Roger Daltrey 3/4/21

With the Who‘s third album, 1967’s The Who Sell Out, coming later this month in a massive “super deluxe” edition, Roger Daltrey took time to chat with Uncut and recall the events surrounding the iconic collection. Daltrey remembered, “As a band we were still finding our own niche, because it became very obvious, right from the early days, that Pete (Townshend) was very different to any other writer out there. My problem was finding the voice for those songs. I was trying to put my own stamp on them and realized that the only way I was going to do this was to command it, dominate it — to tell the song what to do, not do as it’s telling me. And it worked. ‘I Can See For Miles’ is an example of me finding my voice.”

Daltrey gave the back story on the famed album cover which saw him sitting in a huge bowl of Heinz Baked Beans: “When it came to the album shoot, I didn’t give a f*** what they wanted me to do. I just thought that getting into a bath of Heinz Baked Beans would make a great cover. The only problem was they were f***ing freezing, so someone had to stick an electric fire round the back. But they put it so close to the tin bath that the bloody things started to cook! That story about me catching pneumonia is actually true. But it’s such an iconic shot, I love it.”

Although Roger Daltrey gladly takes part in all of the ongoing Who retrospectives — he admitted to us that he never watches old footage of the band or listens to their ongoing vault releases: [“Y’know, I find all those things really, really interesting. It’s historical and I like to be out there, y’know, doing what I was gifted to do — that’s sing. So, me spending months in the studio putting something like that together would be a complete waste of time.”] SOUNDCUE (:13 OC: . . . waste of time)

TL; DR

  • Roger Daltrey told Uncut that he finally found his voice on the songs from 1967’s The Who Sell Out album: “I was trying to put my own stamp on them and realized that the only way I was going to do this was to command it, dominate it — to tell the song what to do, not do as it’s telling me. And it worked. ‘I Can See For Miles’ is an example of me finding my voice.”

SIDE NOTES

  • Coming on March 26th is the “Super-Deluxe Edition” of The Who Sell Out in a massive box set, with a total of 112 tracks over five discs. The collection includes never-before-heard outtakes and Pete Townshend demos — along with a heaping dose of replica memorabilia from the era.
  • The Who Sell Out, which was originally released on December 15th, 1967, was the pinnacle of the group’s pop art period and featured tracks interspersed with original radio spots, commercials and public service announcements in an effort to ape England’s then pirate radio stations.
  • The album included the band’s sole Top 10 hit — “I Can See For Miles” — along as the instant concert staple, “Tattoo,” along with such fan favorites as “I Can’t Reach You,” “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand,” “Sunrise,” “Relax,” and “Our Love Was.”