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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Live At Leeds

The Who

1970

Buy At Rough Trade
Live At Leeds
Album Summary

Live at Leeds is the first live album by English rock band The Who. It was recorded at the University of Leeds Refectory on 14 February 1970, and is their only live album that was released while the group were still actively recording and performing with their best-known line-up of Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. The Who were looking for a way to follow up their 1969 album Tommy, and had recorded several shows on tours supporting that album, but didn't like the sound. Consequently, they booked the show at Leeds University, along with one at Hull City Hall the following day, specifically to record a live album. Six songs were taken from the Leeds show, and the cover was pressed to look like a bootleg recording. The sound was significantly different from Tommy and featured hard rock arrangements that were typical of the band's live shows. The album was released in 23 May 1970 by Decca and MCA in the United States, and by Track and Polydor in the United Kingdom. It has been reissued on several occasions and in several different formats. Since its release, Live at Leeds has been cited by several music critics as the best live rock recording of all time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.34

Votes

12084
Genres
Rock
Hard Rock
Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Sat Feb 27 2021
3

why the fuck are live albums on here

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Fri Apr 02 2021
3

After the last Who album (a 5 for me), of course I would like more. But a live album isn't something I need, especially when there are studio albums with these same songs available. I've looked ahead at albums on this list, and I was annoyed to see that for three legendary black artists--James Brown, Sam Cooke, and B.B. King--we only get one album each, and it's a live album. Not sure why, hopefully they really are worthy of classic status. But I don't think this one is, especially considering there are four studio albums from the Who on the list. That being said, this is still pretty good. Of course they're talented, the songs are great, but live albums just aren't my thing. Some lame banter on here that would be fine at a concert but I'm sitting at home. Inevitably I loved some performances, especially "My Generation," but as a whole, I could do without this. Maybe I'd have liked it more if I listened to just the 37 minute version originally released on vinyl. Favorite tracks: My Generation, Amazing Journey, Happy Jack. Album art: Charming simplicity. I would never buy this, but a blank cardboard cover is intriguing. A brown bagger. 3.5/5

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

Distilled into 6 cuts (3 of which aren’t even their own songs) ‘Live At Leeds’ is 37 minutes of awesome unrestrained destructive bluesy hard rock power with not an ounce of fat or filler. While the expanded versions of this record released over the years are still great and give context to the rest of the Leeds gig, it’s still the concise original released version that represents the Who at their absolute best live.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

Absolutely brilliant. Usually not into live albums, but The Who absolutely smashed it out of the park here. Really cohesive sound. Some of my favorites from the album included Young Man Blues, Shakin' All Over, and Heaven and Hell. I really enjoyed that you can hear during the endings and beginnings of some of the tracks. Makes you feel like you're there. I wonder if they knew they were witnessing the recording of one of the greatest live albums of all time.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
1

Like The Who and the tracks in the album, but live albums are terrible.

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Sat Feb 27 2021
3

If The Who were live, why did Keith Moon die?

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

Live albums shouldn't be in the list. That being said, this rocks straight out of the gate. Moon is all over the place on the kit, Townshend does his thing well. Vocals all seem a bit too clean, but not sure how much studio magic there was back then. Either way, it sounds really good. Can't hear the crowd except between songs, but that's kinda what I'd expect from a real live album, and there's a good bit of banter. I know a few tracks but also a lot of it was new to me. I enjoyed this way more than expected. Didn't realise I liked the Who this much lol. Only criticism is that the version I have on Spotify is too long. 1hr 17min is too much in one go if you're not obsessed with a band. 4/5.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
3

I love The Who but not this live album

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Listening to this album makes you wish you were in the room - and it gets you close enough to smell the burning dust inside the hiwatt amplifier stacks - the sweat flying off Daltreys tambourine and feeling Moons constant kick drum thumping right in your chest - it’s definitely one of the best live albums ever released

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Tue Jul 06 2021
3

I am not a fan of Live albums so this may be rough. I love, love The Who but I just can't get down with Live albums

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Fri Feb 19 2021
2

I have never heard any of these songs.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
2

I don’t really love live albums. This one was no exception. It was fine.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
5

Loved this album back when I was 16 or so. Think it was the first Who cd I gave any meaningful listen to. Still fantastic. I forget how fun they were in addition to being incredible musicians. Shame Daltrey became such a miserable tit. Fav. Lyric: "Substitute you for my mum. At least I'll get my washing done".

