Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Though Bjork’s Medulla was an admirable undertaking, it was pretty tough sledding to get through. But somebody singing an a capella rendering of The Who Sell Out, right down to the Radio London jingles — how can you miss? That odd album found the Who sporting Beach Boy harmonies nearly every song and was when Townshend began exploring fanciful jazz chordings for the first time. Quite simply, it’s one of the unsung melodic and conceptual masterpieces of the rock era, and the indescribable glee you experience hearing Haden vocally capture all of Townshend’s feedback assaults on “Armenia City in the Sky” repeats itself over and over as the album progresses. You defy her to capture Moon’s pummeling on “I Can See For Miles,” the beauty of “Our Love Was Is” and “Sunrise,” the suspense of “Rael,” and she magically pulls it off. The project, instigated by Mike Watt as a tribute to d. boon (it was one of their favorite albums), takes away nothing from your memory of its pop prowess by eliminating Moon the Loon and even adds a shade or two by making you actually pay attention to its less weightier tracks like “Heinz Baked Beans” and “Spotted Henry.” In a pop-art word — WOW!

Serene Dominic writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, 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

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times 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 Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation