Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Album of the Day

The Iron Man: The Musical, by Pete Townshend (1989): The story of the Iron Man began in a 1968 novella by Ted Hughes. In the story, a huge metal man from outer space crashes in the English countryside, where he chomps on farm machinery, befriends a boy named Hogarth, and eventually does battle with a Star Spirit to save the Earth. Ultimately, this version attracted attention from Hollywood, where it lingered until director Brad Bird made the far superior (but changed, of course) animated version, The Iron Giant.

How Pete Townshend got a hold of the story and decided to do a concept album about it I don't know. It's probably the most "staged" of Pete's rock operas (it actually was staged in London in 1993), with a deep cast of characters for a 45-minute album. It includes two tunes done by The Who, which was a big deal at the time. All in all, it's my least favorite of Pete's big projects that I own, but I admire the effort.

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