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The Who - "Tommy" (With the London Symphony Orchestra):  

UK - 1972 ODE LP

UK - 1972 ODE Cassette

2 Cassettes

UK - 1972 ODE Cassette

Single cassette version

UK - 1972 ODE 8-Track

Shown with slip case

UK - 1994 Castle CD

With slipcase

USA - 1972 ODE LP

Sealed copy with sticker

USA - 1972 ODE LP

USA - 1972 ODE LP (Quadrophonic)

With sticker denoting "Quadrophonic"

USA - 1972 ODE 8-Track (Quadrophonic)

USA - 1972 ODE LP (Promo)

Unique promo sticker: "Preview/Not For Sale"

USA - 1972 ODE 8-Track

Shown with slip case

USA - 1972 ODE 8-Track

Label face

USA - 1990 ODE CD

USA - 1990 ODE CD

Long box packaging

USA - 1990 ODE Cassette

USA - 2015 Orchard LP

USA - 2015 Orchard CD

USA - 2015 PRC LP (Promo)

Test pressing

Australia - 1972 ODE LP

Australia - 1990 Festival CD

France - 1972 ODE Cassette

Germany - 1972 ODE LP

Vinyl pressed in Germany, cover printed in the UK

Germany - 2009 Repertoire CD

Holland - 1972 ODE LP

Vinyl pressed in Holland, cover printed in the UK

Italy - 1972 ODE LP

Vinyl pressed in Italy, cover printed in the USA

Italy - 1972 ODE LP (Disc Face)

Vinyl pressed in Italy, cover printed in the USA

Japan - 1972 ODE LP

Japan - 1972 ODE/King Cassette

Japan - 1991 Century CD

Japan - 1992 Teichiku CD

Packaged similar to original LP versions with "silver ball" slip case, booklets (in Japanese & English), etc.

Japan - 2011 AMR CD

Blu-Spec CD

Korea - 1972 Taedo LP

New Zealand - 1972 ODE LP

Philippines- 1972 ODE LP

Russia - 2005 Polydor CD

Pirate copy on <fake> Polydor label (see Bootleg - Studio section for more information)

Saudi Arabia - 1972 MY Cassette

Spain - 1972 ODE LP

Spain - 1972 ODE Cassette

Vol. 1

Spain - 1972 ODE Cassette

Vol. 2

Spain - 1972 ODE Cassette

Volume 2

Taiwan - 1972 JS LP

Album: Tommy (With The London Symphony Orchestra)

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Ode (USA), Ode (UK)

CDs Sampled: Castle (UK), Ode (USA), Festival (Australia), Century (Japan), Teichiku (Japan), AMR (Japan), Repertoire (Germany), Orchard (USA)

LP Comments: Great sound, but noisy vinyl on all copies that I've listened to.

CD Comments: All of the 1990's CD versions sound the same and are based on the sonic attributes of the original LPs  - great sound without any of the surface noise associated with the vinyl copies. The 2009 Repertoire CD is a fresh remastering and contrasts with the previous versions as it loses the reverb and gains in the detail - enhancing the "big orchestra sound" and vocals. Some folks may prefer the previous versions, but I believe this version is the best. The 2015 Orchard CD is similar to the Repertoire version, but has more treble. I found this to be borderline harsh in spots and it detracted from the overall performance.

Compare for yourself!
Below are 30 second WAV samples from various pressings of "Tommy" (London Symphony Orchestra) as described above.

Cousin Kevin:

1972 USA LP   1972 Japan LP   1990 USA CD   1991 Japan CD (Century)   1992 Japan CD (Teichiku)   1994 UK CD   2009 Germany CD   2011 Japan CD (AMR)   2015 USA CD (Orchard)

I'm Free:

1972 USA LP   1972 Japan LP   1990 USA CD   1991 Japan CD (Century)   1992 Japan CD (Teichiku)   1994 UK CD   2009 Germany CD   2011 Japan CD (AMR)   2015 USA CD (Orchard)

Note: Sound comparisons are only as good as your ears and the equipment you are listening to the music with.

Summary: The CD versions are great (as noted above). I recommend the 2009 Repertoire CD version over all of the others when playing on my home stereo. When playing in the car, I prefer the extra reverb that the (ODE) USA & (Castle) UK offer. Don't bother with the LP versions unless you're interested in collecting the nice packaging.

Other Comments: The original LP was also issued in "Quadraphonic" sound.

About: Tommy (With The London Symphony Orchestra)
I recall the first time I played it in 1982 - a very powerful and very different version of "Tommy"... I loved it from the moment I first played it and it's still as powerful today... Great vocal performances by Roger, Pete and John too...
Probably my most frequent played versions of "Tommy" are the "Leeds" and "Radio City" (89) live versions. The nice thing about "Tommy" is all of its variations... Great stuff...

Track Listing: Overture, It's A Boy, 1921, Amazing Journey, Sparks, Eyesight To The Blind, Christmas, Cousin Kevin, The Acid Queen, Underture, Do You Think It's Alright?, Fiddle About, Pinball Wizard, There's A Doctor I've Found, Go To The Mirror Boy, Tommy Can You Hear Me?, Smash The Mirror, I'm Free, Miracle Cure, Sensation, Sally Simpson, Welcome, Tommy's Holiday Camp, We're Not Gonna Take It, See Me, Feel Me.



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