Quadrophenia Review

artist: The Who date: 08/04/2008 category: compact discs
The Who: Quadrophenia
Release Date: 1973
Label: MCA
Genres: Album Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Rock & Roll, Hard Rock, Pop/Rock, Mod
Number Of Tracks: 17
An excellent and frequently astonishing album, Quadrophenia is both more ambitious and less accessible than Tommy, the first and most well known rock opera.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
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reviews (4) 13 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Quadrophenia Reviewed by: twrde82, on november 07, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Who have always had great sound and spectacular music. Quadrophenia is no exception. This is close to my favorite Who album and has some of the best music I've ever heard. The transitions into songs are excellent and the songs themselves are just played perfectly. Entwhisle's basslines flow so well against the guitar riffs and Keith Moon has yet another great drum piece. The Who also used many new kinds of instruments in the rock opera that blended well with all the other music. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics and singing make this album. Pete Townshend's lyrics reflect all childhood problems. The album all circles around a boy named Jimmy leaving home and eventually taking his life. The band went deep into adolescence psyche and reflected every kids problems and concerns. Songs like "I'm One" reflect the lack of individuality in life and wanting to break through the norm. These are the best lyrics I've ever heard off one album and I think that they still hold up 32 years later, too. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is amazing. The best that you will ever listen to. It is a perfect masterpiece by the Who and easily my favorite album of all time. Songs like "Love Reign O'er Me," "I'm One," "The Real Me" and many others just knock me out. A definate buy for any Who fan and for any person who appreciates great music. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Quadrophenia Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 23, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Many people consider this a peaking point for The Who and I'm not going to argue that. This is a very ambitious album, using synthesizers and sound effects quite often throughout, though not to the point where it sounds cluttered. The real treat though is hearing the interplay within the band, which is in peak form. John (bass) and Keith (drums) combine to create on of the most unique rhythm sections of all time and Pete has some great lead guitar playing which is very uncharacteristic of his style, but is still very good. // 10

Lyrics: This is a concept album about Jimmy, a mod who tries to discover himself, but fails to do so until he drowns himself in the sea. The songwriting here is top notch with Ptet Townshend's lyrics perfectly capturing the angst and frustration that not only Jimmy, but many other teens are feeling. // 9

Overall Impression: This is a great album, though I wouldn't suggest it as a first Who album (Who's Next or Tommy would take that honor) because it is a very complex work and it is an album that will take a little time for you to get into. But if you're a Who fan who knows more then just the hits, you should seriously consider buying this album. You won't regret it. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Quadrophenia Reviewed by: musiclover_92, on december 21, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I love the sound on this record, Daltrey is at his prime. Pete is at the best in his songwriting, especially after the Tommy and the failed Lifehouse project. John's bass is, actually, better than a lot of other albums, and Moon the Loon's drumming, and vocals, are the greatist he's had. The record had four distinct styles, one for each of the band members, Love Reign O'er Me (Pete), Helpless Dancer (Roger), Bell Boy (Keith Moon), and Is It Me (Entwistle). Two songs combine all of the styles, which are the most complicated songs Pete ever composed. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics really make you think, they follow a character in the "mod" time of London who dressed like the rest and went to Brighton to fight Rockers. The Lyrics really go well with the music. Roger's vocals are the best that could go with it, much like other works of Pete Townshend // 9

