Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Who - Quadrophenia: The Complete Story

The Who were undeniably at the peak of their powers at the end of the 60's to the beginning of the 70's. Tommy had given them their much-needed mega-hit, provided Daltry with a stage persona and became the band's live tour-de-force. Their follow-up, Who's Next, was their last truly, consistently amazing album but while more than a bit pretentious and overdone, Quadrophenia was certainly (and Pete admits this) their last great record. This documentary reveals the making of the album and the story that it was based on.

I have always found it ironic that this just-barely pre-punk era story of the early 60's Mod movement was performed as an album buried in keyboards, synthesizers and plenty of 70's rock cliches. Of course, there are some superb rock numbers on the record but the sound was a far cry from the sound of the Mods (though it did become adopted by the latest wave of Mods at the time).

This movie explains a bit about the original Mod movement for the uninitiated with some fantastic footage of the Who and their followers. Of course, it also talks about the making of the album and the craziness behind it with extensive interviews with the ever-effusive Pete, some with Roger and a few previously recorded bits from Keith & John.

Nothing earth-shattering here and no big revelations but this is a nice overview of the last Who concept album and of the phenomenon that spawned it. It ends with some footage of their 1996 (I believe) Quadrophenia tour which is good, but far from the Who at their best (with a boatload of extra musicians). Still, a fun documentary and something every Who fan should see.