Album no. 90/1001
The Who are back! And with a pseudo-concept album!
If you’ve seen The Boat That Rocked, you’ll remember the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act (preventing pirate radio stations) came into effect in 1967 – so this album became somewhat of a tribute to that, crafted to sound like a pirate radio broadcast.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: No I haven’t. The last album by The Who didn’t really do much for me, so I think I have quite low expectations.
NK: My dad has it on cd, so probably. I only really recognise ‘I Can See for Miles’.
CL: WOAAH THIS IS NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING BUT IT’S GOOD. All the songs are stitched together with these wonderful old-school radio ads! ‘Armenia City In The Sky’ was great! Got things off to a good start. ‘Our Love Was’ has an excellent opening, but then sort of drags on a bit. This is the album with ‘I Can See For Miles’ – which is easily one of their best songs, so that’s a standout too.
NK: I loved ‘Armenia City in the Sky’. I have no recollection of ever listening to this song before, because I think I would have remembered it. The swaggering drumbeat is really cool, and I love all the spacey guitars. ‘Odorono’ is good too, and I like ‘I Can See For Miles’ and ‘I Can’t Reach You’. The first two thirds of this is really strong, but they lost me a bit with ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Rael 1’, which sounds like a Beach Boys B-side..
CL: I found ‘Tattoo’ hilariously funny.
“Welcome to my life, tattoo!”
NK: I thought ‘Odorono’ was really funny as well! Such a detailed build-up that swings around to end in a deodorant ad.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
CL: I listened to this while walking to work and I almost snorted when I listened to ‘Tattoo’.
NK: When you want some sly gags mixed in with your rock and roll, this is the album for you. Give ‘Armenia City in the Sky’ a trundle if you’re in doubt.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: This is certainly moving in the direction of ‘album as a concept’ isn’t it.
NK: Yeah, the ads and the pirate radio jingles are an interesting touch. It’s not quite there, some of the songs still don’t quite seem to fit in, but they’re on the way.
Will you be listening again?
CL: I really enjoyed listening to this, although the first half is miles better than the second.
NK: I already have. It might not make it into the regular rotation, but I’ll give it another go.
Listen to The Who Sell Out on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.