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The Who’s “Tommy” at 50: the beginning of an amazing journey

Podcast
The Who’s landmark album, Tommy, turns 50. Author Richie Unterberger walks us through how it came to be, and the journey that followed (Photo by Jim Summaria CC BY-SA 3.0)

It was a ground-breaking, game-changing, mold-shattering album, and it was released 50 years ago this month. Popular music has never been the same since. The Who’s Tommy was one of the best-selling rock albums of its day; hailed universally as a creative breakthrough. What led to Tommy is a remarkable story. What happened following it is even more fascinating.

On this episode, we examine a pace-setting period in the history of one of rock music’s most storied, and most ambitious bands: The Who. The years between 1969 and 1971 were simultaneously the most sensationally triumphant, and abjectly unsuccessful that any rock ‘n’ roll band has ever seen. Music journalist and author Richie Unterberger, author of Won’t Get Fooled Again: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia takes us through the story on this week’s Hidden Track.

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Photo by Jim Summaria CC BY-SA 3.0