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1

R Kelly did it better.

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1

It's shit isn't it? People need to stop pretending it's good. The most rock overrated album ever

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5

Pinball ball wizard

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5

Loved it! I've never listened to this album but it was an awesome journey. I can see why people went crazy for it.

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5

Spotify only had disk 1 and 3 I enjoy rock opera/albums that tell a story Only listened to released album, no demo or live

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5

Classic! However, I really only knew Pinball Wizard, but this whole album is a banger. 'Christmas' and 'Underture' are my other stand-outs thus far.

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5

Classic 70s concept album! Love it!

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5

A classic.

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5

I knew many of these songs before listening to the album in full, but it was great to hear them all connected to better understand the full concept

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5

This is a tough one to give a 5 to. I didn't find it a particularly enjoyable album, frankly, but it's clearly competent musically. I'm giving it a 5 mostly for its sheer scope and ability to make you feel things, even if it wasn't always pleasant.

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5

Pinball Wizarddd

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5

Classic! One of the original rock musicals. Some controversial themes. Great music

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5

Simplesmente foda

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5

First great who album

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5

Escutei metade, incrível!!

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5

I know The Who are one of the most influential rock bands, but this is the first album I've listened to. I've got to say, I love this! Would love to see the this production on stage.

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5

Topic

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5

Amazing

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5

Oh YES YES YES!!

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5

I mean, it's Tommy. I don't know what else to say.

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5

Truly epic! There's a reason that this is THE quintessential rock opera. Jam packed with fun, rock n' roll, and cameos.

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5

Enjoyed the live half of this more than I typically do. Lots of classics, and of course got Pinball Wizard stuck in my head for hours after this.

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5

A sort of depressing loop, but purely cinematic and and wonderful. My only complaint is that songs tended to be incredibly samey.

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5

The first real rock opera!!!

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5

😍

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5

This has big nostalgic vibes for me, since it was a large part of me growing up. Apart from a single skip, it's basically still perfect to me.

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5

O The Whosach napisalem juz wszystko co zem wiedzial na dwoch poprzednich albumach, ktore chronologicznie ustawione byly akurat miedzy dzisiejszym pickiem, magnum opus bandy jakim niewatpliwie jest Tommy, czyli plyta z gatunku oper rokowych traktujaca o gluchym, glupim i slepym biednym chlopcu zwanym Tommy, od wczesnego dziecinstwa, przez dorastanie jako wyalienowany inwalida, gnebienie w rodzienie, szukania sposobow na uzdrowienie, muzyke, znalezienie pinballowego sensu zycia, do zostania bozkiem, ktory jest wykorzystywany do robienia piniedzy przez dobrego wujaszka, a ta historia opowiedziana jest w 24 aktach, bo tyle wlasnie kawalkow ma ten 75 minutowy album, a jak to byla z dobrymi lirykami, a takimi stoi cala plyta, Pete Townshend potrafi przekazac cos wiecej niz tylko opowiesc na danym traku, a cos znacznie bardziej osobistego, jesli chodzi o strone instrumentalna plyta ta poprzedza live at leeds, ktora czerpie wlasnie z Tommiego, wiec album byl nagrywany z mysla o tym zeby go sprzedac na zywca, a polaczyc to z trzymajaca sie kupy historia to nie lada sztuka, najlpeszy zywy tommy jakie slyszalem to nagranie z Ottawy z 69, wiec z roku wydania albumu, na plycie nie ma zadnych sesyjnych muzykow, a jedynie czterech czlonkow bandy, z nietypowych instrumentali pojawia sie harmonijka, puzon lub trabka francuza, czy bonjo, ciezko wybierac plejkowe utwory z tak konceptowego albumu, ktory warto przesluchac od poczatku do konca zeby uzyskac pelnowymiarowe doswiadczenie, ale na liscie mialem juz pinballowego wizarda, to dodam jeszcze songa o leczeniu tommiego przez pimpa hawkera, eyesight to the blind i zamykajacy calosc song we are not gonna take it, gdzie kampowicze daja do zrozumienia, ze nie sa w stanie podazac za naukami pinballowej religii, ktora moze byc nawiazaniem do rewolucji dzieco kwiatowej, ktora w 69 juz zaczynala umierac, jak wszystkie albumiki piecio gwiazdkowe calosc leci na spotifajowa poleczke biblioteczna

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5

The Overture and Underture pieces sound a bit cliched now, but in 1969 they were probably cutting-edge, and of course, apropos for the first Rock Opera. The songs seem a bit stripped down by today’s standards, more acoustic than I remember, but that makes them riper for the orchestrated and produced versions that followed. Lots of great tracks, like the series that starts with Amazing Journey. Like the album that preceded it, I’m surprised Pete does so much singing. I was going to give it a 4, but since I gave George Jones a 4....

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5

Incredible. Loved the Album front to back. Had heard the big hits before on thr Album but they work much better in chronological order.

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5

Wow, what a trip. I went through a big Who phase in my teens. I've listened to this album probably 30 times and every time it makes me stop what I'm doing to listen to every lyric. It's so so so good. Not many of these songs would be considered some of their greatest hits, but every song is fantastic in its story telling. How can he be saved??? See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal me. Favorite Tracks: Overture, Christmas, Cousin Kevin, Pinball Wizard, and I'm Free.

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5

A rock opera about a boy who is blind, deaf, and mute but sells his soul to an old gypsy woman in order to become a world class pinball player by playing with his sense of smell. I didn’t have enough LSD on hand to enjoy it the way it’s meant to be enjoyed, but it’s a true original and a great classic rock album.

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5

Surprisingly good!