Overall Impression: It compares very well with Tommy, the older brother who outshines it all the time, It could beat "The Wall", and it does beat out a lof of other albums by artists like The Who. I love the album because it is easy to listen to and keeps you interested, it never gets dull. The only thing I hate is that Keith had too little vocals on "Bell Boy" and the mixing wasn't perfect. The most impressive songs are "Quadrophenia", and "The Rock", which are both the combinations of the themes that tie other songs together, they are both very complicated and sound awesome. if it were stolen (don't know how, I have it on the PC), I would buy it again, worth the money for sure. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Quadrophenia Reviewed by: Stanton68, on august 04, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Who have always been ahead of their time, and Quadrophenia isn't just hardly an exception, it's probably the best example of that statement. Pete Townshend, always being more of a mature composer as opposed to a Lennon/McCartney-esque concise pop single writer, wrote Quadrophenia as a spiritual successor to their 1969 LP "Tommy" (The only thing they have in common is they're both sprawling Rock Operas). And oh lordy is it ever good, surpassing Tommy musically and maybe conceptually. For this record, Pete Townshend, through his music and lyrics, tells a story of a teenage Mod named Jimmy living in 1960s England. It describes his hardships at home, his insecurities and questioning of his lifestyle and pressures to be just like everyone else (pressures that modern day teens, Mod or not, face everyday). The exact plot is determinable through a combination of listening to the music and reading a short story included in the album booklet, and thus, I won't spoil the rest of the plot for you. However, to give you an idea of how Pete Townshend incorporated the actual music into the story, I want to say something about each of the four themes Townshed created for Quadrophenia, "Love, Reign O'er Me", "Bell Boy", "Helpless Dancer" and "Is It Me?" (It's worth noting that "Is It Me?" is the only song without it's own track, it's 'included' in "Doctor Jimmy". Each of those themes represents not only the split personalities of the protagonist, but of the band members themselves (Townshend, Moon, Daltrey and Entwistle, respectively). Each of the themes pops up at mostly unexpected times over the course of the record, and each of the themes is incorporated into two instrumental songs (The title track and "The Rock"). Even for those who may not understand the actual story first go around, these 4 themes keep the concept album feel in place, making each one of them completely essential to the record. The Who have always had their own unique Rock sound. Each of the band members is just utterly jaw dropping at whatever they do. From Roger Daltreys primal screams to Keith Moons "Controlled Chaos" on the drums, from Pete Townshends stellar rhythm guitar playing (on top of his always masterful song writing)to John Entwistles lead bass style, The Who is generally skilled enough to make even the worst song sound half decent. I can't really name a single bad song on Quadrophenia. So no complaints from me. // 10

Lyrics: As usual, Roger Daltrey dominates this album vocally with his unique yet awe inspiring singing, with Pete Townshend singing lead on certain songs once in a while and a small (Yet surprisingly well performed) cameo from Keith Moon on "Bell Boy". Daltrey is generally considered to be one of the best Rock singers of all time, and if there's any Who album that proves this more than Quadrophenia, please do point it out to me. His voice is in top form the entire album, and "Love Reign O'er Me" is easily the best Rock vocal performance of all time. The lyrics, as I've said before, are about a few days in the life of a young British fella named Jimmy. Again, I don't want to completely spoil the story for you, as there's a lot to be heard. However, one thing I would like to point out for the record buyers whom otherwise don't pay attention to the deeper meaning of lyrics and for people who don't see themselves reading the album booklet; unlike Tommy, the story of this album is nigh impossible to understand right away on the first listen. It could be just me, but I don't really know, just a fair warning. That being said, the lyrics are in every way as brilliant as the music. // 9

Overall Impression: It's really difficult to compare Quadrophenia to other artists of it's time. When it was released, the only project as ambitious was The Who's own "Tommy," most other bands who wrote concept albums or Rock Operas were pretty well obscure (Aside from Pink Floyd, who released "Dark Side of the Moon" the same year as Quadrophenia). Quadrophenia though, when it stands on it's own is fantastic. A start just as fitting as "Overture" and an epic conclusion surpassing "Listening to You" in terms of. Well, everything. Every song on Quadrophenia is there for a reason, and they all add the records sound, but I do have to pick favorites here. Most notably, "Love, Reign O'er Me" is an emotional roller coaster which forces every other artist out there to take notes on how to do a concluding track to a concept album. "Doctor Jimmy" is an epic, synth soaked song teetering on 8 minutes. Along with the actual song, it includes what you could consider the only "full" version of the "Is It Me?" theme, which is my second favorite of the 4. "Bell Boy", with Daltrey singing the part of Jimmy and Moon signing the part of the Bell Boy is a fantastic collaboration between the two and shows that Keith Moon, while a drummer first and foremost, did have potential as a vocalist in the Who when given the chance. The two earlier mentioned instrumentals (Which have each of the four themes occurring in a specific order in a shortened form) are amazing ways to flesh out the concept idea between the themes. "Sea and Sand", "5:15", "The Punk and The Godfather" and "I've Had Enough" are also very notable songs on this record. Overall most of the songs are extremely fitting for Quadrophenia. This is far and away the definitive Who record. You can argue that "Who's Next" is more popular and all that jazz, and you can argue that "Tommy" has a more cohesive story, but Quadrophenia is just bloody magical. It's on this album that Pete Townshend has gone above and beyond Lennon and McCartney and put on this record what most bands don't have a hope of ever achieving, an absolutely perfect balance between emotionally powerful lyrics and masterfully composed music. Quite a few people, myself included, consider Quadrophenia to be the last truly great Who record; quite frankly, they couldn't have possibly gone out on a higher note. // 10

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