Tuesday, November 11, 2008

8. The Who - Tommy

This is the first record I fell in love with. The album itself belonged to an older cousin. I remember pulling the record out of its sleeve and my cousin showing me how to properly handle a record album. As he placed my hands around the edge of the record and explained about fingerprints and dust and grooves, I read the titles. I asked him - what does "Overture" mean?

My cousin showed me how to drop the record on the turntable. Until then, I had been using the Fisher Price system and was a bit haphazard about how I handled my cardboard records. He was almost reverent about it, holding the edges with his palm, placing the album gently on the turntable, dropping the needle on the groove by hand because he didn't trust the automatic arm to do it right.

He turned the volume up. The unmistakable crackle and hiss of needle upon vinyl filled the room. I sat on our overstuffed living room couch that afternoon and listened to Tommy in its entirety. When the first side ended, I grabbed the vinyl with my palms, the way my cousin had showed me. I felt so much older than my eight years as I flipped the record over and gently laid the needle down. No more Banana Splits or whatever cartoon music I had been listening to before then. I had discovered a new world.

This was the first album I fell in love with and thus, its perfection is timeless.

(And for the record, I hated the movie)

Favorite song: See Me, Feel Me/Listening to You
Amazing Journey

1 comment:

Solonor Rasreth said...

I'm more in love with Quadrophenia than with Tommy (and I really hate the movie version). This is still one of the great attempts at making something more than a collection of songs, though, and there's nothing like the opening guitar of "Pinball Wizard" to perk up my ears.