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Tommy (1975 Film) Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack

4.0 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, April 17, 2001
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Product Description

The soundtrack to Ken Russell's, er, excessive version of Pete Townshend's rock opera, featuring tracks- Overture from Tommy by the Who and Pete's Sensation Parts I & II -not available on the soundtrack's previous release. 20-bit remastered!

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During a 1971 concert performance, a seemingly relieved Pete Townshend announced that the event would mark the last performance of the Who's landmark rock opera Tommy. To paraphrase Adam West: "Poor, deluded boy." Over the ensuing decades, the mushrooming popularity of the Who's tour de force would inspire an all-stars-meet-the-London Symphony album (1972), a star-studded Ken Russell film epic/soundtrack (1975), a Broadway show (1992)--and become an enduring millstone around Townshend and the band's collective necks. But it was over-the-top auteur Russell who would give the morality tale of the deaf, dumb, and blind boy-cum-reluctant-messiah some of its most indelible pop-cultural iconography: Eric Clapton as High Priest; Acid Queen Tina Turner; Elton John in sky-high stack soles as the Pinball Wizard. The accompanying album is dutifully sprawling, a monument to Me Decade excess studded with loopy star turns (including the, er, "operatic" charms of Ann Margaret and Jack Nicholson), swelling choirs, and blustery synth fills. As he would later do to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, executive producer Robert Stigwood manages to turn one of rock's seminal achievements into something more artistically akin to the World Wrestling Federation, and every bit as musically subtle. It's no mean feat to virtually overwhelm the Who on their own record; Stigwood makes it sound like a vendetta. Still, it's an album so ambitiously bad it's but one William Shatner performance away from being a kitsch masterpiece. --Jerry McCulley
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
30
by The Who
5:01
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2
30
2:56
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3
30
2:36
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4
30
3:42
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5
30
2:49
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6
30
3:17
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7
30
3:38
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8
30
3:20
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9
30
3:46
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10
30
0:54
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11
30
3:07
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12
30
0:44
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13
30
1:39
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14
30
0:28
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15
30
by The Who
3:05
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16
30
0:33
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17
30
5:14
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Disc 2
1
30
4:42
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2
30
0:22
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3
30
3:57
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4
30
0:55
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5
30
1:22
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6
30
2:35
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7
30
3:26
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8
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4:36
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9
30
0:23
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10
30
5:12
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11
30
4:13
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12
30
1:14
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13
30
1:30
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14
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4:46
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15
30
4:19
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 17, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Polydor
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001FR6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,645 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Not to at all be confused with The 1969 masterpeice album by The Who "Tommy". Speaking of this soundtrack, I would have to reflect on the movie itself, since basically, the entire movie is here on this CD with the inclusion of the single only release of "Overture From Tommy", which in like many cases in this soundtrack, has The Who playing most if not all instrumentation.
Ok, that aside, I as a young 10 year old Who/ Elton John fan went to the cinema over and over to see this grandioso Rock opera come to life before my eyes. Even today watching the film on DVD brings back the original excitement. It was up to the casting director to chose who took each role and would sing each part. Ken Russell was a genius in my opinion on his choices. I always wondered what Pete thinks today of this movie.

Elton John's great version of "Pinball Wizard" (with a bit of "I Can't Explain" thrown in at the end) is worth half the 5 stars I listed. What I also love are the new renditions of the Tommy tunes that The Who actual do like "Amazing Journey", "I'm Free", "Sensation", "Listening To You/See Me, Feel Me" & "Sally Simpson" to name a few. If you are a Who nut like me, this collection is a must! The hard rocking version of "I'm Free" I always loved better than the original laid back version.
Then again, if you are a Who completest like myself, you have this already! The soundtrack to one of the greatest musicals of my time!
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased the original movie soundtrack LP recording by Polydor in the `75/'76 time frame, before I actually saw the movie. (I still have this album.) Then, a few years ago, I purchased the CD when it was finally available. There are some differences in the two. There is more content to the CD (the Overture, some short transition songs, and some extensions of the songs, as they were presented in the movie), possibly due to the time limitations associated with vinyl recording technology.

As I recall, being a Who fan, I was initially somewhat disappointed by the fact that many of the songs are not actually performed by The Who and sung by Roger Daltrey. Guest artists and musicians (studio and band) appear frequently, w/ or w/o members of The Who. However, they do, for the most part, their own great job of interpreting the music from the Tommy rock opera. There is a lot to like here if you can get past the fact that The Who did not perform in much of this recording.

I must admit, I do not own a copy of the original Who recording of Tommy. Though, I have heard many of the songs played on radio. With exception of possibly the live performances of Tommy (e.g. at Woodstock), in nearly all cases, the original movie soundtrack recording surpasses the original album release. As noted by others below, there is a lack of energy and a laid back approach (forgive me, mellowed out) in The Who version of Tommy and a fair amount of harmonization of vocals by the band. In contrast, in the movie soundtrack, the song arrangements have all been improved and embellished with additional instrumentation (keyboards & brass), synthesizers, energy, and emotion.

Daltrey's voice is powerful, clean, and he holds notes better than ever before.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Director Ken Russell didn't exactly get this right! Des McAnuff, director of the Broadway 'Musical' didn't get it right! Lou Reizner, the 70's producer of the 'London Symphony' made it only a little more lucid with first-time guest singers! And neither did the Who on their landmark 1969 double album get the real story!?! So 'who' did? The original '69 double LP is perhaps the most beloved blueprint of the music & story of Tommy Walker wherein only the Who are performing the entirety of it. However, I do believe of all the rewrites which Pete Townsend has done 3-4 times over, that he finally got the story line & most of the music correct on the 1975 'Tommy' soundtrack recording. Yes, Ann-Margret & Jack Nicholson are a sore spot, a bump-in-the-road for Who fans. However, in spite of several questionable casting choices, author & composer Pete Townsend gets his rewrites perfectly placed & written here; the best song order, smart reprises, definitive melody lines, full-blast arrangements, the strongest lead vocals by Daltrey & Townsend, as well as the overall 'narrative' of the story-line, without changing & chopping it into oblivion!

'Tommy', The Musical (on Broadway), sounded more like the Who's 1969 double album in spots, complete w/the familiar & famed 'Overture'. However, for the 'musical', Townsend's libretto & lyric rewrites were awkward both in their verse & meaning; reducing the main character's spiritual autism to a 'no place like home', 'Lifetime' movie cliche... Not good, Pete! Moreover, the Broadway musicians run the score so stiff & in-authentically, as Broadway can't ever play rock music as real rock musicians can, with the lead actors singing with way-too-much vibrato!
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