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“When this came out, it totally blew my mind. I learned every song on it. Everything about it was interesting and exciting. However, I don’t know if it stands the test of time, certainly not like Who’s Next, which is The Who’s absolute classic record – and probably a better record in many ways.
“Not to take anything away from Tommy, though. The ideas, the concept, the execution, the melodies and the guitar playing, especially – it’s all so original. The guitar solo on I’m Free and that first acoustic bit in It’s A Boy – that stuff really made an impression on me growing up.
“What I really love about it is the major-chord take on blues and the aggression Townshend puts behind it. That’s interesting to me, actually, because this is a melodic and sensitive record, and right afterwards The Who became very aggressive, especially live.
“Actually, I have to mention Live At Leeds, which was their next record. And Who’s Next – I could glue them all together and just say, ‘Fuckin’ A.’ Townshend was so torn after Tommy; he was probably schizophrenic or something. On stage he would be beating his own body up and swinging his guitar over his head – he’s just fucking crazy! The cross between the violence of that period and the sensitive, melodic nature of Tommy was incredibly engrossing.”