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100 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review From Someone With SACD Player...
okay... i normally don't review too many albums on amazon, but was i amazed to read all these reviews from people who chat about the album but then go on to say "but i haven't heard it on SACD yet." so i thought someone might benefit from reading about the surround mix in SACD...
well, it is simply amazing, especially for having been mixed by the near-deaf...
Published on December 30, 2003

versus
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading.
I am one of those people who are quite happy to buy these 'Deluxe Editions' for the extras each one contains, even thought I already have the main disc (sometimes several times). It would be nice if the record companies sold these extra discs separately, but they don't. They like to make money by making you pay for 2 CDs. That's life.
Anyway, this one caught my eye...
Published 13 months ago by David


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100 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review From Someone With SACD Player..., December 30, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
okay... i normally don't review too many albums on amazon, but was i amazed to read all these reviews from people who chat about the album but then go on to say "but i haven't heard it on SACD yet." so i thought someone might benefit from reading about the surround mix in SACD...
well, it is simply amazing, especially for having been mixed by the near-deaf townsend (surely its a joke!).
the most amazing thing about the 5.1 surround mix is how present and powerful keith moon's drumming is. i have always pointed to "quadrophenia" as the shining example of his frenetic hammering of the drums. but now i can more fully appreciate his drumming on "tommy." the drums sound amazing on this SACD surround mix. no other words can describe it.
one of the reasons for the drums being more powerful is the ability to follow keith's "live in the studio" drumming more closely. you see, all the "accentuating" drum parts (tympani, gongs, cymbal splashes) are all separated from keith's drums in the mix... it wasn't as clear in the stereo mix which drums keith is playing, and which drums are over-dubbed elements.... but here, they are coming at you from different sides of the room. this makes for some amazing parts, particularly during "sparks" and "overture", where keiths keeps pounding out a rhythm, then the tympani drums build up to a crescendo.
also, pete and roger's vocals are sometimes separated in the mix. pete's first words on the alubm came as a shock. he sings, "captain walker didn't come home. his unborn child will never know him." and he's coming from the rear right speaker (mostly) and roger and all come in later, together chanting "a son, a son, a son" from the front speakers. its pretty powerful stuff from the get-go.
i could go on and on. but the most amazing thing truly is the fidelity... i hear things i've never heard before, and i thought i was prety intimately familiar with the album. subtle touches now are given such depth and prominence... and the separation that is achieved with surround sound allows the listener to follow a particular part or a particular instrument...
you can hear pete breathe in before singing... you can hear the sound of his pick against the acoustic guitar. you can hear a few of keith's dud hits on the snare (thought they are few, and always charming to hear).
another reviewer said, "reason alone to buy a SACD player."
i agree.
thanks for reading.
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219 of 249 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Rock Opera. Seminal Storytelling Album, August 7, 2004
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
Pete Townshend possibly feels a lot like David O. Selznick, the producer of the movie `Gone With The Wind' in fearing that he will only be remembered in his obituary by his creating that one work, as Townshend, like Selznick, seems to have been spending his time after completing their most important work in trying to top it.

To my mind, Townshend should have no regrets about not topping `Tommy', as it is easily one of the two or three most important albums and works in the entire Rock canon, similar in importance and possibly superior in quality to `Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and `Blond on Blond', to name just two others high in the ranks of great Rock albums.

One thing which surprises me about writing on `Tommy' is how little deep analysis has been essayed about the story behind the songs. In a nutshell, the story is this:

