The Who

Quadrophenia [Music from the Soundtrack of The Who Film]

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Quadrophenia [Music from the Soundtrack of The Who Film] Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The film adaptation of the Who's rock opera Quadrophenia couldn't have been different than the film of Tommy. Where that was garish, star-studded, and wrong-headed, Franc Roddam's Quadrophenia was lean, incisive, and nearly brilliant, thanks in no small part to his gritty, matter-of-fact approach and a searing, star-making performance by Phil Daniels. It was focused, dramatic, and affecting, the best illustration of what a rock musical can do, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the accompanying soundtrack is equally fine. It repeats much of the Who's album of the same name, plus a generous share of re-recordings, which may be subtly different (there are an abundance of grace notes on "I'm One," for instance), but different, more produced all the same. Even better, they're all pretty good, and help give this a different -- yet, again, subtly different -- feel than the album that's welcome. Then there's the last side of the record, containing a bunch of mod anthems -- which means there's a bunch of early-'60s soul, plus a couple of girl group numbers and "Louie Louie," all of which are familiar, yet still offer a good portrait of what mods actually listened to. Along the way, a song by the High Numbers -- the early incarnation of the Who -- is thrown in for good measure, along with the Cross Section's take on "Hi Heel Sneakers," plus three new songs, all added to assist the film narrative, all enjoyable but only "Four Faces" really standing out (and it sounds more Who by Numbers than Quadrophenia, anyway). So, unlike the Tommy soundtrack, this not just stands apart from the film, it's a nice little record on its own merits -- one that many passionate Who fans will enjoy, even as they realize it's hardly a monumental effort.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Who 02:03 Amazon
2 The Who 03:31 Amazon
3 The Who 02:43 Amazon
4 The Who 04:53 Amazon
5 The Who 05:13 Amazon
6 The Who 04:57 Amazon
7 The Who 06:11 Amazon
8 The Who 00:22 Amazon
9 The Who 07:31 Amazon
10 The Who feat: The High Numbers 02:01 Amazon
The Who feat: Cross Section 02:47 Amazon
12 The Who 02:28 Amazon
13 The Who 03:21 Amazon
14 The Who 03:13 Amazon
15 The Who 05:23 Amazon
16 The Who feat: James Brown 03:39 Amazon
17 The Who feat: The Kingsmen 02:41 Amazon
18 The Who feat: Booker T. & the MG's 02:47 Amazon
19 The Who feat: The Cascades 02:30 Amazon
20 The Who feat: The Chiffons 01:54 Amazon
21 The Who feat: The Ronettes 02:31 Amazon
22 The Who feat: The Crystals 02:10 Amazon
23 The Who feat: The High Numbers 02:29 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick