New Zealand Herald on Tommy DE

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Fri Apr 30 14:28:06 CDT 2004

>From the New Zealand Herald at:

The Who: Tommy: Deluxe Edition 

01.05.2004 By GRAHAM REID 
(Herald rating: * * * * *) 

Also in this reissue series (like the earlier Donna
Summers' Bad Girls, Blind Faith, Frampton Comes Alive,
among others getting the expanded treatment) is this
double CD. It follows last year's reissue of their
classic Who's Next which was given an expanded reissue
with live tracks. 

Tommy of '69 might not have been the first rock opera
- that honour goes to the Pretty Things' SF Sorrow the
previous year - but it was the first anyone actually
listened to. Reason? It was essentially a series of
individual songs which carried the off-kilter
narrative and was populated by character-driven songs
such as It's a Boy, Cousin Kevin, Fiddle About (the
paedophilia song delivered in all its sleaziness by
drummer Keith Moon and written by the late bassist
John Entwhistle) and Sally Simpson. 

A few hits were sprung out of it, especially after Ken
Russell's movie treatment (Elton doing Pinball Wizard,
Tina Turner as The Acid Queen) but this is the first
and best version. It is musically tight (an opera
without an orchestra is a good thing) and Moon's
drumming was not only the driving force behind
Townshend's taut guitar work and Entwhistle's
insinuating bass but a melodic instrument in itself. 

The additional disc adds little - it's out-takes,
demos, and studio banter - but it does confirm Moon's
reputation as a ferocious, idiosyncratic drummer with
a maniacal laugh which must have been terrifying if
you heard it coming down your driveway late at night.

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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