Pete Townsend has that unique talent to reinvent himself with his music. Imagine you write, score and deliver two major rock operas in your life. That is an amazing feat. The evolution of Quadrophenia into “Classic Quadrophenia” adds dimensionality and superb texture. For the last three years Townshend has worked closely with his partner Rachel Fuller on brand new arrangements for orchestra, soloists and choir. The results add a greater meaning to our existence through love, sea and life’s epic journey.
Classic Quadrophenia will be released by the esteemed classical label Deutsche Grammophon. It features the London Oriana Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The world premiere will take place on July 5th, 2015, at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Would love to attend that event.
Here is the first taste of the bountiful summer harvest, “Love Reign O’er Me”. British tenor Alfie Boe is stellar as lead vocalist!
If I had to pinpoint one song of all the tracks that is most memorable I’d have to say “Bell Boy” due to Keith Moon’s cockney accent on vocals. It’s the epitome of camp yet comes across highly believable.
Sting played the role of Ace Face, the bell boy in the movie Quadrophenia.
“Bell Boy” – He meets a former Ace Face who now holds the place as a bell boy at the very hotel the Mods tore up. He looks on Jimmy with a mixture of pity and contempt. The two argue, as Jimmy feels the Ace Face has “sold out”. Jimmy is now feeling that everything, even the Mod lifestyle, has let him down.
The Who is re-releasing Quadrophenia as a Director’s cut box set next month, on November 15th. They add to my ongoing 2011 collector dilemma as to what box set I want for my 60th birthday…..(Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, U2, Achtung Baby just to start…)
I first witnessed Quadrophenia when I was an FM college disk jockey at WNHU-FM. Our radio station was given an advanced copy in early October of 1973 and it was the most playlisted album for the next four months. I featured it strongly on my afternoon shows. I have always felt that Quadrophenia was The Who’s finest achievement.
Quadrophenia has lost none of its luster these almost 38 years. It holds up amazingly well, having been translated into a film, then live recordings of the rock opera and finally into play productions which I must witness someday.
Last I understood is that The Who, Peter and Roger with others will tour North America in 2012 with a Quadrophenia live production. That is high on my 2012 live performance list.