This is the soundtrack to the Tommy film, based on the original 1969 classic album by The Who called Tommy. Indeed, the original songs were rather minimal in terms of instrumentation, which gave others the opportunity to recreate them, namely on this album. This is definitely a great idea for a musical score, so let’s take a listen to this and hear where it takes us.
We kick off with Overture From Tommy which is performed by The Who. It begins with nicely strummed guitars, keyboards and other classic sounds. This is a wonderful listening experience and sounds really close to the original, and amazingly great as well. Some further spacey keyboards and other awesome textures light this up. Towards the middle, the pace changes and we have a multitude of Tommy based melodies to listen to. The jangly guitars and melodies here are irresistible and unforgettable, showcasing that the band still had their mojo. In the second half, the piece progresses along with awesome drum rolls and keyboards that sound super spacey. Eventually, this piece reaches its awesome conclusion. A very great start to this album, and a layered piece of awesome music.
Following is Prologue – 1945 which is performed by Pete Townshend. It begins with some otherworldly keyboards in a super Progressive Rock sort of sound. These melodies are played out with rolling drum rolls and a bunch of unusual Electronic sounds. This isn’t as good as the original, sadly, but is an interesting listen nonetheless. It sounds very 1975, and the layers of melodies are interesting and different. It finishes with a build-up, and finally with a sonic explosion.
Captain Walker / It’s A Boy comes next which features Pete Townshend, Margo Newman and Vicki Brown. It begins with some repeating riffs, interesting vocal samples before the ladies get singing. This certainly is very different, and just adds some vibrancy and richness to the original Tommy piece. This is a great listening experience for those of you who dug the original album but simply want more. It ends with more spacey keyboards and some stardust sounds over the top of the band, before fading out. Awesome.
Bernie’s Holiday Camp features Oliver Reed, Ann Margret and Alison Dowling. It sounds fairly circus-like and has some different lyrics and some wacky vocals. It’s a strange expansion on the original and has some awesome and Jazzy drum rolls to listen to. Further extra lyrical sections emerge, before launching into a cheerful and joyous piece. There are vocals from a schoolgirl here, to add an extra level of appeal to the silliness, before going back to a logical conclusion and end. Awesome.
Following is 1951 / What About The Boy? which features Oliver Reed and Ann Margret. It stays close to the original but has some differentiation in singing and some instrumentation. It is a fine listen and just sounds really classy, with some awesome guitar riffs over the top of this one. In the second half, pitch-shifted melodies and thunderous drum rolls continue, before some awesome singing by the guests as a call-and-response conclude this interesting listen, which speeds up towards the end. Good job.
Next is Amazing Journey which features Pete Townshend. It begins with some different and mainly Electronic interpretations of the original song. Pete Townshend sings wonderfully on this piece, with some awesome instrumentation, backwards tapes and loud guitars to boot. This is a different sort of delivery of the original song from Tommy, but it is a denser listen, whereas the original was much more punchy. A fine effort nonetheless, this does sound very good. The singing in particular is super impressive and sounds top. A great interpretation of the original song.
Christmas follows which features Oliver Reed, Ann Margret and Alison Dowling. It launches with piano, sleigh bells and triangle sounds, which are different and add flavour to the original composition. The female singing here is ridiculously good, and it is a great interpretation of the original. It sounds almost like a Brian Wilson take on of the original piece. This sounds rather ridiculous in retrospect but is still a good listen for all historical purposes. A bit weird in places, but otherwise a great and enjoyable listen that ends with some gorgeous piano on the fade-out.
Eyesight To The Blind features Eric Clapton. It begins with some cool drum rolls, quirky keyboard and some funky Fender Stratocaster played by Eric Clapton himself. He sings nicely here as well, and this is an awesome listen and reinterpretation of the original song. The piece is full of awesome electric guitar licks and a sense that Eric Clapton’s presence here is very much welcome. A really cool and head-nodding piece, this does sound really amazing. The guitar licks throughout are really legendary, and Clapton works his magic wonderfully on this song. It stops abruptly at the end. Totally brilliant.
Next along is The Acid Queen which features singer Tina Turner. It quickly launches into a Funk/Disco piece that sounds really classy. This piece still retains the original melody, whilst retaining a melody and presence that the original cannot. In any case, it is a good piece, although a bit over-the-top and it sounds as though Tina Turner cannot do low notes here. In any case, nice performance to hear and a twist to the original song. It has a super powerful and frenzied second half, with many stop/start sections that are ridiculously good. It has some maniacal laughing right at the end, brilliant stuff.
