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Tommy

Release Date: 5/1/1969
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Track List

  1. OVERTURE
  2. IT’S A BOY
  3. 1921
  4. AMAZING JOURNEY
  5. SPARKS
  6. EYESIGHT TO THE BLIND (THE HAWKER)
  7. CHRISTMAS
  8. COUSIN KEVIN
  9. THE ACID QUEEN
  10. UNDERTURE
  11. DO YOU THINK IT’S ALRIGHT?
  12. FIDDLE ABOUT
  13. PINBALL WIZARD
  14. THERE’S A DOCTOR
  15. GO TO THE MIRROR!
  16. TOMMY, CAN YOU HEAR ME?
  17. SMASH THE MIRROR
  18. SENSATION
  19. MIRACLE CURE
  20. SALLY SIMPSON
  21. I’M FREE
  22. WELCOME
  23. TOMMY’S HOLIDAY CAMP
  24. WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT
  25. SEE ME, FEEL ME / LISTENING TO YOU

DISC NO:2

  1. I WAS
  2. CHRISTMAS (Out-take 3)
  3. COUSIN KEVIN MODEL CHILD
  4. YOUNG MAN BLUES (Version 1)
  5. TOMMY, CAN YOU HEAR ME? (Alternate Version)
  6. TRYING TO GET THROUGH
  7. SALLY SIMPSON (Out-takes)
  8. MISS SIMPSON
  9. WELCOME (Take 2)
  10. TOMMY’S HOLIDAY CAMP (Band’s Version)
  11. WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (Alternate Version)
  12. DOGS (PART 2)
  13. IT’S A BOY (Stereo-only Demo)
  14. AMAZING JOURNEY (Stereo-only Demo)
  15. CHRISTMAS (Stereo-only Demo)
  16. DO YOU THINK IT’S ALRIGHT? (Stereo-only Demo)
  17. PINBALL WIZARD (Stereo-only Demo)

