I have a few live albums, most act as a good record of a band’s performance at the time, but rarely will a live album excite. This album is different, there is something very special about it.
Yes, it’s a great live document, but I think this album outshines anything The Who ever did in the studio. This is The Who, raw and naked. All four personalities are at the forefront on this album and you get to chose who you want to listen to without the rest of the band drowning out your attention.
Sometimes I may just chose to listen to Keith Moon’s drums on ‘Sparks’, Pete Townshend’s guitar on ‘Young Man Blues’, John Entwistle’s bass on ‘My Generation’, Roger Daltery’s vocals on ‘We’re Not Going To Take It/See Me Hear Me’! And here’s a notion, I may even chose to listen to all four on ‘Heaven And Hell’!!! You can take what you want from this album for the pure fact that it has something for everyone.
I originally acquired this album back in 1984. I didn’t buy it, I was given it by a friend who didn’t have a record player. The record itself had been re-release on a budget label, I know that as it still had the ‘Nice Price’ £2.99 sticker on it! My cheap, very flexible vinyl record was a re-release of the original album released in 1970 with the following track list;
- Young Man Blues
- Summertime Blues
- Shakin’ All Over
- My Generation
- Magic Bus
I always felt that the album didn’t have a natural running order, it felt like the tracks didn’t flowed into each other to transform the album into a single piece of work, it was all very ‘bits and pieces’.
In 1995 the album was remastered and re-released. This time the track list was expanded to include Heaven and Hell, I Can’t Explain, Fortune Teller, Tattoo, Happy Jack, I’m A Boy, A Quick One While He’s Away and Amazing Journey/Sparks.
Finally, In 2001, the Deluxe version was released. This included the 1995 remastered album plus a second disc which featured a live performance of ‘Tommy’, minus ‘Cousin Kevin", "Underture", "Sensation", and "Welcome" which were omitted from the live performance.
In the 2001 Deluxe edition I now feel that I am experiencing a Who concert at a time when they were most powerful. The album flows, you can feel the atmosphere (helped by the inclusion of chat and banter), you can imagine being there.
At the start of this piece I said that there are not many live albums which really excite, The Who Live At Leeds excites!
The Who Live at Leeds 2--BBC Look North