Following is Do You Think It’s Alright? (1) which features Ann Margret and Oliver Reed. It is a short piece at less than a minute long and has piano, keyboards and guitar sounds. A very interesting listen, it comes as a good twist to the plot of Tommy and sounds good as well.
Cousin Kevin featuring Paul Nicholas comes next. It segues in from the previous track, and Paul Nicholas sings very well on this song. It is a melodramatic and interesting piece of music, as the unique and strange plot twist emerges on this song. A very good piece of music about Tommy who is deaf, blind and dumb being dealt with by the school bully. There is some truly thunderous drumming on this song. At the end is the repeated lyrics from the start over a piano. An interesting piece of music.
Do You Think It’s Alright? (2) is another continuation styled piece that features Ann Margret and Oliver Reed. Really not too much is to be said here, it is around 45 seconds long and is a continuation piece with the plot. Sounds rich in instrumentation though.
Next along is Fiddle About which begins with a load of brass instrumentation and features Keith Moon on vocals. A really scary piece lyrically, but perfectly placed into the plot and story of Tommy, the piece gets faster and faster towards the end. It is a good example of how this version of Tommy benefits, rather than takes away from the original. Good nonetheless.
Following is Do You Think It’s Alright? (3) which is very short at less than 30 seconds long and features, once again, Ann Margret and Oliver Reed. It has a pseudo-Classical feel to it and finishes before you know it.
Sparks is a three-minute version of the original song re-performed by The Who. It begins with some interesting sounds and nice instrumentation to listen to, including guitars, horns and other great sounds on this song. The drumming in particular is very pronounced on this song, and just sounds really cool and awesome. Not a bad listen for a three-minute-long song, it sounds lively and punchy listening. This is an awesome redo of the original song which should get some approval from not just fans of The Who, but Rock fans in general. It ends with keyboard sounds that are very 1970s.
Extra, Extra, Extra is a great intermission piece featuring Simon Townshend and The Who. It’s an extension of the original piece that goes into more detail about Tommy and his life. Good but only just over 30 seconds long.
Next is the popular song Pinball Wizard which features Elton John. It begins with glorious harmonies, piano and quickly launches into a guitar-led piece of awesome music. Elton John’s vocals here are very much suited to this piece, and this is a decent listen for those fans of The Who that really liked the original song from Tommy. There are some excellent guitar solos on this piece, and this song is really awesomely glorious. It sounds really great and energetic, although is a lot longer than the original. Some fuzz guitar solos on this song really sound amazing. Towards the end, guitar riffs and piano mesh together to finish off well. Nice rendition of the original tune, very very good.
Beginning side two is Champagne which features The Who, Ann Margret and Roger Daltrey. It begins with some excellent guitar licks and keyboards, with some expressive drum rolls. It is a really superb and uplifting piece that wasn’t on the main album but sounds really terrific nonetheless. Roger Daltrey’s vocals here are magnificent, as always. A very nice and dramatic sounding piece of music that sounds really awesome, with alternating vocal performances and quirky keyboards. This is a decent, perhaps overly dramatic piece of music. A gloriously good listening experience, the drum and percussion sounds towards the end are worth paying attention to. There is a multitude of dramatic keyboard sounds as well, finishing off with some watery parts. Different.
There’s A Doctor is a short intermission styled piece at 22 seconds long and featuring Oliver Reed. It is merely filler, but decent filler at that. Good to listen to, however.
Go To The Mirror comes next and features Jack Nicholson, Roger Daltrey, Ann Margret and Oliver Reed. It has some interesting Electronics and tape-based sounds, before going into a strange and rather ordinary rendition of the original song on Tommy. It doesn’t sound that good, to be fair. Although that is the case, it’s not outright bad, just very ordinary. A mountain of harmonies and hi-hats play along nicely before drum rolls kickstart the second half of the song. A different and interesting sounding piece of music nonetheless, and a good combination of sounds and arrangements here, along with the singing.
Next is Tommy, Can You Hear Me? which features Ann Margret. It is a short piece under a minute, driven by lush instrumentation and a variety of sounds that match the singing nicely. Good intermission effort.
Following is Smash The Mirror which features Ann Margret. It begins with some awesome drum rolls, 1970s styled horns and boogie-woogie piano. It is a decent and wonderful piece of music that sounds great and is very much a classic in its own way. It concludes with some different Electronic sounds, indicating the mirror smashing. Smashing effort.
