Song of the day: The Atomic Numbers – "Odorono"

September 18, 2012

A fabulously patient chap by the name of Keith (Hi, Keith!) told me about an album called The New Sell Out, a tribute album to The Who Sell Out. It’s performed by a slew of power poppers. The Who Sell Out is performed by The Who.

I call Keith patient because of something I did, something I consider utterly inexcusable. Keith emailed me ages ago, and I forgot about it. Oops. Many apologies, fabulously patient Keith.

And speaking of patient: Keith put together The New Sell Out 12 years ago but has only just now made it available. Now that’s patience.

There’s a lot of music on this album (72½ minutes of it), so you definitely get value for money – unless you don’t like the idea of musicians covering Who songs that you see as sacred and untouchable, or you simply don’t like The Who’s music.

I’ve listened to The New Sell Out a few times now, and can quite comfortably say that I like it. I’m fully aware that that’s pretty useless information, because your tastes in music may not be mine.

I’ll supply the whole thing at the end of this post if you want to hear it all, but for a little taste I’ll direct you to my favourite tracks from it.

My first choice is “Odorono“. As performed by The Atomic Numbers, it’s by far my favourite track on the album:

The Atomic NumbersOdorono (2012)

If you’re interested, here’s the original for comparison:

The Who – “Odorono” (1967)


Coming a distant (but still very enjoyable) second is The Phenomenal Cats version of “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand“:

The Phenomenal CatsMary Anne With The Shaky Hands (2012)

The Who – “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand” (1967)


And third, here’s Cloud Eleven with their version of “Relax”:

Cloud Eleven – “Relax (2012)

The Who – “Relax” (1967)


I can’t let this post go by without commenting on a linguistic annoyance on the album. “Armenia City In The Sky” is the song that opens both The New Sell Out and The Who Sell Out, and the pronunciation of “Armenia” irritates me enormously, reducing my enjoyment of the song. As far as I’ve always been taught (and heard), Armenia is pronounced “Ah meanier“. Unfortunately for me, The Who’s original and Paranoid Lovesick‘s cover version both pronounce it “Arm in ear”. Grrrrrrrrrr. (My annoyance is too strong for a simple “Grrr”.)

Paranoid Lovesick – “Armenia City In The Sky (2012)

The Who – “Armenia City In The Sky” (1967)


And while I’m rabbiting on about “Armenia In The Sky”: I’ve never noticed it before, but on my fourth listen of the song it now reminds me of The Beatles‘ “Only A Northern Song“:

The Beatles – “Only A Northern Song (1967)


It might be the vocal phrasing that’s getting me thinking of “Only A Northern Song”. Or not. Whatever it is, now when I hear “Armenia In The Sky” I’m simultaneously hearing “Only A Northern Song” in my head. That’s very annoying.

But there are many non-annoyances about this album. All the songs are played well, and it’s evident that everyone involved in the project hold the originals in high regard. (In that previous sentence I was going to use words like “reverent”, “respectful”, “honourable” and even the phrase “with love”, but then I started wincing at the thought of all that sentimentality.)

Oh, and another thing about the album: The chord progressions and melodic contour (i.e., the shape of the tune) in “Melancholia”, as performed by The Grip Weeds, reminds me of David Bowie‘s “All The Madmen“:

The Grip Weeds – “Melancholia (2012)

David Bowie – “All The Madmen (1970)


The Who – “Melancholia” (1967)


If I keep this up (i.e., mentioning pointless things), the post you’re reading right now will end up being a post you’ll still be reading tomorrow. That’s entirely unacceptable.

I’ll stop typing now, present you with the whole thing, and leave you to it.