November 27, 2021



Roger Daltrey Vocals
John Entwistle Bass Guitar, Horns & Vocals
Keith Moon Percussion & Vocals
Pete Townshend Remainder [except where noted below]

Produced by The Who [except where noted below]
Pre-production (with Pete Townshend): Kit Lambert
Engineer: Ron Nevison
Mixing continuity and engineering assistance: Ron Fawcus
Studio earphone mix: Bobby Pridden
(Special effects recorded by Rod Houison, Ron Nevison and Pete Townshend)

Recorded at "The Kitchen" in Thessally Road, Battersea [except where noted], while building was still in progress. Ronnie "Lane’s Mobile Sound" served as control room while ours was being finished. Mixed at Eel Pie Sound [a/k/a Pete’s Garage in Twickenham].

Front cover photography and design by Graham Hughes from an idea by Roger Daltrey. [Ethan Russell’s original idea for the cover was to combine head shots of the four members of The Who into one face. The final cover photo was shot August 24, 1973 at Graham Hughes photo studio at 9 Rathbone Place, London. It was Roger’s idea to paint the "Who" logo on the back of Jimmy’s parka.] Inside and back cover photography, book photography and art direction by Ethan A. Russell. [The photo booklet cost £10,000 and was shot over two weeks in London, Brighton, Goring and Cornwall] Conceived by Pete Townshend and Ethan A. Russell.

Mod kid played by Chad [Terry Kennett. He was a 23-year old paint sprayer from Battersea discovered by Pete in The Butcher’s Arms pub near Ramport Studios]. Hair by Dallas Amos.

All tracks written by Pete Townshend and published by Fabulous Music, Ltd.

Liner notes by Brian Cady.

"I think that our album clarifies who the real hero is in this thing – it’s the kid on the front. He’s the hero. That’s why he’s on the front cover. That’s why he’s sung about. It’s his f***ing album. Rock ‘n’ Roll’s his music. It’s got nothing to do with journalists, and it hasn’t really even got anything to do with musicians, either." – Pete Townshend, 1973

Quadrophenia was originally released in the U.K. as Track 2657 013 on October 26, 1973. However, it appears that due to a vinyl shortage caused by the OPEC oil embargo, only a limited number of copies got to stores before production had to be halted.  Most British Who fans failed to find a copy until after The Who’s U.K. tour.  In the U.K., Quadrophenia reached the #2 position being held out of the top spot by David Bowie’s Pinups

In the U.S. Quadrophenia was MCA2 10004 released on November 3, 1973. It reached #2 in the Billboard charts being beaten out of first place by Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Quadrophenia began shortly after the May 1972 session to attempt to create a follow-up to Who’s Next. Pete originally intended a mini-opera about the members of The Who called "Rock Is Dead – Long Live Rock." Ultimately his attention went more to a central character like Tommy, here called Jimmy, who would be a Who fan of the Mod era but would also embody The Who. Townshend had played with this idea before; at one point in Tommy’s genesis, Pete planned to have parts of Tommy’s personality represented by The Who. Another part of the form of Quadrophenia came from the failure to film Lifehouse. Instead of creating a filmscript that would probably never be made, Pete planned Quadrophenia as an album that would be the soundtrack to a never-made film with both music and sound effects and a photo album to supply the images. 

Pete said that during the mix he had 16-track tapes piled up to the ceiling. Roger also estimated thatQuadrophenia was reduced from 15 hours of recorded music. Pete said he wrote "about fifty songs for this and creamed off the best" and that Quadrophenia could have been a quadruple album. What those other songs were is unknown but a few of them turned up on the Quadrophenia Soundtrack.

Pete Townshend: "The whole conception of Quadrophenia was geared to quadraphonic, but in a creative sort of way. I mean I wanted themes to sort of emerge from corners. So you start to get the sense of the fourness being literally speaker for speaker. And also in the rock parts the musical thing would sort of jell together up to the thunder clap, then everything would turn slowly from quad into mono and you’d have this solid sort of rock mono … then a thunder clap and back out again. We spent months mixing it and then found out that MCA was using the CBS quad system and … you might as well forget it. So our engineer remixed it in the same manner that it was mixed in stereo, the same sort of creative approach." 

How successful he was with that mix is still a matter of contention among Who fans. Is it a good mix, a bad mix or a technically flawed mix? In any case the rest of The Who hated the mix, particularly Roger, and their reaction was the first of several disappointments for Pete stemming from Quadrophenia. John remixed the album for the 1979 film but Roger thought it was worse than the original. Pete and Roger were both involved in the 1996 remix. Their pleasure at the results was one of the primary reasons for the 1996-97 Quadrophenia tour.