Roger Daltrey’s “Tommy Orchestral” album tops Classical Albums chart; he discusses project in new video

Music News

Polydor/UmeRoger Daltrey‘s new live record, The Who’s Tommy Orchestral, recently debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s Classical Albums chart. As previously reported, the album features a full performance of The Who’s classic 1969 rock opera captured mainly at Bethel, New York, during Daltrey’s 2018 symphonic tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of Tommy‘s recording.

To promote The Who’s Tommy Orchestral album, a series of videos featuring Daltrey discussing the project have been posted on the band’s official Facebook page. In the latest clip, Roger points out that he always felt Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend‘s compositions had classical elements to them.

“Even though it’s rock music, when you break it down and look at it, what he’s actually doing, it’s incredibly musical,” Roger maintains. “[I]t’s not like any other rockers out there. It’s a very unique thing. And, of course, that really left a lot of space to do great, imaginative orchestrations.”

Also in the video, Daltrey talks about hiring acclaimed composer and conductor David Campbell to come up with the orchestral arrangements for Tommy used during his 2018 trek.

“He did a fabulous job,” Roger says, noting that he told Campbell he “didn’t want anything that was anywhere near sounding like…something that could be played on a keyboard.”

He adds, “I wanted it to be stabs, I wanted it to be melodic, I wanted it to be unexpected and have its own life…He came up with the goods. He’s very proud of it. I’m ecstatic about it…[W]hen you hear it, it’s just…triumphant.”

Roger admitted in a recent Q&A that the orchestra featured on the new album actually was recorded separately in Budapest, Hungary.

Campbell’s Tommy arrangements are now being used by The Who during the band’s 2019 Moving On! Tour.

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