May 1970, Pt. 4 – The Who and the Definitive Live Rock Album

5/23/70: The Who – Live at Leeds

Inching toward summer 1970, The Who released what is still widely considered the greatest live rock album of all time (with all due respect to fans of live albums by Humble Pie, the Stones, Frampton, Cheap Chick, Deep Purple, and others), and one of the best rock albums, period. The band recorded several shows on tour supporting 1969’s Tommy, but 2,100 capacity Leeds University Refectory and Hull City Hall were booked in February specifically to record a live album.

The Who - Live At Leeds [LP] - Amazon.com Music

Live at Leeds was originally planned as a double album to include the Tommy set, but of the 33 songs performed in the show, Pete Townshend decided on a single, six-song release, with snippets of See Me, Feel Me and Sparks from the 1969 rock opera heard in the stretched out version of My Generation at the beginning of side two. Clocking in at just over 37 minutes as originally released, Live at Leeds captures the frenetic energy and violence of The Who’s live performances arguably at the band’s live peak.

The Vinyl Issue: The Who's Live At Leeds | Louder

Over the course of four reissues in the following 40 years, Leeds went on to include the Tommy set, the complete Hull show from the following night, and finally the entire Leeds show in correct running order for the first time. I actually owned the Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 release from 1996 before I ever gave a serious listen to Leeds, and without wading into the audiophile muck of production pros and cons that largely don’t interest me, I don’t feel there’s too much difference in the feel of the album aside from the fact that the Isle of Wight release contains Tommy.

Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (The Who album) - Wikipedia

The trend over the years of adding previously unreleased material, live or studio, when reissuing albums is something that has been interesting, exciting, and maddening. I’ve reached the point where expanded reissues are no longer automatic must haves. I’ve come around on originals prior to the add-ons. Live at Leeds in its original form is great for those occasions when you want to crank up some live Who to get yer ya-ya’s out but don’t necessarily want to listen to Tommy, which has its time and place for me.

What’s your favorite live album of all time of any genre? Do you value expanded reissues?

Tracklist

Side A:

  1. Young Man Blues
  2. Substitute
  3. Summertime Blues
  4. Shakin’ All Over

Side B:

  1. My Generation
  2. Magic Bus

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_at_Leeds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_at_the_Isle_of_Wight_Festival_1970_(The_Who_album)

September 1968 Wrap Up – A Singularly Singles-Oriented Month

September of 1968 was the quietest month of the year on the 33 1/3 rpm scene, but there were a handful of significant singles releases, some of which continue to maintain a cozy existence on oldies radio stations heard in dentist’s offices across the land.  Let’s give ’em a spin and move on to October, what say ye?

9/7/68  Led Zeppelin perform for the first time as The New Yardbirds:  Jimmy Page and his new recruits played their first gig – a show booked while the Yardbirds were still together for which there was still a contractual obligation to play.  It was held at the Gladsaxe Teen Club of Gladsaxe, Denmark.

L_new_yardbirds.jpg

9/68  Three Dog Night – Single:  One

One, so they say, is the loneliest number.  It’s also a number that was written by Harry Nilsson.  It was the second single from Three Dog Night’s first album, and it reached #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

9/68  The Turtles – Single:  Elenore

This track was included on LP The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands, and was a satire of their own hit record, Happy Together, which their label wanted them to record more songs like.  It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Oddly, Elenore, their satire of Happy Together, also sounds kind of like Three Dog Night’s version of Harry Nilsson’s One.  Hmm…

9/68  Steppenwolf – Single:  Magic Carpet Ride

This was the lead single from Steppenwolf’s second album, thoughtfully titled The Second.  Good late-60’s guitar and keyboard driven rock music.

9/68  Gordon Lightfoot – Single:  Bitter Green

While not a major hit – not even in Canada (peaking at #44) – this is one of the earlier tunes of Lightfoot’s that I like.

9/18/68  The Who – Single:  Magic Bus

Magic Bus was written by Pete Townshend in 1965, but not recorded until May 1968.  It wasn’t a particularly successful single, but went on to become one of the Who’s more famous tunes.  I wwaaaaanit, I wwaaaaaanit…(You caaaaaaaan’t have it!)

9/30/68  Diana Ross & the Supremes – Single:  Love Child

No longer known simply as the Supremes, this Motown track is from their LP of the same title, and it reached #1.

-Stephen

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/led-zeppelin-first-concert/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(Harry_Nilsson_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elenore

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Carpet_Ride_(Steppenwolf_song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_Green

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Bus_(song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Child_(song)