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Summer was so much more than weather. I hope for may of you it still is. This cut is from the Beach boys new original music cd, 50 years after they started.

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left far too early.

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In 2969 A British group named Who came out with their fourth album "Tommy". It was what many people had been waiting for since Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band had showed the way a few years before, in June of 1967. And it in turn paved the way for the first legitimate rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar". The original album version that is, with Ian Gilliam from Deep Purple as Jesus.

Was "Tommy" opera? In a way I think. Or at the very least light opera. And it was certainly an "event"..not to be confused with a current TV series. And it led to a number of other groups and composers attempting it. Andrew Lloyd Weber of course. Rick Wakeman, even the Bee Gees(red velveteen cover and all) But with the exception of Weber and Rice, most of what was actually delivered were concept albums, and generally not good ones at that. And then came punk rock, as it should have, and everything changed.

Which leads me to two questions.

One. Could the release of a cd have a cultural impact in the same way that "Tommy"did. Influencing others and spawning an orchestral version, a movie and several different stage productions on its own. Certainly there are popular groups out there, but could they release something that would have such a wide ranging effect. Which leads me to

Two. Would anyone want to release something like that. Is rock and roll capable of sustained thought like that anymore. I am not saying that there are not individual songs, or that there are not composers who could do at LEAST as well as Townsend. But would they? I hope so. Certainly there has been a resurgence over the last few years of the musical format, many of them with rock influence. So why not return to the root. Can we? Would people listen. I am not sure, but for now excuse me, I am going to listen to "Tommy" again


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