The Who Sell Out 50 years later: song by song discussion

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by NothingBrightAboutIt, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    9. MEDAC (n/a)
    Entwhistle is on lead vocal for another choppy song like “Odorono” but it’s not as strong or long, but it still has a fun punchline- “his face is like a baby’s bottom”. Probably the weakest listed track.

    10. RELAX (A-)
    Another very strong melody, led by Al Kooper’s organ, they open up the album to relieve all the stress found on just about every song up to this. Despite the fun attitude, lyrics and commercials plus jingles, there’s a lot of negativity until this song shimmers with some great intensity especially on Townshend feedback and psychedelic proto acid rock guitar break and the powerful piercing organ. Entwhistle and Moon are overshadowed by the organ but underpin the song with grumbling bass and light drums speeding up as it goes along. The song has a relaxing quality to it, but it just gets to intense to not feel the underlying tension.
  2. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    11. SILAS STINGY (B-)
    Probably considered the weakest regular song here, it’s still got a moodiness that matches many of the band’s lyrical moments but is it’s own musical ride contrasting the other tracks around it. The profile of a Scrooge like character works due to Entwhistle’s organ and the brief India-style horn moment. Silas goes broke by the end from bad karma, correctly foreseeing that a thief will steal it all which we find out by the end. The psychedelic ballad is worth having despite it not being one of my personal favorites.
  3. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Great reviews so far! "Mary Anne's rough" is in fact "Premier Drums" -- although no one's arguing that Mary Anne isn't. ;)
    WilliamWes likes this.
  4. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    12. SUNRISE (A)
    A spiritual sounding Townshend song that foresees some of his later solo and band work, while it’s just a love song, there’s more to it as he’s really bringing his love of nature into the frame. The lyric almost sounds like it has a duel love of both the sun and a woman. When looking at each line, they glow with words that feel that the sun is the true love of the two. The bridge reminds me of old 50’s melodies and the acoustic guitar helps this almost folk song with its sunny pop lyric come across like it has the best melody here and it may well have. An absolutely heavenly song.
    Nick Dunning likes this.
  5. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    13. RAEL (A)
    A multi-suite that shows off the band’s creative side, Moon in particular brings one of his most interesting performances, working a number of rhythms as if he’s displaying his full repertoire just to show off. His marital drumming and mild explosions show jazzy leanings similar to those of Tony Williams, the jazz great. Ultimately the gunfire drumming by Moon was tied to the lyrics that are so dense I had to get some answers off and I found 3 answers that agree on the background of “Rael”. Roger sings this with lots of terrific harmonies from Townshend and Entwhistle as the song is at times serene, at times bouncy, at times choppy, like the band are travelling on both land and sea, stopping here and there through the journey to rest, but it always feels like a high quality sea shanty. The “Sparks” section is very dramatic with lots of great speedy acoustic/electric guitar strumming-another memorable guitar section from Pete. It caps off an absolute gem of an album. The lyric leaves the story unfinished but on “Rael Naïve”, Pete tries to conclude positively though the story its based off of isn’t as warm.

    Someone on had an interesting take on the song's lyrics...


    It's about some Crusader knights in Medieval days fighting the Saracens in the Holy Land (Rael). If things get hairy, the Venetian galleys are supposed to pick the Crusader forces up and take them to safety. But the treacherous Venetians take the money and run, leaving the Knights to be massacred by the Muslims. This is close to what really happened. It was absurd that the Europeans wanted to annex Israel, it wasn't even theirs. The Venetians mock their folly and crazy bravado and leave them to their quixotic fate.

    I think that Pete originally wrote Wretches, but was told the Arabs might object. So he changed it to Red Chins, thinking the Chinese wouldn't mind. As it happened, a Chinese army led by Mongolians did invade Palestine in the 1100's, only to be defeated at Ain Jalut by Egyptians toting, are you ready for this, the first hand-held gunpowder weapons ever seen in the West! Some Chinese gunners had deserted the Mongols and taught the Egyptians the technology. Maybe Pete's Crusaders blindly walked into the midst of this battle and got all shot to hell.

    Anyways, they all die at the end, it's a sad song about the delusionality that always accompanies war. Meanwhile, the Venetians sail to France and enslave their orphans.

    The Mongol commander had guns too, but he left them back in his camp at Baghdad thinking they woudn't be needed. This proved to be a fatal error. The Mongol army was shocked and demoralized when they discovered that the Egyptians had procured guns of their own, and the Mongol Knights were picked off their horses by the score. The Mongols were utterly routed, and soon guns had spread everywhere in the West.
  6. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    Thanks NothingBrightAboutIt and everyone who liked the 2-LP lineup. Had to post that for the 50th!
    NothingBrightAboutIt likes this.
  7. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    So to wrap it up:

    1. Armenia City in the Sky (A)
    2. Heinz Baked Beans (no rating)
    3. Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand (B+)
    4. Odorono (C+)
    5. Tattoo (A-)
    6. Our Love Was (B+)
    7. I Can See For Miles (A+)
    8. I Can't Reach You (B+)
    9. Medac (no rating)
    10. Relax (A-)
    11. Silas Stingy (B-)
    12. Sunrise (A)
    13. Rael (A)
    NothingBrightAboutIt likes this.
  8. marmalade166

    marmalade166 Well-Known Member

    Aberdeen, Scotland
    WilliamWes likes this.
  9. dirkster

    dirkster Well-Known Member

    Frisco, TX, USA
    I like the way they stretched out “Relax” when playing it live and emphasized the psychedelic side of the song.
    Mark Wilson, dee, WilliamWes and 2 others like this.
  10. Analogmoon

    Analogmoon Well-Known Member

    I got that album back in the day and still have it.
  11. Thievius

    Thievius Forum Resident

    I'm constantly puzzled how many people on these forums dislike Silas Stingy. I really like it. True, its no 'I can See For Miles' or "Tattoo' but I like it a lot.
  12. James H.

