Entertainment Weekly - 10/12/01, p.42Ranked #73
in EW's "100 Best Movie Soundtracks" - "...Grandiose...hardly just a Who album with stars bathing in conspicuous consumption..."
Q - 4/01, p.1273 stars out of 5
- "...Big-lunged rock songs...dished up with cod-classical interludes and blackly comic music hall turns. Like the film, it's good in parts..."
NME (Magazine) - 2/24/01, p.338 out of 10
- "...Its genius is that it makes one of the silliest records in history slightly more silly....Indescribably bombastic...featuring such classy guest voices as Ann Margaret, Oliver Reed and Paul Nichols..."
The compact disc release of the original motion picture soundtrack of TOMMY includes two performances not previously available on the soundtrack: "Overture From Tommy" performed by The Who and "Sensation Parts 1 & 2" performed by Pete Townshend.
Original score composed by Pete Townshend.
Principal cast includes: Roger Daltry (Tommy); Pinball Wizard (Elton John); Ann-Margret (Nora Walker); Olive Reed (Frank Hobbs); Tina Turner (Acid Queen); Eric Clapton (The Preacher); Keith Moon (Uncle Ernie); Jack Nicholson (The Specialist).
Producers: Pete Townsend, Ken Russell, Gus Dudgeon.
Digitally remastered by Jon Astley (Close To The Edge).
Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Pete Townshend (vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Elton John (vocals, piano); Keith Moon (vocals, drums); Ann-Margret, Vicki Brown, Margo Newman, Jack Nicholson, Alison Dowling, Oliver Reed, Paul Nicholas, Roger Daltrey, Simon Townshend, Tina Turner (vocals); Davey Johnstone , Mick Ralphs, Ron Wood, Caleb Quaye (guitar); Chris Stainton (acoustic guitar, piano, organ); Alan Ross (acoustic guitar); John Entwistle (brass, horns); Nicky Hopkins (piano); Gerald Shaw (organ); Mike Kelly , Richard Bailey , Kenney Jones, Nigel Olsson, Tony Newman , Graham Deakin (drums); Ray Thomas, Ray Cooper (percussion).
Recording information: Eel Pie Sound, London, England; Ramport Studios; Ramport(The Kitchen)Studios.
Director: Ken Russell .
Photographer: Richard Barnes.
Arrangers: Martyn Ford; Nicky Hopkins.
Ken Russell's adaptation of the Who's rock opera Tommy has always been greeted with skepticism, and years after its controversial release, it remains a polarizing experience, due to its sheer garishness (no big surprise from Russell) and its bevy of guest stars. These two traits, unsurprisingly, spill over to the soundtrack, which is hardly just a re-recording of the Who album -- it's a reinvention of the album, padded with elaborate production twists until it's ready to burst. This, of course, means it's more musical than rock & roll, which sort of fits this project. Elton John's spirited rendition of "Pinball Wizard" (the man was at the top of his game in 1975, after all) and maybe Tina Turner's "Acid Queen" give this spark. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine