Tommy, The Who’s defining, breakthrough concept album – a full-blown rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy that launched the band to international superstardom, was originally released in May 1969. The Who were at a career crossroads, mainly known as a singles band, when this project launched them as a serious ‘albums band’ and has now sold over 20 million copies as well as regularly turning up in lists of the most influential albums of all time.
“Universal had Kevin Gray, not “A. Nonymous” cut lacquers and this was very well pressed at QRP. So I’m willing to cut Universal some packaging slack to get QRP quality pressings. … The reissue was cut by Kevin Gray from 96/24 files … vinyl cut from the same files was more sonically satisfying and by a wide margin. … Sonically this is a very good vinyl reissue of Tommy. I’d have to be a knucklehead to write otherwise.” — Music = 9/11; Sound = 9/11 — Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com
Originally banned by the BBC and by some U.S. radio stations, the underlying child abuse and molestation theme in the tale of the “deaf, dumb and blind” Tommy Walker was a startling, darker side to the former mod-rockers from Shepherds Bush. The album peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard chart. Townshend proved to himself and the world he could still attempt such libretto and still rock. It spawned such Who staples as “Pinball Wizard,” “The Acid Queen,” “I’m Free” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It/See Me, Feel Me.”
“Despite the complexity of the project, [Townshend] and the Who never lost sight of solid pop melodies, harmonies, and forceful instrumentation, imbuing the material with a suitably powerful grace.” -Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com