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The Who - Tommy and Quadrophenia Live

4.1 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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(Nov 08, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Box set featuring two legendary stage performances by the hugely popular band, The Who. The performance of 'Quadrophenia' was filmed on the Who's US tour in 1996/97 - with a combination of acting, specially-shot film and visual and audio treats. It features newcomer Alex Langdon in the role of Jimmy, Billy Idol as The Ace Face and PJ Proby as The Godfather. The performance of 'Tommy' was filmed at the Universal Ampitheatre in Los Angeles during the band's 25th anniversary tour. Special guest artists include Elton John as 'The Pinball Wizard', Billy Idol as 'Cousin Kevin', Phil Collins as 'Uncle Ernie', Steve Winwood as 'The Hawker' and Patti LaBelle as the 'Acid Queen'. Completing the package is a collection of live Who and Townshend solo hits including some rare acoustic performances of Who favourites filmed in various locations.

Special Features

  • The Quadrophenia Story
  • MX DVD interactive visual commentary by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Product Details

  • Actors: Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Elton John, Patti LaBelle, Simon Phillips
  • Directors: Roger Daltrey, Larry Jordan, Aubrey Powell, Lawrence Jordan
  • Format: Box set, Color, PAL
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: German, English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Rhino
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B9PW6M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,129 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In my lifetime - hell, probably in ALL time - no band has come out of retirement more often than the Who. After Keith Moon's death, it appeared to be over, until Kenny Jones filled the drum slot for a few years. Bandleader songwriter/guitarist Pete Townshend had developing doubts that the Who were still the proper outlet for his songwriting, and in the late `80s, the band announced its dissolution, punctuated with a `farewell tour'. Anyone who attended any of those shows believing that it would be the band's last hurrah - as advertised - might be somewhat bitter about the experience now. Since then, the Who have been revived more often than patients in a cardiac ward.

Both performances featured on this DVD set are taken from tours posthumous to the band's breakup, so it is understandable if more than a few fans are cynical about this package, but the truth is that it is better than they might expect. Granted, this isn't the classic Who (they ceased to exist with the death of Keith Moon in 1978), but it is classic Who material, and most of it is performed quite brilliantly here. The performance of `Tommy' takes place in Los Angeles in 1989 and at the time, it was quite a special event. A star-studded affair, with guests ranging from Billy Idol, Phil Collins, Patti LaBelle, Steve Winwood and Elton John, the entire performance was televised live. At the time I was ready, and I taped the entire performance on my Sony Betamax (which was dated even then!). I thought the performance was absolutely excellent, and I still have that copy today, although this well-produced DVD makes it even more obsolete than it already has been.
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Format: DVD
The DVD "Tommy and Quadrophenia Live" is not necessarily a concert DVD. For a concert DVD from the Who one would look towards "Live at the Isle of Wight" or the 2000 show from the Royal Albert Hall, or the recently released "Live in Boston." This collection of performances is better described as the MUSIC of the Who ... played by the Who, if that makes any sense.

Purists will argue that these two concerts do not capture the raw, agressive power of the Who as a live band. Rather, these concerts showcase the power of the Who's music and the stories they tell. Quadrophenia in particular is a masterful marriage of a band on stage, live-action performance, and pre-recorded imagery on a large screen behind the stage. Throughout it all, the music stands out leading the narrative.

A word of warning that must be re-iterated, this is not a typical Who concert. The band does not perform as a four or five piece. Each concert includes several backing singers, extra guitars, and a brass section. This is a celebration foremost of the narratives of Pete Townshend, gloriously realized by a bevy of extremely talented musicians including the surviving Who members. If you're looking for the gnashing, snarling, loud Who, you won't find *much* of it hear, though there is some.

DISC 1 - Tommy, 1989

This concert came at the end of a 25th anniversary tour that the Who had undertaken. Special guests include Steve Winwood playing the part of the Hawker, Patti LaBelle as the Acid Queen, Elton John reprising his film role as the Pinball Wizard, Billy Idol as Cousin Kevin, and Phil Collins as Uncle Ernie.

The entire breadth of Tommy is covered in this performance with the exception of "Underture" and "Welcome.
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Format: DVD
This DVD obviously contains The Who, or what's left of the Who, performing their rock 'n roll masterpieces "Tommy" in 1989, and "Quadrphenia" in 1997. While it may not be the orginal Who these concerts, especially "Quad", are AMAZING!

The "Tommy" performance admittingly is not The Who at their peak, but that's not really expected is it? It's 3 warhorses who've weathered the challenges of the true rock 'n roll experience and are now soaking in one of their greatest achievements with "Tommy" the deaf, dumb & blind boy and his quest for salvation and enlightment within himself as well as peace with the world that has done him harm. This performance is tight and "big band" sounding w/ guest stars (Steve Winwood, Elton John, Patti Labelle, Billy Idol), but it really fits the operatic feeling of the source material. It's really a good version of the piece actually when you give the band credit for what it actually is at this time in their careers. Entwistle still smokes on the bass and Daltrey still has his olympian voice, but Townshend, due to an effort to save his hearing, regulates himself to an acoustic guitar. All in all a pretty fine concert.

It's the 1997 "Quadrophenia" here that's really something special. The band is in another place musically and mentally and they deliver a seriously rocking version of their 1973 classic. Quadrophenia deals w/ a young mod, Jimmy, and his frustrations that come w/ being a troubled adolescent who is disillusioned w/ his parents, his heroes, girls and everything else that plagues adolescents during their time of self-discovery. He suffers from 4 split personalities, each symbolic of the identities of the orginal Who.
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