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5

Well worth every bit of praise it gets.

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5

Pinball Wizard was a staple of my childhood. I knew there was a full story across this double LP rock opera, but I never really paid attention to the story until today, and now I’m eager to spend several more hours with this album and to watch the movie. The overture has that great French horn, sets up the premise with a few lines, and ends on a wonderful guitar rift. 1921 is delightful and soothing, which hides the horrific gaslighting lyrics as the parents tell Tommy he didn’t see a murder. Although, I do wish I had listened more to “Got a feeling ‘21 is going to be a good year” more last year. I loved Underture! A wonderful rock symphony. The guitar, the rumbling kettle drums. Oh, momma! I’m a huge fan of funk, so sign me up for more Smash the Mirror! I jammed to the piano in Sally Simpson. The whimsical Tommy’s Holiday Camp makes me smile and laugh at the absurdity of this crazy amazing journey. This weekend I plan to listen to it again on vinyl and read the lyrics in real time to go another layer deeper. PS - the intro to Pinball Wizard will be my new walkout music

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5

Fun, original, 4.5

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5

I LOVE the movie Tommy. In college we had a weeklong fundraiser where we showed Tommy for 6 nights in a row. I was the projectionist and watched the movie 13 times that week - never tiring of it. I absolutely love the music but had only heard the soundtrack with The Who, Ann-Margret, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Jack Nicholson, Elton John et. al. I don’t know that I’ve ever listened to the original album in its entirety. Excited to do so now! I must admit to being a little bit underwhelmed by some of the performances on this album. Ann-Margret, Tina Turner and Elton John outdo these performances by leaps and bounds. So there were times I wished I was listening to the movie version. But there were several points where I liked what was going on on the album better. And it would be unfair to knock this for not living up to a star-studded, full-blown theatrical version. I love ths album. A great concept supported by great music.

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5

Another very grand rock album! Although I sometime find myself comparing tracks to the movie soundtrack versions (probably because I knew the movie before I knew this album), Tommy by The Who is another amazing work of art on this list!!

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5

This took some audacity to make, and I love that about it. A double album telling the epic story of... well, maybe it's not an epic story but it involves playing pinball. It's always been weird and mysterious enough to be quite compelling. I love that it feels like what it created, a rock opera. It feels orchestral but it's all rock instrumentation...plus French horn, of course. While many of the songs, although being part of a sequence, are great standalone songs, it's not true for them all. "Fiddle About" may be the most horrifying thing I've heard all year. *shudder* But as a whole, listening to this felt like an event today and it was great.

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5

This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I get a lot of the same feelings from this that I had as a child at our evangelical Christian church (I'm an atheist now). I thought those feelings of joy, excitement, and wonder came from God and Jesus but it was really the music and stories. What a wild story Tommy is and the music is fucking great---love those instrumental tracks.

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5

Projet ambitieux, construction solide... "Underture" demeure ma pièce préférée.

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5

This album is a pretty impressive accomplishment, a complete story told over an hour solid classic/prog rocks tracks skillfully composed using a number of interesting techniques such as reccuring motifs, lyrical themes and segues. I did find it to be a little slow in parts, imo not all the tracks necessitate their inclusion on the album, but overall as one of the first rock opera / concept albums it stands up well and kicked off a style of musical composition that I love.

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5

10/10. Completely incomprehensible, worse by miles and miles than Quadrophenia, and "Fiddle About" ruins the entire listening experience every time, but still a very good album.

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5

I've loved this album for years, so this an easy 5 for me. I love the whole rock-opera concept - I know a lot of people criticize this album as overblown. Yeah, the story is dense and weird (and the movie is even weirder!), but it holds together both musically and thematically. There's so much I love about this album. Favorite moments include all the instrumentals (Overture - love the acoustic guitar part; Sparks; Underture); the thundering bass at 3:25 of Amazing Journey particularly when performed live - John Entwistle was a BEAST; Pinball Wizard (great track); We're Not Gonna Take It including the anthemic ending (this is a week of anthemic endings - at least this one doesn't involve necrophilia like "I Love the Dead"); all the repeating motifs - "see me, feel me" "Tommy can you hear me" plus the repeating musical motifs; Keith Moon's drumming. I also love the line "You've been told many times before, Messiahs pointed to the door, but no one had the guts to leave the temple." I could go on and on. Oh, and TIL that Eyesight to the Blind was a cover. I had no idea. Go check out Sonny Boy Williamson's original. I've listened to this album more times than I can count, but it was fun to dig in again. I ended up watching clips from the movie and from the 1989 all-star performance including Billy Idol, Patti LaBelle, Phil Collins, and Elton John. I remember watching that when it came out. Definitely an album worth hearing many times before I die!

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5

the who changed music forever with tommy. a concept album, yes, but a rock opera most importantly. it has all of the characteristics of a stage musical: overture/underture, recycling melodies, reprises. perfect for adapting into a movie! the who were influential for a few reasons but i stand by my belief that creating the first rock opera was their most important contribution to the world. this album takes you on such a journey alongside tommy. yes, perhaps some suspension of disbelief is involved and it is such a product of the sixties. you meet such a range of characters (including a sexual abuser! cool, she said sarcastically) while tommy journeys through a traumatic incident as a child to becoming a cult leader. obviously, i enjoy the story a lot but the music! the who is so solid; tommy's instrumentation is without flaw. i know this album quite well, but it's still surprising to me that "we're not going to take it," one of the who's most notable songs, a protest song, comes from this album. it has transcended tommy to stand on its own! "you've got to play pinball/and put in your ear plugs/put on your eye shades/you know where to put the cork"

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5

Classic rock opera.

