ARTIST: The Who
TITLE: The Who Sell Out
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #48 US, #13 UK
SINGLES: I Can See for Miles (#9 US, #10 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You know, radio didn’t play anything else, which is a shame.
LINEUP: Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A day-in-the-life of a pirate radio station, with songs spanning all sorts of genres and types, plus fake commercials.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Pete Townshend and the Who came up with a glorious concept album – an album mimicking the UK pirate radio stations. Each song is of a different style, but each song is definitely a Who song. The fake commercials were also brilliant, with a full song for Odorono deodorant.
It’s mostly brilliant. It’s the best set of Who songs released to date. They also got a great contribution from a friend of the band (Speedy Keen, later of Thunderclap Newman) for “Armenia City In The Sky”. Songs like “Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand”, “Tattoo” and “Can’t Reach You” would have been hits or sure-fire radio cuts for almost any other band.
The only downer of the album is the last couple of cuts. “Rael” isn’t a strong closer – it would be better in the middle somewhere – and Pete’s solo song takes away the high-spirited mood. Still, it’s a must purchase especially for anyone interested in 60’s radio.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: While recording this album, the UK shut down the pirate radio stations. Pity.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes! And they are worth it! The first deluxe is my favorite, as it’s all great outtakes and more fake commericals with the great song “Melancholia” (missing from the second deluxe edition for some reason).
GRADE: A: Add in just one of the outtakes at the end, and you’d have an A+