I never lived in the decade in which The Who made their music, and I have no first-hand experience of the cultural climate. However, I still enjoyed The Who Sells Out.
I love the experimental quality of The Who's music. Each song stands alone, and adds to their theme, the triviality of most popular music, and blatant commercialization. I don't normally pay attention the lyrics on albums that I get, but these are such clever ones:
She ripped her glittering gown
Couldn't face another show, no
Her deodorant had let her down
She should have used Odorono
Odorono could have saved your day
Could have helped her to get the part
Odorono and he would have stay
To help her to save her heart.
The entire album is a light-hearted ode to triviality. The Who couldn't have done it if they hadn't somewhat surrendered to that mindset. The album is very effective because it does not have an obvious satiric edge. It is never bitter or biting, and it's the better for that.
Just for bonus, the record includes what is (arguably) The Who's greatest anthem-type number, 'I Can See For Miles and Miles'
After listening to this album a few times, you get the feeling that they can.
The Verdict: An enjoyable album that has aged well, with great songs and a great concept well executed. 5/5
Also check out: Petra Haden's brilliant all a capella cover.
Cross-posted to Leoniceno's Corner