Who produced the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. I don't know. Who? That's right, Who! Who was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a result of this accomplishment. Who? I don't know who? I just told you. It's Who!
Sounds a bit like "Who's on First" if you remember Abbot and Costello. One of their funniest performances ever! Similar connotation. Let's clarify...
As in the beginning, The Who is not the start of a question. It is a band. The Who rock band was popular in the 60s and 70s, the period epitomized by the oft-mentioned lyric "Hope I die before I get old" in the band's 1965 tune "My Generation."
1969, The Who gave a press preview of their new rock opera 'Tommy' at Ronnie Scott's in London, England. The double album about a "deaf, dumb and blind boy" who becomes the leader of a messianic movement, was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. In 1998, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant value" and has now sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
Tommy is one of the earliest and most important rock operas. The iconic rock opera had many incarnations, including an album, movie, soundtrack, a Broadway play, an orchestral version and a ballet interpretation. Conceived and primarily written by Pete Townshend, the Who’s critically revered concept album, Tommy, was released in 1969.
Source: Tommy: The Amazing Journey
The original recording of Pinball Wizard was released as a single in 1969.
It reached No. 4 in the UK charts & No. 19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
This popular song is one of the band's most famous live songs, being played
at almost every Who concert since its debut live performance on 2 May 1969.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...