The Who Sell Out, the band’s landmark album of December 1967, will be released in a new Super Deluxe Edition on April 23 by UMC/Polydor. It’s previewed today (26) by Pete Townshend’s previously unreleased demos for the album, available on all streaming services.
Latterly described by Rolling Stone as “The Who’s finest album,” this staging post in pop-art, an enduring reflection of popular culture of the day, is now lavishly expanded and features 112 tracks, of which 46 are unreleased.
It has an 80-page, hardback full-color book with rare period photos, memorabilia, a track-by-track annotation and new sleeve notes by Townshend. There are also comments from Radio London DJ of the time Pete Drummond, designer Richard Evans, and Roy Flynn, the manager of the Speakeasy Club, among others.
Also part of the Super Deluxe package are nine posters and inserts, including replicas of the 20” x 30” original album poster by Adrian George; a gig poster from The Who’s show at City Hall, Newcastle; an eight-page programme from their Saville Theatre show in London; a business card for the Bag o’ Nails club in Kingly Street; a Who fan club photo of the group; a flyer for Bath Pavilion concerts including The Who; a crack-back bumper sticker for “Wonderful Radio London”; Keith Moon’s Speakeasy Club membership card and a Who Fan Club newsletter.
The EP of Townshend’s The Who Sell Out demos includes a new remix of “Pictures Of Lily” and his early versions of “Kids! Do You Want Kids?” (a.k.a. “Do You Want Kids, Kids?”) and “Odorono.” All are previously unreleased.
Townshend and The Who’s managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp conceived the record as a loose concept album, including jingles and commercials to link material presented as a pirate radio broadcast. The band’s label and management were chasing a new Who album at the time, and Townshend felt that he didn’t have enough songs.
The groundbreaking plan was to sell advertising space on the album, but instead the band went on to write their own jingles paying tribute to pirate radio stations and as a parody of the increasingly consumerist society of the era.
The unforgettable sleeve design was created by David King, art director at the Sunday Times, and Roger Law, who would go on to create the satirical political TV series Spitting Image. It featured four advertising images, by the renowned photographer David Montgomery, with “endorsements” by Pete Townshend for Odorono deodorant, Keith Moon for Medac spot cream, John Entwistle for Charles Atlas bodybuilding and Roger Daltrey for Heinz baked beans.
The album stands as a profound representation of its time, as straight-ahead pop met pop-art, psychedelia and the expanding rock world into which The Who would launch Tommy two years later.
The Super Deluxe Edition of The Who Sell Out is released on April 23. Pre-order it here.
The Super Deluxe edition consists of:
Disc 1 – Original mono mix, mono As & Bs and unreleased mono mixes
Disc 2 – Original stereo mix and stereo bonus tracks
Disc 3 – Studio out-takes, “fly-on-the-wall” versions of early takes of songs from the album sessions, ‘studio chat’ etc
Disc 4 – “The Road to Tommy” will contain stereo mixes of the studio tracks recorded in 1968 – some previously unreleased – plus 1968 As and Bs mono mixes (all tracks remixed from original 4 and 8-track session tapes in The Who vault)
Disc 5 – 14 of Pete Townshend’s original demos, previously unreleased and exclusive to this set
Bonus 7” discs:
1. Track UK 45 repro I Can See for Miles (early mono mix with single-tracked vocal) & Someone’s Coming (original UK Track single mix with single-tracked vocal)
2. Decca USA 45 repro Magic Bus (US/UK mono) & Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (original US Decca single mix)
80-page, hard-back full-colour book, including rare period photos, memorabilia & Track annotation and new liner notes by Pete Townshend with comments from from Pete Drummond (Radio London DJ), Chris Huston (Talentmasters Studio), Richard Evans (designer), Roy Flynn (Speakeasy Club manager), Arnold Schwartzman (designer) & Andy Neill (Who biographer)
Nine posters & inserts, including replicas of:
20” x 30” original Adrian George poster
Gig poster – City Hall, Newcastle: The Who, Traffic & The Tremeloes
Saville Theatre 8-page programme.
Business card for the Bag o’ Nails club, Kingly Street
Fan Club photo of group.
Flyer for Bath Pavilion concerts including The Who
Crack-back bumper sticker for Wonderful Radio London
Keith Moon’s Speakeasy Club membership card
Who Fan Club newsletter
Other The Who Sell Out formats:
2 LP deluxe (stereo) vinyl version, featuring the original album and extras highlights from box set.
D2C 2LP deluxe (mono) vinyl version featuring the original album and extras highlights from box set pressed on coloured vinyl; disc 1 ‘Odorono’ red / disc 2 ‘Baked Bean’ orange
2-CD edition 6-panel digipak with a 16-page booklet
Also available in a variety of digital formats