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Punk Rock Opera Meets the Godfathers of Pop! The Smithereens to Release "The Smithereens Play Tommy," a 40th Anniversary Tribute to the Landmark Album by The Who, on May 5th, 2009


NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/31/09 -- Pop legends The Smithereens are set to release "The Smithereens Play Tommy," a tribute to the landmark rock opera by The Who, on May 5th, 2009.

The band is also currently in rehearsals with 12 new tracks for its upcoming new studio album, due later in 2009.

Whether it was The Who or The Kinks that created the very first "Rock Opera," or whether "TOMMY" is even an "Opera" at all, the May 23, 1969 release of the double "Tommy" album was a true landmark in rock history. Who fans had already been galvanized by the album's first single, "Pinball Wizard," released in March of '69 and already a huge hit. But critics and fans alike were unprepared for what they would hear on the album.

Meticulously arranged and produced in the studio, the album's sound shocked many Who fans who were expecting that familiar power guitar sound made famous by songs like "Substitute," "Can't Explain," or even the electrified version of "Summertime Blues" that The Who debuted on their celebrated 1968 tour. Instead, Pete Townshend played mainly acoustic guitars, and the album featured multiple overdubs including keyboards, percussion, French horn and other parts. Listening to the album now, even the remastered version of the album sounds somewhat brittle, thin and theatrical.

When asked about this album, The Smithereens frontman Pat DiNizio stated, "This is punk rock opera meets the godfathers of pop. Plain and simple."

The Smithereens decided to make a proper, all-out studio version of one of the albums that inspired their rock dreams of becoming a band in the first place for this 40th anniversary tribute. The Who's unique sound will never be duplicated, but then again neither will The Smithereens' sound that has made them enduring rock icons over the past 25 plus years. The result is part Who, part Smithereens. Part totally familiar, and part unexpectedly unique... and 100% tour de force. The Smithereens' "musical dreams ain't quite what they seem" -- the result is more than a loving tribute and much more like an inspired re-imagining. After listening to this album a few times, you may never hear any of The Who's versions of Tommy the same way again.

The Smithereens Play Tommy was recorded at House Of Vibes, Engineered and co-produced by Kurt Reil.