A couple of years back, Petra Haden covered the cult-classic concept album “The Who Sell Out” note-for-note in its entirety, using only her multi-tracked voice, à la Bobby McFerrin. She sang all the vocal parts, vocalized all the instrumental parts, and even imitated all the fake commercials from the Who’s album. It’s worth a listen, especially for fans of the original.
This was Pete Townshend’s reaction to Haden’s version of “Sell Out”:
I was a little embarrassed to realize I was enjoying my own music so much, for in a way it was like hearing it for the first time.
Her latest acapella creation is a cover of Journey’s shlocky ’80s hit Don’t Stop Believin’ (most recently revived on the Sopranos’ final episode). Haden’s version appears on a new album called “Guilt By Association”, on which cool indie artists cover uncool non-indie tunes. Here’s a video of the song:
You can hear Petra Haden do the Beach Boys and Bach on her myspace page, and listen to her version of Thriller here. Also, a live (acapella choir) version of one of the songs from “Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out” is here.