Out today (November 11th) is the Who's "Super Deluxe" reissue of their 1969 Tommy album. The groundbreaking double album "rock opera" chronicles the rebirth of a severely traumatized "deaf, dumb, and blind" pinball playing messiah figure. The "Super Deluxe" reissue features both a remastered and 5.1 surround sound version of the album, also features 20 solo Pete Townshend demos. The additional disc -- which literally serves as a one-man band version of the album -- marks the first time all of Townshend's 1968/1969 demos for the album will be officially released.
The limited edition set features a hardback, 80-page full-color book featuring rare period photos and memorabilia, a 20,000-word essay by Townshend confidante and Who biographer Richard Barnes, and a rare facsimile Tommy poster.
- In addition to that, despite Townshend ordering longtime Who sound man Bobby Pridden to destroy all the live tapes of the band's 1969 North American gigs back in the day, the set features a full Tommy performance from the band's October 19th, 1969 Ottawa gig -- along with additional tracks from other unspecified shows, The double disc version featuring the remastered album also comes with the Ottawa show.
- We caught up with Roger Daltrey and asked him the reasons behind the Who making Tommy their first double album set: "Mostly because when we recorded the record it was going to be a single album. And then we thought: 'We can't make this really gel unless we go into two albums.' When we went into two albums -- in those days, cut vinyl, y'know, you needed to even out the sides for the cutting so you're never over 20 minutes per side of an album. And we were left with a nine-minute slot that was empty (laughs). So we cobbled together loads of bits from 'Sparks' and things like that, bits of jamming and stuff, which became the 'Underture.'"
- The Who's original album Tommy was released in May 1969 and peaked at Number Four on the U.S. album charts.
- The Who performed Tommy in full throughout 1969 and 1970.
- In response to the hit movie version, in 1975 and 1976, the Who reprised major portions of the album during their shows, and in 1989 performed most of it nightly on their 25th anniversary reunion tour.
- Roger Daltrey and his solo band performed Tommy in its entirety on the road in 2011.
- On the Who's most recent Quadrophenia & More Tour, only "Pinball Wizard" from Tommy got a nightly airing. Starting on the band's 2006 dates, the Who performed an extended Tommy medley featuring "Pinball Wizard," "Amazing Journey/Sparks," and "See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You."
CHECK IT OUT: The "Super Deluxe Edition" of Tommy:
Roger Daltrey On 'Tommy' Becoming A Double LP
Check out an album review at Ultimate Classic Rock
Rolling Stone reports Roger Daltrey collaborating on Keith Moon biopic Read more at Ultimate Classic Rock and NME