Friday, April 09, 2021

The Who - Quadrophenia 1973 (4 CD - Super Deluxe Edition) 2014

Quadrophenia is the sixth studio album by the English rock band the Who, released as a double album on 26 October 1973 by Track Records. It is the group's second rock opera. Set in London and Brighton in 1965, the story follows a young mod named Jimmy and his search for self-worth and

importance. Quadrophenia is the only Who album entirely composed by Pete Townshend. Composed entirely by Townshend, the 17-song opus told the story of Jimmy, a member of the Mods -- a U.K. subculture -- by chronicling his dissatisfaction with life, work, love, home, and family. But it also functioned as an ode to teenage angst and counterculture rebellion, as well as a criticism of the British class, economic and educational systems. And, finally "Quadrophenia" told the story of the Who's first fans in the band's earliest days, playing pubs and clubs in and around London in the '60s.

The group started work on the album in 1972, trying to follow up Tommy and Who's Next, both of which had 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. The album makes significant use of Townshend's multi-track synthesizers and sound effects, as well as Entwistle's layered horn parts, in addition to the group's typical playing styles, especially from Moon. Relationships between the group and manager Kit Lambert broke down irretrievably during recording and Lambert had left the band's service by the time the album was released.

Quadrophenia was revived for a film version in 1979, directed by Franc Roddam. The film attempted to

portray an accurate visual interpretation of Townshend's vision of Jimmy and his surroundings, and included Phil Daniels as Jimmy and Sting as the Ace Face. Unlike the Tommy film, the music was largely relegated to the background, and was not performed by the cast as in a rock opera. The film soundtrack included three additional songs written by Townshend, which were Kenney Jones' first recordings as an official member of the Who. The film was a commercial and critical success, as it conveniently coincided with the mod revival movement of the late 1970s.

The new re-issue of the Who's 'Quadrophenia' takes us back to mid 1973, when the Who were

unofficially dubbed the worlds greatest live rock 'n' roll band and had several successful recordings under their belt including 'Tommy' and Who's Next.' Come October and their next triumph, in which songwriter Pete Townshend introduced us to Jimmy, the tragic hero of the band's latest rock opera. The story behind "Quadrophenia" talks about a teenager boy called Jimmy, the opera

protagonist, who suffers from quadruple schizophrenia (hence the title), where each of his multiple personalities represents one of the band´s members. The social, psychological and moral aspects of Jimmy´s life, set in London and Brighton in the mid-1960s are the opera´s plot. Jimmy is a teenager in England whose dad labels him a "schizophrenic" and his Mum, well, she just thinks he's "nutty." Youthful angst is at its peak as Jimmy desperately tries to fit in while his moods change as often as the weather. The heroic part of this story is that there's a bit of Jimmy in each and everyone of us. 'Quadrophenia' is one of the few recordings that gives the listener a license to revisit adolescence every time it's played.

Age and geography become completely irrelevant as the opening notes of 'I Am The Sea' seem to transport you to another time and place. This new version of 'Quadrophenia' was produced, authorized

and completely overseen by Townshend, who apparently still favors the 1996 mix versus that of the original album. Townshend explains in the liner notes that the remix/remaster in 1996 was done to correct the fact that some of Roger Daltrey's vocals had been crushed, particularly in the vinyl version. As he puts it,"The time has come for me and my team to honour 'Quadrophenia' with a carefully presented package that features examples of the impact surround sound would have on the music, to remaster the vinyl mixes and to collect and restore my demos."

The 11 demos sound on the collection are indeed stunning, far better than one might imagine, validating Townshend's ability to craft a song and get it to the stage where the band can fully see his vision. Daltrey is one of the most talented vocalists in classic rock, but hearing Townshend sing these familiar

numbers may be the biggest bonus of all. His voice gives each song a new identity, and while some of the demos are just that -- simpler versions of what the band would later record, many of the tracks stand out and sound totally different. 'The Real Me' is a definite highlight with its funky tone and bass lines. 'Anymore' and 'Is It Me?' are songs that didn't make the album but give you more of an insight to the dark and depressive side of Jimmy's drug usage and the character Ace Face, respectively.


DISC ONE – The Original album 2011 Remaster


01. I Am The Sea    2:09
02. The Real Me      3:21
03. Quadrophenia    6:13
04. Cut My Hair       3:44
05. The Punk And The Godfather    5:11
06. I'm One    2:38
07. The Dirty Jobs (Piano – Chris Stainton)   4:29
08. Helpless Dancer    2:34
09. Is It In My Head?    3:43
10. I've Had Enough    6:14

MP3 @ 320 Size: 97 MB
Flac  Size: 862 MB

DISC TWO – The Original album 2011 Remaster


01. 5:15  (Piano – Chris Stainton)  4:59
02. Sea And Sand   5:01
03. Drowned  (Piano – Chris Stainton)  5:27
04. Bell Boy    4:55
05. Doctor Jimmy    8:39
06. The Rock    6:37
07. Love Reign O'er Me    5:54

MP3 @ 320 Size: 100 MB
Flac  Size: 994 MB

Demos from Pete Townshend’s archive

CD THREE: The Demos


01. The Real Me     written and recorded in October 1972    4:24
02. Quadrophenia – Four Overtures    in 1973    6:20
03. Cut My Hair     written in June 1972    3:28
04. Fill No. 1 – Get Out and Stay Out    12 November 1972    1:22
05. Quadrophenic – Four Faces    in July 1972    4:02
06. We Close Tonight    in July 1972    2:41
07. You Came Back    in July 1972    3:16
08. Get Inside     written in April 1972    3:09
09. Joker James    in July 1972    3:41
10. Ambition (track supposedly available on Q-Cloud but finally OMITTED)    written early in 1972    0:00
11. Punk    18 November 1972    4:56
12. I'm One     15 November 1972    2:37
13. Dirty Jobs    25 July 1972    3:45
14. Helpless Dancer     in 1973    2:16

MP3 @ 320 Size: 110 MB
Flac  Size: 986 MB

CD FOUR: The Demos


01. Is It in My Head?    30 April 1972    4:12
02. Anymore    listed as recorded on 10 November 1971, but probably a misprint; actual year would have been 1972    3:19
03. I've Had Enough  written and recorded on 17 December 1972    6:21
04. Fill No. 2     12 November 1972    1:30
05. Wizardry    in August 1972    3:10
06. Sea and Sand    written and recorded on 1 November 1972    4:13
07. Drowned    in March 1970    4:14
08. Is It Me?    20 March 1973    4:37
09. Bell Boy    3 March 1973    5:03
10. Doctor Jimmy    27 July 1972    7:28
11. Finale – The Rock    between 25 March and 1 May 1973    7:57
12. Love Reign O'er Me     10 May 1972    5:10

MP3 @ 320 Size: 136 MB
Flac  Size: 1.21 GB

The Who on Urban Aspirines: Who's Next (Deluxe edition) + The Kids Are Allright + Tommy (Super Deluxe Edition) HERE


  1. Could you explain how come FLAC sizes are bigger than 800MB per CD? Something doesn't seem right. Thank you!

  2. Great, thank you. This way I can just have the remasters without the demos!

  3. fantastic review, also without loss of sound, Thank you