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

One of the best live albums. Would recommend the deluxe edition that had the whole show packed into it, but the original vinyl track list is still worth a shot

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

When you think of great live albums, Live At Leeds is always in the conversation. Not only did the Who release excellent studio records, they were an amazing live band. I had this on cassette back in the early 80's and it got to many listens, I wore out the tape. I thought at the time, I wish the album was longer and there must have been other songs during the set. After listening to the deluxe edition that contained the whole concert, I take back my earlier concerns. The whole show which was during the "Tommy" era, contained lots of songs from that record, which is fine, but it loses some of it's energy. I can now see why the original Live At Leeds album was edited down, it's so much more powerful and dynamic with the shorter track list and it remains (to me anyways), a landmark live album. (I would give the deluxe edition 4****)

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Capacity of University of Leeds Refectory: 2,100. Excellent intimate session with The Who in top form. 5/5 live album, 4/5 on-stage banter.

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Tue Nov 14 2023
4

Exceptional live record capturing some of The Who’s best, pre-Who’s Next work, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention their performance of “A Quick One While He’s Away” from The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus. It’s the definitive version of the song and outpaces the version found here on Live at Leeds. It very well may be the greatest live performance ever captured on film and you should check it out over on YouTube.

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Tue Jan 09 2024
4

Having trouble getting my head round this, so I’ll fling fragments out instead. Seeing The Who play Live Aid on tv was my first formative rock experience, followed by watching a long-lost vhs documentary about them. I also saw them live playing what I’ve learned was a travesty, but this pre-teen’s face was slayed. This is the only record of theirs I like a lot. Albini said something along the lines that they are unique in being a great band that put out mostly crap; this performance underlined that. I would not voluntarily listen to many, maybe most of their originals on this record, but I happily blasted the whole thing at volume today. Suspect it’s something to do with Entwhistle and his deranged, almost drunk meandering. An acquaintance once described The Who as inverting the usual rhythm/lead divide: here, the drums and bass go all over the place, while Townshend holds the songs together. The Who are a weird band. The sleazy songs aren’t pleasant, but they are interesting, a very middle-class English mode of creepiness that Townshend seemed to revel in. Keith Moon’s cymbals irritated my brain for the first song and a half until I managed to mentally dial them down. Their great songs are among the best rock ever made, and the brutal panache of the band carries the rest. How else could I bear to listen to more than a minute of rock opera?

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Wed Jan 27 2021
3

Klingt für mich alles ziemlich gleich. Aber nicht schlecht das ganze. Lieder mit 15min sind aber ne Frechheit. Egal von wem sie kommen. Besser als Bowie wars aber

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Fri Apr 02 2021
3

No offense to the Who, but if I am running a best albums list, I would not include any live albums because that is duplicative. I listened to a few of my favs and they sound just as fine as the regular album. Why this is on this list makes no sense. Also that is a very bland album cover.

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Mon Aug 23 2021
3

I like The Who, but I'm not really sure they shine as a live band.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
2

I love the Who. I hate live albums. The sound quality is awful even though this is one of the best albums.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
2

just couldn't get excited about it, tuned out fairly quickly

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Fri Apr 30 2021
2

Hay más discos en directo en esta lista de los que habría pensado. No soy un gran fan de los discos en directo, si has ido al concierto o uno parecido es genial. Algunas veces hacen versiones o cambios interesantes pero en general no me convencen. En este caso tampoco, prefiero sus discos normales.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
2

Summer Time blues and Magic bus were catchy but not into the unknowns songs. They are talented and so impressed they stayed together as a band. But it’s not my first choice (or10th) of their music style.

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Sun Feb 14 2021
2

Ik hou niet zo van live albums

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Sat May 01 2021
2

Not really my cup of tea, a bit ploddy

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Wed May 12 2021
2

Not really my style, too many guitar solos

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Fri Jul 23 2021
2

Wasn’t feeling this. Possibly bc the last album was cheap trick live 🤷‍♂️

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Mon Aug 09 2021
2

I used to like The Who, but I listen to the lyrics now and realize that the worldview idealized in their times is today's reality, and it's total degeneracy crap, so screw that.

