Pinball Wizard: THE WHO / ELTON JOHN

Australian singles charts:
THE WHO: Pinball Wizard entered the Kent charts on 12 April 1969 and peaked at #45.
ELTON JOHN: Pinball Wizard entered the Kent Music Report on 14 June 1976 and peaked at #88.

THE WHO: The song is on The Who’s album Tommy which entered the Kent album charts on 1 November 1969 and peaked at #8.
ELTON JOHN: Pinball Wizard by Elton is on the Tommy original soundtrack recording which entered the Kent Music Report album charts on 31 March 1975 and peaked at #6.

Pete Townshend

The Who – Kit Lambert
Elton John – Gus Dudgeon

Record labels of Australian releases:
The Who – Polydor
Elton John – DJM




Wikipedia – versions:
Pinball Wizard was written by Pete Townshend and performed by the English rock band The Who, featured on their 1969 rock opera album Tommy.
Elton John’s performance was in Ken Russell’s 1975 film adaptation of Tommy.
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Wikipedia – the story:
The lyrics are written from the perspective of a pinball champion, called “Local Lad” in the Tommy libretto book, astounded by the skills of the opera’s eponymous main character, Tommy Walker: “He ain’t got no distractions / Can’t hear those buzzers and bells / Don’t see lights a flashin’ / Plays by sense of smell / Always gets a replay / Never seen him fall / That deaf dumb and blind kid / Sure plays a mean pin ball.”, and “I thought I was the Bally table king, but I just handed my pinball crown to him”.
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The Who’s version is on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 60s
Elton John’s version is on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 70s

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Rod Stewart singing Pinball Wizard from the 1972 album by the London Symphony Orchestra, performing arrangements by Wil Malone of The Who’s 1969 album Tommy. Rod Stewart was originally to sing Roger Daltrey’s main role but as Pete Townshend and Daltrey became more involved, Stewart’s role was reduced to singing this song.

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