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Quadrophenia- The Director's Cut (Super Deluxe Edition) Box set
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It is not only the music, the whole package was perfect when it arrived in autumn 1973. The black and white cover with the scooter and the four faces of the band reflected in its mirrors, and a breathtakingly good series of monochrome photographs. If any record deserves a deluxe edition, this one does.
And here it is - or is it? What we have is something half-way between the sumptuous, informative, historic collector's edition which the album merits, and the kind of money grabbing release you get when some record company notices how much people are paying for boxed sets these days and says, "Quick, let's get Quadrophenia out before the CD market disappears completely".
Because there is a lot wrong with this release, though I still cannot give it less than four stars. Still, time to stop rambling and tell you what you get. Within a very solid slipcase you will find a poster advertising the original double album (actually this is a fine reproduction and one of the better things here), a colour envelope holding various bits of memorabilia: reproductions of some of Townshend's draft lyrics, a rather darkly reproduced colour photo of Jimmy (the central character) on a scooter, and a 7-inch single of 5.15 backed with the slightly rare track Water.
Then there is the main event: a 100-page hardback book of photos and an essay by Townshend, within which nestle the original double CD remastered, a DVD with 8 tracks remixed for 5.1 surround sound, and two CDs of Townshend's demos for the album.Read more ›
This can be found immediately in the I am the Sea -> The Real Me > Quadrophenia suite that begins the album, particulary in the segue from The Real Me into Quadrophenia. All previous digitial versions delivered an extremely trebly experience where the individual instruments, particulary the frenetically strummed acoustic quitar, buried each other in the mix. The 2011 remaster is the first digital version I've heard that matches the vinyls ability to clarify and present a soundstage in which the individual instruments can be heard cleanly.
The biggest complaint I have with this box, especially considering the price, is that only 8 songs from the full album are included in the multi-channel DVD. If, as I understand, only the masters for these 8 tracks were found then some more supplemental material should have been included, perhaps even a copy of the excellent Quadrophenia film that came out in 1980.
Having now played the contents of the box a couple of times over, and having read Pete's entire, lengthy liner notes, I can report that a mere list of the contents of this box do not do the box justice. Make no mistake about it--this is not a set where some minion within the Who organization put everything together and then sent it along to Pete's people for his approval. Townshend wrote every word of the liner notes contained within this set--he writes not only of the genesis of the project, but the construction of the studio where it was recorded, the recording of and story behind his demos, and also of what he wanted to achieve with the album's narrative. Call him greedy, call him an egomaniac, or call him what you will, but it is obvious that Pete put a great deal of time and personal effort into this set. Is this an ego project for Pete? For crying out loud, he wrote every note of music and every lyric on this album--who better him to put together a package such as this?
Included in this set is a rather extensive recording diary, along with access to a special web page where one can view the pages and original notations from the actual diary, as well as pictures from the sessions, many taken by Pete himself.Read more ›
I've had several people tell me during the last two days that Townshend's comments made a couple months ago that several original 8 track and 16 track masters to Quadrophenia have gone missing ""are simply not true"". The corrected story I'm getting now is that Pete's team simply stopped putting a lot of priority into mixing any further Quadrophenia tracks into 5.1 surround sound. If this is indeed true, it's a major screw-up strategy by Townshend and his team. Anyone that's going to pay whopping $140 for a Quadrophenia box set is going to insist on the ENTIRE album presented in a 5.1 mix. I'll bet this will be addresed soon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The original Pete Townshend demos here are an absolute revelation . As much as I love the Who, these demos are a magnificent, unified masterwork that blow the official album away! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tony
This is indeed a lavish boxed set. It includes a lengthy essay by Pete Townshend on the making of the album and its demos, three bonus discs, a replicate 45 of "5:15" b/w... Read morePublished 6 months ago by DW
Quadrophenia done the way you always wanted to hear it. Pete was in charge of this one.Published 10 months ago by Carl A. Hernandez
They should have finished the surround mix for this instead of only providing 8 tracks.Published 12 months ago by N. Leas
In my opinion, this is the TRUE Rock Opera masterpiece. Sure, TOMMY is the ground breaker (though Pretty Things' S.F. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Joseph McDonald
whoa what a deal, a slight tear in the plastic film covering and i got a huge discount on this, which i had been wanting so very much, really only for the 5. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ken
This was exactly what I hoped for. It included all the discs without the book and other filler for a reasonable price. It shipped quickly and was packaged well.Published on January 16, 2014 by james r young