The Who Sell Out (Again)
October 25, 2011
A few years back, Lambretta Clothing teamed up with The Who to reissue some of the band’s Mod-est attire, including the famous parka from the cover of Quadrophenia, pre-stenciled for your convenience. Apparently Lambretta marketing contracts aren’t worth much these days, so with a new Quadrophenia CD/DVD “Directors Cut” box set coming out, they’ve switched alliances to Vespa. Mancunian twit Liam Gallagher will display a new PX125-based Quadrophenia scooter, film memorabilia, and Who-insipired fashions–including (again) the Quadroparka–at his Pretty Green clothing store on (where else?) Carnaby Street.
In other news, Noel Gallagher has installed turnstiles at Easington Colliery, charging punters £5 to urinate on a lump of concrete.
Quadrophenia, aside from its obvious charms to scooterists (and I admit a compulsion to watch it occasionally), isn’t much of a film and is even less of an album, so it’s interesting to see it repackaged yet again. Confusingly, (“Director’s Cut?”) this new 6-disc set doesn’t include the film at all (the DVD is surround mixes of the album), and omits all the great music (by the Who and other R&B greats) that appeared on the original soundtrack, which was re-released in 1993 and 2000.
The album (as opposed to the soundtrack) isn’t horrible, it’s just neither the Mod music that’s the subject of the film, nor the Mod revival music that sparked its release. It’s exactly the noodly late-’70s stadium rock that Revival Mods and Punks were rebelling against at the time. It may be sacrilege (and completely against the point), but I’ve always felt, aside from a couple tracks, the film would have been better off with all music from the mod era. The book included in the box set is the most compelling component, I’d be far more interested in the backstory and Townshend’s memories than hearing demos and gimmicky 5.1 mixes. Townshend calls it “…the best album that I will ever write,” but it says a lot that the album was blocked from #1 on the charts by Pin Ups, David Bowie’s great ’60s cover album… containing two early Who songs.
Via Scooterism, of course.