Monday 1 October 2012

Quadrophenia - The Director's Cut

Quadrophenia is in my opinion the finest album of many fine albums by the classic rock band The Who.  In 1969 they released "Tommy", hailed as the first and finest Rock Opera.  Tommy achieved huge commercial and critical success, both as an album and in movie and stage formats.  But in 1973 The Who released another rock opera project Quadrophenia, which is arguably the musically superior work.  As an opera fan, Quadrophenia strikes me as the more accomplished, more truly operatic work of the two, yet it is fundamentally a hard rock album.  Far more so than Tommy.

Tommy always makes me think I'm listening to a soundtrack album.  Quadrophenia is a WHO album. But you decide.

Late last year, a completely new remastered version was released under the title "The Director's Cut". Primarily an LP project - and, despite BitPerfect being a digital audio company I am a vinyl freak - this is a completely new remastering.  However, there is a Japanese CD release that is also available under import.  Comparing the Director's Cut to the original vinyl, the new version has a more visceral impact, more immediate presence, more obvious detail and clarity.  But it also has a hint of an edginess that is not evident on the original LP, which is still a reference rock recording.  However, if you love Quadrophenia as I do, it is a must-have recording.  And unlike many re-release projects, the additional material makes for fascinating listening.