Quadrophenia

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Quadrophenia
Studio album by The Who
Released19 October 1973 (UK), 1 November 1973 (US)
RecordedMay 1972 and June–August 1973, Olympic Studios, London, Ramport Studios in Battersea, London with Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio
GenreRock
Length81:36
LabelTrack, MCA
ProducerThe Who, Kit Lambert
Co-producer: Glyn Johns (on "Is It in My Head?" and "Love Reign o'er Me")
The Who chronology
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
(1971)
Quadrophenia
(1973)
Odds & Sods
(1974)
Singles from Quadrophenia
  1. "5.15"
    Released: September 1973
  2. "Love, Reign o'er Me"
    Released: 23 October 1973
  3. "The Real Me"
    Released: 12 January 1974
 
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Quadrophenia
Studio album by The Who
Released19 October 1973 (UK), 1 November 1973 (US)
RecordedMay 1972 and June–August 1973, Olympic Studios, London, Ramport Studios in Battersea, London with Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio
GenreRock
Length81:36
LabelTrack, MCA
ProducerThe Who, Kit Lambert
Co-producer: Glyn Johns (on "Is It in My Head?" and "Love Reign o'er Me")
The Who chronology
Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
(1971)
Quadrophenia
(1973)
Odds & Sods
(1974)
Singles from Quadrophenia
  1. "5.15"
    Released: September 1973
  2. "Love, Reign o'er Me"
    Released: 23 October 1973
  3. "The Real Me"
    Released: 12 January 1974

Quadrophenia is the sixth studio album by English rock band The Who. Released on 19 October 1973 by Track and Polydor in the United Kingdom, and Track and MCA in the United States, it is a double album, and the group's second rock opera. Its story involves social, musical and psychological happenings from an English teenage perspective, set in London and Brighton in 1965.

The name is a variation on the popular usage of the medical diagnostic term schizophrenia as dissociative identity disorder, to reflect the four distinct personalities of Jimmy, the opera's protagonist – each said to represent the personality of one member of The Who. At the same time, the title is a play on the term quadraphonic sound, then a recent invention. Composer Pete Townshend has said: "The whole conception of Quadrophenia was geared to quadraphonic, but in a creative sort of way. I mean I wanted themes to sort of emerge from corners. So you start to get the sense of the fourness being literally speaker for speaker." [1][unreliable source?]

History[edit]

During the album production Pete Townshend made many field recordings with a portable reel-to-reel recorder. Some of the location sounds that made it to the record were waves washing on the beach and a diesel train whistle recorded close to Townshend's house at Goring-on-Thames. The ending of "The Dirty Jobs" also includes a musical excerpt from The Thunderer, a march by John Philip Sousa. Townshend recorded this while listening to a brass band perform at a park.

Quadrophenia was originally released as a two-LP set with a gatefold jacket and a thick booklet containing lyrics, a text version of the story, and photographs illustrating the tale. MCA Records re-released it as a two-CD set in 1985 with the lyrics and text story line on a thin fold-up sheet but none of the photographs. The original Polydor CD issue included the complete booklet in miniature, as did the remastered MCA and Polydor CD reissues of 1996.

Quadrophenia was originally released in the UK as Track 2406-110/111[2] on 26 October 1973. However, it appears that owing to a vinyl shortage caused by the OPEC oil embargo, only a limited number of copies got to stores before production had to be halted. Most British Who fans failed to find a copy until after The Who's UK tour. In the UK, Quadrophenia reached the #2 position, being held out of the top spot by David Bowie's Pin Ups, which contained cover versions of The Who songs "I Can't Explain" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere".

In the liner notes to the remastered Odds & Sods Townshend revealed that Quadrophenia evolved from an idea for a self-indulgent autobiography of the band (which was allegedly to have been titled Rock Is Dead—Long Live Rock!). Two of the opera's tracks date from 1972 ("Is It In My Head?" and "Love Reign O'er Me"), a year that also produced The Who's singles "Join Together", "Relay" and "Long Live Rock" (the last not actually released until 1974). However, by the time Quadrophenia was released, the band's role in the story was only symbolic, through Jimmy's four personalities.

The 8-track tape version of this album has the distinction of being one of the few 8-tracks that is arranged exactly like the album, with no song breaks.[3]

Quadrophenia reached #2 on the US Billboard album chart (kept from #1 by then-labelmate Elton John with his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album) and was the highest position of any Who album in the US as they would never hit #1 on the US album charts.[4]

The band viewed the tour in support of the album as disastrous. Owing to extensive use of synthesisers and sound effects on the record, the group elected to employ taped backing tracks for live performance, as they had already done for "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again". Initial performances were plagued by malfunctioning tapes. Once the tapes started, the band had to play to them. The band felt constrained in playing to these recordings, preferring a more free-form attitude.[5]

On the first night of the US leg at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, drummer Keith Moon passed out onstage due to an excessive intake of alcohol and drugs. Scot Halpin, an audience member, was brought on to finish the show.

