~ Release group by The Who


TommyThe Who2×12" Vinyl10 + 14
  • GB1969-05-23
Track Record613 013/4
TommyThe Who2×12" Vinyl10 + 14
  • US1969-05-31
Decca RecordsDXSW 7205
TommyThe Who2×12" Vinyl12 + 12
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)2668 013[none]
TommyThe Who2×12" Vinyl10 + 14
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)2612 006
TommyThe Who2×12" Vinyl10 + 11
Decca Records7-11976, 7-11977, 7-11978, 7-11979, DL 75126, DL 75127, DXSW 7205[none]
Tommy: Part 1The Who12" Vinyl10
  • GB1972-05-12
Track Record2406 007
TommyThe Who2×12" Vinyl10 + 11
MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)MCA2-10005, MCA2-9000[none]
TommyThe Who2×CD10 + 14
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)800 077-2042280007720
TommyThe Who2×CD8 + 13
MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)DIDX-157, DIDX-158, MCAD2-10005[none]
TommyThe Who2×CD8 + 13
BMG Direct Marketing, Inc. (BMG company that owned their direct marketing company/club editions), MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)D 263684[none]
TommyThe Who2×CD8 + 13
MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)MCAD2-10005
Tommy (1st pressing, ¥5,800)The Who2×CD10 + 14
  • JP1986-06-01
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)P58P 25007/84988005002532
TommyThe Who2×CD8 + 13
  • JP1986-06-01
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)P58P 25007/8
Tommy (2nd pressing, ¥5,449)The Who2×CD10 + 14
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)P58P 25007/84988005002532
TommyThe WhoCD21
  • US1990-04-20
Mobile Fidelity Sound LabUDCD 533015775153325
TommyThe WhoCD21
  • US1993-03-30
MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)MCAD-10801008811080129
TommyThe WhoCD24
  • GB1996-03-04
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)531 043-2731453104327
TommyThe WhoCD24
  • US1996-03-12
MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)MCAD-11417008811141721
TommyThe Who(unknown)23
  • US1996-03-12
TommyThe WhoCD24
MCA Records Canada (1970–1995)MCASD-11417008811141721
TommyThe WhoCD24
BMG Direct Marketing, Inc. (BMG company that owned their direct marketing company/club editions), MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)D 112317, MCAD-11417[none]
TommyThe WhoCD24
  • -1996
MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)*MCAD-11417020831168526
Tommy (deluxe edition)The WhoHybrid SACD + SACD25 + 17
  • US2003-10-28
Geffen RecordsB0001386-36602498610114
Tommy (deluxe edition)The Who2×SACD25 + 17
  • GB2004-01-19
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)9861011602498610114
TommyThe Who2×DVD-Audio50 + 29
  • US2004-04-27
Geffen RecordsB0002103-19602498618363
Tommy (deluxe edition)The Who2×CD25 + 17
  • DE2005-03-08
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)0602498272367602498272367
Tommy (SHM-SACD)The Who2×SACD25 + 17
  • JP2008-11-12
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)UICY-93746/74988005535467
Tommy (deluxe edition)The WhoDigital Media24
Geffen RecordsB0001386-36008811141721
TommyThe WhoSHM-SACD24
  • JP2012-04-25
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)UIGY-90894988005705181
Tommy (Deluxe Edition, Reissue, Remastered)The Who2×CD24 + 21
  • US2013-11-11
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)B0019380-02602537474004
Tommy (super deluxe edition)The Who3×CD + Blu-ray + Digital Media24 + 25 + 48 + 21 + 2
  • US2013-11-12
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)3747396602537473960
TommyThe WhoCD24
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)B001938102602537474035
Tommy (High Fidelity Pure Audio)The WhoBlu-ray48
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)3747405602537474059
TommyThe Who2×CD24 + 21
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)37474000602537474004
Tommy (2013 remastered edition)The WhoCD24
  • -2013
Universal (plain logo: “Universal”; for use as release label only when no sub-label/imprint is specified), Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)3747403602537474035
TommyThe WhoSHM-CD24
  • JP2014-08-27
Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)UICY-400824988005838124
Tommy (super deluxe, hi-res)The WhoDigital Media70
  • US2014-11-04
Geffen Records602537947782
TommyThe WhoCD21MCA Records (1967–2003; name as in imprint during 1972–1990)MCASD 10801008811080129
TommyThe Who2×CD10 + 14Polydor (worldwide imprint, see annotation)800077-23259180007720


associated singles/EPs:I’m Free
covers:VSQ Performs The Who’s “Tommy” by Vitamin String Quartet
translated covers:Di-rect doet Tommy by Di-rect
live performances:The Who’s “Tommy” Orchestral by Roger Daltrey
included in:Phases
The Studio Albums
part of:Jaguaro: One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately (number: 22) (order: 22)
Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2003 edition (number: 96) (order: 96)
Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 96) (order: 96)
Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2020 edition (number: 190) (order: 190)
Discogs: [info]
reviews: [info]
other databases: [info] [info]
Allmusic: [info]
Wikidata:Q372055 [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Thirty five years on from its original release many myths have been born and subsequently dispelled about Pete Townshend's sprawling tale of the deaf, dumb and blind boy. The most common is the one about the original master tapes being destroyed/original pressings being lightyears ahead of later versions etc. Now the tapes have been found and the rather spiffing reissue from 2000 has apparently been superseded by this new-fangled SACD. But how did the world's most famous concept album end up with such a twisted sonic history, and how does this version really compare?

Answers can be found in Townshend's own candid telling of the story of Tommy's conception. This was the zenith (and, ultimately, the end) of his creative partnership with the band's producer/manager Kit Lambert. Lambert's utter belief in Pete's ability to take a bunch of West London mods into a studio to forge a coherent statement that came to be known as 'rock opera' was the fire that lit the fuse. Well, that and the fact that the bailiffs were knocking at the door. Years of auto-destruction in the name of performance art had left a lot of repair bills to be paid. Yet Lambert's ambitions to turn the whole thing into a film (as if...) were rejected out of hand by Pete. The end was nigh...

Townshend had already attempted the concept format with his semi-successful A Quick One. In reality this and Tommy had much in common. Both showed the composer to be fast outgrowing his r 'n' b roots to become an accomplished explorer of themes and moods. (Tommy's true glory lies in its extended instrumental passages that, while being a little repetitive, blend themes gloriously). And both had librettos which were, somewhat shakey. Yet, while A Quick One concerned a woman's extra marital affair with a train driver, Tommy took itself slightly more seriously.

It being the late sixties, certain substances and philosophies were even creeping into the vocabulary of a Shepherd's Bush boy. Tommy's vague plotline of childhood trauma, spiritual chicanery and redemption to this day remains just as impenetrable. Much of it was conceived on the hoof with the killer single ''Pinball Wizard'' only added on Lambert's insistence that they needed an obvious hit, suggesting that pinball was a hip enough subject for the kids. The band, honed by touring, threw themselves behind Lambert and Townshend with little of the usual bickering, and the playing on this mix indeed sounds exuberant. The project overran massively, only ceasing when time and money ran out and there's still an incompleteness to parts of the work. Yet the SACD only serves to make this pared-down quality more exciting.

In fact, the quality so roundly hits you between the eyes that you wonder how on earth anyone put up with anything less over these three decades. Every slip, every bum note and every wobbly vocal (Townshend took up far more of the vocal duties on this album) merely makes it more precious. Tommy we can hear you...