Lawr’s impassioned defense of the Who Sell Out, an album that has fantastic highlights, but also shows the unsightly spread of Pete Townsend’s ambition to warp the pop machine to large scale narrative. In any case, there are many great moments in Sell Out, and one of the most delightful and out of left field is the album’s inspiration of the singer Petra Haden to cover its entirety in multitracked vocals, she singing all the parts.
Perhaps if Keith Moon was more of a tick-tock machine this would come across as deracinated, but I imagine a young woman creating these complex arrangements, using her voice to mimic the whole of the sounds, in the dark night of her idea, realizing just how crazy the whole thing was. And then she pushes the record button and sings again. There are more tracks to be laid down.