Tag Archives: The Who

#297 – Shel Talmy – The Creation, The Kinks & the Who

Shel Talmy with the Who
Producer Shel Talmy (center), flanked by the Who’s Keith Moon (left) and Pete Townshend (right).

He helped define the sound of early Sixties’ British rock

The name Shel Talmy may not be immediately recognizable, unless you’re a liner note junkie.  But, you’ve certainly heard his work.  Talmy is responsible for producing all of the early singles for the Kinks including “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All the Night,” and “Sunny Afternoon.”

He also went on to do the same for the Who, with “I Can’t Explain,” “My Generation” and “Anyway Anyhow Anywhere.”  “Friday on My Mind” by the Easybeats is another credit.

But, probably the band he’s most proud of is one that didn’t make it.  The Creation had everything, catchy songs, a flashy guitarist in Eddie Phillips, an incendiary live show, yet they never even made a dent in the US charts.

The Numero Group is issuing Action Painting, a 2-disc set bringing together everything this seminal band put to tape, including some brand new stereo mixes overseen by Talmy, plus alternate takes, and an exhaustive booklet with multiple essays, session notes, and a treasure trove of pictures – it’s an impressive collection for any fan of mid-Sixties British rock.

We talk to Talmy about the high hopes he had for them, and why they never lived up to his lofty expectations.  We also touch on his work with the Kinks, the Who and the Easybeats.

#198 – Tommy Keene – Excitement at Your Feet

Tommy Keene has been a regular guest on our show, but his new album is something different – Excitement at Your Feet is eleven songs that Tommy didn’t write, giving him a chance to show off some of his influences.  And he digs pretty deep – most people won’t recognize the covers he does of the Who and Stones.  We talk to Keene about the inspiration behind the record, choosing the songs (including a rare one from the Bee Gees), and how soon we could expect a new studio album.

#136 – Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens – 2011

The Smithereens have become legends for their brand of no-nonsense rock n’ roll, scoring hits with “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” “A Girl Like You,” “Only a Memory,” and “Too Much Passion.”  Their first album of original material in twelve years – 2011 –  is being hailed as one of the best records of their entire career (it made Icon Fetch’s “Sweet Sixteen” – the Best of 2011 list.  Icon Fetch talks with lead singer Pat Dinizio about their upcoming tour of the east coast, as well as the revealing story of why it took so long between releases.  He also touches on his current, year-long stand in Las Vegas with his “Confessions of a Rock Star.”


Classic Album – The Who – Sell Out (CD review)

The Who – Sell Out (1967) CD review –

The Who’s career began with singles – loud and ferocious, like “My Generation,” then morphed into brainier territory with 1969’s rock opera “Tommy.”  In between those two distinct styles comes Sell Out; still, the most fun the band ever had on record.  Their third album, Sell Out, is an ingenious re-creation of a mid-1960’s radio show, complete with jingles and fake commercials performed by the band in between songs.

The LP opens with “Armenia City in the Sky,” the closest the Who ever got to psychedelia, followed by their spoof-commercial for “Heinz Baked Beans,” with a marching band and various members asking “what’s for tea,” which is a real hoot.  You get the school-boy humor of “Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand,” and the coming-of-age “Tattoo.”  Both “Odorono” (another fake commercial), and “Our Love Was, Is,” show that leader Pete Townshend had grown melodically and lyrically in a short amount of time.  Then, there’s perhaps the finest 4 minutes the group ever laid down in “I Can See For Miles.”  There’s a dark tension in the way the song builds; Townshend’s cutting power chords and Daltrey’s aloof vocals set up a call and response with Keith Moon’s frenetic drumming.

The amazing thing is that everything mentioned here occurs on side one.  Oddly, there are no jingles and just a smattering of fake commercials on side two; perhaps the band was rushed and couldn’t properly finish the album (they were churning them out at break-neck speed back in those days).  It’s not to say that the second side is not worth hearing; quite the opposite.  The acoustic “Sunrise,” breathtaking in its simplicity, sounds like nothing the band did previous.  And, there’s the mini opera, “Rael,” considered a “warm up” for Tommy, which would come 18 months later.  Soon, the band would be receiving high-brow praise, and performing at distinguished venues like Carnegie Hall.

Sell Out shows, for a fleeting moment, the Who not taking themselves so seriously. There are several versions of this disc available: The 1995 remaster contains nine bonus tracks, including several unreleased songs like “Glittering Girl,” and “Girl’s Eyes,” where Townshend was working on the Tommy motif.  There is also a 2009 “Deluxe Edition” containing an extra disc with the entire album in a punchier, mono form, plus even more bonus tracks.  –Tony Peters