Quadrophenia - is it one of the greatest rock records of all time? - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-16-2009, 08:47 PM   #1
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Quadrophenia - is it one of the greatest rock records of all time?

I vote an emphatic yes.

Continuing my 'musical discovery' I brought Who's Next some time ago and immediately fell in love from the moment Baba O'Riley graced my ears. And the brilliance doesn't end there. Songs like Song is Over. Getting in Tune. Won't Get Fooled Again. My Wife - the horns!! - . Behind Blue Eyes (forever desecrated by the disgusting Limp Bizkit cover). And then there's all the additions which are on my version. Pure and Easy. Water. I Don't Know Myself. The list is endless.

Then I wanted another album. I chose Sell Out, simply because it was cheaper than Quadrophenia. I still don't like it much. It's got its classics, your I Can See For Miles, and other gems like Armenia City in the Sky, Our Love Was, Tattoo, Odorono, and great additions like Hall of the Mountain King. But it is overshadowed by the above and belted into submission by the following.

Quadrophenia - and I know at least Zoots will agree with me - is fucking incredible. Most concept or double albums miss a beat, there's filler, etc etc etc, but not here. 80 odd minutes of unbelievable music. The story is relatively easy to follow too, and, unlike Roger Waters, Pete makes sure the story doesn't get excessively in the way of the music. It's a story that is relatable, a key element with concept albums. Everyone can find something in it to salvage.

You've got The Real Me, which gets proceedings off to the most rocking, best possible start, complete with some damn fine Entwistle. There's Quadrophenia, my third favourite instrumental of all time, behind A New Career in a New Town and Any Colour You Like. A magical six minutes. The choruses!

Zoot suit!
White jacket with sides
That were five inches long
I'm out on the street again
And I'm leaping along!
Dressed right
For a beach fight
But I just can't explain
Why this uncertain feeling is still here in my brain...


My jacket's gonna be cut slim and checked
Maybe a touch of seersucker and an open neck
I ride a GS scooter with my hair cut neat
I wear my war time coat in the wind and sleet


Helpless Dancing, the battling vocals, and that awesome outro that leads up to "You stop dancing!" One of The Who's finest, The Punk and the Godfather, which combines the best of Daltrey and Townshend's vocals. Roge's verses (sometimes self-referencing) rock - "I'm the punk with the stutter!" -, while Pete's "I have to be careful not to preach..." verse is perfect. How good's The Dirty Jobs? "I am a man who looks after the pigs... I'm not gonna sit and weep again." The end of side one doesn't disappoint either, I've Had Enough's verses are powerfully sung.

Side two remembers Cut My Hair before launching into a bit of manic Bowie with 5:15, which is just one of the best Who songs, period, and shows why Daltrey was one of, if not the, best singers going around. The entire second half, save for The Rock, is just about unbeatable. Sea and Sand is flawless, has touching lyrics, and again recalls I've Had Enough. Drowned is simple, and has a wonderful, accessible chorus that really shows the story from Jimmy's eyes. Bell Boy is almost my favourite off the album. (My opinion is Drowned is when Jimmy is out on his own, just reflecting, but still high on leapers. The Rock/Love Reign O'er Me is when his life flashes before him - hence the unfortunate necessity of The Rock - but this time he has come down, and reality hits). Probably is; it's so hard to pick and choose. The verses are incredible, and you won't find many better throughout music history. Roger really excels here, and is helped out by the rest of the band. And then the accent comes in and surprisingly mixes in effortlessly with the music, and just adds another level.

Doctor Jimmy is nothing short of exhilirating. Eight minutes without a second wasted, and you can't help but adore those lyrics.

What is it? I'll take it.
Who is she? I'll rape it.
Got a bet there? I'll meet it.
Getting high? You can't beat it.

Doctor Jimmy and Mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him
He only comes out when I drink my gin

You say she's a virgin
Well I'm gonna be the first in
Her fella's gonna kill me?
Oh fucking will he


Really gives an insight into the warped teenage mind. The instrumentation's astonishing. Finally there's Love Reign O'er Me, which, after over an hour of staggering music, provides even more highlights with the soft, beautiful piano intro, and then provides the best example of the might of Roger Daltrey's voice. No wonder he says The Who are at their best when he sings Pete's songs. Somehow, the band manage to top all that has come before it on this song, the solos are incredible.

Now let's appreciate.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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The Who's masterpiece.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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It's been years since I've listened to it in its entirety, but 5:15, The Real Me, and Love Reign O'er Me are three absolute classic songs.

I still prefer early, goofier, more playful and less bombastic Who, though.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:38 PM   #4
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I still prefer early, goofier, more playful and less bombastic Who, though.
You and me both.

Regardless, Quadrophenia has a place in my heart, and I can appreciate its ambition, scope, and clutch of classic songs. I just don't think it's their finest work.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:46 PM   #5
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^I agree. Who's Next is one of my favorite albums of all time, and, imo, the best album of The Who. I still think Quadrophenia is brilliant, though.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:42 PM   #6
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I vote an emphatic yes.

This is qft.

I love Quadrophenia. A fuckload.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:53 PM   #7
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I'm so embarrased I've never heard it. I only have Who's Next and Tommy.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:54 PM   #8
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Quadrophenia is everything Tommy wishes it was.

Who's Next is also fantastic.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:56 PM   #9
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I'm so embarrased I've never heard it. I only have Who's Next and Tommy.

Music: Quadrophenia (Remaster) (CD) by The Who (Artist)

15 clams on Tower.com
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:57 PM   #10
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^ I wasn't all that impressed with Tommy either, but I adore Who's Next.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:57 PM   #11
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I love Tommy. A lot.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:59 PM   #12
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There is a significant amount of bombast, yes, but it's immaterial to me. Listen to I think it's the end of The Real Me, or 5:15 maybe. There's bass, guitar, drums, bass, piano and horns all at once

I don't own Tommy, and don't really plan to either, unless someone gifts it to me.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:00 AM   #13
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Tommy sucks. The Who Sell Out was so much better executed, and it isn't laughably pretentious.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:00 AM   #14
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I don't own Tommy, and don't really plan to either, unless someone gifts it to me.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:03 AM   #15
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Tommy sucks.

Wrong.

Underture and Amazing Journey/Sparks are worth the price of admission just for the two of them.
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