Overture - Just like its title suggests, this is an instrumental introduction to The Who's first rock opera and it's formed by snippets of the album's main themes and songs. 0:35 - the riff of 'We're Not Gonna Take It' played on a french horn (probably by John Entwistle) and it sounds good. The same horn can be found in 1:12 on what seems to be a fragment of 'Go To The Mirror!'. During 1:36 and 1:52 we have the best part of the song, a wordless 'See Me Feel Me'. It sounds exactly like a heavenly prayer. 2:21 - nice organ-driven fragment of 'Listening To You'. 3:48 - great gong-like effect. According to Wikipedia the song should've ended at 3:50, yet on my copy it still goes on for 1 and a half minute more. There's also the lyrics joining in and introducing us to Tommy's birth.
It's A Boy - A 40 seconds touching little tune sung by Pete.
1921 - One of my favourite songs on the album. A superb ballad with Pete's voice at its best. Love the part in which Pete sings from the father's perspective telling Tommy that he didn't hear or see anything, while Roger, representing the poor boy says the exact opposite (I heard it, I saw it). Amazing track. Note to self : Don't forget to listen to the song in 2021 for the lyrics to make sense!
Amazing Journey - Not a personal favourite, but it's a decent tune. I'm not a big fan of that little effect that constantly keeps repeating (keyboards maybe?). However, love the drums at 0:45. This segues into :
Sparks - Another instrumental, though not quite as good as 'Overture'. Lots of special effects to give it a psychedelic journey-like feel. 1:41 another album theme, this one having its origins from 'Rael', a mini-suite from their previous album, 'The Who Sell Out'. Good enough tune.
Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker) - A remake of an old blues song with changed lyrics so they fit the story. The first failed attempt to heal Tommy. Good song, but not really a highlight.
Christmas - Another one of my personal favourites. It's Christmas and Tommy doesn't seem to be enjoying it. The histerical laughs in the background are funny (Pete, I suppose). 0:54 nice, energetic drum break. The song is made from 3 parts : the main verses, describing Tommy, the funky "Tommy can you hear me?" reprise and the majestic 'See Me Feel Me' prayer sung by Roger. The way these 3 parts blend together is a proof of Pete's genius in my opinion.
Cousin Kevin - Tommy gets abused by his cousin. Written and sung by John Entwistle and I must say, the dark humourous lyrics are typical of him. Nicely performed song, though it may seem boring upon the first few listens.
The Acid Queen - Hands down, my favourite song on the album. Never fails to make me smile (though the Tina Turner scene from the movie is rather weird). One of their catchiest numbers to date. Simple, yet effective guitar solo. 1:34 my favourite part of the song, lyrics-wise. 1:51 and 3:13 love Pete's stretchy voice. Makes the song to my ears.
Underture - Terrible over-long filler instrumental. It's practically the same themes repeated over and over again. This has the same role as 'European Son' on 'Velvet Underground & Nico' : it keeps the album from being perfect. Even Pete himself realized it later and cut it from the live performances. Quite a shame, really.
Do You Think It's Alright? - Tommy's parents decide it's alright to leave the boy with Uncle Earnie. Big mistake. Inoffensive little tune. What's great about this album is the fact that even the 20-seconds songs are quite tuneful.
Fiddle About - John's second contribution here and it seems that Tommy gets molested by his own uncle this time. Nice horn-driven melody. Catchy as hell, too. The Keith Moon scene from the movie is probably one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen, though.
Pinball Wizard - Excellent opening with acoustics getting faster and faster until the electric guitar comes in, blistering the right channel. One of the best moments on the album, really. I've always wondered how did Pete come up with the idea of making Tommy a pinball player?! Never mind, this is a kick-ass rocker. Just The Who doing what they know best.
There's A Doctor - Another short fragment. This one sounds like a commercial but probably that's the purpose of it.
Go To The Mirror! - I've always loved this song's riff. The 'See Me Feel Me' reprises are sung by Pete here and they're a little more upbeat, but I've always thought Roger was better at singing it. Good song over all though.
Tommy Can You Hear Me? - One last desperate attempt from the parents to interact with Tommy. Love Roger's 'Tommy, tommy' right at the end, like a far-away cry.
Smash The Mirror - The album's climax, plot-wise. With his mother's constant yellings, Tommy finally snaps out of his trance and comes back to reality. This is all happening once a mirror is broken, but I've never been sure whether Tommy or his mother breaks it. The "rise, rise" part is terrible. Though a very important moment for Tommy, I, myself, never enjoyed the song very much.
Sensation - A good song that for some reason always reminded me of '1921'. Nothing much to add, really.
Miracle Cure - Lasting for only 13 seconds, this is the shortest song on the album. Another advertising-sounding tune.
Sally Simpson - Another song I really love. Love the piano and the catchy chorus. I'm not really sure what was Pete trying to say with this song. Never understood what was Sally's character supposed to mean. Who cares, though? A nice little story in itself and a very pleasant melody.
I'm Free - Continuing the tradition of the last song, it features a piano. The riff sounds very familiar, but I just can't quite put my finger on it. Fine performance by Roger. I like the atmosphere of the song a lot. Somehow mystical, especially during the verses. The 'Pinball Wizard' riff is reprised right at the end of the song, and very welcomed. Another winner.
Welcome - Maybe a bit boring, but I tend to like this one, too. The quiet and tender (female?) backing-vocals give it a somehow sad and desperate feel. Love the instrumental break at 1:40. There's even some harmonica playing by Roger. Nice tune.
Tommy's Holiday Camp - A funny song that features keyboards and a banjo. Pete's voice always cracks me up. I think the 'welcome!' at the end is suppose to be Uncle Earnie's.
We're Not Gonna Take It - A big highlight. Another 3-part suite. Love Pete's harmonies during the verses. The first chorus is almost whispered and it sounds awesome. Great protest lyrics as well. 3:30 - 'See Me, Feel Me' makes its last appearance and it's simply stunning. The single most emotional moment on the album. The only problem I have with the song is that the 'Listening To You' part at the end just goes on for too long. But that's only a small flaw, really. A wonderful album closer that leaves you thinking. Did Tommy die or not?
All in all, though not as good as 'Quadrophenia' (the only Who album I consider to be perfect), it's still my 2nd favourite from them. A highly influential piece of work and the fact that Pete wrote all of it makes him one of the best song-writers of his time.
P.S. I also read that the original plan was to add some strings/brass to the album. As opposed to many people's opinion, I think it would've slightly improved the album.