    James H. Active Member

    I have that and the TWSMG/MBTWOT MCA blue rainbows and still listen to them occasionally.
  13. Analogmoon

    Analogmoon Well-Known Member

    That's what mine are also. Got them at Camelot Music at The Mall. The old timey days.
  14. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    50 years today!

    Hope everyone gives it another spin in celebration, with a can of Heinz Baked Beans of course.
    Big Pasi, Dog Ear and dee like this.
  15. marmalade166

    marmalade166 Well-Known Member

    Aberdeen, Scotland
    with a dash of Worcester sauce :righton:

    any plans for continuing the thread? I for one love this period, previously unreleased tracks and all
  16. marmalade166

    marmalade166 Well-Known Member

    Aberdeen, Scotland
    1995 bonus tracks

    14. "Rael 2" Townshend 0:47
    15. "Glittering Girl" Townshend 2:56
    16. "Melancholia" (Unavailable on deluxe edition) Daltrey 3:17
    17. "Someone's Coming" Entwistle Daltrey 2:29
    18. "Jaguar" Moon 2:51
    19. "Early Morning Cold Taxi" Roger Daltrey, Dave Langston Daltrey, with Townshend 2:55
    20. "In the Hall of the Mountain King" Edvard Grieg 4:19
    21. "Girl's Eyes" Keith Moon Moon 3:28
    22. "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand" (US Mirasound version) Daltrey, with Townshend 3:19
    23. "Glow Girl"

    2009 Deluxe edition bonus tracks


    1. "Rael Naive" 0:59
    2. "Someone's Coming" Entwistle 2:36
    3. "Early Morning Cold Taxi" Daltrey, Langston 2:59
    4. "Jaguar" 2:58
    5. "Coke After Coke" 1:05
    6. "Glittering Girl" 3:00
    7. "Summertime Blues" Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart 2:35
    8. "John Mason Cars" 0:40
    9. "Girl's Eyes" Moon 2:52
    10. "Sodding About" Entwistle, Moon, Townshend 2:47
    11. "Premier Drums" (Full Version) Moon 0:43
    12. "Odorono" (Final Chorus) 0:24
    13. "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand" (US Mirasound Version) 3:22
    14. "Things Go Better with Coke" 0:30
    15. "In the Hall of the Mountain King" Grieg; arranged by The Who 4:23
    16. "Top Gear" 0:52
    17. "Rael (1 & 2)" (Remake Version)


    1. "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand" (Version 1; US mono single mix) 3:16
    2. "Someone's Coming" (UK single mono mix) 2:31
    3. "Relax" (Early demo, stereo) 3:21
    4. "Jaguar" (Original mono mix) 2:51
    5. "Glittering Girl" (Unreleased version, stereo) 3:17
    6. "Tattoo" (Early mono mix) 2:46
    7. "Our Love Was" (Take 12, unused mono mix) 3:16
    8. "Rotosound Strings" (With final note, stereo) 0:12
    9. "I Can See for Miles" (Early mono mix) 4:00
    10. "Rael" (Early mono mix) 5:43
    11. "Armenia City in the Sky" (Isolated backwards tracks (Hidden track))
    12. "Great Shakes" (Unreleased US radio commercial; (Hidden track))
    Shaddam IV likes this.
  17. HappyFingers

    HappyFingers Active Member

    I too bought that when I was 13, having gone to the shop on my bike (Raleigh Chopper).
    Nick Dunning and marmalade166 like this.
  18. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident Thread Starter

    We can still discuss the bonus tracks in here, if enough people are interested we can do a track-by-track of the 2009 bonus disc.
    kollektionist, Mr. D and marmalade166 like this.
  19. skydropco

    skydropco Forum Resident

    I grew up with beans on toast, my parents were ex-pats so I'm familiar with bubble 'n squeak, toad in the hole and all the rest.. I have to say my mum and I ran out of the house when my dad started boiling tripe, which wasn't so often thank god! Oh, Sell Out is great, my second favourite Who lp after My Generation.I'm much more partial to 60's Who.
  20. marmalade166

    marmalade166 Well-Known Member

    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Oh God you poor sod - I feed tripe to my dog and the stink is so awful I can't believe people used to actually eat it :wtf:
  21. skydropco

    skydropco Forum Resident

    Yeah, the smell was horrendous! He used to boil it in milk for some reason, and I know for a fact my dog wouldn't touch it - all the more for dad.
  22. James H.

    James H. Active Member

    I felt sorry for my mother when she had to wash my father and I underwear after eating pork ‘n beans and bacon.

    Everything goes well with bacon.

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