Author Topic: The Who Sell Out  (Read 2543 times)


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The Who Sell Out
« on: March 15, 2011, 02:18:39 PM »
Sorry, this was intended as a belated post to a "Best Who Album" thread, but evidently the age of the thread prevented posting. Not sure this stands on its own, or should.....

Since the Who and their music are built to last I'm blowing through the 120 day, no post, warning. I spotted the Who's best albums in the title and may have misinterpreted the intended meaning. I can't say as I have ever heard a Who album that was WELL RECORDED. Maybe that's harsh and maybe I just don't love the band and its material enough to make allowances, but it's my personal opinion that the recording quality on all their stuff just blows. Having gotten that caveat out of the way, there is a Who album that I still find musically satisfying all these years later - "The Who Sell Out". Set aside the silly cover art and some songs about deodorant and pimple cream, though the catchiest pimple cream tune I've ever heard, and there is something sly in the works. Townsend and crew manage to capture, for me, what it was to be a kid and glued to the radio - a portable TRANSISTOR radio, and being completely in line with the filler advert on the record, "more music, more music". While the album concept was pure BBC, not radio America, the vibe is plenty close enough and I can still recall, clear as a freakin' bell, where I was and what I was doing - drawing dinosaurs for a school report on paleontology - when "I Can See For Miles" assaulted me for the first time from the tiny, tinny speaker in my radio. What in the EFF is THAT! Crunch, bang, sizzle goes Pete's probably windmilling arm. Crap, how do I get MY guitar to do just THAT, that "I'm gonna take your head clean off" explosion of sound. It was a turning point for this kid, just like Ed Sullivan that Sunday night and the guys with the peculiar haircuts who are doing that even more peculiar musical stuff that's making it completely impossible for me to sit down let alone stop moving and I hear you Mom don't worry I think I'm OK, wait I know I'm better than OK 'cause my life just freakin' -oops - changed in some fundamental way that my suddenly faster moving molecules aren't explaining to me, OH HORMONE OVERLOAD!! Whew. Ain't life grand?  - String