Monday 24 October 2016

Classical 'snobbery' angers Who

Published 08/06/2015 | 14:41

Pete Townshend said he was happy to be a rock dinosaur
Pete Townshend said he was happy to be a rock dinosaur

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has attacked "musical snobbery" after discovering an orchestral version of the band's rock opera Quadrophenia will not be allowed in the classical chart.

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The album, which features vocals by Les Miserables star Alfie Boe alongside t he London Oriana Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is a reworking of the band's 1973 album.

Townshend, who wrote many of the mod band's biggest hits, said: "Classic Quadrophenia not allowed in UK Classical Charts? Musical snobbery in the classical elite still alive and kicking then. F*** 'em.

"There's a huge team behind this, rooted in the practical world of recorded classical music, who deserve better than this petty slap-down.

"I know I'm a rock dinosaur and I'm happy to be one, but the team behind Classic Quadrophenia are all young, creative and brilliant."

The album, which follows the story of a young mod called Jimmy, inspired a 1979 film with Phil Daniels as Jimmy and a supporting cast including Leslie Ash and Sting.

A spokeswoman for the Official Charts Company said: " Classic Quadrophenia will be treated like any other album of contemporary music recorded in a classical style.

"The industry-agreed Official Chart rules stipulate clearly that to qualify for the Official Classical Chart, each album will be judged on the works performed on the album - and that these works must be composed by recognised classical composers and/or in a publicly-recognised classical idiom or form.

"The album will qualify for the Official Albums Chart, however - we wish it all the best."

Boe also commented, saying: "Can you believe the stupidity of the classical rules! Who cares if the boxes are ticked?

"When it comes down to it, Pete Townshend and Rachel Fuller have produced a strong, emotional and classical rendition of this iconic work.

"If this is still the mentality and representation of a division of the classical industry then I agree with Pete Townshend....F***' em!"

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