Saturday 12/25/21 1:10pm ET: Feature LP: The Who – Who Sell Out (1967)

The Who Sell Out is the third studio album by the British rock band the Who. It was released on December 15, 1967 by Track Records in the UK and Decca Records in the US.

A concept album, The Who Sell Out is structured as a collection of unrelated songs interspersed with fake commercials and public service announcements, including the second track “Heinz Baked Beans” The album purports to be a broadcast by pirate radio station Radio London. The reference to “selling out” was an intended irony, as the Who had been making real commercials during that period of their career, some of which are included as bonus tracks on the remastered CD.

The album was primarily written by guitarist Pete Townshend, though three tracks were penned by bassist John Entwistle and one by Thunderclap Newman vocalist Speedy Keen, who also sings. Townshend and Entwistle are joined by vocalist Roger Daltrey and drummer Keith Moon, and organist Al Kooper makes a guest appearance on two tracks. The album was produced by the band’s manager Kit Lambert.

The album’s release was reportedly followed by lawsuits due to the mention of real-world commercial interests in the faux commercials and on the album covers, and by the makers of the real jingles (Radio London jingles), who claimed the Who used them without permission. (The jingles were produced by PAMS Productions of Dallas, Texas, which created thousands of station ID jingles in the 1960s and 1970s.) The deodorant company Odorono took offence that Chris Stamp made a request for endorsement dollars. “I Can See for Miles” was released as a single and peaked at number 10 in the UK and number 9 in the US.

The Who Sell Out has received widespread acclaim from critics, some of whom viewed it as the Who’s best record. It has also frequently been featured on all-time lists of the best albums, including Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

  1. “Armenia City in the Sky” 3:48
  2. “Heinz Baked Beans” 1:00
  3. “Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand” 2:28
  4. “Odorono” 2:34
  5. “Tattoo” 2:51
  6. “Our Love Was” 3:23
  7. “I Can See for Miles” 4:05
  8. “Can’t Reach You” 3:03
  9. “Medac” 0:57
  10. “Relax” 2:41
  11. “Silas Stingy” 3:07
  12. “Sunrise” 3:06
  13. “Rael (1 and 2)” 5:44
  14. “Rael Naive” 0:59
  15. “Someone’s Coming” 2:36
  16. “Early Morning Cold Taxi” 2:59
  17. “Jaguar” 2:58
  18. “Coke After Coke” 1:05
  19. “Glittering Girl” 3:00
  20. “Summertime Blues” 2:35
  21. “John Mason Cars” 0:40
  22. “Girl’s Eyes” 2:52
  23. “Sodding About” 2:47
  24. “Premier Drums” (Full Version) 0:43
  25. “Odorono” (Final Chorus) 0:24
  26. “Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand” 3:22
  27. “Things Go Better with Coke” 0:30
  28. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” 4:23
  29. “Top Gear” 0:52
  30. “Rael (1 & 2)” (Remake Version) 6:35

Roger Daltrey – lead and backing vocals
Pete Townshend – acoustic and electric guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals (“Odorono,” “Our Love Was,” “I Can’t Reach You,” “Sunrise,” “Rael Naive,” “Jaguar,” “Glittering Girl”), piano
John Entwistle – bass guitar, horns (“Armenia City in the Sky”, “Someone’s Coming”, “Top Gear”, “Heinz Baked Beans”, “In the Hall of the Mountain King”), backing vocals, lead vocals (“Medac,” “Silas Stingy,” “Summertime Blues,” “John Mason’s Cars”)
Keith Moon – drums, lead vocals (“Girl’s Eyes,” “John Mason’s Cars”, “Jaguar”)
Al Kooper – organ (“Rael 1”, “Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand (electric version)”)
Speedy Keen – co-lead vocals (“Armenia City in the Sky”)