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Mon Aug 23 2021
2

I don't really like The Who. And this recording doesn't sound great either. Maybe they were one of the best live bands ever, but that's not captured here. Live albums were such a weird fad, and seem very 70s. What's the point? Shitter sound than the studio and really doesn't capture the vibe of a gig. The "funny" story about the girl guide and the pedo train driver has not aged well

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Tue Jan 09 2024
2

Sounds pretty good for a live album; it's still The Who though, so the songs aren't up to much and are pretty long without much of interest happening [edit: "I Can't Explain" rocks, fair enough. Still a 2 though]

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Tue Jan 26 2021
1

So many familiar songs so good

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Tue Jan 19 2021
1

I'm finding it difficult to get through this one. I don't really like the heavy electric guitar, and I find the songs really repetitive.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
1

So müssen sich mitt-50er beim grillen fühlen, dann sagen sie: Das ist eben noch echte Musik gewesen. Sowas gibts heutzutage einfach nichtmehr! Ja warum wohl? Weil alles gleich klingt und langweilt. Natürlich fehlt auch hier nicht eine 15minuten Bullshit Live version von irgendeinem Lied, das man auf halbem weg nicht mehr erkennt. 1* würde es nie wieder hören, ich hasse rock.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
1

great, I’ve now listened to Who songs other than My Generation and Baba O’Riley, and can with confidence say that I still only know those two songs.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
1

Never liked The Who, never liked live recodsings

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Sat Nov 27 2021
1

Live At Leeds is just a 'substitute' for another album. I like The Who but I don't feel this belongs on 1001 albums when they have plenty of fantastic studio albums already on the list and with duplicate tracks no less. Needless to say, very disappointed.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

Fantastic album! Live in a way that I really actually enjoyed too.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

Cool commentary between songs

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

[Heaven and Hell] Навалили ебашивалова на ударных. Шум победы. Охуевшее и охуенное соло. [I can't explain] Летним солнечным днём купил новую машину [Fortune Teller] Вкатываешься в тему. Если бы у бизнес открытий был бы свой шум. [Tatto] Передышка. [Young man blues] Лирика сначала. Плотная забивочка. П.Л.О.Т.Н.О [Substitute] Добрая студентота. [I'm a Boy] Зеваю в ритм. [A quick one] В бар пришла компания. 4в1 трек. Фоновый шум рокеров [Amazing Journey] Засыпал, но дождался. [Summertime blues] Солнечно. Выпускной бал в школе крытых ребят и популярных девчонок. [Shakin all over] Тёплый Вечер. Пригород. Выпил. Балдеешь в людном переулке. Хороший пример. [My Generation] Какое-то клише про выход из тюрьмы. Учебное пособие переходов. Притоповаю. Фееричный финал. НЕТ, ОНИ ПРОДОЛЖАЮТ! [Magic Bus] Элексир крутости в кожанке и с бородой. Разъёб по фазе. Божественно. Включите это на моих похоронах.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

Best live album of all time!

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

Love the more raw old school across the pond acid hard rock sound. Such yummy guitar.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

just classic rock live sounds

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Having not heard much from The Who other than Baba O'Riley, this was a nice album that showcased what the band has to offer. Some really good variety of rock. Hard to believe at times that it was a live recording!

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Excellent live album. The hard rock elements the Who adds live are definitely a great addition.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
5

I didn’t think I liked The Who. I guess I like The Who sometimes. This version of My Generation was awesome.

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Mon Sep 13 2021
5

Absolutely brilliant. It sounded like a fairly intimate gig (I don’t know if it was) and I loved all the chat between them and the audience. I wish I was there!

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

Godamn, this album hits fucking hard.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

Classic Who. Great live band.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
5

um dos melhores ao vivo já lançados

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

Among the definitive live albums in rock, but this one just feels more life. Bonus points for their iconic version of Summertime Blues.

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Fri Jun 17 2022
5

(There are ~183 different versions of this album - I'm going with the "Deluxe Edition" -> the one with 33 songs; as it's the actual complete original setlist in correct running order. The original 6 track disc doesn't do justice...) This album could provide the answer to the question "if you could go back in time to see any artist at any time, what would it be?" Many have called Live At Leeds the greatest live rock album ever recorded. As a kid I didn't entirely get it, probably/mostly because there were originally only 6 songs, half of which were covers - apparently at age 12 I just wanted the hits. I was stupid. The Who had so many hits that everyone knows, and I grew up a huge fan...yet aside from the essentially perfect Who's Next and Quadrophenia albums I have to admit they never really "nailed it" in terms of ... something. Weak production? Restraint? Something was always missing. This album NAILS it. I loved "Tommy" but Pete always said it was released without really being finished - does that mean it would have had more tracks? More layers? That might have been amazing to hear. Then again.... virtually every track from Tommy played here live by obviously just the 4 guys is *better* than the studio versions. Similarly, I could never truly get into their early period albums and hearing some of those songs in this live format (e.g. "Tattoo" "Substitute" "I'm A Boy") are so much better here they almost sound like a heavier/better band covering the originals. Not sure any band ever had the power and controlled chaos in a live setting like The Who in their prime, and this is the proof. This album makes you feel like you're sitting in the front row - I also can't think of a better live album and that combined with the great material makes this flawless. 10/10 5 stars.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

