The Who | Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut

UMC (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  November 22, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars


Pete Townshend's working demos for the Who have long been sought in bootleg circles, often for the simple reason that the songwriter's vulnerable vocals offer relief from the barbaric yawp of lead singer Roger Daltrey. This new reissue of the band's 1973 masterpiece — a more confident "rock opera" than its famous predecessor, Tommy — offers up oodles of killer solo Pete, but the exact amount of Pete depends on how much you're willing to spend. On the basic two-disc version, there's eight demo versions of album tracks, including a lo-fi funk take on "The Real Me." (The Who's rhythm section, meanwhile, wasn't exactly known for its loose, funky playing.) If you're willing to shell out $130 for the "super deluxe edition" (4 CDs, 1DVD, 7-inch single, and big book — a fittingly operatic experience, perhaps), you can have 25 demo tracks, featuring songs that didn't make it onto the original release. Highlights include the power-pop nugget "Joker James" and the airy "Get Inside," which forecasts Townshend's immediate post-Who output. The album itself — melodically inventive, melodramatic, and incredibly rocking — sounds about the same as it did when it was first reissued in the '90s.
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