How many of you remember this?
It has been called the most perfectly conceived concept album in a era overflowing with concepts. It contained the first ‘Who’ song I recall hearing on the radio, “I Can See For Miles”. (still one of my favorites). Surfing around the amazon web site at dark-thirty this morning I stumbled across something that caused me to wake up and take notice. I enjoy music and weirdness. Especially when the two are combined in a loving manner like the various ‘Dread Zeppelin’ reggae homages to Led Zep. There may be other artists who have paid tribute to ‘The Who’ but this is the first that got my attention-
At first I thought it was just a joke using a take-off of the cover art but I soon discovered that it really is “The Who Sell Out” however with a weird “twist”. The entire album is faithfully re-created by Petra Haden. Alone. All by herself. No one else. A cappella. Using just her voice to perform all vocal and instrumental parts. (multi tracked obviously) Petra even does the commercial “jingles” that played between songs on “Sell Out”. (The Who’s original “concept” was that the whole affair was made to sound like a broadcast from one of England’s infamous offshore ‘pirate’ radio stations)
Reading a little about Petra Haden I saw her name associated with Bill Frisell on another album. I hesitated, Frisell…Haden…Frisell…Haden…hmmmm…it’s can’t be, can it? But yes it sure as hell was! Petra Haden is the daughter of Charlie Haden (one of triplets) and for those of you who don’t recognize that name (you should!), Charlie was the superb bassist in Ornette Coleman’s original groundbreaking ‘free-jazz’ quartet and a long time artist in the field of music.
I found and listened to a few snippets of songs from Haden’s album on the web and was very impressed.