THE WHO -- A Quick One / Sell Out (MCA)

On June 20th, MCA released the latest 2 CDs in the current reissue program - "A Quick One" and "Sell Out". Both have been completely remixed & remastered from the original source tapes. The CDs include new packaging, liner notes & previously unreleased bonus tracks as well.

The band's second album, "A Quick One", was originally released in 1966. It was later released in the US with the title "Happy Jack", after the single of the same name (due to Decca, the band's US label at the time, objecting to the double entendre of the UK title). The new version of the album is presented here in breathtaking quality. Andy Macpherson & Jon Astley did a fine job remixing & remastering the tracks on both CDs. The CD's new bonus tracks are made up of 4 tracks from the rare 1966 Ready Steady Who EP, as well as 3 b-sides & 3 additional previously unreleased tracks, including an acoustic version of "Happy Jack" with Pete on cello.

"Sell Out" is the real gem here though. Presented in the format of a continuous braodcast by one of the UK's pirate radio stations, "Sell Out" is available for the first time as originally intended by Pete Townshend. All 13 original tracks & "commercials" are included here, as well as 10 previously unreleased tracks & six more "commercials" -- recorded at the same time but not included on the original release. The sound quality on this one is even better than on "A Quick One". The final note on "Armenia City in the Sky" will shake your room. The CD contains a new electric version of "Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand", a new chorus for "Odorono", and a rousing unreleased version of "Hall of the Mountain King" that's not to be missed.

Both CDs have liner notes for each track, as well as numerous new photos. Chris Stamp contributes a fine essay to "A Quick One", and the sleeve for Ready Steady Who is also included in the fold-out booklet for the CD. Who biographer Dave Marsh has contibuted new liner notes for "Sell Out". "Sell Out" also contains a replication of the poster created by Adrian George & included in the first 1000 copies of the UK vinyl version of the album.

MCA has plans to reissue several more Who titles in 1995-96, including Who's Next (scheduled to include cuts from "Lifehouse"), Quadrophenia, The Who By Numbers, Who Are You, & Odds and Sods (on 2 CDs), plus a new greatest hits package & a live compilation album as well.

© 1995 Steve Marshall