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5

Classic. Interesting hearing the studio versions since I’m mostly familiar with Live at Leeds.

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5

Really cool! I feel like I didn't fully get the story, though, need to listen again.

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5

The WHO at their very apex.

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5

Love it, literally everything is great, love the detuned and dissonant guitars, Keith's frenetic Energy, it all works so well. A dark story but true to life in many aspects.

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5

iconic

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5

Wow. Musically amazing. Will have to give it a few more listens to get the story/message processed. Reminds me a lot of The Wall, but with a more positive vibe. After two listens, I discovered how little I know about The Who beyond the radio hits of the 70's. Amazing.

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5

When I was ~9 yrs old I used to check out this record from our local library - they'd package it up in this ginormous special packaging and I'd trundle it home under my tiny arm, what a sight that must have been hahaha. (I wasn't allowed to watch the (weirdasshit) movie that had just started airing on HBO though...) This album (obviously) has a long history for me and was/is one of the pillars for my love of imaginative music - music that is at once bombastic, melodic, sometimes ridiculous, aggressive, a little scary, mysterious, powerful. I became a big Who fan for some years starting at that point, which at times frustrated me - I often felt that they should have been ... better? they had a relatively short peak (which this album marked the start of) that matched any band in history, but couldn't sustain. And during my later teenage years when I was more a fan of hard rock I learned that this album was released when it wasn't completely finished (according to Pete Townshend) - at the time I wanted some of the tracks to have been bigger/louder. But that would have been disastrous - a lot of the space in some of these songs gives room for that mystery. Plus the extended "Live At Leeds" with the full Tommy performance gives that hard rock edge if you need it... Tommy the story [for the few that wouldn't know, this is a concept album, if not the original concept album...] is both essential (i.e. about half of these songs would seem half as good out of context of the album) and ridiculous at the same time. Doesn't really matter that it doesn't always make sense; there's a flow to it that when I listen to it for the first time in a while (today, in fact) makes it impossible to not go through the entire 75 minutes. Obvious highlights here are the alltime single "Pinball Wizard" - which has been overplayed on classic radio for at least 30 years, but when it kicks in midway through the album you remember why - and the epic closer "We're Not Gonna Take It" but put on some headphones and listen to the entirety as picking out two famous singles almost deflates the entire project. "Amazing Journey" indeed - 10/10 5 stars.

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5

yes. absolute yes. love everything about it

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5

Not as good as The Who Sell Out but still a classic album of course.

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5

Saw it in London in ‘96. Loved it then; love it now!

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5

I had forgotten just how good this album really is. Simply impressive and fun. The whole thing could easily have flopped but The Who knocked it out of the park.

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5

rock opera, album concept, what more do you want?

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5

Innovation at its best. Fun album all around

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5

It’s a Rock Opera!

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5

I have this in five different formats. The original LP, open reel tape, cassette, CD and digital. I used to also have it in 8 Track but the foam pressure pads disintegrated so I threw them away.

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5

Amazing sound throughout. Very repeatable.

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5

Love this album

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5

Without the context of the story, this album doesn't make much sense. And some of the songs haven't aged that well. But this is a very important album for me. I heard it and the music, certainly not the story, really resonated with me. "Amazing Journey" and "Acid Queen" are two of my favorite deep cuts.

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5

As far as Who rock operas go I prefer Quadrophenia, but the scope of this album is impressive, especially for when it was released.

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5

5 LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Favorites Include: Overture, 1921, Amazing Journey, Cousin Kevin, The Acid Queen, Fiddle About, Pinball Wizard, Tommy Can You Hear Me?, Miracle Cure, I’m Free, We’re Not Gonna Take It

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5

Transcendent. I dont always agree with this list of albums, but this is an insanely great record that everyone needs to hear. 5/5

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4

Epic, and the ones that aren’t overplayed are great

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4

One of the founders of hard rock, at this moment the album isn't that special to listen to, but this was unheard of at the time.

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4

Apparently, I like concept albums. I'm typically not a huge fan of The Who, but this one is an easy 4 stars for me.

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4

beautiful but quite a long album

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4

Some great songs. Some very forgettable ones. Album was a very long for my liking but pretty solid.

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4

La música que hicieron para este disco es sin duda excelente: arreglos de voces, solos de guitarra, hasta el uso de motivos que se repiten en toda la obra al estilo de la música clásica. Además, romper con la base de los sencillos comerciales de tres minutos era todavía algo novedoso en aquel entonces. No más por eso se lleva, facilito, una buena calificación. Por el lado personal, sin embargo, aunque los discos conceptuales me gustan, este a veces es muy largo y muy rebuscado dentro de su mismo concepto… Quizá la película podría ser más interesante, pues lo que me falta es ver las imágenes.

