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Dog 3000
Dog 3000
4611 posts

Re: Very British
Dec 11, 2007, 20:00
More ramble on Quadrophenia --

I've never heard anything from the 73-74 tours, but I have heard a 1979 show when they were doing Quadrophenia all over again as a tie-in with the movie, and I thought it sounded pretty good (and no longwinded explanations from Daltrey either.)

I have read that the Quad tour didn't go over well the first time though -- not only does it make no particular sense to someone outside of the "mods vs rockers" camp, but it's much "softer" sounding than their previous records. The Who were beloved for their hard rock, not their high falootin' concepts. All the horns and keyboards and ocean sounds don't really make for a good stadium tour. (Though I guess they had some of these issues sorted out by the end of the decade.)

Anyway -- and I know there are Americans who love this album -- but I've always thought it was over-arranged and sort of mushy in the music department (whereas Tommy is severely under-arranged, but somehow that works better for me.)

I don't really think you need to know that much about scooters and pep pills and the hip hairdos of 1966 to vibe on the "feelings" of that record anyway (adolescent angst, frustrated sexual desire, hating your job, staring at the ocean, etc. -- all things American kids can relate to.)

In short -- maybe it was really the music, not the cultural barrier!

They didn't write any rockers of note after 1973 either, they did sort of become a greatest-hits show at that point.

But I guess I'm not sure how their popularity in America was responsible for the decline in musical ferocity -- if they'd been less popular in America, would that have made their music better? Wouldn't it have been more likely that they'd break up the band and move on to other things (not being able to earn much of a living based on playing local pubs and football fields in the UK?)

Seems like it boils down to a globalized version of the usual "core fans vs. mass fans" issue (you know, "I was into this band back when they were cool, but now there's all these dipshits listening to their music too, and so they're not cool anymore.")

With the added comment that sometimes popularity DOES make artists turn musically lame, when they start to believe their own hype (Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, the list is endless.)
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