Pete Townshend now looks back on the album with great pride. "The music is the best music that I've ever written, I think, and it's the best album that I will ever write".[5][6] "We never really ever made a truly great album again."[7]

In May 2011, English writer Peter Meadows published a novel called To Be Someone based on characters presented by the album. On 1 June 2011, Townshend stated in a blog entry on The Who's official website that he had begun working on a deluxe edition of the album. It was released as a 5-CD box on 15 November 2011.

Musical structure[edit]

Moon in one of his few lead vocal roles, singing "Bell Boy" in Quadrophenia

Townshend noted in 2009 that, rather than Jimmy’s personalities representing a Who member, he chose the personalities of each member to illustrate each of Jimmy’s four personalities, or "personality extremes" or mood swings.[5]

The liner notes illustrate this concept as follows (names added):

In addition to describing a personality/band member, the four descriptions refer to four musical themes that portray Jimmy's personalities in the opera: "Helpless Dancer", "Is It Me?", "Bell Boy", and "Love Reign O'er Me". The four themes (or "leitmotifs" as described by Townshend) are mixed together in both the title track (bridging "The Real Me" and "Cut My Hair"), and the penultimate track, "The Rock" (bridging "Doctor Jimmy" and "Love, Reign O'er Me"). The two pieces were the most musically complex pieces that Townshend ever wrote for The Who, combining all four themes into two six-minute instrumental medleys. The two pieces have neither a definite beginning nor end, as they begin with a fade-in from the previous track, starting with the theme of "Bell Boy" (Moon's theme). This is followed by the themes of "Is It Me?" (Entwistle's theme), "Helpless Dancer" (Daltrey's theme), and "Love, Reign O'er Me" (Townshend's theme). "Quadrophenia" fades into rain sound effects after the "Love Reign O'er Me" theme. "The Rock" however ends with a combination of the four different themes, using the "Bell Boy" theme as the chord sequence, the "Helpless Dancer" theme as the melody, the "Is It Me?" theme as a lead (played on guitar and synthesiser), and the keyboard part to "Love Reign O'er Me" as a countermelody. The whole song abruptly ends on a downbeat layered with the sound of thunder and descends into "Love Reign O'er Me" proper.

The four themes also surface on many other songs throughout the album; the most subtle example being when the "Helpless Dancer" theme appears on "Bell Boy" (the main song) played on synthesiser as a brief interlude. Some themes from other songs also make "surprise" reappearances here and there. These leitmotifs help give the work an impression of a cohesive unity.

Critical reaction and impact[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[8]
Robert ChristgauA-[9]
Clash10/10[10]
Rolling Stonemixed[11]
Piero Scaruffi(7/10)[12]
Digital Spy4/5 stars[13]

In 2000 Q magazine placed Quadrophenia at #56 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2001, the TV network VH1 named it the 86th greatest album of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked #266 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. IGN placed Quadrophenia at #1 in their list of the greatest classic rock albums of all time.[14] In 2005, Quadrophenia was ranked number 314 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[15]

The original mix had many of the vocals mixed a bit low and Daltrey was quoted at the time complaining. The initial CD release used the same original mix, but the album was remixed in 1996 bringing the vocals up, with good results, but some Who fans still prefer the original mix. In 2011, Townshend remixed the album yet again, and a deluxe box-set was released on 15 November that year. Notably, this 5-disc set contains some early test recordings of the band playing several songs that were written for the album but not included when Quadrophenia was released. These include such Who rarities as "Get Out and Stay Out", "Quadrophenic Four Faces", "You Came Back", and "Joker James".

Awards and honours[edit]

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend received the Classic Album Award for Quadrophenia from the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards at The Roundhouse, 9 November 2011, in London, England.[16]

Subsequent productions[edit]

In 1979 the film Quadrophenia was released, with three additional songs written by Townshend (see Quadrophenia (soundtrack)). The film was an accurate visual interpretation of Townshend's vision of Jimmy and his surroundings, and included the casting of a young Sting as the Ace Face. In the film, the music was largely relegated to the background, and was not performed by the cast as in a rock opera.

In 1995, the rock group Phish performed Quadrophenia in its entirety as their second Halloween musical costume at the Rosemont Horizon, Chicago, Illinois. The recording was later released as a part of Live Phish Volume 14. The jam band also covered the tracks "Drowned" and "Sea and Sand" on their live album New Year's Eve 1995 – Live at Madison Square Garden, and played an extended version of "Drowned" in several of their concerts since.

