“The Real Me” by The Who (1973)

27 06 2009

This track is from the album “Quadrophenia,” which is one of my all-time favorite records. If I could only pick 10 albums to carry me through the rest of my life, “Quadrophenia” would be one of them.

To me, this represents The Who at their finest, and this is a band that has made more than a few superb albums. The songs are great, the musicianship is terrific, Roger Daltrey’s vocals are as powerful and engaging as ever, and Pete Townshend rips on guitar, while also creating sonic magic in the studio. This album captivated me when I first heard it at the age of 14, and it’s never lost its power or appeal.

On top of the great music, “Quadrophenia” explores issues of social identity and expectations. The story is set in England around a group of “mods,” but it could be about anyone who doesn’t quite fit into the mainstream. Or maybe it’s about questioning whether one WANTS to fit in. Or maybe just trying to find out who you are and where you fit inside the social machine. It was all of that to me, and it came to me at a time when those issues were important. And now that I’m an old man, the issues are still there.

I love every song on “Quadrophenia,” so if you ever want to know a little bit more about some of the stuff that hangs in your Daddy’s head, listen to the album. They even made a pretty good movie out of it in 1979, which I highly recommend.

“I ended up with the preacher
Full of lies and hate
I seemed to scare him a little
So he showed me to the golden gate”

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