Tommy Walker is born while his father is off on some journey (`It's a boy') from which he becomes several years late in returning. Tommy's mother takes up with a lover, father returns, mother and father kill lover with Tommy as a witness, and mother and father tell Tommy he saw and heard nothing (`You didn't hear it'). (If all you have to go on is the recorded performance on the original album, it is not very clear whether it is the lover or the father who is killed. But, printed copies of the libretto say the lover is the victim.) Tommy becomes functionally blind, deaf, and dumb to all outside appearances, however, it is evident that within his own head, he can see and hear everything (`There's a doctor I've found'). He is tormented by various malicious relatives (`Cousin Kevin' and `Fiddle About') and `treated' by various attempts, including hallucinogens (`Acid Queen'). As he grows up, the only outside experience to which he responds is a pinball machine, at which he becomes expert (`Pinball Wizard'). Tommy is finally cured by watching his image in a mirror smashed by, I believe, his mother's lover (`Smash the Mirror'). Being released from his isolation for Tommy is like being released from a practically lifelong mystical experience heightened by pinball. The charisma with which Tommy is imbued by this experience leads him to become a `New Messiah' (`Sally Simpson') creating a movement which expands beyond local resources (`Welcome') and becomes institutionalized into a ritual modeled after playing pinball while deaf dumb and blind (`Tommy's holiday camp'). The story ends with a revolt of Tommy's disciples against his new religion (`We're not gonna take it').

The theme of being oppressed runs throughout practically all of Townshend's work, although in `Tommy', it takes a back seat to mysticism. The people who dote on the philosophical background of `The Matrix' should sink their teeth into the `Tommy' story and ruminate on that a while. The major musical theme of the work seems to be Townsend's search for a magical chord. And, anyone who, like myself, has seen `Tommy' performed live by the original Who will have no trouble believing Townsend has found his chord as he hits that first great whirlwind chord in `Pinball Wizard'. Talk about a rush! In general, a lot of the music echoes earlier Who works. Townshend seems to constantly cut and paste phrasings from one work to another and I have no problem with this except in the most tedious of the three instrumental pieces (`Underture') in the album.

Some writers have said that 'Tommy' is more like an Oratorio or a Song Cycle than it is an Opera, but I disagree. Neither of these other two genres requires a plot, and an Opera does, and Tommy has a plot. I prefer to think of it as a selection of arias and instrumental passages from which some bridging dialogue has been left out. My biggest problem with this plot is that the actual event that triggers Tommy's autism is only hinted at in the most vague of terms. It is easy to believe that it was a murder, but the lyrics of `You Didn't Hear It' never come even close to saying exactly what the event was. On the other side of the coin, the great majority of the songs on the album `Tommy' directly support carrying the story forward. Practically the only exception is the Sonny Boy Williamson classic `Eyesight to the Blind'. It is probably symptomatic that only `Pinball Wizard', `I'm Free', and `Sensation' out of the 24 cuts in `Tommy' really work for the Who outside the context of the whole work. That's why I'm especially happy to have seen The Who perform virtually the whole album live, four days after it was initially released. It is also interesting to see that the two cuts describing episodes of sadism were written by Entwistle and not Townshend.

This CD contains exactly what was on my original vinyl two record album bought in 1969, suitably enhanced with modern electronics. My greatest respect for Townshend is for creating a classic musical form, the Opera, using an entirely ROCK instrument, with the slightest classical leavening from John Entwistle's French horn on a few early numbers. So many `rock' versions of traditional forms simply overlay rock performances on classical arrangements or make classical arrangements of rock melodies. Aside from `Quadrophenia', the only other work which succeeds at doing this is Spooky Tooth/Pierre Henry work `Ceremony An Electronic Mass'.

Listening to this album and every other early Who album reminds one just how much their performances were a collaborative effort between the original four, and how much we miss Keith Moon and John Entwistle today. We can only say that with `Tommy' and numerous other works and recorded performances, the memory of The Who will live forever.

Seminal work in the history of Rock.
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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reason alone to buy a SACD capable player, November 16, 2003
By 
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
Just get it. I have been enjoying DVD-Audio for the last year yet there were many titles I wanted in the SACD catalog so I recently purchased the Pioneer DV-563AS, a DVD player that will play back both DVD-Audio and SACD yet costs under 200.00. The Deluxe edition of Tommy simply sounds fantastic when playing the SACD 5.1 mix, the difference between it and the regular layer using a normal CD player is quite significant. Although I will admit to being prejudiced as Tommy is one of my all time favotite albums, this new version is simply superb, I am such a believer in the new high bit rate/sampling rate and 5.1 formats. It is amazing how good a near 35 year old recording can sound. Even if you don't have an SACD player this disc is very much worth getting, the stereo mix is excellent, you get a bonus disc with 17 additional tracks and the packaging is excellent, very high quality.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A (Re)Masterpiece!, January 17, 2004
By 
J. D. Lillard "Lagarto Delgado" (Arlington, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
This was not my first SACD purchase, but it's the one I'm most satisfied with to date. I'll assume you're familiar with the original recording, agree with me that it is one of the most significant rock albums of all time and give you the reasons why I think should you pick this up in addition to your vinyl or '96 CD remaster. First and foremost, there's the superb 5.1 surround mix. (Some performances were just meant to be heard in surround sound, and probably would have been mixed that way had the technology been available.) Done by Pete Townshend himself using the original 8-track master, this new mix has startling clarity and definition, and presents most of the vocals without reverb or echo. Listening to it, I felt as if I were sitting on the studio floor while the band was recording around me. The wealth of additional material on the second disc includes a studio version of "Young Man Blues" as well as songs left off the original release, alternate takes and instrumental only tracks. Also included are several of Townshend's laboriously made home demos, which give greater insight into the creative process behind the Who's repetoire and the development of this milestone album. The booklet provided features an informative essay and candid snapshots of the band and producer Kit Lambert taken during the recording sessions.
Something I learned reading the essay that might be of interest to those of you who don't own a SACD capable system is that the original master of "Tommy" had been missing and presumed destroyed, and that previous CDs had been mastered from an alternate 'sweetened' by Kit Lambert. While remixing this project, Townshend discovered the original master tape, and used it for the stereo SACD and CD mixes included here, so for the first time on CD, you can now hear the mix the band signed off on back in 1969.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the "Tommy" to own, May 13, 2000
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
Forget the soundtrack from the movie, this is the version of "Tommy" to own. The surprising thing is that it has aged very well (unlike a lot of its contemporaries) and sounds just as fresh today as it did thirty years ago. Guitarist Pete Townshend's songwriting genius is featured here in full display. The long instrumental sections have an almost classical music feel about them. And of course, there those hit singles like "Pinball Wizzard" and "We're Not Gonna Take It." A rock masterpiece.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what a remaster should sound like!, October 30, 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "Andrew" (Asheville, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
I have the old Tommy remaster from 1996, which was ok, if you ignore the pops on a few tracks, especially "We're Not Going To Take It/See Me Feel Me/Listening to you." This is the way I fell in love with this album, but as far as this new release: It was like experiencing Tommy a whole different way.
Those of you who remember the old remaster will probably remember the CD insert mentioning that the master tapes had been burned... well, they haven't! Pete Townshend discovered them, and this CD is remasted off of the actual master tapes! I was a bit skeptical when I picked this Deluxe Edition up yesterday, but as soon as I put it in my CD player, I was shocked.
The new experience has no clicks and pops, none of the overmodulation problems the last release had, and you can hear the harmonies much better. The flat sound from the harmonies in songs like "Christmas" and "Tommy Can You Hear Me" are gone, these songs are experiences in themselves. You will hear so much more in "Sparks" and the "Underture" than you could discern in the old remaster.
Overall this CD is an excellent purchase for any Who fan, or anyone that wants to hear the first Rock Opera ever. The outtakes are OK, they allow you to hear the evolution of the album. I am very happy with the B-side of Pinball Wizard being included (Dogs Pt. 2). I am, however, disappointed with the most obvious thing missing from this release: The Libretto. The last remaster had the Libretto with it as did the original LP. The Libretto really helps you to understand the plot better, as it shows which characters are saying what.
As for the comment about The Who trying to rip off of Oasis, all I can say is that this album was released in 1969, just approximately a couple of decades before Oasis.
I highly reccomend this for any Who fan, or someone that simply wants the album Tommy. It is an audiophile's dream ;-).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Landmark Classic Now Made Even Better., December 25, 2006
By 
Anthony Nasti "Tony" (Staten Island, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
One of the most important, groundbreaking amd influential albums in the history of rock and roll, The Who's 1969 magnum opus "Tommy", a rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind kid who sure plays a mean pinball, is now better than ever thanks to the brilliance of SACD and DSD remastering techniques.

