Tommy-The Rock Opera
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It was an astonishingly bold concept by the producer Lou Reizner to present the Who's rock opera Tommy as a dramatised, all-star extravaganza, and it proved a huge best seller when first released in 1972, helped on its way by the hit single version of Pinball Wizard , sung with gusto by Rod Stewart on the album. Among the other guest performers accompanied by the mighty orchestra and choir are Pete Townshend, Sandy Denny, Richie Havens, Stevie Winwood, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Maggie Bell, Ringo Starr and movie actor Richard Harris. This important CD serves not only as a tribute to the genius of the Who and composer Townshend, but as a memorial to Lou Reizner, a pioneer of multi-media projects, who died aged just 43 in 1977. This album brings back golden memories of rock's boldest, brashest era. This popular album is now available in jewel case edition. Tommy - the famous rock opera - as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir with guest soloists, featuring Rod Stewart, Richie Havens, Maggie Bell, Steve Winwood, Ringo Starr, Richard Harris, Sandy Denny and members of the Who. Expertly remastered in the studio by Jon Astley (who has worked on recordings by the Who, Led Zeppelin, George Harrison and many others). This classic recording sounds brilliant!
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Merry Clayton soars on "Acid Queen" and does it far better than Tina Turner did in the movie version.
The orchestrations give great intensity to the songs that was not present in the original version by The Who.
I do believe one reviewer is only a bit right in saying the vocals overpower the orchestra, but it's NOT enough to lose the instrumental impact. And I definitely don't feel the sound is muted or muffled.
The orchestration is magnificent. It puts The Who's version to shame. Each singer's voice and style suit the character he or she portrays--from Ringo Starr as the lascivious Uncle Ernie to Merry Clayton as the Acid Queen who introduces Tommy to sex in an effort cure him. Rod Stewart's rendition of "Pinball Wizard" is simply the best, and having a choir as "the public" brings magic to the whole performance.
If you're not familiar with this orchestrated version of Tommy, give yourself an extra-special treat. You won't be sorry.