Tommy (As Performed By The London Symphony Orchestra With Guest Soloists)
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I bought this album in the 1970s (on vinyl, of course) and thought it was lost to the ages. Now here it is on iTunes. For anyone who enjoys all forms of music, from rock to classical, this album is a treasure. All the original members of The Who contribute, backed up by such timeless artists as Richard Harris, Rod Stewart, and even Ringo Starr. But the real treat is musical accompaniment provided by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chambre Choir. The combination is incredible, a first and (as far as I know) one-of-a-kind effort that comes off flawlessly. The power of the full orchestra and choir adds a dimension to this rock opera that cannot be matched. Need proof? Drop $0.99 and download the Overture. Play it though your best sound system. Having trouble hearing the first few bars of pianissimo? Go ahead. Crank it up. I dare you. In a moment’s time you’ll have to peel yourself off the ceiling as the full-bodied sound of the London Symphony Orchestra springs to life in a sudden burst of triple forte sound that will leave you grinning and shaking. You didn’t know your audio system could sound so good! And that’s just the first cut. From beginning to end this album is perfectly laced with rock singers, rock music, all bound together by the incomparable London Symphony Orchestra and Chambre Choir. Try it. You’ll like it. You’ll like it a lot.
Excellent, with a couple set backs...
This version of the Who's now iconic rock opera stands head and shoulders above all the other versions. Okay, maybe it's equal to the original 1969 concept album, but in terms of brilliance, and at times beauty, this one can't be beat and it's WAY ahead of the Broadway version, and FATHOMS above the 1975 film soundtrack (sorry, but the synths sound dated and annoying). Anyways, the incredible London Symphony Orchestra takes Townshend and co.'s work to new hights and the London Chamber Choir adds depth. With the full orchestra and choir, TOMMY, takes on the feeling of an oratorio or an actual opera. The last track, "See Me, Feel Me" benefits greatly from the extended ensemble complete with Roger Daltrey's vocals, and the Overture and Underture sound better than ever. Those fans of the original version who are not aquainted with the LSO version might fight some parts jarring as some of the tempos in highlights such as "Christmas" and "Pinball Wizard" are a bit slower here. None-the-less, with all the original Who, Ringo Starr (as a plain creepy Uncle Ernie!), Rod Stewart, the late Richard Harris this is a version of TOMMY not to be missed. My only problem with the album is that the orchestrations are at times a little TOO heavy and the strings and higher woodwinds sound shrill every now and then. Maybe it's just the recording, or the LSO had some intonation problems. Either way, this is an excellent fusion of rock and symphonic brilliance that shouldn't be missed.
Finally. I lost the cd of this to my brother years ago. Couldn't find another. We had it on vinyl when it came out. I love it and happy to see it finally here. Beautiful interpretation. Love. Love.