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SoundTRAX: "Quadrophenia"

A young man stands below the title of the movie "Quadrophenia."
Brent Walker

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

It was 44 years ago this month that the film version of The Who's Quadrophenia was released.

While loosely based on the rock opera of the same name, this film adaptation was nothing like the band's big screen version of Tommy released four years earlier.

This time there were no mega-stars like Tina Turner, Elton John, Jack Nicholson, or Ann-Margret— or even the band themselves, for that matter. In fact, it's not a musical at all.

Actor Phil Daniels plays Jimmy Cooper, who tries to escape the drudgery of his postal job as a member of the Mods, a smartly dressed gang constantly at odds with their rivals, the Rockers in 1964. When the Mods and Rockers clash in the coastal town of Brighton, England, it leads to both trouble and an encounter with a pretty girl named Steph. Returning to London, Jimmy, aspires to be like Mod leader "Ace Face," played by Sting— yes, that Sting. But that just leads to more disillusionment.

Plus we learn that the Police frontman has some solid dance moves. But that's a story for a different day.

The film's music gets a little complicated.

While the soundtrack album does contain ten of the seventeen tracks from the original rock opera Quadrophenia, these are different mixes than those that appear on the 1973 album, as they were remixed in 1979 by The Who's John Entwhistle.

I'm always curious about the tunes that don't make it into the film for any number of reasons, but still end up on the soundtrack, and in this case there are three of those.

Two of them mark Kenney Jones' first appearance on drums for the band after replacing Keith Moon after his death, "Get Out and Stay Out" and "Joker James".

But for today's SoundTRAX selection I'm going with Door #3, so to speak, the one that does feature Moon behind the kit.

A song that was one of only two outtakes recorded during the original 1973 sessions.

For the 44th anniversary of the film Quadrophenia, it's The Who with "Four Faces".

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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