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#263: Quadrophenia by The Who

2.28.2012


Quadrophenia by The Who (1973)

Favorite Track(s): "The Real Me" and "Quadrophenia" and "Cut My Hair" and "The Punk and the Godfather" and "I'm One" and "The Dirty Jobs" and "Helpless Dancer" and "Is It In My Head?" and "Sea and Sand" and "Love, Reign o'er Me"

Thoughts: If you're wondering why it's been so long since I did a Rolling Stone Top 500 post, see this monster I was working on. But I'm glad to be back. And what a thing to come back to: a rock opera by The Who! Yes, please.

Am I the only person slightly mystified by the album cover? At first glance I thought it looked like a 90s alternative band's cover. And then I was like, is he a Samurai? A boxer? Oh, he's on a motorcycle. I was quite perplexed.

I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of this album before it showed up here. It's a pity that--in least in my world--Tommy gets so much more attention than Quadrophenia. I mean, Tommy is amazing and deserves its recognition, but Quadrophenia was just spectacular. The lyrics to "Helpless Dancer" (Roger's Theme)!:

When a man is running from his boss
Who holds a gun that fires "cost"
And people die from being old
Or left alone because they're cold
And bombs are dropped on fighting cats
And children's dreams are run with rats
If you complain you disappear
Just like the lesbians and queers
No one can love without the grace
Of some unseen and distant face
And you get beaten up by blacks
Who though they worked still got the sack
And when your soul tells you to hide
Your very right to die's denied
And in the battle on the streets
You fight computers and receipts
And when a man is trying to change
But only causes further pain
You realize that all along
Something in us going wrong...
You stop dancing.

The BANJO in "I've Had Enough"! Roger's voice in "Sea and Sand"! The horns in "Doctor Jimmy"! The drums in "Love Reign o'er Me"!

I want to turn off all the lights in the house, plug my massive head phones into my stereo, and listen to this album with my eyes closed.

Is This Better Than Help!?:



Yes.

(image)

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