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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Pop > Counterculture > Album > History > Fashion > The Who Sell Out – Deluxe Edition CD Set (1967/Polydor/Universal Music) + The Who, The Mods & the Quadrophenia Connection (Chrome Dreams/MVD DVD)

The Who Sell Out – Deluxe Edition CD Set (1967/Polydor/Universal Music) + The Who, The Mods & the Quadrophenia Connection (Chrome Dreams/MVD DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: B/C+     Extras: B+/C+     Music: B     Documentary: B



Two new releases on The Who have arrived and they do a great job of showing the band before and after their tremendous success with Tommy (reviewed elsewhere on this site) as the band touched upon the psychedelic briefly, then their famed Rock Opera saved the band and the rest is history.  The Who Sell Out was released in 1967 and though it did not do as well in the U.S. as in the U.K., I Can See For Miles became one of their greatest songs ands the surrealism of the album fit in with the surrealism to come after the Summer Of Love.  Six years later, they attempted another rock opera in Quadrophenia and it was also a hit, examined in yet another solid music documentary from the Chrome Dreams team in the U.K.; this one called The Who, The Mods & the Quadrophenia Connection.


But first, The Who Sell Out, which is now here in a much expanded 2-CD Deluxe Edition set from Universal that includes the stereo version of the album on CD 1 and mono version on CD 2.  The theme of the album is gaudy commercialism as the band pretends to sell their credibility down the river for money.  The surreal photography all over the album would stay with the band when they made the film version of Tommy with Ken Russell in 1975 and the songs include:


1)     Armenia City In The Sky

2)     Heinz Baked Beans

3)     Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand

4)     Odorono

5)     Tattoo

6)     Our Love Was

7)     I Can See For Miles

8)     I Can’t Reach You

9)     Medac

10)  Relax

11)  Silas Stingy

12)  Sunrise

13)  Rael 1 & 2



A fine, underrated album, it turns out much more material was made for it and for the first time, a collection of alternate and demo versions of the songs, plus never-used and never released dongs that almost made the album.  It is made to sound like a non-stop radio broadcast and that approach works well enough, but the music shows growth in a band that was already a standout in the early waves of The British Invasion.


CD 1 offers bonus tracks:


1)     Rael Naïve

2)     Someone’s Coming

3)     Early Morning Cold Taxi

4)     Jaguar

5)     Coke After Coke

6)     Glittering Girl

7)     Summertime Blues

8)     John Mason Cars

9)     Girl’s Eye

10)  Sodding About

11)  Premiere Drums (full version)

12)  Odorono (Final Chorus)

13)  Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand (U.S. Mirasound Version)

14)  Things Go Better With Coke

15)  In The Hall Of The Mountain King

16)  Top Gear

17)  Rael 1 & 2 (remake version)



Most interesting of these is the attempt to do a song about promoting cars and we get three here, including one about the great British marque, Jaguar.  The company was picky about their product at the time, already refusing to allow the Roger Moore Saint TV series a use of any of their cars, only to see the Volvo P1800 (a competing model) become a hit, arguing their cars would never appear on a TV show.  That was one of many reasons the song may not have made the original album, but it is a song many who hear it will enjoy.



CD 2 has these bonus songs:


1)     Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand (U.S. Single Mono Mix)

2)     Someone’s Coming (U.S. Single Mono Mix)

3)     Relax (Early Demo – Stereo)

4)     Jaguar (Original Mono Mix)

5)     Glittering Girl (Unreleased Stereo Mix)

6)     Tattoo (Early Mono Mix)

7)     Our Love Was (Take 12 – Unused Mono Mix)

8)     Rotosound Strings (With Final Note – Stereo)

9)     I Can See From Miles (Early Mono Mix)

10)  Rael (Early Mono Mix)



All the songs here are also very interesting, but the clear standout is this mix of I Can See From Miles that is mixed more like a regular Who song of the time.  Showing how great this record really is, you can hear it in this stronger version where Roger Daltrey’s voice is not manipulated and Keith Moon’s drums are full on in an exceptionally powerful performance.  The set comes in the usual slidecase with fold out packaging and a rich, think, informative booklet.


Fast forward to their success after and The Who, The Mods & the Quadrophenia Connection which starts by explaining the Mod movement, how the 1973 album was a deconstruction of that movement and how the 1978 film happened to be enough of a hit to inadvertently end a Mod revival that began before the film went into production.  Featuring a long list of original songs, the program tells all this history, than delves into the 1973 album track by track.  It also shows how this was the end of the original band as Moon died by the end of 1978.  With rare footage, original music, film footage, stills and new, informative interviews, it is a great disc on the band and a must-see for anyone serious about music or The Who.


The 1.33 X 1 image on that DVD offers various aspect ratios and looks pretty good throughout, including some of the cleanest footage of Franc Roddam’s 1978 Quadrophenia film (letterboxed at 1.85 X 1) seen to date.  Makes one wonder where the Blu-ray is.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is just fine here as well, though one wishes for multi-channel sound when the music gets good.  The PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo and Mono on the CD set is even better as expected, though some tracks can sound rough, others can sound great.  Some of this will depend on whether you prefer Mono or Stereo, but I wished these were SA-CDs like the slimier Tommy set, which we reviewed at this link:





Extras on the DVD include a quiz and interview with Richard Barnes about the recording of the Quadrophenia album.  For more Tommy and Quadrophenia, try this recent live set:





In the meantime, don’t miss The Who, The Mods & the Quadrophenia Connection DVD or The Who Sell Out – Deluxe Edition CD set.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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