So, the promotion for Classic Quadrophenia has started…we saw Alfie on a scooter in Brighton a couple of weeks ago and now he’s been back in London buying a parka!
Since Alfie’s been teasing us with Quadrophenia, I thought it was time we found out a bit more about the original – this is for fans for are not entirely familiar with The Who’s music which includes me, although I know a whole lot more than I did a week ago! I have watched the movie, watched a live performance on youtube and listened to the original album a few times by now…and like most of the stuff Alfie has introduced me too, I like it!
Quadrophenia is the 6th studio album from The Who, composed entirely by Pete Townshend and was released in 1973 – a second rock opera, following Tommy. A UK / US tour followed the release but was widely considered to be disastrous, being besieged by technical problems. The non musical movie of Quadrophenia (the music formed the soundtrack only) was released in 1979 and featured Phil Daniels as Jimmy – he is to appear as Jimmy’s father in the Classic performance. Other notable cast members included Sting, Toyah Willcox, Ray Winstone and Leslie Ash.
The album was re-mastered and re-released a couple of times after the initial release and the album as a live performance was revived in 1996 for an initial one off show in Hyde Park, London. This was more a rock opera performance with cast members including Phil Daniels, Adrian Edmondson, Stephen Fry and (showing how times change) Gary Glitter. The line up also included Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr) as the drummer; he has toured with them ever since. This format was successful and a UK / US tour followed.
The surviving members of The Who, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, again resurrected Quadrophenia as a live performance in 2010 for a series of concerts for the Teenage Cancer Trust. In this instance, they were joined by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Kasabian’s Tom Meighan. Phil Daniels featured in a TCT concert last November, here he is singing Bell Boy; the video also features Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs:
Alfie and Sarah attended this concert too!
The most recent incarnation of Quadrophenia as a performance was the 2012/13 tour which had the feeling of a concert rather than a performance of a rock opera to it. Keith Moon and Jon Entwistle both featured on video (Bell Boy and 5.15). There are some youtube videos of this but they are of varying quality and not complete, probably due to copyright reasons. I must admit that I was unaware of this recent touring history until this week and having now immersed myself in this music, I am even more keen to see the production of Classic Quadrophenia on 5 July. It will be interesting to see and hear the orchestrated version featuring those sublime vocals – here is Alfie on his recent UK tour:
Thanks to Linda W for sharing. Aside from Alfie as Jimmy, I’m also really interested to see Phil Daniels play the role of Jimmy’s father – nice to see some continuity in casting. Twitter also mentioned that Alfie’s appearance on Sunday Night at the Palladium (ITV, 3 May) will feature Quadrophenia.
The album, from Deutsche Grammophon, will be released on 22 June so we’ll have plenty of time to familiarise ourselves with it before the concert! I’m hoping for a DVD too! The album is available to pre-order here:
There are lots of videos of Alfie singing I’m One and Love Reign O’er Me from his recent UK tour – check out the thoughtsofjustafan Alfie Boe youtube page (there are some other artists featured on the Quadrophenia playlist too).
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