I can’t believe this was recorded live. Simply incredible rock music. Recordings like this help explain the why The Who are legends.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

An instant classic. So much soul in this album, the drums are just off the charts. Everyone is on point and just an incredible experience.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

Excellent. John Entwistle and Keith Moon really shine!

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Killer love album. Added to collection and totally worth picking up on vinyl.

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Sat Oct 08 2022
5

Experiência estupenda a audição ao vivo.

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Sat Oct 22 2022
5

One of the best live recordings out there

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

One of the best live albums from one of the best bands.

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Vraiment un bon album live. Je n'aime pas toujours le live mais la version écouté était remasterisé et le son était vraiment bon. Ca fait du bien du bon vieux rock. Je n'ai jamais été vraiment gros fan de The Who, mais je crois que c'est seulement par manque d'écoute. 5

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Sat Dec 31 2022
5

The expanded version transforms a so-so album into one of the all-time ball-tearers.

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

Hmm. Where to start here. I'll listen to arguments about why live albums should be included, I don't think they should be dismissed out of hand. Especially when the artists haven't released a truly great studio album but have great tracks, and are notoriously good live, which I think is fair to say of The Who. But then why are 4 studio albums in this book. I'll get to the other 3, but I didn't think much of Who's Next. I liked it but didn't love it. Secondly, this is a release that's been fucked about with, app links to an hour and 17 minutes version but the compiler is referring to an original 6 track live recording. I haven't got all day, so, after Can't Explain I'm skipping straight to Young Man Blues, then after Happy Jack I'm skipping to Summertime Blues. A compromise. Happy with my decision. Actually I deviated and skipped through Happy Jack and went to Amazing Journey from Tommy. I think I'm going to enjoy Tommy, I remember enjoying the film, and was disappointed with most of The Who's output post-1969. I just find them very hit and miss. But they can definitely hit. Was windmilling between 4 and 5 but the medley starting with My Generation just blew me away. Can't argue with the assessment that this is The Who at their best, and how they should be heard. Bin off the albums, just come here.

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Wed Jan 18 2023
5

love this album, one of the who's best live albums

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

The live recording of the show at Leeds with the Who is as close to Rock and Roll perfection as it gets. The wall of sound generated by John "Thunderfingers" Entwistle, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and the complete lunatic of a drummer Keith Moon is something that cannot be denied of its excellence or ever be duplicated by anyone that comes after this. Their musical talent shines though as the band is getting ready to play, by just plucking the bass strings from G -> E, a quick roll on the snare and with a simple "uoah" they start delivering this masterpiece. This is the Who at their absolute prime and you can feel it in every cell in your body The occasional banter with the crowd after some songs only adds to the overall score Best song: Magic Bus Worst song: Happy Jack

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

this is a GREAT album. and a great SOUNDING album. It's just fun! I get the appeal. This somehow conveys The Who to me way more than their first studio album. I feel like this really captures the spirit of the Who, and more importantly what it's like to be at one of these shows. 5/5!

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Mon Mar 06 2023
5

5/5 Great rock album. Purchased vinyl on 3/5.

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

Don't love love albums but they sound good. The who quality tunes. Bit of chat that I'm not here for but fuck it's good

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

NewWhoBrewToDoYouThru I know every note on the original album but I enjoyed finding all the live versions of other songs on the various extended editions. The quality of the full Tommy tour material is so much better than on Gather Your Wits, the best known bootleg from the Tommy tour, and my only source of those songs for decades. A lot is made of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound but the sound created by Pete and John, the best lead / bass combo ever, and Moon being not only the best but also completely insane, makes this album the real wall of sound The Who are the best live band ever so it's no surprise that this is the best live album ever. Mixing the bass on one side and the lead guitar on the other is a silly idea except when it allows Entwistle's bass to be isolated. His bass playing kept improving with Quadro arguably being his pinnacle. Can I rate this higher than 5?

