The Who rolls out its Super Deluxe version of "Tommy" today (November 11), giving fans a treasure trove of new and unreleased material.
In addition to an HD remastered and Hi-Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray mix, the set includes a set of Pete Townshend and band demos for the set and a disc featuring "Tommy" recreated in its entirety via live recordings from various Who performances during 1969.
It's not the first time "Tommy" has been repackaged, but frontman Roger Daltrey tells us that he always finds digging into The Who's vaults, as the group did for "Quadrophenia" in 2012, interesting:
"It seems to rear its head, y'know, every four or five years for some reason, I don't know. But it's always good when it does 'cause I continually hear things new in it, and I suppose as the years go by it means different things...I've got much more appreciation for what it did for me as a person than I had at the time of recording it, from those early days of performing it. So I look back on it now and I think, 'I wonder what would've happened if I hadn't have sun that and performed that in those days?'...As a singer it gave me the voice that I was comfortable with within The Who, singing those kind of bittersweet songs that Townshend was writing at the time, those very psychologically, internal, emotional songs. I found it was 'Tommy' that gave me that voice to be comfortable doing that."
Daltrey, who's performed "Tommy" in recent years with his solo band, adds that while the idea of a full-length rock opera was daring when the who were making "Tommy," it was definitely something the band members were up for:
"The whole thing was very organic...It always felt at the time, 'This'll be different,' and as long as it was different, The Who would go for it."
Both Daltrey and Townshend have said that The Who is planning a 50th anniversary tour for 2015 that will also be the group's final full-scale trek, though it will continue to perform shows after that.