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The Who - Sensation: The Story of Tommy

by Steven Bergman
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Mar 17, 2014
The Who - Sensation: The Story of Tommy

The seminal albums that start the sub-genres of rock and roll are that special cohesion of music and lyrics that instantly are recognized by critics and fans as a fresh accomplishment that is able to breathe new life into another branch on the tree of music. When it comes to the rock opera, the title for which this rings true is "Tommy."

Written in 1969 by Pete Townshend for his band, The Who, "Tommy" tells of the journey of its title character from a little boy who witnesses the murder of his mother's lover by his father after the latter returns home from war, subsequently engulfing himself into a catatonic state of a deaf, blind mute, through abuse and neglect until his evolution transforms him into an unwilling messiah figure. Now Eagle Rock Entertainment is releasing "Sensation - The Story of Tommy," originally aired on BBC TV in 2013, which contains new interviews with Townshend, Who frontman Roger Daltrey, and many of those who were instrumental in bringing this classic work to the masses at the height of the psychedelic '60s.

It was a time when The Who found themselves at a musical crossroads, striving to determine their artistic direction. "Tommy" firmly established Townshend as a composer in addition to the guitar-smashing musician for which he had been known, and turned Daltrey into the visual focus of this blistering British quartet. Daltrey would go on to play Tommy in Ken Russell's film adaptation in 1975.

"Tommy" has proven timeless in the forty-five years since its creation, and this is reiterated through interviews ranging from sound engineer Bon Pridden and original artwork creator Mike McInnerney to stage director Des McAnuff, whose passion for the album featuring, "Pinball Wizard" helped bring "Tommy" to the Broadway stage in the 1990's.

Bonus features include a 33-minute segment from Germany's Beat Club program on the band, and includes several performances from the record and an interview with Townshend.

"Sensation - The Making of Tommy"
The Who
Blu-ray formats
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.


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