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4

Epic and nostalgic

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4

Probably a classic

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4

Siempre he sido demasiado fan del pinball; si tuviera suficiente dinero una larguísima fila de máquinas sería uno de los proyectos sin sentido que seguramente realizaría de inmediato. En algún momento entre los 13-14 años estando en las maquinitas vi una máquina que tocaba una y otra vez el inicio de una canción y eventualmente se quedó embebida en mí "Ever since I was a young boy I've played the silver ball From Soho down to Brighton I must have played 'em all But I ain't seen nothing like him In any amusement hall That deaf, dumb and blind kid Sure plays a mean pinbaaaaaall DU-DU DU-DUN DU-DUUUUUUUN" Y básicamente, eso fue lo que me llevó a conocer a The Who, no había escuchado Teenage Wasteland, quizá conocía My Generation pero no los relacionaba, no sabía nada y me dediqué a buscar una ópera rock de la nada por un pinball. En su momento se me hizo el disco revelación de mi vida, quizá no me interesaba aún realmente por el mensaje en la música (que de hecho la "historia" y letras creo desde ese entonces se me hacía medio vagas y ahora las compararía con un viaje espiritual tipo canción Led Zeppelin sin sentido pero que dura una hora y media) pero musicalmente se sentía el contar una historia, la variación de canciones pero manteniendo siempre el sentido del album, esas partes que ahora entiendo como leit motifs. En su momento a mis 13 se me hizo una cosa brillante de genios. Hoy en día me sigue gustando, quizá no a ese nivel. Lo que tengo que admitir, tanto para bien como para mal es que es la VERDADERA Opera Rock (no, ni The Wall ni Quadraphenia y nada... es este) tiene overtura, interludios, una historia que se sigue por tejido narrativo y no solo por ideas conceptuales, es ambicioso, es un musical entero es... operático. Lo malo es que también siento que esa ambición hoy, analizada con calma, trabaja un poco en su detrimento en cuanto a que no se puede realmente apreciar como disco e historia, musicalmente escucharlo termina con pedazos que se sienten sobran, ese dramatismo de sentirse tal cual como si fuera un musical hace que solo pienses que estas escuchando algo incompleto (que por ejemplo no pasa ni con Quadraphenia ni con The Wall). Disco super ambicioso, grande, muy muy bueno pero quizá "too big for it's own good" lo detiene de llegar a la cima.

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4

Enjoyed it but i felt like it dragged on a little bit.

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4

As a double album, it's tough to listen to all the time, but it is dramatic and playful all at once. It's nice to be able to listen to one song (the intro), and really get the feel of the whole album.

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4

Didn't finish because it was toooo long. But I enjoyed very much. I thought The Who were harder, this was like too soft. Really good, though!

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4

Not really my style, but good music!

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4

Great

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4

pretty good rock n roll

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4

Veel beter einde dan begin. Het concept van een rock opera is heel tof. Werkt wel beter als je het verhaal eens leest.

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4

The Who is definitely a band I’ve listened to before and tried to get into at some point in my life; their music never really stuck, but this album is great nonetheless. I see why it’s highly praised. Honorable mentions: Cousin Kevin and Acid Queen.

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4

Bei The Who gibt es noch was für mich zu entdecken eher 4-5

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4

Erstmals am Stück gehört! Tolles Album! Nicht nur wegen Pinball Wizzard!

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4

Loved the opening journey of this one!

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4

Excellent album. Had not listened to all the way thru but knew some of the songs.

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4

Have heard many times. Some great songs, some not so much. Weird story makes me worry about Pete Townsend.

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4

Saw this play as a kid. Listening took me back. Very clear that it was for a play, lots of consistency in some of the melodies that appear through the album. A classic.

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4

Watched the film a long time ago, it was nice to revisit the music

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4

Wow! Een Engelse vertaling van "Di-rect doet Tommy". Vandaag luister ik beiden naast elkaar om goed te vergelijken. Ik hoor bij The Who veel Supertramp, maar ook Beatles en Queen. Zang is net als bij Di-rect soms een beetje vals, maar de muziek is echt geniaal. Favorieten zijn nummers als "Pinball Wizard / Flipper Koning" en "I am free / Were vrij" maar ook vele anderen zijn prachtig gecomponeerd. Zeer melodieus en met gevoel. Naar het einde wordt het album alleen maar beter. Met als hoogtepunt het nummer "We are not gonna take it / Niemand van ons pikt dit" waarin het hele album samenkomt. Na afloop van deze twee albums ook nog effe de film gekeken. Nu valt alles op zijn plaats. Wat is dit een fijne verrassing op een volledig vrije dag. ****

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4

It’s good. It’s really good. But it does drag in some spots- some of the instrumental interludes kinda drag, even within the lyrical focused songs. Most of the time it’s awesome, but when it drags-it DRAGS. Still, some amazing song writing and performances from The Who. On the flip, the good stuff is REALLY good. Definitely would recommend, just pack your patience for some dull parts.

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4

I really love it this far, it's a long album though. That's a four for some reason :))

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4

The real OG rock opera. It has that classic Who sound, but unfortunately I think the narrative is muddy to say the least; unfortunate, considering what I was hoping for out of a rock opera. The music itself was pretty consistently fun, however. Even more interesting is knowing how this project almost acted as a vehicle for Townshend to explore his own traumas and spirituality; that honestly is the most interesting part of it all for me.

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4

Haven't listened to this in quite awhile. I was never a massive Who fan back in the day but I thought this held up really well and was very interesting to listen to all the way through and follow the story. A lot of it I never really picked up on before. Cool shit.

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4

My second favorite The Who album, the one that firmly established the rock opera genre (although SF Sorrow came first). I argue it is also the second best rock opera after The Wall. Production is among the best of the era. Lyrics are clear and spread out enough for people to understand what's going on. The short interludes help with the synopses, while the songs may be short or long but covers some central theme in Tommy's story. The music, often hard, psychedelic, or orchestral, perfectly reflects the subject. Tracks blend in really well, and it truly does feel like listening to a movie. There's a lot of diversity in these tracks, but besides "Pinball Wizard," I'm not hearing any hits. (Oh fun fact, pinballs were illegal at the time of this album release, so the song showed Tommy as a social rebel.) They could all just fly by if you're not paying attention. It doesn't help that the album's double in length, so a bunch of not-so impressive songs with lyrics you need to pay attention to can be an unappealing experience. The psychedelic instrumentals help keep things interesting for the most part. The opening track was a great choice, but the closing track felt a little rough. These weaknesses would normally justify a 3 star rating, but the fourth star comes from the storytelling, innovation, and diversity in tracks. Favorite Tracks: Sparks, Eyesight to the Blind, Christmas, Underture, Pinball Wizard

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4

Me ha resultado un poco largo

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4

Another great one I actually have on vinyl. Never saw the play or the film, but I have loved the album. I think that's pretty incredible for a rock opera in that it really stands alone and it stands the test of time. Daltery and Townsend are a legendary duo. I went through a Who phase. They have a ton a of great songs, but when it comes to an album, I come back to Tommy every time. Who's Next and Quadrophenia are crazy good though.

