A Whole New Quadrophenia

The term quadrophenia had multiple meanings for the Who. In both the 1973 album and the 1979 film titled with it, it is meant to evoke the personality of Jimmy, the protagonist, divided into four parts, each in conflict with the others—a doubled form of schizophrenia. For the Who’s Pete Townshend, it also paralleled the quadrophonic sound he envisioned for the album. Though the band would play the album live with “quadrophonic” sound, they were never able to realize it for home listening due to the technical limitations of the time. Last year, the Who were in the process of restoring and remixing the album in 5.1 surround sound for its deluxe box set release when we contacted them about our upcoming release of the film. Working closely with the Who’s sound engineer, Bob Pridden, and the film’s editor, Sean Barton, we then created a remixed 5.1 surround soundtrack using a variety of sound elements from the album and the movie to make an immersive audio experience.

In this clip from a new interview on our release, Pridden discusses the restoration, for which many tracks were painstakingly reconstructed from scratch, and the excitement of working in multichannel sound.

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