The Who's classic "The Who Sell Out" is about to get a tribute makeover with "The New Sell Out," a compilation due out from Detroit indie label Futureman Records that features some of underground pop's top names.
"The philosophy of the label is pretty much based around this project," Futureman head Keith Klingensmith told MTV News. "My partner, Rick McBrien, and I had this idea for a while now, and we knew we would never get another compilation idea this good, so we decided to do it ourselves."
The original "Sell Out" remains one of rock's earliest high-concept pop-art pieces. Released in 1967, the original album featured now-timeless tracks like "I Can See For Miles" and "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand" linked by tongue-in-cheek ad jingles and radio-station promos, all recorded by the band.
"'The Who Sell Out' is an opportunity for a great twist on the overdone tribute record," Klingensmith said. "The original album, we are doing every word,
every chunk, in order. The Radio London stuff, and the ads between the songs, are all going to be covered.
"It's an unusual album, and it's an unusual format," he continued. "Picking apart the album, assigning pieces to bands, and then reassembling the pieces has been really fun."
Along with featuring noted alt-pop bands such as Zumpano, Young Fresh Fellows, The Flashing Lights, Myracle Brah, and Splitsville, the album will include a few special guests in disguise. Nashville band Swag features Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson on bass, while Jim Babjak's Buzzed Meg is essentially The Smithereens with Kurt Reil from The Grip Weeds on vocals.
"Mitch Easter did a cover of the original Rotosound Strings ad that comes right before 'I Can See For Miles' on the LP," Klingensmith said. "John P. Strohm [ex-Blake Babies] did the Charles Atlas ad that comes right after 'I Can See For Miles.'
"I would say seven out of 10 of the people I contacted said yes to the
project." Klingensmith continued. "So many musicians love the original album."
In addition to re-creating the album's original track listing, the tribute will include covers of some bonus tracks that were featured on a remastered reissue. "I just picked the best of those to be covered," Klingensmith said.
Due to the wealth of material and the response from artists to the project, the tribute will be divided into two parts.
"Part one will be the [original] record as is," Klingensmith explained. "Part two, which is made up of the bonus tracks, has no real existing concept, so I can go crazy.
"The second part will be a 'New Sell Out,' basically," he continued. "I've got over 20 great new commercials recorded by a bunch of great bands. The Rubinoos did a brand new Radio London jingle; Nina Gordon is doing a brand new jingle.
"It's not really a straight tribute album," he concluded. "It's more of an update."
"The New Sell Out" will
hit stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the label hints that song clips will soon be posted on its Web site, www.futuremanrecords.com. While the track listing has not been finalized, the following songs and artists are currently expected to appear on the compilation:
- Paranoid Lovesick - "Armenia City In The Sky"
- The Andersons - "Heinz Baked Beans"
- The Phenomenal Cats - "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand"
- The Atomic Numbers - "Odorono"
- The Jigsaw Seen - "Tattoo"
- Splitsville - "Our Love Was"
- The Shazam - "I Can See For Miles"
- Chris Von Sneidern - "I Can't Reach You"
- Young Fresh Fellows - "Medac"
- Cloud Eleven - "Relax"
- Zumpano - "Silas Stingy"
- Willie Wisely - "Sunrise"
- Myracle Brah - "Rael"
- The Flashing Lights - "Glittering Girl"
- The Grip Weeds - "Melancholia"
- The Pearlfishers - "Someone's Coming"
- Jim Babjak's
Buzzed Meg - "Jaguar"
- Swag - "Early Morning Cold Taxi"
- The Breetles - "Girl's Eyes"
- The Vandalias - "Glow Girl"
The original ads:
- Mike Giblin - Monday... (intro)
- John P. Strohm - Charles Atlas
- Cockeyed Ghost - More Music
- Ed James - Pussycat/Speak Easy
- Mitch Easter - Rotosound Strings
- Fundaro & Moll - Top Gear
- R. Stevie Moore - Track Records (outro)
The new ads:
- Hutch - 1-800-Messiah
- Frank Bango - Sincerity, Inc.
- Mike Giblin - Bombardier Chocolates
- Jim Babjak's Buzzed - Budweiser
- The Chevelles - Instant Girl
- Fundaro & Moll - Coke (short)
- Cosmo Topper - Pure Fast Vibration
- Devin Hill - Dr. Google's Ginseng Root
- The Absolute Zeros - Shakes
- Jeremy - Happy Helmut
- Fundaro & Moll - Coke (long)
- John McMullen - Yellow Pilsner
- P. Hux - Mullet Man
- The Absolute Zeros - Multiblade
- The Breetles - Pro-Stripe
- Shane Faubert - Socklight
- Ed James - Spaz Cola
Radio London jingles:
- Paul Collins/Beat
- The Chevelles
- Double Naught Spies
- Heavy Blinkers
- The Rubinoos
- Bobby Sutcliff