The Who have been a powerful force in the world of rock and roll. Although not every album has (arguably) been their best, there are some that stand tall amongst albums, any albums. The band's 1973 super two-disc classic, Quadrophenia, is one of these.
After the release of two genuine classics (Tommy - 1969, Who's Next - 1971), the arrival of Quadrophenia added remarkably to what could be considered a holy trinity of back-to-back-to-back classics. Quadrophenia made a dramatic attempt to replicate the success of the other rock opera, Tommy. It tells the story of a teen (Jimmy) in the midst of a transitional period, plagued by a series of disruptions that bode poorly for this representative of a disenchanted generation, the audience that The Who spoke to - and understood.
Quadrophenia's 17 tracks filled four sides of vinyl in a time where single albums were hard enough to complete with great tracks. With the aura of the previous two releases still glowing, Quadrophenia was an extraordinary success. Quadrophenia had become one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Pete Townshend called it “...the best album that I will ever write.” And so it is.
Years ago, at the height of the SACD period, Townshend had hinted that he was working on Quadrophenia as a release in that new format. Unfortunately, it never materialized. In June of 2011, Townshend let it be known that he was in the middle of creating an immense deluxe edition of Quadrophenia. Recently, the details of that anticipated box set have come to light and it will be a treat for those who have that unique connection to the album.
On November 14, 2011, the newest reissue of Quadrophenia will be released in the UK. The box will be a treasure of riches that will be contained on four CDs, a DVD, and within the pages of a hardbound book. The original album is remastered by Bob Pridden, who works closely with Pete Townshend. Not only is the original material being remastered, but Pridden has remixed eight of the album's tracks (why not the whole album, Pete?) into 5.1 Surround tracks that Pete calls “mind-blowing.”
The first two CDs will contain the original album with the remaining two CDs a set of demos, including songs that never made the cut of the album. The DVD will house the eight previously mentioned multi-channel tracks. The hardbound book should be a tome of worth with expected notes, photos, assorted memorabilia, and whatever else will find its way into this collectible necessity. Additionally, there will be an included 7” single, and set of insert cards.
Since there are many thresholds that we are willing to visit but unable or unwilling to cross, there will be a two-CD remastered set, a two-LP set, and the expected Digital Download (DD) tracks made available. The box is currently available for pre-order via Amazon UK.
I don't know about you, but this set is my holy grail for 2011.