For his part, Daltrey feels “Quadrophenia” resonates today — nearly 40 years after its release — because its themes and backdrops are similar for the youth of today.
“What I find really interesting now looking back on our lives, on our period, which is where we wrote it from, is how much of the historical significance of it and the events going on at the time are appropo completely to today. They’re not exactly the same events, but the same situations, enormous change,” Daltrey said.
“What’s great about doing it now is it’s still a work in progress,” he said. “We might even get it into some up-to-date modern show, very different from what we had in 1997. And I don’t know how many years I’ll be able to sing this music. My voice is great at the moment, so I’m just going to explore the possibilities.”
Touring “Quadrophenia” also makes sense because this outing, the Who’s first tour in four years, was preceded by last year’s release of a “Quadrophemia” box set and documentary film on the creation and making of the album, “The Who: Quadrophenia — Can You See the Real Me? The Story Behind The Album.”
Townshend said he views “Quadrophenia” as an important album for the Who in ways that go beyond its music. It also played a key role in reconnecting the group with its fans.
“In 1972-73, we had a really fantastic period of success, and what we needed was we needed to find our reflection in our fans,” the guitarist said. “And that’s kind of what that (‘Quadrophenia’) album came to be about. We just went into the studio, recorded the songs. The band was in peak condition, I have to say, as kind of a recording machine. The songs were good. Everything fell into place. The mix worked out very well. But looking back at it now, it’s easy to see what was actually great about it was the fact that it actually allowed us — we weren’t trying to be mods, we never felt like we were mods in the first place — but we reconnected with our audience. I think we really did.”