In summer 1996, The Who, with a large backing group featuring, among others, Zak Starkey on drums (his first appearance as The Who's drummer), Geoff Whitehorn and Simon Townshend on electric guitar (the former played lead guitar on almost all of the songs) and keyboardists Jon Carin and John "Rabbit" Bundrick, performed Quadrophenia in its entirety for the first time in many years in London's Hyde Park, with guest performers Phil Daniels as the Narrator/Jimmy, Gary Glitter as The Rocker, Adrian Edmondson as the Ace Face/Bellboy, Stephen Fry as the hotel manager (screaming, "Bellboy!"), Trevor McDonald as the newsreader and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour as the bus driver. Gilmour also played additional lead guitar for that first performance; he sang and played lead guitar on "The Dirty Jobs", plus performed lead guitar on "Sea and Sand", "Dr. Jimmy", "The Rock", "Love, Reign O'er Me", and "5.15" (reprise). A subsequent tour of the US and UK followed, employing most of the same players but with Billy Idol replacing Edmondson.

In 2005, a live performance of Quadrophenia from The Who's 1996/1997 tour was included in a three-disc DVD box set released by Rhino Entertainment, also featuring a live performance of Tommy from 1989 as well as other hit songs performed live. Townshend and Daltrey provided special commentary, and an interview with Billy Idol was also included.

The Who performed Quadrophenia at the Royal Albert Hall on 30 March 2010 as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust series of ten gigs. This one-off performance of the rock opera featured guest appearances from Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam; and Kasabian's Tom Meighan.[17] Tom Norris, jazz musician and violinist with the London Symphony Orchestra, played violin in the production.[18]

2012 Tour[edit]

On 1 November 2012, The Who started a 37 date U.S. tour of Quadrophenia. Dubbed, "Quadrophenia + More", the album would be played in its entirety, with a selected hits encore included. As with the 1997 Quadrophenia Tour, Zak Starkey and Simon Townshend would accompany the two surviving founding members, playing drums and rhythm guitar, respectively. Pino Paladino, who replaced John Entwistle after his death in 2002, played bass on the tour.

Plans for sequel[edit]

There have been two attempts at a sequel. An earlier attempt, by the Who themselves, and an effort in 2011 involving writer Martin Stellman and director.[19] The 2011 version has been referred to as "Quadrophenia 2", was to use Richard Jobson as a director, and was to start pre-production in 2011.[20][21] It was given approval by Pete Townshend, a friend of Jobson's, and involved film and music producer Bill Curbishley, also working on the Keith Moon bio movie.[22]

Track listing[edit]

Quadrophenia: The Original LP track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Pete Townshend

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."I Am the Sea"  2:08
2."The Real Me"  3:20
3."Quadrophenia"  6:13
4."Cut My Hair"  3:44
5."The Punk and the Godfather" (Entitled "The Punk Meets the Godfather" on the American version)5:10
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."I'm One"  2:37
7."The Dirty Jobs"  4:28
8."Helpless Dancer" (Roger's theme)2:33
9."Is It in My Head?"  3:43
10."I've Had Enough"  6:14
Side three
No.TitleLength
11."5:15"  5:00
12."Sea and Sand"  5:01
13."Drowned"  5:26
14."Bell Boy" (Keith's theme)4:55
Side four
No.TitleLength
15."Doctor Jimmy (containing "Is It Me?")" (John's theme)8:36
16."The Rock"  6:37
17."Love, Reign o'er Me" (Pete's theme)5:48

Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut track listing[edit]

On 15 November 2011, a deluxe edition of Quadrophenia was released.[23] The release was also available on Double vinyl, Mini-Deluxe Digi-Pak edition, and as a digital release.

