Under the covers... The Who Sell Out Who Framed Who?

Who Framed Who?

The designers of The Who Sell Out cover, David King and Roger Law, teamed up with photographer David Montgomery to arrange the shoot. In fact, the trio was something of a team when it came to sleeve designs, going on to create an arguably even more iconic cover: Jimi Hendrix's 1968 double LP Electric Ladyland.


The album sleeve's co-creator Roger Law speaks in 2014 at the TYPO Berlin conference

Here King intended a sleeve that was a real-world antidote to the Playboy image of idealised, airbrushed naked women, instead featuring women who looked more real. Naturally, a generation of young boys (and a fair few girls, no doubt), subsequently spent many hours scrutinising the authenticity of the resulting image.

For the photo inside the gatefold, Montgomery had a different concept: 'I had the idea of having a wall of flame behind him', he recalled in 2017. His assistants lit the flames behind the great man, and 'Boom! A wall of flame 20ft high. I don't know how we didn't cook him'.

Montgomery would also photograph many a famous name, from Sophia Loren to Paul McCartney to Duran Duran. He also took promo shots for The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, which involved Jagger and Richards posing as if the famous cover was part of their anatomy.

'Mick wouldn't look at the camera. I had to say, "Listen, I'm not here for my health. If you don't want me to take a picture, I'll go home". And then they behaved pretty good after that.'

Let them know who's boss – only way to deal with these musician types…