Original post:After Tommy, there was Jimmy. He’s the protagonist of Pete Townshend’s rock opera Quadrophenia, first a 1973 2-LP studio album by The Who, then a 1979 film and most recently a 2009 musical. Never one for small ideas, Quadrophenia was Townshend’s way of working out the relationship between the band and its fans while telling the story of a prototypical Mod Who fan. The album yielded some of The Who’s most beloved songs: “The Real Me,” “Love Reign O’er Me,” “5:15.” Now, after last year’s super-deluxe box set of Live at Leeds, it appears that the story of a mod youth will be receiving a similarly expansive treatment scheduled for the pre-Christmas release rush from Universal. The auteur, composer, lyricist, writer and mercurial rock god hasn’t been blogging much lately, but he just did so to confirm plans for the new box. As The Lifehouse Chronicles – Townshend’s sprawling, fascinating boxed anthology of the aborted album that eventually morphed into Who’s Next – attests, Townshend’s musical concepts often are too big for anything but a lavish box set, so this project seems just right! UPDATE: It’s been confirmed that the release date for the 4-CD/1-DVD Quadrophenia: The Director’s Cut will be November 14 in the U.K. and a pre-order link is already active at Amazon U.K. here.
What can we expect? Perhaps most exciting is the promise of “mind-blowing” surround sound mixes of eight songs by Bob Pridden. Jon Astley, Townshend’s preferred mastering engineer, is remastering the original vinyl mix as well as re-evaluating his 1996 remix. Townshend himself will contribute liner notes for a hardback book and has offered up 2 CDs of demos including songs that didn’t make the final album. (Anyone familiar with Townshend’s Scoop demos knows they will be in for a treat!) While the initial press release indicates that complete details will be revealed in the “coming months,” mention is made of “previously unseen personal notes, photographs, memorabilia, and other exclusive material.” Quadrophenia will also be available in double vinyl, 2-CD digi-pak and digital versions.
Hit the jump for the complete text of Pete’s statement, and the full press release with the track list for all five discs!
1st June, 2011
I am shut away in my home studio at the moment working to restore the demos of Quadrophenia. Bob Pridden is doing surround-sound mixes of selected tracks. Jon Astley is remastering the original vinyl mix, and evaluating his own 1996 remix (the one where you can properly hear Roger’s astonishing vocals). I am sitting in a pile of notes, desk diaries, photos (I took a lot of my own between 1971-1973 when Quadrophenia emerged), original lyrics and writing liner notes.
I am really enjoying this work. Bob’s mixes are mind-blowing. My demos are among the best I’ve ever done, and include some real quirky tracks that didn’t make it onto the final album. I still find studio work strange – I have to have the speakers very low in volume, not what I’m used to. This package, due in October if all goes well, is another Live at Leeds and Hull – or even another Lifehouse Chronicles – in the making. You are going to love it. I hope so, because I am missing this summer sunshine to get it completed on time.
In my recent interview with my friend Simon Garfield for INTELLIGENT LIFE, I professed some difficulty in my interaction with fans as I grow older. What is so wonderful about working on Quadrophenia is that back in 1970, all the way through to the recording in 1973, the primary challenge for me was to tell the story of the Who’s fans and at the same time address the wayward creative needs of the band as individuals and artists. The Who, and Jimmy as a kind of model for one or all of our fans, really had developed a powerful symbiosis that deserved a project like Quadrophenia both to honour the mechanism and address why it started to fail almost a soon as it had begun.
So I am enjoying working with the music, but I’m enjoying writing about it too.
The Who Announce Full Details and Track-Listing for the Release of ‘Quadrophenia: The Director’s Cut’ Boxset
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A stunning ‘Director’s Cut‘ of the landmark 1973 album produced, authorized and overseen by Pete Townshend.
Considered by Pete Townshend himself to be the Who album that he is most proud of, ‘Quadrophenia’ is the last album in the Who back catalogue to be given the deluxe treatment and is perhaps the most deserving. After the 1971 album ‘Who’s Next’, Pete Townshend returned to the ‘rock-opera’ concept, so dramatically realized through ‘Tommy’, with another ambitious double-album masterpiece. Based around the story of Jimmy – QUADROPHENIA tells the tale of a young mod and his struggle to come of age in the mid-1960s. The story also takes its influence from the band’s early fans from the original mod era, and its themes of teenage angst and disaffection still resonate strongly today.
