Who Sells Out?: Petra Haden in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Marianne Tatom Letts


In 2005, Petra Haden released her version of The Who Sell Out, notable for the meticulousness and creativity with which she mimicked the instruments on the album with only an eight-track recorder and her voice. This paper examines the ways in which Haden’s interpretation of the classic album elevates it into the realm of “high art” while retaining its status as a commodity within the realm of popular music. Haden’s live reinterpretation (with her band the Sellouts) calls into question what constitutes the “authentic” version of the album, since the current lineup of the Who no longer performs the material.


concept album, authenticity, Petra Haden, the Who, commodity

Full Text:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.