.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/thewho-tommy-coverar-source-55392-1384200680.jpeg Tommy: Super Deluxe Box Set

The Who

Tommy: Super Deluxe Box Set

Geffen/UMe
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 5 0
November 12, 2013

As the first popular "rock opera," Tommy has plenty to answer for. But measured against pale 21st-century Broadway offspring, the Who's magnum opus still rules. Besides an impressive book, the news on this box is a virtually complete set of Pete Townshend demos, with the composer's warm tenor taking lead on every song. It makes for remarkable alternate versions. "The Hawker (Eyesight to the Blind)" hews closer to its Sonny Boy Williamson roots; "Sally Simpson" as a sort of music-hall piano romp. Semi-acoustic versions of "Acid Queen" and "Pinball Wizard" are delicious; a minor rocker ("Trying to Get Through") and a backward-tape jam ("Dream One") appear as well. The fierce '69 live recording comes from tapes that were thankfully stashed away by the band's sound man after Townshend ordered them destroyed. They prove the music's power even without actors – just the four dudes who cooked it up in the first place.

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

    “Nightshift”

    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com