Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

The Who Live At Leeds


This is one of those albums that no review will ever do it justice. To understand how incredible this recording is you have to – sit down, put in the disc and be blown away by one of the greatest bands in history.

I first heard Live at Leeds when I was in my early teens. At the time my CD player consisted of Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana. This album came on and it drifted through my ears without me paying the slightest bit of attention to it. It wasn’t as heavy as contemporary music. So back on went the Korn cd! What can I say? I was young and niave. Well put it this way, I’m going to say(without sounding like an ass) that if you like good music then this is an essential.

I can’t describe the power of this album. What amazes me the most is the fact that this was recorded before The Who had even touched on their greatest albums to date in “Who’s Next” and “Tommy”. Im not going to deny it though, I am a huge Who fan so my views will obviously be different to someone new to the band hearing this album for the first time. Im still stuck for words though – If you are remotley interested in rock music or “great music” then this is an album for you. Throughout, the album is laced with witty comments and remarkable musicianship.

Heaven and Hell(4:30)
Muffled talking, background noise and cheers from the crowd are the cliched start to a live album although I wonder if that cliche began with this recording? As soon as you here Entwistle’s thundering bass tone stamp out the notes E,A,D,G you know the magic is about to start. Bursting in with a powerful riff and mind-blowing drum beat, this is the perfect way to start the performance. Written by Entwistle, this song was never recorded in the studio which baffles me as it would have fitted perfectley onto Who’s Next. The greatest song to never have been recorded in the studio. 5/5

I Can’t Explain(2:16)
Starting exactly the same as the Clash’s “Clash City Rockers”, this is classic Who. This is an absolutley timeless song that was at the fore front of the Who’s set for 25 years. The orignal recording also featured Jimmy Page on second guitar. Not my favourite Who song but that doesn’t stop it being a true rock classic that shows the Who at top form. 5/5

Fortune Teller(2:34)
Originally performed by Billy Spellman and covered by numerous other artists including the Rolling Stones. This is a great Rock n Roll song that is driven by Daltreys vocals. Although the song starts quite slow, it begins to rock halfway through. 5/5

My favourite song on the album that I hadn’t previously heard before. The lyrics are smart and witty with an incredibly catchy chorus. This also demonstrates the Who’s great use of backing vocals that benefit the song greatly.5/5

Young Man Blues(4:56)
Another cover song which was originally done by Mose Allison. As the title suggests, this is a more bluesy song. With it’s stop start feel and great vocal lines, you can see why they chose to cover it and make it their own – chosing songs to cover seems to be a talent the Who posesed as their choices were exceptional. Can I give this song 5/5 as well? I guess so. 5/5

Many favour it as being one of the greatest songs ever. Im one of them. 5/5

Happy Jack(2:13)
Continues straight on from Substitute, this is another of the Who’s hits. Again demonstrates the Who’s great use of backing vocals and Townshend’s great song writing ability 5/5

I’m a Boy(2:40)
Starts off with vocals from Townshend until Daltry comes crashing in to rock out. Another great, great song. Not much else to say really. 5/5

A Quick One, While He’s Away(8:25)
This is a small rock opera about an old engine driver who seduces a little girl. Breaks off into lots of different sections that all remain great to listen to. 5/5

Amazing Journey/Sparks(7:34)
Another two songs that I hadn’t previously heard. Starts off slightly weak but picks up pace and begins to rocks out hard. Another strong performance. 5/5

Summertime Blues(3:20)
So powerful, so catchy – this is a highlight of the album which can be seen by it being used on the Who collection album. Unbelievable. 5/5

Shakin All Over(4:15)
Another catchy song. Ive found now that every song is getting 5/5 so i’ll keep the song by song reviews a little shorter as they are all classics. 5/5

My Generation(14:45)
Bursts in a lot faster than the studio recording. It’s reputation speaks for itself – My Generation is the Who at they’re very best. 5/5

Magic Bus(7:22)
When I first looked at the album I noticed this was a strange choice for the last song but when I heard what this song was like live, I understood why. Great way to end an unbelievable concert. 5/5

Ok so I gave all the songs 5/5. Some will say that this doesn’t give a true review of each song but there isn’t a bad song on this album or a song that deserves less than full marks. Make your own judgements on the songs and go and buy this album. An epic performance from an epic band.

You honestly can’t understand how remarkable this album is until you hear it for yourself. 5/5

May 15, 2010 - Posted by | The Who Live At Leeds |

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