ILCR Pick: 5 Songs From ‘Quadrophenia’ By The Who
Album cover for Quadrophenia - GrantJacobReinhardt / Youtube
In Pete Townshend’s quest to write the ultimate rock opera, Quadrophenia was born. Written entirely by the guitarist himself, the album follows the story of a young mod named Jimmy as he weaves through life in search of self-worth and importance. Sonically, the album was a step ahead from the more guitar-centric rock of The Who as it employed more variation into the sound thanks to the help of pianos and keys in the mix. With that, here are our top picks for this album’s tracks.
“The Real Me”
This track formally introduces the listener to the album with its organic, rock sound. Serving as a foundation to Jimmy’s character as it explores his psyche, “The Real Me” packs it with a driving guitar riff and a one-take Entwistle performance to get the energy high from the get-go.
While being purely instrumental, “Quadrophenia” gives us a glimpse of Townshend’s ability to conduct a rock orchestra with his sheer creative power. Glitz and glamour, “Quadrophenia” is sure to be a sonic treat for avid fans.
This track starts off quite interestingly, as it goes off with a country-inspired progression for some time before blasting off into a more fitting tone. Here, Jimmy is contemplating on how everything else isn’t working out for him except for the mod lifestyle.
Quite an indulgent melody wrapping the song, “5:15” takes the subject’s perspectives as he observes the surroundings from a moving train. The track is well-polished, with the implementation of horns and piano parts.
“Love, Reign O’er Me”
Townshend’s personal theme on the album, “Love, Reign O’er Me” once again dives into Meher Baba’s philosophy as a boat-ridden Tommy is stuck in a storm in the middle of the sea. Everything, from the instrumentation, down to Daltrey’s vocal performance meshes it all together into a great record.