The Who Sell Out Review

artist: who date: 11/29/2007 category: compact discs
who: The Who Sell Out
Released: 1967
Label: MCA
Genre: Rock
Styles: Rock & Roll, Hard Rock, British Invasion, Pop/Rock, Mod
Number Of Tracks: 23
The album is as perfect a balance between melodic mod pop and powerful instrumentation as the Who (or any other group) would achieve.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 9.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 11 
reviews (2) 6 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
The Who Sell Out Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 18, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Like most Who fans, I originally knew The Who through some of their bigger hits of the "Who's Next" era ("Won't Get Fooled Again," "Baba O'Reilly"). I soon got "Tommy," "Who's Next," and "Quadrophenia" as well as a greatest hits ("My Generation"). Well, I was totally unprepared for the sound of "The Who Sell Out." The opening is probably the strangest way to open any album ever. The psychedelic sounds of "Armenia City In The Sky" was completely different than anything else I heard by the Who. The music is incredibly good too. I love the music of "Odorono" and "I Can't Reach For You." This album is probably the most experimental album by the Who musically speaking. And, in my opinion, is the most musical generally. // 10

Lyrics: Pete Townshend may have been one of the best lyricists ever and this album proves it. In these songs, he tells full stories in three minutes. I had no idea that "Odorono" was a commercial until the end. The story is about a girl who pines over a certain guy, but he doesn't even notice her. Finally, at some show, he sees her singing and he comes back to her room. She's excited to see him and he comes over to her and is about to kiss her. But then, as he gets close to her, he realizes that he has a "late appointment." He leaves. So what's the morale of the story? Use Odorono. On "Tatoo," Pete recounts the story of a boy who went with his brother to become a man. They go to get tattoos. Then, "My dad beat me 'cause mine said "Mother"/ But my mother naturally liked it and beat my brother/ 'Cause his tattoo was of a lady in the nude/ And my mother thought that was extremely rude." They're funny lyrics! When I first heard these lyrics, I was confused. "The Who? Funny?" The commercials are also very, very funny. This album had a huge range of emotions, from frustration to ecstasy, anger to love, from preplexed to longing. Plus, the mini-opera "Rael" was a warm-up for "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia." The only song that I don't like is "Silas Stingy", which, like several Pink Floyd songs, uses the sound as background to the story about a very miserly man named Silas (a reference to George Eliot's "Silas Marner", perhaps the worst book ever). // 10

Overall Impression: I love this album. This is a must-own! The music and the lyrics are the Who at their best. Combined, they make a wonderful album. With the commercials, this album transcends wonderful. I would rank this right up there with "Sgt. Pepper's", which came out more or less the same time as this and is very similar to this album. This album is also somewhat similar to Pink Floyd; it's a mix of the musical sophistication of post-Syd Barret Floyd, but with the joviality and energy of "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" (which also came out more or less the same time). If you love the Beatles or Pink Floyd, then this is The Who album for you. For me, this ranks up there with such albums as "Sgt. Pepper's," "Dark Side Of The Moon," "Are You Experienced" and "(Untitled)" (by Zep). // 10

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overall: 8.3
The Who Sell Out Reviewed by: Who66, on november 29, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The who here were seeking somewhat of a middle ground between the cement mixer sound of My generation and the lighter attack of A quick one. They had internalized the vocal and instrumental sounds of the Beatles and Beach Boys, it seems, and integrated that with their own aggressive sound and Townshend's classical and music hall influences to create true power Pop, harmony drenched rock that energizes the listener. The album at least starts as a concept album, a tribute to (doomed) pirate radio. this is played out in a series of ads in between the songs, though they run out on side 2. the tunes range from Rock to (parodic) psychedelia and folky pop. along with Syd Barrett's Pink floyd this reord represents a sort of melodic rock that flourished in 1966-67. // 9

Lyrics: Townshend (and Entwistle) at this point didn't have quite the lyrical complexity of Lennon, Davies, etc. but they had no small amount of wit and sarcasm. Maryanne with the shaky hand continues the concept from pictures of Lily and sets it against beautiful three part harmonies and acoustic guitars. Most will only know the album through I can see for miles, which remains as townshend said, the ultimate who record. It is not very indicative of the vocal and instrumental finesse found on Tattoo, our love was or I can't reach you. those last two, along with relax, find Pete writing love songs for the first time. while lyrically they aren't what Lennon Mccartney were doing even 2 years prior, they bring a new side to the writer of tons of "Silly" songs (I'm a boy) and "angry' ones (generation) "miles" does show a direct but gripping style that would be synthesized in future works. counting the bonus tracks we even hear Keith sing his own "girl's eyes", a poppy little tune that works. the music and lyrics certainly comply, what with the chiming sound of our love was or the dreamy floating of tattoo and maryanne. Townsend sings a few leads here, and the diverse volumes of the tunes allow all four who members to demonstrate their singing abilities, alone and in gorgeous ensemble harmonies. // 7

Overall Impression: Sell out suffers for being released the same year as Sgt pepper and such and being immediately followed by Tommy. The latter actually used several musical phrases and lyrics found on sell out, as well as that impressive 3 part harmony the who seemed to stop on Who's next. this album, with the exception of "Armenia" doesn't conform to the psychedelia of the times and doesn't take itself nearly as seriously as pepper, The Doors, Something Else, Pet sounds or any other record released in 66-67. It sounds much like some of the less psych tracks on revolver, actually with a tip of the hat to the earlier beach boys. Standout songs on the album include the masterpiece "I can see for miles", the complex "Tatoo" and the romanticism of "our love was" and "relax". The bonus tracks on the CD also give you the great "early Morning cold taxi", which would fit in the who's line of power pop singles (substitute, I'm a boy, Pictures), and the Glittering Entwistle tune "someones coming", with it's brass backing. I love this album's humour and sunny sound. My only objections are to the CD having several bonus tracks a who fan likely has already from the box set. If stolen, I'd replace this one the same day. // 9

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