Roger Daltrey

The Who's Tommy Orchestral

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The Who's Tommy Orchestral is perhaps a bit of a convoluted title but it's not as much of a jumble as the billing of "Roger Daltrey with members of the Who Band and Orchestra Conducted by Keith Levenson." The title and credit explain the 2019 album, which splices together performances given in Bethel, New York and Budapest. Prior to the 2018 tour that provided the source material for this record, Daltrey told Rolling Stone "We stay faithful to the record. We treat it with the respect that you'd treat a Mozart opera." This is more or less true. Daltrey and his supporting musicians don't bother to rearrange or reinterpret the original Pete Townshend compositions, and the presence of members of the Who Band does give this volume and muscle, qualities that are often absent in orchestral renditions of rock material. What the orchestra does add is a considerable dose of pomp and circumstance, a subtlety that can push this version of Tommy toward the stuffy. Then again, the orchestra isn't as interesting as Daltrey. Baring a reduced range but considerable vocal control, Daltrey seems engaged with material that he's been singing for half-a-century, and that kind of commitment is what distinguishes an album that otherwise feels a shade too familiar.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 05:42 Amazon
2 00:40 Amazon
3 02:56 Amazon
4 05:09 Amazon
5 02:12 Amazon
6 02:21 Amazon
7 04:40 Amazon
8 03:51 Amazon
9 03:50 Amazon
10 00:25 Amazon
11 01:40 Amazon
12 03:18 Amazon
13 00:24 Amazon
14 03:51 Amazon
15 01:39 Amazon
16 01:25 Amazon
17 00:29 Amazon
18 02:46 Amazon
19 00:13 Amazon
20 03:07 Amazon
21 04:53 Amazon
22 04:04 Amazon
23 01:11 Amazon
24 08:33 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick