Released in December 1967 The Who Sell Out reflected a remarkable year in popular culture. The album was originally planned by Pete Townshend and the band’s managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, as a loose concept album including jingles and commercials linking the songs stylised as a pirate radio broadcast. This concept was born out of necessity as their label and management wanted a new album and Townshend felt that he didn’t have enough songs.
The new Super Deluxe Edition of The Who Sell Out features 112 tracks, 47 of which are unreleased, an 80-page, hard-back full-colour book, including rare period photos, memorabilia, track by track annotation and new sleeve notes by Pete Townshend.
The Super Deluxe package also includes nine posters and inserts, including replicas of;
20” x 30” original Adrian George album poster, a gig poster from The City Hall, Newcastle, a Saville Theatre show 8-page programme, a business card for the Bag o’ Nails club, Kingly Street, a Who fan club photo of group, a flyer for Bath Pavilion concerts including The Who, a crack-back bumper sticker for Wonderful Radio London, Keith Moon’s Speakeasy Club membership card and a Who Fan Club newsletter.
As tasters for the set a series of digital EP’s are being released, the final of these released today includes previously unreleased versions of three songs from the studio sessions; Mr Hyde (aka Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde), Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand & Melancholia.
This track was another in a line of eccentric Entwistle compositions, ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde’ was based on the title characters of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, but directly inspired by the unpredictable character traits of a certain Mr. Moon. The backing track, featuring Pete playing guitar through a Leslie speaker, was captured in seven takes. This first stage master mix of Take 7 features John’s vocal before backing harmonies, vocal improvisations and French horn overdubs were added. The Who being four very different personalities, the rhythm section of John Entwistle and Keith Moon formed the closest thing to a friendship within the group, the pair often roomed together on tour when the need arose. So Entwistle was fully qualified to document the mood swings his mercurial friend regularly underwent, particularly when drink was involved.
Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand (Takes 1 & 9) (Take 1 is previously unreleased and Take 9 is a new remix)
A typically eccentric character sketch of the type Pete was writing at the time, ‘Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand’ went through various transformations. Two different electric versions were taped before the master of this third, Latin-esque acoustic remake featuring guiro, castanets and shaker, was selected for the album. Compared to ‘Relax’, this remake of ‘Mary Anne’ (or ‘Marianne’ as it was incorrectly written on the tape box) was relatively easy to capture. Presented here is false start Take 1 with Pete requesting that Keith do count-in duties and Take 9 completed master with vocal, which was abandoned and not used at the time.
Melancholia (Take 1) (Previously Unreleased)
A dark new Townshend composition, ‘Melancholia’ was perfected in three takes – this is Take 1 featuring Pete’s rough guide vocal fed through a distortion effect. Pete admitted in his notes to the demo collection Scoop (1983) that he could not remember ever presenting this bleak song for them to record. The Who did record a version but it remained unreleased until The Who’s 30th-anniversary box set in 1994.
The homage to Pop Art is evident in both the advertising jingles and the iconic sleeve design created by David King who was the art director at the Sunday Times, and Roger Law who invented the Spitting Image TV show. The sleeve features four advertising images, taken by the renowned photographer David Montgomery, of each band member Odorono deodorant (Pete Townshend), Medac spot cream (Keith Moon), Charles Atlas (John Entwistle) and Roger Daltrey & Heinz baked beans. The story goes that Roger Daltrey caught pneumonia from sitting in the cold beans for too long.
Within the bold concept, were a batch of fabulous and diverse songs. I Can See for Miles, a top ten hit at the time, is a Who classic. Rael, a Townshend ‘mini-opera with musical motifs that reappeared in Tommy and the psychedelic blast of ‘Armenia City In The Sky’ and ‘Relax’ are among the very best material anyone wrote during the 1960s
One of the most extraordinary albums of any era, The Who Sell Out is The Who’s last ‘pop’ album. Two years later came ‘Tommy’ – a double concept album about a deaf, dumb and blind kid.
THE WHO SELL OUT SUPER DELUXE EDITION
Disc 1 – Original mono mix, mono As & Bs and unreleased mono mixes
Disc 2 – Original stereo mix and stereo bonus tracks
Disc 3 – Studio out-takes, ‘fly-on-the-wall versions of early takes of songs from the album sessions, ‘studio chat’ etc.
Disc 4 – ‘The Road to Tommy’ contains stereo mixes of the studio tracks recorded in 1968 – some previously unreleased – plus 1968 As and Bs mono mixes (all tracks remixed from original 4 and 8-track session tapes in The Who vault)
Disc 5 – 14 of Pete Townshend’s original demos, previously unreleased and exclusive to this set
BONUS 7” DISCS:
Track UK 45 repro I Can See for Miles (early mono mix with single-tracked vocal) and Someone’s Coming (original UK Track single mix with single-tracked vocal)
Decca USA 45 repro Magic Bus (US/UK mono) and Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (original US Decca single mix)80-page, hard-back full-colour book, including rare period photos, memorabilia & track annotation and new liner notes by Pete Townshend with comments from from Pete Drummond (Radio London DJ), Chris Huston (Talentmasters Studio), Richard Evans (designer), Roy Flynn (Speakeasy Club manager), Arnold Schwartzman (designer) and Andy Neill (Who biographer)
Nine posters & inserts, including replicas of;
20” x 30” original Adrian George poster
Gig poster – City Hall, Newcastle: The Who, Traffic & The Tremeloes
Saville Theatre 8-page programme.
Business card for the Bag o’ Nails club, Kingly Street.
Fan Club photo of group.
Flyer for Bath Pavilion concerts including The Who.
Crack-back bumper sticker for Wonderful Radio London.
Keith Moon’s Speakeasy Club membership card
Who Fan Club newsletter.
THE WHO SELL OUT OTHER FORMATS INCLUDE
2 LP deluxe (stereo) vinyl version, featuring the original album and extras highlights from box set.
D2C 2LP deluxe (mono) vinyl version featuring the original album and extras highlights from box set pressed on coloured vinyl; disc 1 ‘Odorono’ red / disc 2 ‘Baked Bean’ orange.
2-CD Deluxe edition 6-panel digi-pak with a 16-page booklet.
Also available in a variety of Digital formats
THE WHO – THE WHO SELL OUT SUPER DELUXE EDITIONRELEASED 23rd APRIL ON UMC/POLYDOR
‘THE WHO STUDIO SESSIONS 1967/68’ A THREE TRACK EP AVAILABLE NOW ON ALL STREAMING PLATFORMS
CLASSIC ALBUMS – THE WHO SELL OUT TO PREMIERE ON SKY ARTS 23rd APRIL AT 9pm