The Who Expand ‘Tommy’ With Box Set and Deluxe Edition
Rock’s favorite deaf, dumb and blind kid is coming back with newly remastered sound and a whole bunch of bonus material.
On Nov. 11, the Who will reissue ‘Tommy,’ the groundbreaking 1969 rock opera that went on to sell more than 20 million copies, turn into a movie and stage production and enjoy enshrinement in the Grammy Hall of Fame. As tends to be the case with reissues these days, the new ‘Tommy’ will come in multiple configurations, with the truly hardcore offered the option to purchase a ‘Super Deluxe’ box that adds a poster and a hardcover 80-page book to the plain ol’ ‘Deluxe Edition.’
Both versions contain what the band is calling “a wealth of previously unheard material,” including 20 demos from Pete Townshend‘s personal vaults and a complete 1969 live performance of the album, assembled from tapes long hidden in sound engineer Bob Pridden’s archives after Townshend told him to destroy them.
As the press release announcing the new ‘Tommy’ explains, “18 of the previously unheard and thought to be long lost live tracks are taken from a live show at the Capital Theatre, Ottawa, Canada, on Oct. 15, 1969. Three others, ‘I’m Free,’ ‘Tommy’s Holiday Camp’ and ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ were lost due to tape reels being changed during the show, so [they] are taken from later shows of the same era.”
The box also includes a disc containing a 5.1 mix featuring the complete album remixed in surround sound on the new Hi Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray format. For fans who aren’t interested in the fully expanded edition, ‘Tommy’ is also being reissued in a double-disc version containing the remaster and live tracks, a single-disc version with just the studio tracks and a two-LP vinyl remaster.