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4

Weird story but love the music

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4

Some classics

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4

Over-inflated, ludicrous storyline - but brilliant

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4

Es un disco muy ridículo pero funciona muy bien como ópera.

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4

This is an epic - in the sense that it is really long. Plenty of bangers are included, but can get a bit lost in the length of the album. It does take the listener of an engaging and enjoyable journey, though. That this is a rock opera is very apparent. The ebb and flow, big choruses, and narrative of musical theatre are clear, so the length gets a pass in this case and it is judged as something different (more?) than just an album of songs. 3.5/5 (for the bangers, narrative journey and a bonus half point for ambition).

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4

Rock Operas are usually a by-word for naff. But this one is ace

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4

This story of "deaf, dumb and blind" Tommy couldn't have been written in any other time than '69, but that's when this kind of art would be heralded as game-changing. Thus, even though the taste is questionable and the music not particularly mind-blowing, the adventurous attitude at the root of this record still reels me in.

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4

Maybe a bit over-blown in places, but it's well-crafted & will reward multiple listens.

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4

La primera gran òpera-rock de la història. He fet l'experiment d'escoltar-lo en shuffle i s'ha demostrat un gran error: sona totalment desllavassat i inconnexe. Tal com s'ha de sentir, però, reforça el seu posi històric. Malgrat que a mí sempre em va semblar més complet i disfrutable 'Quadrophenia', 'Tommy' va ser el primer i amb el qual van aconseguir arribar a l'estratosfera com a banda. I això sense gaire singles roents, més enllà de les increïbles 'I'm Free'. 'We're Not Gonna Take It' o 'Pinball Wizard', però amb un tot molt difícil d'igualar, tant en història com en composició

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4

I actually liked this MUCH better than I thought I would. My pre-judgements coming in...too long, stupid premise, hokey songs. The premis still strikes me as stupid but the songs are so strong - what a drummer Keith Moon was - that I did not feel the album was bloated at all. very little filler and some truly transcendent musical moments. 4.5 stars

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4

Ogħġobni. Twil istja.

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4

Not all the music here is tip top, but I'm giving points for sheer ambition, and for spinning a rather peculiar yarn in the process. Incidentally, when the music clicks, it's fantastic. Stuff like 'Sensation', 'Pinball Wizard', and the Overture/Underture passages are top tier Who

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4

A classic

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4

Noted for delisted but this is a groundbreaking album

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4

7/10

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4

Certainly an ambitious project but Tommy really is all over the place. I only saw the musical about two months back thanks to NetflixUK and my reaction to that was 'what did I just watch', the album by itself feels even more abstract and disconnected without the imagery. That's not to say it isn't enjoyable, in parts it's almost so bad it's brilliant and it's still a pivotal album regardless.

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4

Kooky.

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4

I wasn't sure I'd heard it in one sitting before, but I'd heard all the tracks before. It was good but I think I'll try the live version that came as bonus with my cd of 'Live In Leeds'. I love the sound on it, and if Tommy live has that same, beefed up, sound. I imagine it'll be the version I spin.

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4

Pretentious, overblown, and up its own bottom. I still rather enjoyed it.

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4

Hearing it right now. I like The Who, this album seems to be a masterpiece, but I just didn't have the time to dive deep into it today. Maybe I'll listen to it again in the future, in a less busy moment.

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4

Really nice listen

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4

Rock Opera. I think that says everything you need to know about the album style. It smoothly moves from one song to another with seamless transition. While I feel Quadrophenia may be their opus, the album has left a long impression on many music fans through the generations.

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4

Yeah yeah yeah

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4

If there's a better rock opera about child abuse I don't wanna hear about it! 🙃 Fave track - "Pinball Wizard" - kinda has to be, right!?

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4

Super

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4

Great Rock Opera! I'm sure 4 is probably low given the influence of this classic, but listening through it is awesome, just not a feeling a full 5.

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4

A lot of bands have tried to rock opera thing, but I think tThe Who probably did it best (twice). A couple of great songs and the rest is really good. My favorite memory about this album was when my brother in law, Peter, gave me a copy to hold for our first-born child - Thomas. He said “make sure he knows this was a gift from his uncle Pete!” That’s when I asked him if he was sending a hidden warning for our little Tommy in the lyrics to “Fiddle About”? He took the album back.

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4

I know I am alone in this, but Quadrophenia is a much better album.

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4

Me resultó un poco largo. 4.

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4

Sometimes an album just click after a second or third listen. This was one of them. I have owned the album for quite a while and might've listened to it once or twice. Never got into it, I thought The Who had made much better. Now years later re-listening it on a 3rd and 4th listen and it fully clicked. It's an amazing album.

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4

Holy cannoli, now that is a rock opera. The Super Deluxe release is almost 3.5hrs long. It’s like the LOTR Extended Editions of rock opera. I enjoyed what I got to, but this album requires some dedicated time to actually get through and chew on. Cousin Kevin and Pinball Wizard stood out to me. 4/5 for now, could very well be 5/5 given more time. Was this conceptual album about a dumb, deaf and blind kid somehow inspirational for the premise of the movie Tommy Boy?

