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I had a vinyl rip uploaded earlier today, but I just found out about this new special edition that tops it, so I yanked the old rip. Sorry for the confusion, duders. This has both stereo and mono versions (listen to the mono, I beg you) and a ton of bonus tracks and outtakes that all would have been top tracks on any Who album. Even though I love WHO’S NEXT and TOMMY and stuff, my heart is really with the pre-stadium rock version of the band. -Ian!

Pete Townshend originally planned The Who Sell Out as a concept album of sorts that would simultaneously mock and pay tribute to pirate radio stations, complete with fake jingles and commercials linking the tracks. For reasons that remain somewhat ill defined, the concept wasn’t quite driven to completion, breaking down around the middle of side two (on the original vinyl configuration). Nonetheless, on strictly musical merits, it’s a terrific set of songs that ultimately stands as one of the group’s greatest achievements. “I Can See for Miles” (a Top Ten hit) is the Who at their most thunderous; tinges of psychedelia add a rush to “Armenia City in the Sky” and “Relax”; “I Can’t Reach You” finds Townshend beginning to stretch himself into quasi-spiritual territory; and “Tattoo” and the acoustic “Sunrise” show introspective, vulnerable sides to the singer/songwriter that had previously been hidden.

“Rael” was another mini-opera, with musical motifs that reappeared in Tommy. The album is as perfect a balance between melodic mod pop and powerful instrumentation as the Who (or any other group) would achieve; psychedelic pop was never as jubilant, not to say funny (the fake commercials and jingles interspersed between the songs are a hoot). The 1995 CD reissue has over half a dozen interesting outtakes from the time of the sessions, as well as unused commercials, the B-side “Someone’s Coming,” and an alternate version of “Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand.”

-Richie Unterberger,

The Who-THE WHO SELL OUT DELUXE (1967, 2009)
320kbps from FLAC

One Comment

  1. I didn’t even know about this new version until now! A Charles Atlas-sized thank you.

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