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Classical 'snobbery' angers Who

Published 08/06/2015

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.

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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