Genre: Rock, hard rock, pop rock, art rock
Origin: England (London)
Recorded:19 September 1968 – 7 March 1969 at IBC Studios, London
Released: 23 May 1969
Label: Track, Polydor (UK) , Decca, MCA (U.S.)
Tommy is the first of The Who's two full-scale rock operas (the second being Quadrophenia), and the first musical work explicitly billed as a rock opera. In some older publications it is called Tommy (1914–1984). Released in 1969, the opera was composed by Who guitarist Pete Townshend, with two tracks contributed by Who bassist John Entwistle and one fictitiously attributed to Who drummer Keith Moon, though actually written by Townshend. An earlier song by blues artist Sonny Boy Williamson II was also incorporated into the opera.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 96 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album was also ranked #90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Albums of Rock & Roll and appears in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
The Who was one of the very first bands to compose and perform a rock opera live. In 1969 they released "Tommy", originally a double album in which all of the songs revolved around a main concept. The story is about a young boy named Tommy, who witnesses the murder of his father by his mother's lover. They tell Tommy that he didn't hear or see what happened, and not to say anything to anyone. As a result, Tommy goes into a state of deafness, dumbness and blindness. The songs are about the events in Tommy's life, and they help explain the whole rock opera. Throughout the album, such instruments as the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pipe organ, drums, piano, horns and the tambourine are used.
Original 1969 album as a 2 LP.
All songs were written by Pete Townshend except where noted.
01. Overture – 5:21
02. It's a Boy – 0:38
03. 1921 – 2:49 On some versions, the title of "1921" was changed to "You Didn't Hear It". Some vinyl copies had both titles, the former in the lyrics and the latter on the label.
04. Amazing Journey – 3:25
05. Sparks – 3:46
06. Eyesight to the Blind (The Hawker) (Williamson) – 2:13 On some versions (most notably the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs CD remaster), this song features a significantly different mix from that of the original LP (and currently available CD releases). The most prominent difference is a harmony vocal on the main verses sung by Townshend in a fashion similar to live performances of the song during 1969-70. Side two
01. Do You Think It's Alright? – 0:24
02. Fiddle About (Entwistle) – 1:26
03. Pinball Wizard – 3:01
04. There's a Doctor – 0:23
05. Go to the Mirror! – 3:49
06. Tommy, Can You Hear Me? – 1:36
07. Smash the Mirror – 1:35
08. Sensation – 2:27
01. Miracle Cure – 0:12
02. Sally Simpson – 4:12
03. I'm Free – 2:40
04. Welcome – 4:34
05. Tommy's Holiday Camp (Moon) – 0:57 "Tommy's Holiday Camp" was also written by Townshend. Keith Moon was awarded credit for conceiving the holiday camp setting.
06. We're Not Gonna Take It – 7:08
Pete Townshend (vocals, guitar, keyboards);
John Entwistle (vocals, French horn, bass);
Keith Moon (vocals, drums);
Roger Daltrey (vocals).
Wikipedia info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_(rock_opera)