Top positive review
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"WHAT'S FOR TEA, DARLING...?"
on 7 June 2015
THE WHO SELL OUT, The Who's third album, is one of those records which just gets better with age. Many albums from the 1960s and '70s seemed to have emerged as instant classics while others, like this one, have grown in stature with the passing years. Somewhat overlooked during the Christmas rush of 1967, today THE WHO SELL OUT stands as one of The Who's most enjoyable collections, an album which represented a tribute to the recently outlawed pirate radio ships (specifically Radio London) and the band's own last salute to the world of pop before The Who's graduation to the podium of rock royalty with TOMMY (1969). Above all, from the amusing pop art-inspired sleeve to the band's "Track Records" chant cut into the run-out groove, more than any of their other albums, THE WHO SELL OUT captures Shepherd's Bush's finest having fun.
This is a fine vinyl reissue of THE WHO SELL OUT from Universal Music - the company that was responsible for a sumptuous Deluxe Edition CD version of the album a few years back. As expected with vinyl reissues these days, the record itself is nice and weighty and comes with relatively faithful reproductions of the Track Records' labels on both sides (the major difference being a new catalogue number). Audio purists will possibly take issue with the fact that the stereo mix has been used over the mono version; however, at the time of the album's original release, stereo was beginning to overtake mono in popularity and so deciding which is the "true" version of THE WHO SELL OUT is arguably an irrelevance (whereas many believe that the mono version of The Beatles' SGT. PEPPER - released just six months earlier - is the genuine format for that LP). Sound-wise, everything is fine, with the original Radio London jingle track-links and gentler songs like 'Tattoo' and 'Sunrise' sounding particularly nice. The hit single 'I Can See For Miles' also manages to cut through with power and presence. Finally, that iconic sleeve is all present and correct as is, thankfully, the Osiris-designed psychedelic poster that came with original copies of the LP. However, the sleeve does have a matt finish rather than the glossy, laminated look that was commonplace on British album covers from the 1960s and which the recent Beatles vinyl reissues have preserved.
All in all, though, this is a great reissue of THE WHO SELL OUT and, at less than twenty-five quid (at the time of purchase), it comes considerably cheaper than trying to find a mint-condition original copy, complete with that poster!