The last of the four digital EP tasters of the upcoming Super Deluxe edition of The Who Sell Out is released today (16). With the 112-track box set due on April 23, the final three-track preview arrives in the shape of three songs from the studio sessions for the classic 1967 LP.
The tracks are “Mr Hyde (aka Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde)” (Take 7), which is previously unreleased; “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand (Takes 1 & 9)”, of which Take 1 is previously unreleased and Take 9 is a new remix; and “Melancholia (Take 1)), also previously unissued.
“Mr Hyde (aka Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde)” was based on the title characters of the famous novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, but it was directly inspired by the unpredictable character traits of Who drummer Keith Moon. Pete Townshend played guitar through a Leslie speaker on the backing track, which was captured in seven takes. The new EP version has the first stage master mix of Take 7 with John Entwistle’s vocal before the addition of backing harmonies, vocal improvisations and French horn overdubs.
“Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand” was a trademark Townshend character sketch of the day, on a song that went through a number of adaptations. Two electric versions were recorded ahead of the master of this third, Latinesque acoustic remake featuring guiro, castanets and shaker, was chosen for the album. Incorrectly titled “Marianne” on the tape box, it appears here with a false start in Take 1, on which Pete asks Keith to count in the track, and Take 9, a completed master with vocal, abandoned at the time.
“Melancholia” was a dark new Townshend composition that was perfected in three takes. This first of those has his rough guide vocal fed through a distortion effect. In his notes to the 1983 demo collection Scoop, Pete admitted that he couldn’t remember ever presenting “Melancholia” for the band to record; they did, but it wasn’t released until The Who’s 30th anniversary box set of 1994.
Just ahead of the Super Deluxe release, concert streaming platform nugs.net will host the free livestream premiere, except in the UK and Ireland, of their Classic Albums documentary on The Who Sell Out on April 22 at 6pm PT/9pm ET at nugs.net/thewho. It will be available to stream on demand from then until April 25 at 9pm PT/12am ET.
The Super Deluxe Edition of The Who Sell Out is released on April 23. Pre-order it here.