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Sensation – The Story Of Tommy
Artists: The Who
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Review Date: March 09, 2014

As a teenager in the seventies, one of the major cinematic events for me was the movie version of The Who’s landmark rock opera, Tommy.  I remember well attending the movie at the Cine Capri Theater in Phoenix with a lovely lady friend of mine.  That movie brought alive, once again, the groundbreaking music of Tommy.

Little did I know back then that there was a tremendous story behind the opera that was very much based on actual the experiences of Pete Townshend.  Released in 1969, Tommy was a milestone in rock history, and marked a new chapter in the band’s career. Selling over 20 million copies worldwide, the double-album established Townshend’s prowess as not only a musician, but a composer, and further solidified Roger Daltrey as one of rock’s foremost front men. A concept album exploring the story of a blind pinball ace, Tommy proved that rock music was a viable vehicle for storytelling, and was the first album to be overtly billed as a rock opera. It was later re-imagined as the film by Ken Russell in the mid-seventies that I mentioned earlier as well as a touring stage production in the early nineties.

The great folks at Eagle Rock Entertainment explore the story and influences behind the historic project via their latest offering, Sensation – The Story Of Tommy. Fully supported and endorsed by The Who, Sensation – The Story Of Tommy explores the background, creation, and impact of this seminal album. The film unveils the history and cultural impact of Tommy through new interviews with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, archive interviews with the late John Entwistle, contributions from engineer Bob Pridden, artwork creator Mike McInnerney, plus others involved in the making of the album, as well as journalists, who assess the album’s historic and cultural impact. 

Originally aired on BBC TV in August 2013, the DVD version includes additional material not featured in the TV broadcast, as well as a bonus 33-minute feature from the 1969 German TV show “Beat Club.” This feature, which includes previously unreleased footage, includes tracks from the album and interviews with band members.

Who fans, rock and film enthusiasts, as well as musicologists will all want this brilliant and incredibly informative and enlightening DVD in their personal viewing libraries for repeated viewings. Boomerocity has already watched it three times!