Peter Townshend Charles Shaar Murray - Essay

Charles Shaar Murray

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Townshend's Quadrophenia is a rather daunting proposition. Another Who double-album rock opera?…

The mind boggles, and you get the sneaking feeling that Pete Townshend has tried to out-Tommy Tommy and gone sailing right over the top.

The impression even persists when you start playing side one. The first thing you hear is a "Desert Island Discs" surf-crashing-on-the-shore sound effect in sumptuous stereo while distant echoed voices intone the four principal themes from the piece.

Then it suddenly cuts into "The Real Me", and you hear that sound, as uncompromisingly violent as a boot disintegrating a plate glass window at 4 a.m., and simultaneously...

(The entire section is 450 words.)