Monday, February 8, 2010

Music Monday: "The Real Me" by The Who

I think the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake "Wardrobe Malfunction" was the best thing to happen to the Super Bowl in years. Ever since then, it seems the NFL has had no choice but to put real musicians on for their halftime show--Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, The Who, etc. I guess when you can't cover up an abject lack of talent with sex and fireworks, it narrows the field. Anyway, I thought The Who did a stellar job last night, playing classics from their heyday. I don't know who he is, but their drummer fit in quite well; it can't be an easy task to fill John Bonham's shoes.

There was, however, one song I thought they should've played. Here's "The Real Me," from the chronically-underrated Quadrophenia album.

Don't get me wrong, Tommy is a classic. It was the first rock opera and has rightfully earned its place in music history. But as a fully realized, conceptually straightforward and coherent narrative, Quadrophenia is a far better album. Tommy has a tendency to ramble toward the end, and I personally still don't get how a deaf, dumb and blind kid could be redeemed by a pinball game. On the other hand, Quadrophenia hits you with "The Real Me" right away and builds into a few more rockers before the close of side 1. The album is energetic and more well-developed than its predecessors, and the whole thing just flows really well.

On top of that, the storyline is excellent--it presents an image of an adolescent British kid trying to fit into the youth culture of the day (is he a Mod or a Rocker?) and find his way in society. It is specific to 1960s/70s England, but the themes are pretty universal.

And as for the music itself...well, I mean it's The Who, man!

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