The Who Sell Out (2 Disc Deluxe Edition)

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Click for availability and more information The Who Sell Out, by The Who

Previously reissued in 1995 as a single CD, this classic 1967 concept album by The Who has now gotten a massive upgrade with a new 2-disc Deluxe Edition. Listeners now get to hear the stereo AND mono versions of the album's original tracks as well as numerous extras. The original album was a take off on British pirate radio stations operating in the mid-60s. Various announcements, jingles and commercials are interspersed throughout the album, making it sound like an actual underground radio broadcast. The songs themselves mostly focus on relationships and growing up, with humor and sensitivity which would later be dispensed with in future albums. And unlike previous and future Who works, lead vocalist Roger Daltrey is not the dominant singer here; guitarist Pete Townshend does most of the vocals on four songs (including the sublime "Our Love Was" and "I Can't Reach You"), and duets with Daltrey on two more. Daltrey gets to shine vocally on the band's classic single "I Can See For Miles" (still one of the coolest and most exciting rock songs ever recorded, with drummer Keith Moon at his most ferocious), "Tattoo" and the pre -Tommy mini-opera "Rael", however while bassist John Entwistle provides his usual black-humored side with "Medac" and "Silas Stingy". Even more remarkable, the psychedelic-sounding opening track, "Armenia, City in the Sky" is sung by Thunderclap Newman's Speedy Keen. Yet the album, and it's various extras (about which, more below) remains cohesive throughout. The different shifts in musical material (which includes instrumentals) actually cohere together, creating for the listener a sense of how unpredictable, yet exciting, non- BBC British radio must have sounded like. The faux commercials are a riot too, with the aforementioned "Medac" a particular stand out. (Oddly enough, during this period, The Who actually did real radio commercials, including ones for the US Military!) The extras: Well, most of them are remixes of the songs from the album, along with some previously unreleased gems, including a version of "Our Love Was" (mono mix) with a killer guitar solo by Townshend not previously heard before, jaunty versions of "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands" and a technically tighter version of "Rael". The mono version of the original album really rocks, with a lot more vitality and energy sound-wise. Oddly, two extras from the 1995 reissue, "Glow Girl" and "Melancholia", aren't included in this new edition. But there's such a wealth of material here (over 50 numbers!) that you won't really notice. The Who Sell Out still delivers!

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This page contains a single entry published on July 20, 2009 5:06 PM.

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