The full details and track-listing for the forthcoming ‘Director’s Cut’ reissue of ‘Quadrophenia’ are released for the first time below and Pete Townshend has opened his personal archive for the very first time for the release, stating that:
“The time has come for me and my team to honour ‘Quadrophenia’ with a carefully presented package that features examples of the impact surround sound (quadrophonic) would have on the music, to remaster the vinyl mixes, and to collect and restore my demos. I am also going to try to shed some light on the way ‘Quadrophenia’ came about, and how it was inspired by events in my life in 1970 and 1971 when I scribbled or typed the very first notes and lyrics for some of the songs that made it onto the final record.’
‘Quadrophenia: The Director’s Cut‘ will be the definitive version of the album and a must for any self-respecting fan of The Who and beyond.
The super-deluxe limited edition box set will feature the following exclusive content:
- Discs one and two – the original double album – 2011 remaster
- Discs three and four – 25 demo tracks from Pete Townshend’s studio archive giving a unique insight into the original vision for this remarkable body of work. Includes songs that were not included on the original album.
- Disc five – ‘The Quadrophenia 5.1 EP’ – exclusive eight track DVD re-mixed for surround sound.
- Deluxe 100-page, hard-back book featuring a brand new 13,000 word essay by Pete Townshend, shedding exclusive light on the period before and during the creation of the album, explaining some of the technical processes – the startling and progressive use of synthesisers as well as a revealing insight into the story of the album’s central character – the mod Jimmy.
- Also features Pete’s in depth, track-by-track guide to the demos and revealing studio diary.
- The stunning book also includes a treasure trove of previously unseen personal notes, photographs, handwritten lyrics and memorabilia from the period, all recently uncovered in Pete’s archive.
- The package also replicates the striking black and white imagery from the original vinyl LP photography and adds never-seen colour out-takes of the famous cover shot.
- A replica 7″ vinyl single featuring hit single ‘5.15’ b/w ‘Water’ in a picture sleeve.
- Set of six facsimile memorabilia ‘inserts’ housed in a card envelope.
- Limited edition, housed in a hard-back deluxe slip-case.
Other formats will also be available…
- Double vinyl
- Mini-deluxe digi-pak edition
The Who, Quadrophenia: The Director’s Cut (Universal, 2011)
Discs 1 and 2: Original LP (originally released as MCA 2-10004 (U.S.)/Track 2657 013 (U.K.), 1973)
- I Am the Sea
- The Real Me
- Cut My Hair
- The Punk and the Godfather
- I’m One
- The Dirty Jobs
- Helpless Dancer
- Is It In My Head
- I’ve Had Enough
- Sea and Sand
- Bell Boy
- Doctor Jimmy
- The Rock
- Love Reign O’er Me
Discs 3 and 4: The Demos (previously unreleased)
- The Real Me (Demo)
- Quadrophenia – Four Overtures (Demo)
- Cut My Hair (Demo)
- Fill No. 1 – Get Out and Stay Out (Demo)
- Quadrophenic – Four Faces (Demo)
- We Close Tonight (Demo)
- You Cam Back (Demo)
- Get Inside (Demo)
- Joker James (Demo)
- Punk (Demo)
- I’m One (Demo)
- Dirty Jobs (Demo)
- Helpless Dancer (Demo)
- Is It in My Head (Demo)
- Any More (Demo)
- I’ve Had Enough (Demo)
- Fill No. 2 (Demo)
- Sea & Sand (Demo)
- Wizardry (Demo)
- Drowned (Demo)
- Is It Me (Demo)
- Bell Boy (Demo)
- Dr Jimmy (Demo)
- Finale – The Rock (Demo)
- Love Reign O’er Me (Demo)
DVD: Quadrophenia 5.1 EP
- I Am the Sea
- The Real Me
- I’ve Had Enough
- Dr Jimmy
- The Rock
- Love Reign O’er Me
7″ vinyl single: 5.15 b/w Water (originally released as Track 2094 115 (U.K.), 1973)