Of all the concept albums done by The Who, The Who Sell Out is far and away the best. This is for two reasons: 1) the concept is razor-thin, elucidated only by a handful of bizarro segues, and 2) the music is anything but "sell-out" material, as it combines strong-boned rock and glistening mod-pop sensibilities with a healthy dose of offbeat humor. It's a weirdly perfect album that completely defied all expectations about the band. Thus, any note-for-note replication of the album had better be equally expectation-defying. Needless to say, this a cappella rendition by ex-That Dog member Petra Haden does just that, as the only instrument here is Haden's multi-tracked voice. Conceptually, it's a fresh idea, but in execution, it ultimately turns into a novelty that wears off quickly. Although Haden's voice is truly an amazing force and her incredible work in rearranging the parts is apparent, in the end the strength of the original pieces is too much for the album. If this were another album of originals and relatively unknown covers like her 1996 disc Imaginaryland, it would be a totally different story, but an album as timeless and unique as The Who Sell Out resists her efforts.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.