Saturday, June 14, 2014

Blu-ray Review: "Quadrophenia" Turns 40 As The Who Perform This Modern Classic Live

Last year, British rockers The Who celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1973 landmark double-album "Quadrophenia" with a U.S./European tour. At each show, the band performed the entire mini-rock opera from start to finish and included a greatest hits set for the encore. The Who only featured two original members (Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend), but through archival video footage, brought back the spirits of bassist John Entwistle and Keith Moon for their signature parts. Joining Daltrey and Townshend on this journey was Townshend's brother Simon on guitar, Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey on drums (later to be replaced by Scott Devours) Pino Palladino on bass, John Corey on piano, Loren Gold on keyboards and the brass section of J. Greg Miller and Reggie Grisham.

The final night of the tour was filmed in high-definition for newly released "Quadrophenia Live In London," available June 10th from the Universal Music Group. The concert was released in a number of different formats including Blu-ray, DVD, 2-CD set and digital download. The show looks stunning in high-def Blu-ray as you feel as if you are up on the stage with the band as they perform. The cameras mainly stay attached to Daltrey and Townshend during the performance. The audience is never shown, except for a complete stage shot, but you hardly notice their absence. The videos on the screen are the basis for the story and are shown at every opportunity. One of the clever camera tricks is to  incorporate the images on the screen whenever they show the band members performing live. The two highlights of the show is during the extended jam of "5:15" as they use the video screen to show past member John Entwistle performing his signature bass solo along with the live band. The other highlight is when Keith Moon appears on screen to become the "Bell Boy." He sings his parts, just like he did in 1973, as an old concert clip is shown above the band. The encore performances are added as a bonus and can be viewed on their own without having to watch the entire "Quadrophenia" performance. The touching moment comes during the closing song, "Tea & Theatre" as Daltrey and Townshend are alone on stage as the final two warriors wondering what's left to accomplish.

Fans of The Who will be on the search for the 5-Disc Limited Collector's Edition Metal Box version that contains the Blu-ray, DVD, 2CD soundtrack and for the first time the original 1973 album in 5.1 Surround Sound on a Blu-ray Pure Audio. Other extras include a 6" Mod headlight sticker, a Mod headlight button and a slick, 32-page full color booklet and housed in a round metal container embossed with the movie-inspired iconic Mod bullseye.

As this year is the band's 50th anniversary, what better way to celebrate than with an unforgettable performance of their iconic masterpiece. To find out more information about The Who's new release "Quadrophenia Live In London," please visit

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