The Who
Live at Leeds



by masada USER (32 Reviews)
June 24th, 2005 | 10 replies

Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Live at Leeds was recorded on February 14th, 1970. Some people held it in high esteem as one of the greatest live albums of all time. The presents The Who in their prime, ripping at their instruments fiercely. The album predates the era of the double-LP, clocking in at between 35 and 40 minutes, and was packaged to look like a bootleg. It is short but sweet, and this album sounds best when extremely loud, I have found. Headphones or one a stereo, it doesn't matter.

The album opens with the angry, almost snotty sounding "Young Man Blues". One thing that I noticed when listening to this record was
that Pete Townshend's tone is absolutely snarling and vicious, unlike his sound in the mid 60s; jangly and poppy. The lines constantly remind
you of things like "The young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days," as if you had forgotten from a minute ago. It is a rather strong opening to the album, and sets the mood for the rest. The next song "Substitute" is a bouncy number from their 60s collection, and is probably on of my favorite songs of all time. This version, though, rocks harder than ever before. With lines like "I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth, the north side of my town is facing east and facing south," and "I look all white but my dad was black" are just genius, and I sometimes think that Pete Townshend is one of the most underrated songwriters of the last 40 years. Definately a highlight of the album, in my honest opinion.

Next is probably the most famouse version of the Eddie Cochran song, "Summertime Blues". Although the vocals are barely audible, it doesn't really matter, because the rest of the band shines bright. Pete's guitar churns out chord after chord of pure meat. Keith's drumming s everywhere, yet fits with everything perfectly. John's bass playing is in it's prime here, where he does something I can't describe as anything other than "the water gurgle". "Shakin' All Over" is farily reminiscent of "Young Man Blues," but it is still as great as the other songs, although it would have been nice to see an original in it's place.

And thus, concludes Side 1.

The second half of the album contains only two songs, which obviously, means that they are going to be longer than the average time length of most pop songs. This is probably the best and most rewarding part of the album. "My Generation" is the longest here, at 14:27. Actually, I consider "My Generation" to be the first punk song, ever. The version here is basically a long medly. It starts off, roaring, with "My Generation" and goes into a brief quotation from "See Me, Feel Me" that seems a bit rushed. I can't really recall off of the top of my head everything that happens within the 14 minutes of the song, but it definately showcases Pete Townshend as both a rhythm and lead guitar player, and the whole band is perfect on it. "Magic Bus," clocking in at 7 and a half minutes, is equally as good as the previous opus of "My Genetation," though almost half of the running time. The song almost immediately locks into a perfect Bo Diddley-esque groove and continues for some time. As all of the other songs on this album, these two songs show the live power of The Who at their best.

In conclusion, this is a fantastic live album. Anyone who enjoys music, especially rock music, should own this album. If you can find (or afford) it, you should probably buy the Deluze Addition of this album, or even just the 1995 reissue, as they are both even better than this, and the sound quality is vastly inmproved.

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user ratings (335)
other reviews of this album
Nagrarok (5)
The live record by which all others must be judged....

lunch998 (5)

AfroMan (4.5)

JohnXDoesn't (5)
Six songs, three are covers, and The Who make rock 'n roll legend out of almost nothing at all....

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 24th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

Hey, an RS album! Nice.

June 24th 2005


Yeah. AfroMan had it reviewed awhile ago...

June 24th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

Ah, so he did. I don't remember us having this ticked off though....:confused:

June 25th 2005


good review
could be better but hey

June 25th 2005


i take it back- it is a good review

June 25th 2005


You could have just edited your post, metalmaniac.

June 27th 2005


This album influenced me the most possibly of any album ever, with the exception of Rubber Soul. When I listened to this album for the first time, when I was 15, it made me obsessed with this band and was the catalyst of me starting to be a musician. What the reviewer failed to mention is how John Entwistle really established himself on this record.

Entwistle's style, aggressive and brash, moved bass into more than a supporting instrument (bassists such as Timmy C an Matt Freeman note this album as having a influence on them as well)

With the beautiful 10 minute opus "A Quick One" to all the Tommy songs, the reviewers was correct, this was The Who at its prime.

This album is a 4.5/5, good review

February 6th 2006


I haven't commented on this yet? :eek:

Amazing album. One of the best live albums ever.

June 26th 2006


Probably the best live album ever.

September 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

^ agreed

good review

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