Backgrounder

Produced by Kit Lambert, the double album TOMMY was released in the UK in May 1969 by Track Records (Track 613013/4) with a subsequent double CD (Polydor 800 077-2), followed by a remixed single CD (Polydor 531 043-2) in 1996 and finally a Deluxe Edition two-CD set SACD hybrid (Polydor 9861011) in 2004. It was released simultaneously in the US (Decca DXSW 7205), then as two CDs (MCA MCAD-10005), MFSL with a single disc remix in 1996 (MCAD-11417) and finally, as in the UK as a Deluxe Edition SACD hybrid (Geffen B0001386-36) in 2003. Recorded at Londons IBC Studios between September 1968 and March 1969, The Whos first official performance of TOMMY was at a press preview at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in Londons Soho on 1 May 1969, the same month the original double album was released. The final TOMMY performance, until their 25th Anniversary reunion tour in 1989, was at Londons Roundhouse on 20 December 1970, when they dedicated it to their support act, an upcoming singer-songwriter/pianist called Elton John. In between, The Who took TOMMY across Europe and America, performing it over 160 times. Despite the perfect timing its mystical themes were ideal for 1969  and the general hullabaloo surrounding its release, TOMMY stalled at #2 in the UK charts. In America it eventually reached #4 on re-entering the charts. Overall, it re-entered the Billboard charts several times for a total of 126 weeks, far longer than any other Who album. Original sleeve design by Michael McInnerney with booklet photography by Barrie Meller. All songs written by Pete Townshend except where noted. Tracks on the original UK version were: 1. OVERTURE 2. ITS A BOY 3. 1921 4. AMAZING JOURNEY 5. SPARKS 6. EYESIGHT FOR THE BLIND (THE HAWKER) (Sonny Boy Williamson) 7. CHRISTMAS 8. COUSIN KEVIN (Entwistle) 9. THE ACID QUEEN 10. UNDERTURE 11. DO YOU THINK ITS ALRIGHT 12. FIDDLE ABOUT (Entwistle) 13. PINBALL WIZARD As a single PINBALL WIZARD reached #4 in the UK charts and #19 in the US. Rod Stewart sang a heavily orchestrated version in Lou Reizners all-star adaptation of TOMMY in 1972, while Elton John sang it during a memorable set piece in Ken Russells TOMMY movie in 1975 (his version reached #7 in the UK). Curiously, in the UK, it was also covered by The New Seekers in a medley with SEE ME, FEEL ME, whose version reached #16 in 1973. 14. THERES A DOCTOR 15. GO TO THE MIRROR 16. TOMMY CAN YOU HEAR ME? 17. SMASH THE MIRROR 18. SENSATION SENSATION was written long before TOMMY was formulated, apparently about a girl Pete met during The Whos disastrous tour of Australia in 1968. 19. MIRACLE CURE 20. SALLY SIMPSON This song was inspired by an incident that occurred when The Who played with The Doors at New Yorks Singer Bowl in August 1968. Pete apparently saw the way Jim Morrison was inciting the front row, and the dangerous situation he created. 21. IM FREE 22. WELCOME 23. TOMMYS HOLIDAY CAMP (Moon) 24. WERE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (SEE ME, FEEL ME) Bonus Tracks (Outtakes and Demos) on Deluxe Edition CD 2: 1. I WAS 2. CHRISTMAS (Out-take 3) An unused backing track to an alternate take of CHRISTMAS. 3. COUSIN KEVIN MODEL CHILD This unreleased TOMMY track, written by Pete and sung by Keith was ultimately rejected in favour of Johns COUSIN KEVIN. 4. YOUNG MAN BLUES (Version 1) (Allison) This first version was originally released on THE HOUSE THAT TRACK BUILT, a 1969 UK-only sampler from The Whos label Track Records. This is a cover of a Mose Allison song The Who were delivering on stage at the time (and heard to full effect on LIVE AT LEEDS). A slower, alternate take (version 2) was accidentally issued as a bonus track on the ODDS & SODS CD (1998). 5. TOMMY CAN YOU HEAR ME? (Alternate Version) Rather than the familiar acoustic version this early take is played as an ensemble performance with an extended ending that eventually falls apart. 6. TRYING TO GET THROUGH An impromptu performance worked out on the studio floor under Petes guidance, sung from the point of view of either of Tommys parents. 7. SALLY SIMPSON (Out-takes) A classic example of Pete and Keith as the Peten Dud comedy duo in The Oo. As engineer Damon Lyon Shaw announces the first take Pete mock announces that hes discovered his band nickname (‘Bone’) through the pages of English weekly music paper Record Mirror. This causes considerable mirth, particularly from Keith, setting the tone for Takes 15; a series of breakdowns and false starts, underlining that though the subject matter of TOMMY was often heavy and solemn, the recording sessions were, on the whole, anything but. 8. MISS SIMPSON A completed take under the original working title. 9. WELCOME (Take 2) 10. TOMMYS HOLIDAY CAMP (Band’s version) (Moon) An early rejected group performance of Keiths theme, featuring the melody line played on fairground-style organ and Moon bashing happily along behind. 11. WERE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (Alternate Version) This early version follows Petes original demo in that the song ends as it began with the opening riff repeating, ending on a final flourish. 12. DOGS (PART 2) (Moon/Towser/Jason) Released in March 1969 as the B-side of PINBALL WIZARD (and here in a noticeably different stereo remix), Moons co-writers, Towser and Jason, were Pete and Johns respective pet dogs. 13. ITS A BOY 14. AMAZING JOURNEY 15. CHRISTMAS 16. DO YOU THINK ITS ALRIGHT? 17. PINBALL WIZARD Tracks 13-17 are a selection of Petes original stereo demos for TOMMY.PINBALL WIZARD was first officially made available as part of a two track flexidisc given away with Richard Barnes Who biography, MAXIMUM R&B (1982).