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Thread: Collecting The Who Live Recordings

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    Collecting The Who Live Recordings

    I feel that I should start this thread saying that I do own all of The Who's studio albums and a few live recordings, already. I see that they have released several live albums over the years. Would anyone be interested in giving me advice which are the better ones? I see that a lot of them are just a shuffle of the same songs. Any advice? Thanks in advance.



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    Live At Leeds. The longer single disc version from 1995, which opens with Heaven and Hell.

    There, you're done!

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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chescorph View Post
    Live At Leeds. The longer single disc version from 1995, which opens with Heaven and Hell.

    There, you're done!
    I was going to post the exact same thing. What a amazing album.

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    Live albums I own:

    Live At Leads: This one is essential.

    Who’s Last: This one was recorded on their farewell tour after “It’s Hard” came out. It is just ok. Kenny Jones on drums. Not great, not terrible.

    Join Together: A lot of people seem to hate this one, but I have always liked it. It was the version of The Who that had Pete Townshend mainly playing acoustic guitar due to tinnitus problems and the band was augmented by backup singers, extra musicians and a horn section. The first disc is “Tommy” live and the second disc a “Best Of” set. I seem to like this one a lot more than most people.

    Endless Wire Bonus Live Album: This one came with the edition of Endless Wire that I have. I can’t remember where it was recorded off the top of my head, but it is actually pretty bad, in fact I found it hard to believe that they released it at all.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Live albums I own:


    Who’s Last: This one was recorded on their farewell tour after “It’s Hard” came out. It is just ok. Kenny Jones on drums. Not great, not terrible.
    I'd agree with this assessment. One of the big problems is the chosen material. There's not a single song from either Face Dances or It's Hard, even though they played The Quiet One and about half of It's Hard every night of the tour. And they also left most of the more interesting numbers that were played on that tour, such as Tattoo, Sister Disco, I Am One, Punk Meets The Godfather, 5:15, Drowned and Naked Eye.

    Given the fact that the album was released Stateside by MCA (who hadn't released any new Who material since Who Are You), I'm guessing this must have been some sort of contractual obligation. That might also be why Who Are You is the most recent song on the record. The other omissions were probably because somebody decided this should be a "greatest hits live" thing, rather than any attempt to portray what the band actually played on that tour. Hence they come off as a really bad nostalgia act (kinda like what some bands do now, actually, ie ignoring their most recent material in favor of playing "the hits" from decades ago).

    This is one example where i feel compelled to play "armchair record producer". Given that Substitute, My Generation and Magic Bus had all been on Live At Leeds, they should have been left off this album. I'd have opened the album with I Can't Explain, put Sister Disco somewhere on side one, and stuck Naked Eye after Doctor Jimmy.

    Actually, come to think of it, if I was really in charge of this project, I would have made it a triple LP, so as to be able to include all the Quadrophenia songs, Tattoo, and I'd have bent over whatever table one needed to bend over to allow the inclusion of The Quiet One, Eminence Front, It's Hard, and Dangerous (assuming that's actually the reason why those songs aren't on the album).

    As it stands, the best thing about Who's Last is Doctor Jimmy and the photo montages on the inner sleeves, with all of those cool photos with Townshend playing his custom Telecaster copies and Entwistle with one of his Alembic basses. Yeah, I care that much about cool looking guitars!

    OH yeah, and the version of Won't Get Fooled Again is kinda cool, as it has this coda section that I think was only ever played on this tour. The usually ending of the song turns into a false ending, with the band riffing for another minute or two. That's kinda nice to have.
    Join Together: A lot of people seem to hate this one, but I have always liked it. It was the version of The Who that had Pete Townshend mainly playing acoustic guitar due to tinnitus problems and the band was augmented by backup singers, extra musicians and a horn section. The first disc is “Tommy” live and the second disc a “Best Of” set. I seem to like this one a lot more than most people.
    I saw them on this tour, and have a couple different recordings from it, though not this particular album (which as I recall was packaged as a boxset, even though it's just two discs). The problem here is they didn't sound like The Who on this tour. They had the horn section playing stuff that sounded like Tower Of Power charts during songs that never had horns before, the auxiliary guitarist (Steve Bolton was his name) didn't play anything like Townshend, so anytime he played a solo (which was a little more often than he should have) it just sounded like a guy failing his audition for a tribute band.

    And on video, at least, the backup singers are annoying, doing these sort of "show band" dance moves during the uptempo songs. And don't even get me started on that bass tone Entwistle had. At least in '82 The Ox still had a killer bass tone (though I remember reading he was upset that they "overcompensated" when they remixed Who's Last, because apparently on the original mix the bass was too loud on side one, and since he couldn't be present at the second mixing session, apparently he wasn't loud enough).

    And the band sounds way, way, way too over rehearsed. You don't have that sense of spontaneity, the feeling that at any given second, this whole thing could go sideways, the way you had during the Moon years.

