Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only The Who could have produced this, 11 Jun 2006
This review is from: The Who Sell Out (Audio CD)
What separated the great British Bands (The Kinks, The Who, The Stones, Beatles, Small Faces) from the rest of the world was that their songs contained the essential elemements of great songwriting - harmony, melody, rhythmn, syncopation, quality musicianship, storytelling, pathos, humour and whimsy. Us Brits were particularly good at the last two and one only has to look at the Kinks complete masterpiece Autumn Almanac or the Small Faces Lazy Sunday Afternoon to see what I mean. I mean, c'mon gang, can you think of anybody else but Ray Davies who could come up with the chords to something lke Autumn Almanac? Well, yes, actually - Pete Townsend.

This fine, clever and genuinely funny album sprang out of those wierd "becoming aware" days of "A Quick One", pirate radio stations, mass marketing, selling the beautiful dream and so on. Some of the songs are very funny, some very moving, some very rocky, all interspersed with pirate radio jingles .. "Radio London Reminds you ... go to the Church of your choice".

I cannot think of anybody but the Who who would have produced this , at this precise time. The Band had already shown that they thought that the world was really a funny old place with "Pictures of Lily", "Happy Jack", "Dogs" and so on, but this work contains at least 4 genuine masterpieces - Sunrise, a most stunning love song with a difficult and affecting jazz chord sequence, Tatoo, which is just so funny (My Dad beat me 'cause mine said "mother"), I can see For Miles, the most savage and chilling revenge song of all time and The Medac Song - yes, I love this ... "Henry laughed and cried "I got 'em" ... his face is like a baby's ... bottom". Go on, stop smiling!! Pure genius. Pointless to detail all the tracks, but there is not one weak moment here.

But what is also remarkable is the playing and the singing. The vocal harmonies on Tatoo are just gorgeous, and when Townsend moved from Rickenbacker to Strat on "Miles" and pulled off those crunching chords and evil single note solo, there is so much of "less is more" about all this. Daltrey sings like an angel, as does Pete, and Mad Man Moon repeatedly kills the kit. Entwistle was always a stunning bass player, and it is no accident that the solo on My Generation was a bass solo, another first, played on a Danelectro bass.

God, these boys were good! Not long ago, my wife bumped into Roger at the fish farm beds at Fovant and he signed the vinyl album for her. "Blimey, love, I didn't know anybody actually bought this one", he joked. Yes, they did, Roger, and they still are. This is a groundbreaking, magical, funny, moving and beautifully played total masterpice. And don't we all wish that just for once, we could have a bath in baked beans?!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Mar 2012 18:08:28 GMT
T. S. C. says:
Really good review mate! Watched a 2 and a 1/2 special on the Who the other day, and although I like their stuff a lot it gave me the idea of buying a couple of their other albums; and as most are under 4 on Amazon, you really can't complain hey?!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Mar 2012 22:02:19 GMT
No you can't! The Who Sell Out and A Quick One are consumate masterpieces, the reason why the Jam, bless 'em, never "got it." Without the humour, it's all just angular angst, which is so boring and monovisioned. "E'on Roifuls?" No, not really. All been done so much better by Ray D. "Sunrise" on its own would have secured the band in the arena of great music, but "Tatoo" earned a place in great songwriting. Mike Wedgwood, George Hart and I used to play most of this album and all of "A quick one" - unless you learn from the masters, we thought, you learn nothing. Building blocks! Best wishes, Tom
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