October 22, 2020

1995-02-24 – Daily Record

1995 02 24 Daily_Record_Fri__Feb_24__1995_

Uncut ‘Live at Leeds’ album
a must for fans of The Who

“LIVE AT LEEDS”
MCA. $14.99

BY JIM BOHEN

Daily Record
___.______________

To become standard-bearers of
classic rock, The Who had to shed
much of their British eccentricity.
Their 1970 concert album “Live at
Leeds” marks the transition to a
hard rock style more palatable to
American audiences, as the new
CD reissue makes clear.

Now twice as long as the original
album, the new version, in stores
Tuesday, restores the remainder of
the concert, recorded Feb. 14,
1970, at a British university. The
British hit singles and rhythm &
blues staples of the previously
unreleased first half of the show
give way to heavy guitar and

aggressive vocal posturing in the
second half.

An about-face

At the time “Live at Leeds”
seemed an abrupt about-face from
the clean guitar lines and har-
monies of its predecessor, “Tom-
my.” Pete Townshend had sw-
apped his Rickenbacker guitar for
a Gibson Les Paul. The gut-punch-
ing bass and chaotic drumming of
The Who’s live act set the stage for
a lot of what followed.

They knew what they were
doing when they chose Mose
Allison’s “Young Man Blues” to
open the original record.

Its powerhouse sound was more
than ready to compete with then-
newcomers such as Led Zeppelin.
The 15-minute version of “My Gen-
eration,” which meanders through
themes from “Tommy” and on-the-
spot improvisations, served as a
model for a decade’s worth of
heavy metal.

What we didn’t hear at the time
was their farewell to their ’608
repertoire, much of which Ameri-

Shown in the 19708 are members of The Who, from left, Keith
Moon, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle.

The album’s other
revelation is The Who’s
performance, which is
thrilling. After two
decades of band
tragedies, farewells
and comebacks, maybe
" you’d forgotten how

good they were.

can listeners hadn’t heard — and
still haven’t.

“Substitute” had never been on a
US. album when this live version
appeared. To its British working-
class anger (and lingo), the new
CD adds the mournful harmonies

of “Tattoo,” one of my Who fa-
vorites, and the cheerful mockery

of “I’m a Boy,” from the days when
Townshend made his points with
humor.

The album’s other revelation is
The Who’s performance, which is
thrilling. After two decades of
band tragedies, farewells and
comebacks, maybe you’d forgotten
how good they were.

Amazing Moon 1

John Entwistle’s bass playing i

competes with the guitar for pro- |
mlnence.

Keith Moon launches “Amazing I
Journey” with one of his most
amazing drum breaks, dispelling l
the lingering bad taste of the l
Broadway “Tommy.”

Townshend pulls out every trick I
in his guitar-player’s bag, and his
between-song comments, edited
out of the original, are perfectly
charming.

It’s a charm that’s sadly missing
from rock today.