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Tuesday
Aug112015

1972 All-Star Orchestral Version of The Who's "Tommy" to Be Reissued Next Month

Image Courtesy of MSO PRA remastered edition of the star-studded 1972 symphonic version of The Who's classic 1969 rock opera Tommy will be released on Friday, September 11Tommy (as Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Chambre Choir), which features contributions from three-fourths of The Who, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and others, will be available as a CD, a vinyl LP and a digital download.

The album features Roger Daltrey taking on the role of Tommy, Pete Townshend as the Narrator, John Entwistle as Cousin Kevin, Starr as Uncle Ernie, Winwood as the Father, Maggie Bell as the Mother and Stewart as the Local Lad -- the character that sings "Pinball Wizard."  The cast also includes folk-rocker Richie Havens as the Hawker, one-time Rolling Stones collaborator Merry Clayton as the Acid Queen and Richard Harris as the Doctor.  The music on the album was performed by the 104-piece London Symphony Orchestra and the 60-voice Chambre Choir, as conducted by David Measham and arranged by Wil Malone.

The symphonic Tommy pre-dated the star-packed film adaptation of the album by about three years and won a Grammy for Best Album Package in 1973.  It's been reissued several times over the years, but has previously been available only as an import.

"I always saw the Who's version of Tommy as more of a sketch and felt there was more that could be done with it," says Townshend.  "The London Symphony project, I think, paved the way for more to come."

The vinyl edition of the reissue will be pressed on gray vinyl and will come with a facsimile of the 20-page libretto featuring illustrations of the characters and lyrics that was packaged with the original record.

Here is the track list for Tommy (as Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra & Chambre Choir):

"Overture" -- London Symphony Orchestra
"It's a Boy" -- Sandy Denny
"1921" -- Graham Bell/Steve Winwood/Maggie Bell/Roger Daltrey
"Amazing Journey" -- Pete Townshend
"Sparks" -- London Symphony Orchestra
"Eyesight to the Blind" -- Richie Havens
"Christmas" -- Steve Winwood/Roger Daltrey
"Cousin Kevin" -- John Entwistle
"The Acid Queen" -- Merry Clayton
"Underture" -- London Symphony Orchestra
"Do You Think It's Alright?" -- Maggie Bell/Steve Winwood
"Fiddle About" -- Ringo Starr
"Pinball Wizard" -- Rod Stewart
"There's a Doctor I've Found" -- Steve Winwood
"Go to the Mirror Boy" -- Richard Harris/Roger Daltrey/Steve Winwood
"Tommy Can You Hear Me?" -- Maggie Bell
"Smash the Mirror" -- Maggie Bell
"I'm Free" -- Roger Daltrey
"Miracle Cure" -- Chambre Choir
"Sensation" -- Roger Daltrey
"Sally Simpson" -- Pete Townshend
"Welcome" -- Roger Daltrey
"Tommy's Holiday Camp" -- Ringo Starr
"We're Not Gonna Take It" -- Roger Daltrey
"See Me, Feel Me" -- Roger Daltrey

And here is the list of characters (in order of appearance):

Narrator: Pete Townshend
Nurse: Sandy Denny
Lover: Graham Bell
Father: Steve Winwood
Mother: Maggie Bell
Hawker: Richie Havens
Acid Queen: Merry Clayton
Tommy: Roger Daltrey
Cousin Kevin: John Entwistle
Uncle Ernie: Ringo Starr
Local Lad: Rod Stewart
Doctor: Richard Harris

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