October 27, 2020

Heaven And Hell

From the "Live at Leeds" liner notes by Chris Charlesworth with additions by Brian Cady.

From the Live at Leeds liner notes by Chris Charlesworth with additions by Brian Cady:

Although never recorded in the studio to John or The Who’s complete satisfaction, ‘Heaven and Hell’ was one of the greatest songs that John Entwistle contributed to The Who’s catalogue. A harsh warning about the perils of mortal misbehavior, it’s a full-blooded rocker, rhythmically tougher than most of the material that Pete was writing at the time but still finely tuned towards The Who’s particular strengths. Often used to open Who sets during the late Sixties when Tommy got a full airing, it allowed Pete plenty of opportunity to stretch out on the solo and the whole band could warm up for the lengthy set that lay ahead.

Originally recorded at IBC Studios, London May 15, 1970, the studio version was released on July 10, 1970 as the ‘B’ side of the ‘Summertime Blues’ single. The location is right, but only the vocal was recorded on May 15th, the backing tracks were actually recorded on April 13, 1970 as part of a studio recording of highlights of their live set for a BBC radio program.

"Heaven and Hell" initially appeared in The Who’s live set as early as April 1968 but was dropped except for a few instances along with the live Tommy at the end of 1970. Although it seemed to have a prominent position in The Who’s live set being first, the song was seen by the band as a test song to discover if guitars and microphones were working. At Leeds this occurred right at the beginning when John did not have his amp set correctly and missed singing a verse at the beginning of the song.

For the remix John recorded enough of a vocal in 1994 to cover up to the point where his 1970 self could take over.

Track 1 on the 1995 CD and 2001 CD’s.

Other live versions by The Who can be found on Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 and the Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B video (1970).