The Who

Quadrophenia Demos

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Though the sleeve only credits Pete Townshend -- and although Townshend may well be the only musician involved on this material -- it's more properly classified as a Who bootleg, as most of the songs were used for the group's Quadrophenia album. If you have the official Scoop collections, you know what to expect from Townshend's demos: well thought-out prototypes of what the Who ended up recording, with boxier sound and, of course, Townshend's vocals in place of Roger Daltrey's. This actually only has eight of the tracks that ended up on Quadrophenia, meaning that less than half of the album's songs are contained here. It's a decent investment for big Who fans, however, as it gives us a chance to hear working versions of key cuts like "The Real Me" and "Drowned"; "Bell Boy" is a particular highlight. The sound is imperfect, not so much from the clarity standpoint, but because on most tracks the bass and drums are annoying overmodulated. Being that this isn't an official release, though, it's kind of hard to complain about the production values of music that, as the RIAA reminds us, we have no legal or moral right to hear. This has come out in several different configurations; the Black Dog version adds five significant non-Quadrophenia related cuts, including a 1968 demo of "Dogs," a couple of decent unreleased 1975 tunes, a "Who Are You" demo, and a ten-minute instrumental version of "Baba O'Riley."