Thursday, February 25, 2010

'The Who', 'Tommy' And Rock Operas - 70s

It was reported in the news media, Pete Townshend may have to quit the legendary band if his hearing gets worse.

Yes, the news item started me thinking about The Who, the rock group that sends the adrenalin pumping and ears exploding when I spin the turntable to play their hits. And Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are no ordinary musicians, with the group literally bringing the stage to a 'destructive' end with their music and instruments.

"This fantastic group has sold about 100 million records and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States with 17 top ten albums, including 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone (Wikipedia)."

Frankly I got to know The Who a little bit after my acquaintance with Deep Purple's music and heard them only when they covered Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' Shakin' All Over in their Live At Leeds album in 1970. Not too late as I was a bit more matured to appreciate the music.

Of course there was also the rock opera Tommy that came in 1969 and others in the genre like Godspell, Hair, (with protest songs) and Jesus Christ Superstar (saw the stage musical in Australia, in November 1973). Pinball Wizard, Good Morning Starshine, Aquarius, I Don't Know How To Love Him, Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord, *Day By Day are some of the songs that not only entertained but excited listeners.

After Note:
If I remember correctly, Neil Diamond had a story to tell when he was interviewed by, Behind The Music. He was next to appear at a show that had The Who on stage. That evening the group smashed guitars to smithereens during performance and caused so much physical and emotional upheaval that the crowd had to be calmed and everyone reassured.  There was chaos and calamity. Quietly Diamond appeared on stage with his songs.  The people stayed to watch...

*Covered by The Blackjacks, Singapore 60s band.
Original article: Andy Lim Collection

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