The Who’s Quadropheniaalbum was developed around the 1970s and it was produced by the band The Whoand an artist named Kit Lambert. The recorded material is mainly individualsong tracks they are like seventeen tracks for Quadrophenia some ofthese are linked while others are instrumental (Nicholls, 2007). Nicholls(2007, p.
309) states that, ‘in the terminology of narrative theory, some of theartists album has a story behind it. As for the Quadrophenia album has abasic story behind its album which is focused on a single male protagonist’.This essay will look at the representation of gender relations in subcultureswith reference to The Who’s Quadrophenia.
It will use the work of the theoristsStuart Hall who discusses the theory of representation as an example and howdoes representation of gender relations in subcultures like the mods androckers are portrayed in The Who’s Quadrophenia album.The songs that both the bandnamed The Who and an artist called Kit Lambert produced in the Quadrophenia albumeach of their lyrics provide a meaning behind it about a single male who is amod. The album was called Quadrophenia because the songs that The Whohave produced in the album has a story behind each lyrics of the songs thatrelates to the film Quadrophenia which is about a young boy named Jimmywho is a Mod, the opera protagonist who suffers from quadruple schizophreniawhere each of his personalities represent one of the bands members. The way thesongs on The Who’s album Quadrophenia relate to the narrative events is bydiscussing each song in the album about Jimmy’s life. For instance, Thurschwell(2017) states that “the narratives were offered by both the film and The Who’salbum Quadrophenia diverge, however, suggesting different relationshipsto a propulsion toward death- Jimmy’s real symbolic suicide and the end of hisidentity as a mod”. At the end of the Quadrophenia film shows that Jimmyis heading towards the beach with his scooter that he stole to the cliff beforeflinging it flinging it into the air.
In contrast, Thurschwell (2007, p.219)mentions that “the ending of Townshend’s liner notes to the album leave Jimmystranded on a rock in the sea, having exchanged the speed and flash of the Modfor a kind of slowness: “I’m stuck here in the pissing rain with my lifeflashing before me. Only it isn’t flashing, its crawling”. By contrast to thebeginning of the film showing Jimmy walking to the beach suggest being”drowned” can be temporary condition something that can be returned from theway in which a pop song might allow you to experience death for three and ahalf minutes and then move onto the next song”. On the other hand, The Who’sQuadrophenia album ends with a kind of existence like being simultaneouslydesperate or hopeful. For example, the song “Love Reign O’er Me” recommendsthat something might be learned that we haven’t been taught about, after all.
The method of each of thesongs on The Who’s Quadrophenia album it discusses about Jimmy’s lifeand the lyrics for each of the songs which are related to his story life andhow it describes it. For instance, one of the song in the album called “Cut MyHair” discusses about Jimmy’s narrative in one of the scenes on the Quadropheniafilm where he is recalling his arguments that he had with his parents whichmade him leave the house for good. Each subculture especially the mods are asequence of subcultures which all correspond to similar parent culture andwhich seek to labour out through a structure of modification, basic issues, oreven contradictions that is placed in the subculture by the parent culture thatcan be differentiated into three levels in the analysis of subcultures whichare firstly is the historical analysis in which it distinguishes the specificissues of a particular class fraction, secondly is structural or a semioticanalysis of the subsystems it is a way in which they transform from onesubculture to another and last but not least is the phenomenological analysis isthe way subculture is tolerated by those who are the supporters of thesubculture (Gelder, 2007). This leads to whatever style, music, characteristicsor even the way they dress have changed you to sill belong to the same parentculture.
Jost (2016, p.6) states that “thesongs of a concept album are organized in a cyclical manner, with its lyricsfollowing a specific topic or discourse. In this context, the term rock operaenhances the idea of the theatrical within the musical realization. Above all,this refers to the presence of a more or less complex storyline”. As mentionedabove, antecedent to Quadrophenia The Who album has been involved in theproduction of sophisticated rock music. The songs that are listed in The Who’s Quadropheniaalbum it is mainly a narrative event about Jimmy’s life that relates to thefilm in the mid-1960s as he has been caught up in the confrontation betweenboth subcultures the Mods and the Rockers on the Brighton Seafront. While thebattle occurred at that time between both groups the mod and the rockers themods began the battle by marching towards the rockers chanting out “We are theMods! We are the Mods! We are, We are, We are the Mods!” which represents as abold affirmation of both individual and collective identity towards the film.
Feldman(2009) states that “The mods were dressed as a dapper attire and they had theirVespas with them, which they believed they were truly modern that they alonepersonified the future and change”.