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4

Love coming back to any record from the 60s, this one does an excellent job of storytelling, super captivating while still managing to experiment with instrument and vocal performances. I appreciate the harmonies used throughout the album, and the mastering of the left/right channel recordings of guitar/drums simulates the experience of standing right in the middle of this band. Underture was my favourite track this session.

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4

24 трека с очень интересной игрой на гитаре и вокалом, из которых примерно 8 песен длятся больше или около 5 минут (это так, к сведению). Если честно, сначала навевали сомнения о идеальности и гениальности альбома, что его аж прям нужно до смерти обязательно прослушать. Но по итогу прослушал и мне понравилось. На самом деле очень хороший альбом, могу сказать, что это какой-то ранний The Beatles, имхо. Несколько треков сохранил себе, а это уже показатель, хх. Но есть также и несколько слабых песен, без которых альбом бы ничего не потерял, кроме общей продолжительности и количеству песен.

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4

Another solid rock opera. But I don't know, I think I might like Bat out of Hell more. There's some good stuff and then there's some throwaways. Sometimes the songs don't seem to flow into each other as well as they should or could (e.g., Christmas to Cousin Kevin). Maybe that's also because some songs weren't initially conceived of for the album (e.g., Sally Simpson) and were trying to be fit in somewhere. And I'm not sure if there are any absolute show stoppers besides Pinball Wizard (what a great tune). Still, I really enjoyed both the Overture and Underture (orchestral feel without the orchestra), and the also-instrumental Sparks. Christmas was solid but felt like a Beatles knock-off. Fiddle About is just disturbing but I appreciate it.

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4

My first true introduction to the Who was through Tommy. When they were doing their first comeback tour back in 1989, I remember watching the concert downstairs in the basement of my college freshman dorm. There were a number of us watching it, too young to have seen them when they were first touring but now experiencing them live on TV. I remember watching them play Tommy with special guest stars Phil Collins and Billy Idol... Then I heard the studio album, and it did not sound like that concert. It sounded... tinnier. My biggest problem with Tommy is how the development of the lead is through all these different characters that float in and out of the opera. In the story, it's not through his own internal development that Tommy as a character grows. Townshend's writing for character development really hit its peak in the next rock opera, Quadrophenia. The songs themselves do a lot of variation, and Moon pounds the HELL out of the drums. So yeah, as much as I appreciate this album for what it is, it only has a few great songs on it. I mean, you cannot deny the greatness of "Pinball Wizard" or "See Me, Feel Me." But besides that, a lot of the other songs are to beholden to the opera itself. So if Quadrophenia is a 5-star (which in my mind it is) this is definitely a 4-star album.

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4

Muito bom.

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4

I think this album is fantastic. It's not one I often listen to all the way through, but I should. Tommy is such a great mix of the straightforward rocking with the theatrical and occasionally trippy. And it's at heart just a great Who album, creative and engaging and powerful from beginning to end. There's really nothing else like this in music. Most of the songs are great to listen to on their own, without even engaging with the somewhat hazy plot. A couple of the best songs the Who ever recorded are on this album ("I'm Free," "Pinball Wizard"), as well as some stellar deep tracks ("Christmas," "The Hawker"). The flow from song to song is seamless and the album never drags. It's over an hour long and you don't really feel it. Fave Songs: I'm Free, Pinball Wizard, Christmas, The Hawker, Tommy Can You Hear Me, Welcome, Go to the Mirror, The Acid Queen

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4

This was cutting edge for its time. Rekindled an interest in seeing the movie. 40 years later has lost an edge....

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4

Really like this.

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4

Should probably like Tommy more than I do. Like Pinball Wizard, Go to the Mirror and Tommy can you hear me. Feel like I should watch the movie to get it.

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4

Here's the thing-- the narrative behind Tommy is weird and perverted. But, damn, do they commit to telling a story, and it's pretty entertaining to listen to. Definitely a unique piece in the canon of classic rock but I can't help but think it's the concept album that launched a thousand other concept albums.

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4

I need to give this about 10 more listens to really understand what's going on, but it's far more interesting than I've previously given The Who credit for

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4

4.5

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4

I've never actually listened to Tommy. Maybe I needed to listen to it while staring into a candle (a la Almost Famous). Great album, though...

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4

Solid revisit. Only listened to the original album but enjoyed the continuity and nostalgia.

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4

Great story telling album throughout. Weird at times which I believe is good because it makes it authentic and true to what they wanted to accomplish. I appreciated the flow of the album and thought the instrumentals pieced in were great and fit perfectly. Not too many stand alone stand out songs too me, besides the obvious "Pinball Wizard", which I think is fine in a story telling album like this. It seems like the goal from start to finish was story first, and that was accomplished. Very good album. Favorite Songs: "Pinball Wizard", "Go To The Mirror!"

