Tommy Soundtrack


Tommy was released as an album in 1969 and as a musical in 1975 by the British band The Who. Tommy was the first musical to be dubbed as a "rock musical." The film starred various artists and actors such as Eric Clapton, Elton John, Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret, Jack Nicholson, Tina Turner and the members of The Who. Although the musical was quite controversial very difficult to interpret, it became a great hit and was able to be replicated on stage as well as on the record.

Tommy is based on a dumb, deaf, and blind child who goes through very difficult and trying times through his life. The musical actively portrays real world issues such as sex, drugs, religion, violence and abuse. Tommy is essentially discarded by his widow mother and his step father and experiences being physically and sexually abused as well as exposed to drugs and scientific experiments in attempt to cure his deaf, dumb and blind problem, which is seen to be a psychological rather than physiological issue. Tommy becomes infatuated with pinball and goes on to beat the pinball champion. This is the turning point of the play where Tommy starts to have a presence as a human being rather than a burden. Tommy's mother catches him starring at himself at the mirror, being frustrated and wondering how he notices himself but not the rest of the world, she throws him into the mirror thus curing him. Tommy now sees himself as a messiah to the world.

Although "The Who" was a British rock band, Tommy went over well in America. This was due to the fact that "The Who" had an international fan base which included many people from both Great Britain and America. "The Who" toured in North America prior to the release of the movie. Many Americans could relate to the themes portrayed in Tommy even though it was set in post World War II England. Some of these themes included: the widespread use of psychedlic drrugs, the changing gender roles, and the modernization of religious practices. Tommy bridges the gap between England and America.

1975 Movie Poster
1975 Movie Poster
Painting depicting Tommy's mother portrayed by Ann Margaret
Painting depicting Tommy's mother portrayed by Ann Margaret

The Who singing See Me, Feel Me - Listening to You from Tommy

Elton John singing Pinball Wizard from Tommy

Tommy Album Tracks -- Visit the official Who website for their complete Discography!

Script (Lyrics to film version)



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1968 Rolling Stone Interview -- Rolling Stone picked a very young Pete Townshend for their first full-length interview. Townshend discusses the meaning of rock and "Tommy", which the Who were working on at the time. (Rolling Stone magazine no. 37 July 12, 1969)

1969 Rolling Stone "Pete and Tommy, Among Others" Interview -- Full-length article/interview with Pete Townshend discussing each of the songs of "Tommy".

1995 Tommy Reissue Liner Notes -- Richard Barnes' overview of Tommy's amazing journey.

Tommy Messiah Poster (image)

Tommy Messiah (Acid Queen - image)

The Who's Tommy. (New York, New York).

See me, feel me, touch me. (The Who's Tommy).

The Who's Tommy. (Theatre Scenery) (Cover Story).

The Who's Tommy. Full Cast

Internet Movie Database