Every song on the cd sounds like it was recorded just yesterday. It is 100 % crystal clear, perfectly remixed and remastered. It gives you a clearer view of the story as well as a more pleasurable than ever listening experience. Pete Townshend and the people involved in this truly put their hearts into making "Tommy" better than ever.

The bonus disc is also worth it. A lot of awesome raritis. The liner notes are an interesting read, and the album itself is of course a masterpiece nobody should be without.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not SACD, May 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
BEWARE! Amazon shares product reviews for the recording across all formats (CD, Vinyl, download, SACD). You will see several reviewers talk about how good the SACD is, and it may well be, but those reviews are not applicable to non-SACD formats.

I was careless and ended up purchasing the 1996 remaster thinking it was or included the SACD. It of course was not the multi-channel SACD I was hoping to get when I read the reviews. My own fault, just hoping to save a few others from making the same mistake.

Amazon, this needs to be addressed. Reviews are speaking not only to the quality of the music but also the packaging, remastering and other attributes that just are not pertinent to all editions/formats. You get the track listings correct for each format, can we not have at least a filter to see only reviews for the selected format?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock Masterpiece, July 27, 2000
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
The Who had previously released a concept album with 1967's Who Sell Out and Pete Townshend had written the mini-opera "A Quick One (While He's Away)", but neither of those could have predicted the masterpiece that Tommy would be. Townshend created the story of a deaf & dumb blind kid who would inspire a messiah-like following in true operatic-style. It had a book & libretto, but instead of classical music, it used rock. The music was a departure from the Who's typical hard rock style as they employed horns and strings for the first time. While some of the songs can stand on their own like "Pinball Wizard", "I'm Free" & "Acid Queen", most are best listened to in the context of the album. Many have derided the album as pompous and overblown, but few can criticize it earnestness and ambition. The Who upped the ante in rock music with this album.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If there were more rock operas like this..., March 6, 2002
This review is from: Tommy (Audio CD)
There might not be so much stigma for the term. Forget for a minute--better yet, for 75 minutes, the running time--that Tommy never became the musical, the film, or the opera that we all wished it could. Instead remember that this is some of the most inspired work the Who, which is to say anybody, ever produced. Remember that the narrative, while coherent, is little more than an excuse for songs. There is a reason the 1975 film was a musical from start to finish--the story would have sunk otherwise.
But what songs! 1921 enchants, while Christmas seamlessly blends joy, sarcasm and wonder. The highlight of the album comes late in the story with Go to the Mirror and Roger Daltrey's effervescent delight, Sally Simpson. Best of all, the pacing is perfect. The overture contains elements of its climax and the finale, and the weakest material (Cousin Kevin) hides in the middle.
What makes Tommy most impressive is that it was not dreamed up by conceited artists accustomed to hearing how great they were from music intelligentsia. Rather it was the work of 4 upstarts in their early and mid-20's who were most famous at that point for angst-ridden songs. The angry My Generation, the frustrated Can't Explain, the sly Pictures of Lily and the resigned Kids are Alright all keep appealing to teenagers even as the Who have grown to grandfather age. Just before Tommy, the Who's assaults on stage equipment and hotel rooms were stuff of legend. Starting with Tommy and continuing through Who Are You the delinquents found creative outlets for the rage, the fear and the angst.
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Tommy
Tommy by Tommy (Related Recordings) (Audio CD - 1996)
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