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4

The Rock Opera! Never got around to listening to this one in full, so I’m excited. The Overture, which foreshadows the music to come, boasts a mix of blues, country, rock, and classical music. We’re introduced to Tommy Walker, whose father went missing before he was born. 1921 is a pretty song, introducing the fact that Tommy is unable to hear, see, or speak. Amazing Journey has an interesting rhythm, reflecting Tommy’s vibration land. Tommy’s 10 years of age at this point. I’m confused as to whether the point of view is constantly shifting — does Tommy see the bearded man in a silver gown or does the narrator? I suppose the point is that Tommy has the capacity to create his own experience of the world around him. Story aside, The Who’s sound is so rich and full. They have such a profound control of dynamics. The songs blend pretty seamlessly together, though there are a couple that are able to stand out enough on their own. In this way, this concept album is the epitome of concept albums. It simulates the experience of a band playing continuously without any stopping for one hour (as an album tries to simulate anyway but not all of them do effectively). “Eyesight to the Blind” comes in with a vengeance — reminiscent of Pink Floyd. This song is about a woman with the power to revitalize senses. At this point, while listening to “Christmas,” which singles Tommy out as a child unable to experience Christmas in the way intended (Tommy doesn’t know what day it is), im wondering why The Who resonated with a story about a disabled child. Having taken classes on disability theory and rights, I’m a bit put off by the portrayal of a disabled child as simultaneously needing to be saved and being extraordinary. By “Cousin Kevin,” I’m feeling a little bored. Granted, I was forced to stop and restart again a few days later. Because of their classic sound and the ambitiousness of this project, I’m going to rate this album a 4. Some of the songs are a bit samey, which I guess is expected of concept albums or musical theatre-esque stuff. This makes it a bit boring after a while, though I plan on doing another listen.

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4

A definite classic. 4/5

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4

75 minutes of very good music! Incredible. Overture and Underture are my favorites (besides Pinball of course)

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4

Nice rock opera but a bit long, no songs really standing out and a story that's interesting but hard to follow

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4

What an interesting album. The first true rock opera, in the sense that the songs are unconventional and follow a storyline. While it is hard by the lyrics to alone know what is being told, and the length a tad long, musically, from beginning to end, the album is so engaging and entertaining, with top production for the 60s, great performances by all members of the band. Not quite what they achieve on Who’s Next, but a great album!

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4

Into it, can’t say I follow the plot or metaphor, but enjoy a good overture.

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4

Musically, this is a truly enjoyable album. Contextually, the theme of the album is weird, even as a rock opera. Artistic merits alone, this album is great. Through the lens of current social lenses (2022), it is a wonder whether or not history will view The Who without the controversy of Pete Townshend. This album does not help the case, as the subject matter does offer conjecture of how much those allegations/affiliations could lead back to this album. Quick digression, the album is well-produced, and the songs flow well, very well. The runtime was an initial concern but the album maintained good momentum throughout to the very end.

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4

It was a good concept album, that I feel upon additional listens it will grow even more on me. The melodic hard rock provides a journey of Tommy's story, but also provides a way to allow listeners to listen to their favourites without needing to be consumed or drawn in by the full operatic piece. Best: Pinball Wizard Worst: Welcome 3.5 stars

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4

Beatles rip off for the most part. But there’s bangers

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4

I would like concept albums more if the songs could all stand on their own. And these just don't. But a couple of really good one on here, and the overall album is pretty great.

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4

Love the The Who. Very interesting and ambitious album for the time. I just rarely listen to the whole album often anymore.

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4

Fantastic album. Fave tracks would probably be "Overture," "The Acid Queen," "Amazing Journey," and "Go To The Mirror!"

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4

Can't fully get behind the rock opera concept

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4

Great album: Overture- literally one of the greatest songs to summarize the experience to come; trombone solo ringing, great harmonies, guitar ringing, need to learn on guitar Its a boy- straight lead in, great way to point out that the birth is a start to the story 1921- gritty harmonies

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4

Well I’ve herd the most popular stuff from this band but never a full on album… Overture opens the album with a banging instrumental it drags a little bit for me but it’s still fairly pleasing. It’s a boy is only very short and is really just setting it he atmosphere for the album. 1921 is the first “proper” song on the album it’s a great track very theatre. There’s a sound that goes all throughout amazing journey that really bugs me but it’s a nice enough tune. Sparks works perfectly next to amazing journey ( it’s a good instrumental). Eyesight to the blind (The hawker) is an amazing tune to end side one so dramatic! I really like the way that the verses are sung in Christmas and the ending of the song is nice and theatrical. Cousin Kevin seems mean but it’s a good song. I really like the instrumentation in the acid queen such a solid tune. Underture (like overture) is a very long instrumental this one is twice as long but twice as good. Do you think it’s alright and fiddle about are both about Tommy’s pedophile uncle Ernie and yeah they’re both creepy. But then there’s pinball wizard a bridge hit single to have even if the band hate it! There’s a doctor is a short little piano ditty I guess it’s okay. Go to the mirror is a very solid rocker with great crunchy guitars. Tommy can you hear me is short and folky it’s eh. Smash the mirror is another shortie, good but not amazing. Sensation ends side 3 on a fairly upbeat note and it’s good but there’s something about the vocals on here that I don’t love. Miracle cure is well… short. Sally Simpson is a nice acoustic tune. I’m free feels really “lush” I don’t know how to explain it but I like it. Welcome is just happy I know it’s the whole creepy cult thing but still a decent fluffy tune. Tommy’s holiday camp is alright but why did uncle Ernie have to be hosting it…yuck. The album ends with we’re not gonna take it and it works really,really well as a closer to a solid album. The album is great as a whole bunch was hard going track by track as the album is more of an “experience” than a standard issue album.