Disc One: Original LP 1
No.TitleLength
1."I Am The Sea"  2:08
2."The Real Me"  3:20
3."Quadrophenia"  6:13
4."Cut My Hair"  3:44
5."The Punk and the Godfather"  5:10
6."I'm One"  2:37
7."The Dirty Jobs"  4:28
8."Helpless Dancer (Roger's theme)"  2:33
9."Is It In My Head?"  3:43
10."I've Had Enough"  6:14
Disc Two: Original LP 2
No.TitleLength
11."5.15"  5:00
12."Sea and Sand"  5:01
13."Drowned"  5:26
14."Bell Boy (Keith's theme)"  4:55
15."Doctor Jimmy (John's theme)"  8:36
16."The Rock"  6:37
17."Love, Reign O'er Me (Pete's theme)"  5:48
Disc Three: The Demos
No.TitleRecording dateLength
1."The Real Me"  written and recorded in October 1972 
2."Quadrophenia – Four Overtures"  in 1973 
3."Cut My Hair"  written in June 1972 
4."Fill No. 1 – Get Out and Stay Out"  12 November 1972 
5."Quadrophenic – Four Faces"  in July 1972 
6."We Close Tonight"  in July 1972 
7."You Came Back"  in July 1972 
8."Get Inside"  written in April 1972 
9."Joker James"  in July 1972 
10."Ambition" (track supposedly available on Q-Cloud but finally omitted)written early in 1972 
11."Punk"  18 November 1972 
12."I'm One"  15 November 1972 
13."Dirty Jobs"  25 July 1972 
14."Helpless Dancer"  in 1973 
Disc Four: The Demos
No.TitleRecording dateLength
1."Is It In My Head?"  30 April 1972 
2."Anymore"  listed as recorded on 10 November 1971, but probably a misprint; actual year would have been 1972 
3."I've Had Enough"  written and recorded on 17 December 1972 
4."Fill No. 2"  12 November 1972 
5."Wizardry"  in August 1972 
6."Sea And Sand"  written and recorded on 1 November 1972 
7."Drowned"  in March 1970 
8."Is It Me?"  20 March 1973 
9."Bell Boy"  3 March 1973 
10."Doctor Jimmy"  27 July 1972 
11."Finale – The Rock"  between 25 March and 1 May 1973 
12."Love Reign O'er Me"  10 May 1972 
Disc Five: DVD Quadrophenia 5.1
No.TitleLength
1."I Am The Sea"   
2."The Real Me"   
3."Quadrophenia"   
4."I've Had Enough"   
5."5:15"   
6."Dr Jimmy"   
7."The Rock"   
8."Love Reign O'er Me""   

Personnel[edit]

The Who
Additional musicians
Production

Sales chart performance[edit]

Album
YearChartPosition
1973US Billboard Pop Albums2[24]
1973UK Chart Album2[25]
2011US Billboard 200110
Singles[26]
YearSingleChartPosition
1973"Love, Reign O'er Me"Billboard Pop Singles76
1974"The Real Me"Billboard Pop Singles92
1973"5.15"UK Singles Chart20[25]
1979"5.15"Billboard Pop Singles45

Sales certifications[edit]

OrganizationLevelDate
RIAA – U.S.Gold29 October 1973[27]
BPI – UKGold1 December 1973[28]
RIAA – U.S.Platinum2 February 1993[27]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Hypertext Who: Liner notes: Quadrophenia". Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Nicholls, David (2004). "'Virtual Opera, or Opera Between the Ears". Journal of the Royal Musical Association. 1 129: 100–142 [103]. 
  3. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-track_tape
  4. ^ "The Who Official Band Website". Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Jackson, James (20 April 2009). "Pete Townshend on Quadrophenia, touring with The Who and the Mod revival". The Times (UK). Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey (17 March 2007). The Who: VH1 Mexico Interview Part 1 (Flash video) (VH1 Television interview). YouTube. Retrieved 14 Apr 2007. 
  7. ^ Pete Townshend (2012-07-02). Quadrophenia Can You See the Real Me. BBC. 
  8. ^ Allmusic Review
  9. ^ Robert Christgau Review
  10. ^ The Who - Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut | Reviews | Clash Magazine
  11. ^ Rolling Stone Review
  12. ^ Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Who". pieroscaruffi.com. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/review/a352524/the-who-quadrophenia-deluxe-edition-album-review.html
  14. ^ D., Spence (30 March 2007). "Top 25 Classic Rock Albums". IGN.com. p. 8. Retrieved 20 May 2009. 
  15. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 85. ISBN 3-89880-517-4. 
  16. ^ "Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards". Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Who Official Band Website". Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  18. ^ "Blog". Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  19. ^ Nissin, Mayer Digital spy Quadrophenia-2-wouldnt-be-authentic-says-director-franc-roddam http://www.digitalspy.com.au/movies/news/a350713/quadrophenia-2-wouldnt-be-authentic-says-director-franc-roddam.html
  20. ^ "Richard-Jobson-Signed-to-direct-sequel-to-quadrophenia" http://www.eoshd.com/content/646/converge-s-richard-jobson-signed-to-direct-sequel-to-quadrophenia
  21. ^ Graham, Jane "Film Industry Gatecrashers Joe Cornish" The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/may/05/film-industry-gatecrashers-joe-cornish
  22. ^ http://www.nakedeye-online.com/QuadrQuadrophenia%20interview.pdf
  23. ^ Who’s Next? “Quadrophenia” Gets The “Director’s Cut” Treatment In November [UPDATED 8/31 WITH TRACK LIST] « The Second Disc
  24. ^ "Artist Chart History – The Who". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 Nov. 2009. 
  25. ^ a b The Who at chartstats.com
  26. ^ Quadrophenia - The Who | AllMusic
  27. ^ a b "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 1 Dec 2009. 
  28. ^ "BPI searchable certification database". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 

External links[edit]