.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/tommy-1360608765.jpeg Tommy (Original Soundtrack Recording)

The Who

Tommy (Original Soundtrack Recording)

Polydor
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
June 5, 1975

Will I ever succeed in figuring out my all-time number-one rock hero?

Here Pete Townshend plays some stunning synthesizer stuff and then allows most of it to be obscured by the singing of people who haven't any business in a recording studio.

However effusively film critics may acclaim her for allowing herself to be photographed looking middle-aged and haggard (if not for her actual acting), Ann-Margret simply doesn't sing appealingly and it's hardly any pushover imagining wanting to endure repeated exposure to her rather unnerving supper-club vibrato regardless of the often amazing stuff Townshend has going on in the background. Likewise, however effectively sinister and perverse Oliver Reed may have seemed on the screen, the tuneless croak in which he attempts to sing the major role of her lover seems the sort of thing only a shameless pervert would long to listen to in the privacy of his home.

Why, when they had him around for an all-too-brief appearance as the Priest, did no one think to make use of the delectably blood-curdling voice of Arthur Brown, God of Hellfire, ret.? Even if Ken Russell were dead set on Reed doing his own singing, think of how stupendous Art probably would have been as Cousin Kevin.

Considering that it's the work of the very flower of British rock, the instrumental accompaniment is surprisingly untogether in several places. Who, for instance, would have dreamed that the exemplary likes of Eric Clapton (in one of his least impressive recorded performances), John Entwistle and Face Kenny Jones would have had such difficulty concurring on the tempo at which to perform "Eyesight to the Blind"?

Just for the record, the four tunes that were written especially for this version scarcely justify its purchase, largely because of the extent to which they feature Ann-Margret.

If you somehow managed to adore the movie (which this once devout Who fan and great admirer of their original did not), you'd be lots better off seeing it a few more times than buying this soundtrack, which, without the visuals, doesn't make it.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com