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The Who Sell Out (Remastered) Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, June 20, 1995
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They've added 10 rare bonus tracks (and six more "ads"!) to flesh out the original radio station concept!

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The Who Sell Out's pirate-radio concept goes south in the album's second half--the Who ran out of time before they could write enough faux commercials--but it still remains in many ways their best and most entertaining album. Pete Townshend and John Entwistle supply song after great song, and along with Keith Moon play them with power and focus. The classic single "I Can See for Miles" is matched on at least a handful of tracks, including the opening psychedelic-pop blast of "Armenia City in the Sky" (written by Townshend pal Speedy Keen), the hilarious social-interaction tales "Odorono" and "Tattoo," and the majestic mini-opus "Rael." This remaster's bonus tracks are occasionally too much of a good thing, but the Tommy rough draft "Glow Girl" is brilliant. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 20, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002OX5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,889 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When I originally wrote this review, Amazon did not have this version available so I placed the review under the Schm (or whatever it is) version so here it is.

The collection contains both the original stereo and mono mixes of the album. This is not a repackage of the 1995 release even though a lot of the extras that appeared there are here but in a different mix. The mono mix might be of more interest for fans since it has not been available in the U.S. since 1967. There are subtle nuances in the mix overall, the music and the commercial jingles meld more seamlessly than its stereo counterpoint in such a way that it does feel like your listening to a pirate radio station. On "Our Love Was" the solo guitar break is completely different than the stereo version.

The stereo mix is a re-mastered version of the original Kit Lambert mix from 1967 so any embellishments that John Astley did in 1995 are now gone. In addition "Rael" is also presented with its original mix as well as a re-recorded version on disc one. Apparently, the original tape was thrown in the trash and a nasty edit had to be made in the songs first line. This track was re-stored by John Astley on the "Maximum R&B" box set and on the 1995 re-issue.

Another bonus is more of the PAMS jingles that were intended for the rest of the album in-between the extra tracks. There are also early mixes of other tracks as well as a few hidden ones so this pretty much surpasses the 1995 edition especially if you were not a fan of the work John Astley did in cleaning up the recording.

This has to be one of The Who's best albums pre-Tommy and probably the last when they actually used a lot of those great vocal harmonies. Finally, a great re-issue of a great album. Oh, as a bonus there is a small re-print of the original poster that originally came with the album
4 Comments 51 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on March 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If I were new to this page, I certainly would think that these reviews were from a bunch of biased Who fanatics (and actually, they probably are). But if you're not (a biased Who fanatic), don't let that scare you off. This is a legitimate 5 star album, vastly underrated and relatively overlooked in the Who's ouvre. You don't have to be British, or even grow up in the sixties to appreciate the humor and musical sensibilities here, though it probably would help if you knew something of pirate radio and the Summer of Love. What keeps this album totally fresh, though, is the songs themselves. This was before Townshend weighed himself down with the Tommy and Lifehouse projects, where he was too busy making the Next Big Statement to lower himself to just write great pop songs. And this album is full of them: Armenia City in the Sky, Tatoo (check out the fantastic live version on Leeds!), Sunrise (breathtakingly beautiful), Relax, Odorano (works on multiple levels), Our Love Was, etc. Oh yeah, I Can See For Miles, maybe the BEST Who song, is here as well. Oh, and we wouldn't want to forget Mary-Ann With the Shaky Hands, now would we (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, knowwhotImean?)
I'm certainly not going to say I don't like Tommy. For all its overblown pomposity, it still has some of Townshend's best thematic inventions and guitar playing. But it does sound somewhat forced.
I'm certainly not going to say I don't like Who's Next. Considering it was compiled with the remnants of the aborted Lifehouse project, it has a surprising sonic intensity and cohesiveness, plus it's the best SOUNDING Who album, and gave them their arena rock anthem.
I'm not saying I don't like Live at Leeds.
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Format: Audio CD
I became a Who fan in early 1967 when I first heard "Happy Jack" and rushed out and bought the album. But nothing on that album prepared me for The Who Sell Out, which came out later that year. The whole premise of the album is that it is presented as if it were a British pirate radio station program complete with fake commercials connecting the songs. In fact, some of the commercials become full-fledged songs, such as the two minute-plus "Odorono."
What makes this recording especially refreshing is that while it seemed as if the entire pop culture was taking itself much too seriously during the Summer of Love, The Who were willing to inject a bit of whimsy into the proceedings. In the process they produced some of their most enduring songs: the acoustic charm of "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hands," the tongue-in-cheek "Tattoo," the lovely "Our Love Was" with its razor sharp electric guitar break coupled with Townsend's beautiful acoustic playing and Entwistle's French horn accents, and then there's the ultimate Who single "I Can See for Miles." [It would be the first and only time The Who would reach the top ten in America!]
Other standout tracks include "Relax," "Sunrise" and "Rael," which was a mini-opera along the lines of "A Quick One While He's Away." Since much of the material was more subdued than earlier songs like "My Generation" or "I'm a Boy" little of this album other than "I Can See for Miles" found its way into the band's live shows. That is not, however, meant to diminish the power of these songs.
Like the other remastered Who albums in this series, there is an abundance of bonus tracks.
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