Tommy was released in 1969, at the end of a decade which produced music that is still unrivaled in ingenuity. It was also a decade that produced a lot of terrible music. Tommy falls into both of these categories.
Tommy was the pioneer of the Rock Opera, an album where the songs tell a loose story. It was the first of its kind (As far as I'm aware) and the concept has been used many times since then. So, Tommy should be a brilliant artistic milestone and one of the most innovative albums of the 20th century? The answer to that is yes. If it wasn't a story about a blind, deaf and dumb boy, who enjoys pinball and is worshiped as a god. Shakespeare would have been ruined if he had attempted to adapt that story into a play, that's how ridiculous it is.
I suppose, to be fair, Pete Townshend isn't known for his story telling skills. But regardless, the album sounds more pretentious than groundbreaking. It sounds more like an album that was made because they could make it, rather than they should make it.
Of course, like a lot of bad albums, there are good points to it. 'Pinball Wizard', 'The Acid Queen' and 'Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)' are all good songs, and 'Uncle Ernie' has been making child abuse seem lighthearted since 1969. So Tommy isn't all bad.
Overall, Tommy is innovative, yet pretentious. It has given some good songs, but it has also given songs that are a complete waste of sound waves. To this day, I can't decide whether it is a good album or a bad one. You will have to judge for yourself.