Updated: Aug 27
“Tommy” is the fourth studio project from English rock band The Who, released as a double album on May 23, 1969. The rock opera’s twenty-four songs tell the story of Tommy Walker, a metaphorically deaf, blind, and nonverbal boy who lives through various traumas and quirky life events, experiencing and escaping from them all through touch, imagination, and physical sensations of music via vibration. Guitarist Pete Townshend describes the album’s overall idea as Tommy, “seeing things basically as vibrations which we translate as music. That’s really what we want to do: create this feeling that when you listen to the music you can actually become aware of the boy, and aware of what he is all about, because we are creating him as we play.” The Who’s live performances of the album at the 1969 Woodstock and Isle of Wight Festivals reinvigorated their careers. “Tommy” went on to become a Tony Award winning musical on Broadway and was even adapted into its own feature film in 1975 featuring appearances from Elton John, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, and Jack Nicholson. The album has since been certified 2x platinum, adapted into multiple operas and symphonies, and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Close your eyes and experience some of the key tracks of “Tommy” including “Go to the Mirror,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and the classic “Pinball Wizard” by streaming the deluxe remastered version of the album now on Spotify!