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4

"Very sad that the yearly Dutch tradition of 'top 2000 songs of all time' radio event uses the repeating motif of this album as their jingle, because I now associate it with old white men wanking over their music knowledge 🤮 All in all still good album though, but at times quite boring, still an absolute banger when Pinball Wizard hits, and with the absurd historical significance it has, I rate it 4.0/5" - Bliss

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4

Some bonkers tracks but overall very enjoyable

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4

4.5 Alright, confession time... I'm a fan of The Who, but I've never listened to this album all the way through. Holy shit I was missing out - pretty sure this album was the first true rock opera to ever exist, and it clearly set the standard for every attempt that followed. Tommy kicks ass out right out the gate with Overture, which I thought was an amazing introduction and taste of what's to come, and then proceeds to never stop kicking ass until it concludes. The end result really feels like the product of a band firing on all cylinders. The only real criticism I had is that I felt it could have benefitted from a little more diversity in sound - it does some really cool things, but I feel like I would describe the overall sound as pretty consistent. Not necessarily a bad thing, but some bigger shifts in tone would have been an interesting dynamic. Then again, I didn't care for the album's hardest shift in Tommy's Holiday Camp, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Favorite songs: Overture, 1921, Christmas, The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, Sally Simpson

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4

This album review is more about a cat, instead of music. My girlfriend, now my wife, got a cat while we were in college. The cat had live with me and my roommate, a big Who fan. The cat was given a name I can't remember. Anyway, every time we took him out, he played in this tall grass area where we couldn't see him. My roommate would look for him by singing, Tommy can you hear me. Much to Mindy's objection, we called him Tommy so much, he didn't respond to whatever name he was originally given and became Tommy! Album was a blast from the past. Good tunes all the way through. Tommy can you hear me will always be a favorite. Just seeing this album made me smile. Not their best, but good. 3.5 for me. Will make it 4 for the cat, Tommy

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4

Beaucoup trop de The Who dans cette liste. L’Angleterre n’est pas le centre de l’univers. Il y a de bonnes choses sur cet album.

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4

Some good songs, I love the Who but some these songs were weird.

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4

What?

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4

This will be a very strange review because I don’t think that there is anything wrong with the album. It’s remarkably solid for a concept album. Unlike most, it flows well and the repeated musical motifs make it feel like a cohesive unit. As someone that loves progressive music and high-concept albums, I thought I’d love it. However, it is not what I want from the Who. I associate them with hard-nosed British rock, jump up and jam songs, anthemic pieces like Baba O’Riley. This, for all of its polish, isn’t that. Still, despite not being what I want, it’s quite good. Standout songs are Pinball Wizard and Christmas.

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4

It’s kind of funny, I think it’s this album where The Who start to match, if not better their live performances, but I just don’t like the concept behind the album. And unfortunately, most of the songs don’t work without recognizing the story at large. There’s some gold here, and some all-time best performances from the band, but I much prefer Who’s Next and Quadrophenia. B

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3

More rock operas and especially prog projects need to take cues from this album. The story is small scale, and the 75 minutes drags less than many ambitious 60-minute projects. Fine pop writing, but ultimately the instrumentation doesn't hold up the structure of the thing. A very enjoyable 3.5, but the critical acclaim baffles.

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3

Never been big on the Who, but I did enjoy this one. More of a 3.5ish. Love the idea of a rock opera, it just stretches a bit long. Keith Moon and John Entwistle steal the show on quite a few tracks, but then again, they always did. Favorite tracks: "Eyesight to the Blind", "Go to the Mirror!"

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3

Decided to look up the story this time and cool no one knows what the hell its about either. The music and ideas are still fun tho

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3

Not sure what to think about it. Not really my style

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3

I appreciate that this album has an actual narrative compared to other concept albums of the time that were more about themes. The probably with this album is that it is boring and not good. It’s influence and benefit to the concept album is important but there is no diversity and no pieces to hold on too.

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3

idk man, not that entertaining. Just....bland

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3

Points for being one of the first Rock Operas and reoccurring motifs and cool songs like "Pinball Wizard" and "I'm Free".

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3

Need to listen again for the concept of it, nothing special from a surface listen

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3

Pretty formative for me, this one. It was when I first realised that rock music can tell stories (and as a nerdy kid that loved books but wanted to be cool this was transformative). Yes it's pretentious and pompous at points, but so am I.

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3

This was a trip down to Wikipedia. I can admire the idea of the rock opera, but in some ways this one feels a bit self-indulgent. It feels somewhat exploitive of the idea of a "deaf, dumb, blind kid" as well as abusive situations of said character. I doubt that was their intention, but it's a peculiar choice. I suppose it's "edgy" of those times, now it just feels kind of try-hard. I can definitely respect The Who going for it though, and I think it has artistic significance. No tracks I really dislike, but nothing really speaks out either, which I suppose is potentially good as a cohesive album. There are other rock operas I would rather listen to, but I can respect it.

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3

got bored

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3

I used to love this when I was a nipper and I think it mostly held up til around the middle where it gets a bit boring. Also, why is there so much rape/molestation craic on this album? Like a concept album about a wee fella playing pinball doesn’t seem like the right venue?

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3

Interesting to know this is a concept album. Some good songs here and there, but I am having the same experience I have had previously with The Who, which is to say I just can't really get into them.

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3

Great

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3

You can definitely give props for the rock opera attempt... it is interesting, and something that i amazingly love when it comes to quadrophenia. this album doesn't have any great songs (i'm free and pinball wizard are probably my least "favorite" popular who tracks). still originality and style shine through.

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3

Meh

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3

Interesting narrative weaved throughout, recognized the pinball song but otherwise unfamiliar with The Who. Felt like relatively standard rock stuff, some cool sounds sprinkled throughout though.

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3

Prior to this I’d only probably heard the singles/famous songs off this album, so it was cool to finally listen to the whole album. Overall, the album was good, but nothing really grabbed me (other than the songs I already knew). Also the story of this concept album is a bit odd at times and not super compelling. However, it’s iconic and I’m glad I listened to it.

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