193. The Who - Live At Leeds (1970)
1. Heaven And Hell
2. I Can't Explain
3. Fortune Teller
5. Young Man (Blues)
7. Happy Jack
8. I'm A Boy
9. A Quick One
10. Summertime Blues
11. Shakin' All Over/Spoonful
12. My Generation
13. Magic Bus
Firstly let me say I am reviewing this album not in the way it came out in 1970, but in the way it can be found today in CDs. This is for the simple reason that this version is the complete concert in Leeds instead of just snippets. And it's better.
I've never been a big fan of The Who. They've never bothered me, but they have never wowed me. This album is probably their best output until now, however. They are much heavier here than in any of their albums and that is a great thing. They are also looser and enjoying it more.
Of course herein lies the problem as well, they are enjoying it so much they are sometimes annoying. They talk too much and I just can't stand Keith Moon in the back trying to be funny all the time and failing miserably... the other band members just seems to tolerate him "There goes Krazy Keith again". After a couple of listenthroughs you are going to want to skip the spoken bits and get right to the action. And when the action gets going it is actually pretty great. The 15 minute cut of My Generation is particularly impressive and all the other old favourites are done with so much enthusiasm that it ends up being a great album... if only they had recorded their studio stuff like this. Oh well. Buy it at Amazon UK or US.
1. My Generation
4. Summertime Blues
Perhaps because of these circumstances, or perhaps because The Who were hyped up due to their international success with Tommy, or perhaps simply because The Who were in their prime at the time of recording, Live At Leeds turned out to be a wildly popular recording. It also became a critical smash, with the New York Times acclaiming it as "the best live rock album ever made." Its reputation as such continues to this day with Q magazine recently putting it at the top of its list of the greatest live albums of all time. The album's reputation has become so lofty that the venue it was recorded at has been named a national landmark in the UK, commemorated with a blue plaque.
The album cover looks like the simple cover of a bootleg LP of the era: it is of plain brown cardboard with "The Who | Live At Leeds" printed on it in plain blue or red block letters as if stamped on with ink. The original LP's cover opened out, butterfly-style, and had a pocket on either side of the interior, with the record in a paper sleeve on one side and facsimiles of various memorabilia on the other, including a photo of the band from the My Generation photoshoot, handwritten lyrics to the "Listening to You" chorus from Tommy, a receipt for smoke bombs, and the early black "Maximum R&B" poster showing Pete Townshend windmilling his Rickenbacker in mid-leap. The label was handwritten (apparently in Townshend's hand), and included instructions to the engineers not to attempt to remove any crackling noise (the recording is in fact very clean, except of course for the deliberate electronic distortion of the amplified instruments).
Rick Wakeman talks loads of crap about the concert... a guy even says it's the birth of Rock... in 1970?! WHAT THE FUCK?: