This is obviously a classic English joke with the title, album cover and the overall theme here. Although The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band released also in 1967 was intended to be an artistic and intellectual climax of the music of the day, no doubt that some cynical people saw it as a huge marketing exercise for the Hippies of the time. This is one of the albums of the time that criticizes The Beatles approach but not specifically, and ironically is also seen as a classic of its time. The Who were no doubt influenced by the music and trends of the day, but still made this album no doubt as a bit of a joke. Let’s take a listen to it, and see how it sounds.
We begin with Armenia City in the Sky which begins with a radio styled piece that sounds interesting and different. Before long, reversed guitars and wind instruments enter and this piece gets going. It launches into a great piece of music that sounds interesting and different. It is very awesome here, and just sounds captivating listening. It’s likely about drug use, and just sounds completely unique and different to everything else out there. A different and clever piece with loads of reversed guitars and instrumentation, this is very trippy. Great listening all the same, it just sounds different, and ends in a surprising way.
Next along is the short piece Heinz Baked Beans which is a one-minute Jazz parody. It then launches into an interesting “commercial” which is different. It’s very unusual and quite funny to listen to about the question here, “What’s for tea?” A very clever piece of intermission based music.
Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand comes next. It begins quickly, with acoustic guitars, beautiful harmony singing and odd percussion. A really different and awesome listen, Roger Daltrey puts in an original and amazing vocal performance here. He does have a really fine voice, and this piece of music is very good, and catchy too. An awesome and interesting listen, The Who do wonderfully here. Towards the end, some treated vocals and powerful drumming finish this off. Different.
Odorono comes next, which has a Jazzy, big band piece to begin with, shortly going into another odd “commercial” that is clever, different and laugh out loud funny. It’s an interesting piece of music that is a must listen from this album, and is about some bizarre happenings with a lady singer. It has a hilarious climax at the end, which will no doubt make most people laugh very hard. No spoilers here, just a really crafty piece of music.
Next here is Tattoo which begins as an old school Vocal Jazz parody. It quickly launches into a great piece of music that is interesting and captivating here, with strummed acoustic guitars and Roger Daltrey’s clear, high ranged vocal delivery. It talks about the experience of getting a tattoo for one’s personal benefit, and it has some interesting lyrical and musical twists here. Some fine harmonies are here throughout this interesting story, a nice listen from The Who about the tattoo addiction that some have, and very witty here too.
Following is Our Love Was which begins with a parody of Church singing, before launching into a melodic piece of crafty music. This has some beautiful singing by Roger Daltrey, and Pete Townshend’s guitar playing is catchy and memorable here. This is an interesting song about love the fades, but is a decent and catchy song that doesn’t sound at all depressing. A great piece of music, with horn accompaniment, it then launches into a loud and roaring guitar solo that is brief. A good song about love based regrets, this is definitely different. It finishes quietly.
I Can See For Miles comes next, with a strange radio styled set of recorded jokes, before launching into the main song. It is a great piece of music that has some awesome harmonies and playing that is superb. Obviously a piece of music that is a classic from its time, this is one of the more underrated and wonderful songs by The Who, and no doubt was a popular piece from them. Majestic, melodic and powerful sounding, it is a piece that is one of the most memorable songs from 1967. Keith Moon’s drumming here is really fantastic, too, showcasing how much of a legendary drummer he was at his peak. A great and different piece of music, it has some interesting guitar parts leading up through the second half. Brilliant and awesome, and a really top tune, the conclusion is really amazing here, fading out very nicely.
I Can’t Reach You begins with some slow guitar parts and another radio jingle style parody, before launching into a glorious piece of music that sounds fresh and original. This is another really fine piece of music from The Who that is seemingly about attempting to find a lover who is too hard to get. A different and clever piece of music, this is another decent song that is fresh and energetic. Great stuff, no matter the radio jingles and songs on this album, The Who strikingly succeed. Good tune.
Next here is Medac which is another short “commercial” going for less than a minute. A very different and interesting listen, this is about the cream used to treat pimples. Interesting listening.
Following is Relax which begins with organ sounds and some accompanied guitars, which is a decent song. It has a classic 1960s feel about it, and although not the best song here, it does sound interesting and powerful. A good song about taking one’s time through life, it has some loud guitar soloing that is really awesome. Loud and lively, this is a refreshing listen. It ends nicely.
Silas Stingy begins with a brief commercial for Rotosound strings, before launching into an interesting piece about a guy that refuses to spend money. It is a rather humourous and different piece of music that is obviously a parody. It has some nice musical touches here, with organ, rolling drumbeats and an interesting feel to it. A strange piece of music, but very good to hear all the same.
Sunrise comes next with some nice acoustic guitar parts that sound excellent. Roger Daltrey then sings in a very beautiful way and it sounds terrific. A strange song, but a very good one to hear, this is different and refreshing here. A great and different piece of music, this is enjoyable and simple from this album. Good to hear something a bit different here, it is a simple and effective listen here.
Last song here is Rael (1 and 2) which begins with some odd harmonies and grand arrangement here. It enters into a tale that sounds very British. It is a great piece of music that is no doubt one of the highlights of this album. A great and excellent sounding piece, Roger Daltrey no doubt is one of the most underrated and underappreciated Rock singers here. A really excellent piece of beautiful and wonderful music, this does indeed look forward to the Rock Opera Tommy album that is also a great listen. Great music here, with some awesome harmonies and powerful drumming by Keith Moon. There is a second half here that was re-used on Tommy, but still it sounds very decent here and different. Clever, awesome and decent sounding, this is a glimpse into the future here. A wonderful and inspiring listen, and a great way to finish off this underrated album.
This album is one of the more underrated albums from 1967. It has wit, humour and elegance to take you by surprise. Unfortunately, its successes commercially were fairly limited at the time, but this motivated the group to better their efforts with Tommy. Nonetheless, an interesting and intelligent listen. Fans of The Who will be pleased to know that there are Deluxe and Super Deluxe remastered versions of this album out there with plenty of goodies, so you may wish to seek those out if you can.
Silly but awesome.
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