Song: Pinball Wizard
Artist: The Who
Album: Tommy (1969)
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Pinball Wizard is a song from The Who’s 1969 rock opera “Tommy”. This album was the first ever rock opera (which is a collection of rock music songs with lyrics that relate to a common story). “Tommy” is a story about a young boy who, through a series of traumatic events becomes dissociative (“deaf, dumb, and blind”). Through his excellent ability to play pinball, he gains a cult following of people and begins to see himself as a messianic figure. While we know The Who now to be one of the most famous and popular rock bands of all time, this was considered their breakthrough and revitalized their career. They performed Tommy at Woodstock, and it was so popular that it helped them clear their debts. Learn more about this album and The Who in episode #13 of our podcast – check it out here.