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Mon Mar 20 2023
5

The perfect live document of the best rock and roll band to do it. 1) there will never be another Keith Moon. He basically plays fills for entire songs and yet the songs still have a perfect rhythm. 2) there will never be another John Entwistle. I usually forget what Pete Townshend is playing because I’m too focused listening to how good the bass on these songs are. 3) related to the first two points, it’s hard to believe this music is only coming from 3 musicians and a singer. It’s louder and busier than the Allman Brothers, who were something like a 7 piece band. 4) The Who are a perfect blend of edgy like the Stones and hilariously innocent like the Beatles. Their banter in between songs and some of the tongue-in-cheek lyrics are great. It’s a shame their pre-Tommy stuff is the forgotten material of the British Invasion. Definitely was wavering about giving it the elusive fifth star, but it definitely earns it.

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Fri Mar 31 2023
5

The one true Who record I love. My POP introduced me to this record when I was a young man (didn't have nothin' in the world these days). I enjoyed it so much I went searching high and low for studio recordings of these songs that matched the energy and power of LIVE AT LEEDS. I never found them. This record documents the true maximum rock 'n' roll of The Who. In my opinion it's their best album. And, it is among the best live recordings of its era. Too Much, Magic Bus. Five Stars.

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Tue Apr 04 2023
5

The blueprint live recording

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Tue Apr 04 2023
5

I think the six track version would have been perfect, I could only find the 14 track 1995 remaster. The Who are definitely at their best live, but with this many tracks Moon's drums get a little repetitive and there isn't much variety in the fundamental guitar tone.

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Sat Apr 08 2023
5

First live album I ever heard. Still only bettered by Live and Dangerous Thin Lizzy.

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Thu Apr 27 2023
5

Er fem stjerner måske for meget? Jeg ved sgu ikke… The Who ligger mit hjerte nær, så føler det er fortjent. Baslyden i Substitute er desuden VANVITTIG.

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Thu May 04 2023
5

There have been so many different versions of this album that I've owned, I'm not sure which one I should review. The original 37 minute album is honestly too short IMO. Live albums need to be more than 45 minutes. They have to give you a feel of the show you're at, and an album length is not long enough to do that. At the very least you need an hour or more to get the sense of the show. So normally I would think that'd be an hour's worth. Having said that, let's start with the original release. The six tracks on that album are quintessential Who. A 15 minute version of "My Generation?" Yes, please. Throwing in some Tommy riffs as well, love it! "Young Man Blues" & "Summertime Blues" are probably my 2 favorite covers The Who ever did. "Substitute" is dispatched pretty quickly. "Shakin' All Over" is probably the weakest song off the album and it still tears the roof off. If we go to the expanded CD version, that's the one I first heard. You've got Entwhistle's "Heaven and Hell," an... interesting choice for an opener. "I Can't Explain" is another one quickly played. "Fortune Teller" & "Tattoo" are two lesser-known songs, and I really like their take on "Tattoo". "I'm A Boy..." I like the studio version better. Not sure why, I think there's a slyness to it that the live version does not capture. "A Quick One While He's Away" is good, but the superior live version comes from the Stones' "Rock and Roll Circus," and we all know it. So the extra tracks, do they add to the original album? I don't think so, but they make them worse, really. I can see why they picked those songs for the original album. They truly are the best pieces from the show. I am more of a fan of the Who's later work, but it's this early stuff where they cut their teeth. So hearing he old stuff done in this live album is a real treat. The live version of "Tommy..." it's ok, but you can only hear it so many times. I never really liked "Tommy", thought "Quadrophenia" was better. I thought Townshend really matured by then in his musical writing. So I really didn't need to have another version of Tommy. Still the original album has great stuff and that's what we should be looking at. It's very strong, and the 95 CD reissue was great for me as well. A must have from the Who.

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Tue May 16 2023
5

Had a read of other peoples reviews, and some people are apparently snooty about live albums, for reasons I can't understand. It's what the who sounded like in 1970. There's no other way of hearing what the who sounded like in 1970 without having this album. It has energy that can't exist in a studio album. Particularly the power of the drums seems to come across far better in this than the studio albums. As it is, it's a selection of excellent songs played well. I was going to take a point off because there was a bit too much of 'this is this song, which we wrote then and blah'- no-one cares. Not at the gig and not on the album. But given the above, nah.

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