Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Who: Tommy

"In 1966, three years before the original release of this album, Pete Townshend played a tape of a spoof song called 'Gratis Amatis' to Who manager Kit Lambert. The 10-minute aria consisted of high pitched Goon Show voices singing 'Gratis Amatis' over and over for what seemed like an hour. As they fell about laughing, a friend said, 'It's rock opera,' which caused more laughter. Suddenly Lambert stopped laughing and looked thoughtful. 'Now there's an idea,' he said. A couple of years later, having dabbled with 'A Quick One' and 'Rael,' Townshend was piecing together early versions of this album; a truly serious 'rock opera.' Lambert, son of classical composer Constant Lambert, encouraged Townshend all the way, eventually becoming the album's producer. The story line was influenced by Townshend's rejection of psychedelic drugs and simultaneous discovery of mysticism, particularly the works of Meher Baba. In those days Townshend positively radiated spiritual vibes. He was working on a metaphorical story device that put across the idea of different states of consciousness. The premise was that we had our five senses but were blind to Reality and Infinity ..." (CD notes by Richard Barnes).

View catalog record here!


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