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Quadrophenia – The Who

Quadrophenia © The Who, Track Records [Fair Use]
Quadrophenia © The Who, Track Records [Fair Use]

Quadrophenia is the sixth studio album by The Who, released as a double album on October 26, 1973 by Track Records.

It was the group’s second rock opera and the story follows a young mod named Jimmy and his search for self-worth and importance, set in London and Brighton in 1965.

Quadrophenia is the only Who album to be entirely composed by Pete Townshend.

The group started work on the album in 1972, trying to follow up Tommy and Who’s Next, which had both achieved substantial critical and commercial success. Recording was delayed while bassist John Entwistle and singer Roger Daltrey recorded solo albums and drummer Keith Moon worked on films. Because a new studio was not finished in time, the group had to use Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio.

As well as the group’s typical playing styles, especially from Moon, the album makes significant use of Townshend’s multi-tracked synthesizers and sound effects, and Entwistle’s layered horn parts. Relationships between the group and manager Kit Lambert broke down irretrievably during recording and he had left the band’s services by the time the album was released.

Quadrophenia was released to a positive reception in both the U.K. and the U.S., but the resulting tour was marred with problems with backing tapes replacing the additional instruments on the album, and the stage piece was retired in early 1974. It was revived in 1996 with a larger ensemble, and a further tour occurred in 2012.

The album made a positive impact on the mod revival movement of the late 1970s, and the resulting film adaptation, released in 1979, was successful.

The album has been reissued on compact disc several times, and seen a number of remixes that corrected some perceived flaws in the original.

Track listing

1. “I Am the Sea”
2. “The Real Me”
3. “Quadrophenia”
4. “Cut My Hair”
5. “The Punk and the Godfather”
6. “I’m One”
7. “The Dirty Jobs”
8. “Helpless Dancer”
9. “Is It in My Head?”
10. “I’ve Had Enough”
11. “5:15”
12. “Sea and Sand”
13. “Drowned”
14. “Bell Boy”
15. “Doctor Jimmy”
16. “The Rock”
17. “Love, Reign o’er Me”

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Quadropheniawhich is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0