I’m Free features Roger Daltrey. It begins with some clean Fender guitar styled parts. It is a different and unique introduction to this song. Soon enough, a harder rock version of the original song emerges and this piece sounds really glorious. A really cool song that sounds so passionate and well-delivered musically that it sounds really gorgeous and nicely influenced. Towards the end is a Pinball Wizard set of chords, before finishing up.
Mother and Son features Ann Margret and Roger Daltrey. It begins with symphonic keyboard strings, before launching into a very dramatic piece of music that progresses the story along very well. It seems our main character on this album is finally coming to his senses, at last. It is an interesting piece that wasn’t on the original album but sounds wonderful regardless. It is an excellent and lively piece that fits wonderfully and in a great musical way. The piano riff towards the end is gold, and the outro is very nice.
Next along is Sensation which is a longer piece at over four minutes long and features Roger Daltrey. It has a multitude of decent sounds and horn sections to get you grooving. Indeed, this album is full of surprises and this is one of them, at least sonically. Weird sounds are mixed together on an Electronic basis, over the top of some really clever guitar parts. Roger Daltrey then begins singing nicely, showcasing a wonderful voice and vocal range, as he always does. The lyrics are about Tommy finding himself, now that he is freed from the conditions that were holding him back. A lovely and cool piece of music, this sounds really great and lively. Awesome stuff, Tommy comes across as a cult leader of importance here. Nice job.
Following is Miracle Cure which features Simon Townshend. It’s a very brief piece, at 23 seconds long. Apart from continuing the story, not much is really needed to be said here, but it does sound very good.
Sally Simpson features Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. It’s a five minute plus piece, beginning with some pseudo-Country styled guitar chords and is a great sounding piece of music derived from the original song on the 1969 album. It has a lot of intricate instruments and sounds to match this piece of wonder. The song itself is a very joyful and upbeat piece of music with many lyrical twists and turns that sounds really awesome and fun. Sally Simpson herself is obsessed with Tommy in many different ways, and this is a song about fan obsession that works very well and decently. A really cool piece of music that shows how good the songcraft here is. It’s magnificent. It has an elongated outro, before finishing nicely.
Welcome features Ann Margret, Roger Daltrey and Oliver Reed. It begins with a beautiful piano and nice singing from Roger Daltrey. A very anthemic and decent sounding song, this sounds gloriously divine. The other guests quickly get singing away as well, and the song itself is about the nature of superstardom. There is some Sitar in the background here as well. The piece gets dramatic and song-based throughout. It is a good interpretation of this Tommy song, several years after the original was recorded. The outro is excellent, showcasing a variety of sounds. Awesome.
Next along is T.V. Studio which features Ann Margret and Oliver Reed. It goes on for barely over a minute but is an awesome addition to the original set of tracks here that have been redone. It is a good addition for something barely over a minute long. Nice work.
After that is Tommy’s Holiday Camp with Keith Moon on vocals. It is a brilliant and effective effort that sounds really awesome for a song that is a minute and a half long. It honestly sounds like a circus song but is really quite a lot better than that. The extra lines of lyrics here on this song are amusing, not a bad effort.
We’re Not Gonna Take It is a four-minute-long piece featuring Roger Daltrey and Chorus. It begins with piano, multitracked backing vocals and hi-hats. The chanted intro continues for some time, before going into the song itself. Roger Daltrey sings beautifully and melodically on this song, and this is a nice listen and reinterpretation of the original Tommy song. Some great guitar parts are throughout, along with the rest of the group. A very memorable and worthwhile listen, it changes in the second half to a strange guitar solo, before the chanted vocals saying: “We’re not gonna take it!” emerge. A really cool piece of music and it sounds very nice as we approach the end of this album.
See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You is the very last song on this double album, and has Roger Daltrey on vocals. This is a great performance by all, and a genuinely good conclusion to this decent listen. It is an excellent listening experience and just sounds really top. A worthwhile album and listen, if you love The Who. The singing is highly enjoyable and sounds really amazing, a very genuinely good and inspired listen. Nice to hear this conclude the album, it ends with a load of drum rolls and finishes there.
This is a good album that is not quite instant classic status, although it is very promising. Why? Although the material here is good, it does not match the quality of the original Tommy album, sadly. Still, it is enjoyable from a historical and celebrity guest perspective, otherwise, this is not really recommended unless you are a huge fan of The Who. There are some good songs here, but sadly, not decent enough song quality. Also, the length of the album at an hour and a half is a bit much for listening. A good effort regardless, but not a great effort.
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