    About Pete playing acoustic, I don't think that had anything to do with his hearing problems. He actually did play electric guitar on this tour, maybe not as much as acoustic, but he had an electric guitar rig, as detailed in both Guitar Player and Guitar World at the time. He used a Stratocaster that he plugged into a Mesa/Boogie amp, which he then ran direct into the sound board, so that he wouldn't be blasting his ears with the big Hi-Watt stacks he had used on previous tours. Hence, when he did play electric he had this sickly, anemic guitar tone. I think the real reason he was using acoustic so much on that tour (which I read, varied from night to night, depending on his mood or whatever) was because he was trying to escape the image he had created for himself during the 60's and 70's, ie "Pete Townshend, gravity defying guitar god". I think from the early 80's onward, he wanted to be "Pete Townshend, sensitive singer/songwriter" or maybe even "Peter Townshend, musical artiste" or something, and he felt The Who, and in particular his old image, was holding him back. Or something

    Come to think of it, he couldn't have been that much of an "artiste" if he's letting lame ass TV shows use his songs as theme music and any advertiser paying top dollar use them as jingles. So who knows what's going through his mind, in terms of what kind of performer he is. (shrug)

    I'm gonna throw my lot in for some of the DVD's that are out there:

    30 Years Of Maximum R&B: a great "greatest hits" collection spanning the band's career from the late 60's up through 1989. Lots of cool footage here, and there's also some interesting interview bits (despite some "creative" editing decisions).

    LIve From Toronto: this is basically the old Who Rocks America home video release from 83, which was basically most of the last show of the 82 tour, at Maple Leaf Garden. The DVD is still missing both Behind Blue Eyes and Doctor Jimmy, but the rest of the show seems to be intact, and it gives a much better impression of the 82 tour than Who's Last. The only downer is that butt ugly gold Schecter Telecaster (apparently the prototype for their subsequent Saturn model) that Pete plays through most of this show. But he sounds good and so does the rest of the band. Daltrey reportedly once opined that he wished the tour had ended the night before, because he felt they played better during that show than this one, but I still think this is a good set. And it too has that extended coda version of Won't Get Fooled Again. I'd say the versions of Naked Eye, Sister Disco, Dangerous, Eminence Front, and It's Hard are all great too (and you also get the rare opportunity to see Roger Daltrey play guitar).

    Live In Houston: from the The Who By Numbers tour, in 75 or 76. Looks to be footage taken from a video screen feed. Not the best visual representation, but hey, ti's from the Moon era, though it's effectively a "greatest hits" show due to the chosen setlist.

    The Kids Are Alright: Jeff Stein's classic career retrospective documentary from 1978, completed just weeks before Moon went home. If you've never seen this, I don't know what to say. This is just an awesome montage of footage, with lots of really cool live footage, including, for many years, the only available footage from The Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Circus (which was reportedly found in Stones pianist Ian Stewart's barn).

    I don't think it's ever been issued on DVD (and probably never will be, due to the licensing nightmare it would almost certainly entail), but if you can ever find the Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea album or video, that's worth checkign out. Both were compiled from three nights of shows in December of 79, at the Hammersmith Odeon. The three headlining bands were Queen, The Who, and Paul McCartney and Wings. The rest of the groups performing each night were mostly punk and new wave bands, includign Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Clash, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Rockpile (check out their awesome version of Little Sister with some bloke called Robert Plant guesting on lead vocals) and I forget who else.

    Side one of the album is given over to The Who (they also have three songs in the film), and again, I think the version of SIster Disco here is awesome (actually, that's the first Who song I remember hearing), though the version of See Me Feel Me features Pete Townshend demonstrating how not to play a guitar solo (he sounds like he forgets what key he's in, how that managed to be released I'll never understand). The album closing Rockestra performance (several songs from all star group led by Paul McCartney, including Townshend, members of Led Zeppelin, The Pretenders, Rockpile, Ronnie Lane, Morris Pert, and a few others) is also pretty awesome. I think that was the first version of Let It Be I ever herad, and I always dug Rockestra Theme, too.

    I know there's a couple others out there that I haven't seen, so I won't comment on them.
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 07-11-2017 at 01:30 AM.

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    The 2-cd version (not well liked by audiophiles, but still) of Live At Leeds has Tommy on the second disc; it does rankle with me, however, that this sequencing is not how it was played. I think the same was true of that Live At Hull (from the same tour) release that came out a while back, but I'm not sure.

    There's also the 1970 Isle Of Wight with a slightly different set-list. The BBC Sessions release is basically 'live in the studio' rather than live per se. Otherwise there's nothing substantial from their time with Keith Moon beyond isolated tracks (and I think there is another version of Tommy on some deluxe edition of that). A terrible oversight.

    I don't really like the 80s stuff I've seen/heard, especially the late 80s 'on ice' years- highlighted by Townshend's big shoulder pads, ponitail and acoustic guitar. They got better with Zak Starkey- that 2000-ish Royal Albert Hall show is strong, but definitely in 'nostalgia band' territory at that point.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post

    There's also the 1970 Isle Of Wight with a slightly different set-list. The BBC Sessions release is basically 'live in the studio' rather than live per se. Otherwise there's nothing substantial from their time with Keith Moon beyond isolated tracks (and I think there is another version of Tommy on some deluxe edition of that). A terrible oversight.
    There's also the Houston DVD from 76 and the Kilburn DVD from 77. I've only seen the former. I believe the Kilburn DVD, also includes a concert from 1970, which is briefly excerpted in The Kids Are Alright, in the form of Young Man Blues.

    The reason there's not much out there from the Moon years is because there just isn't that much in existence, apparently. I remember when the 30 Years Of Maximum R&B boxset came out, there was a footnote in the booklet explaining this.

    Leeds and Hull (which I think were on two consecutive nights) were the two big items that were actually captured on multi-track. Reputedly, there was a multi-track tape malfunction, which led to Entwistle's bass not being recorded (though given how loud he was back in those days, I imagine you could hear him on every other channel on the tape), though obviously they managed to eventually overcome that issue if they were able to release it. I'm not sure how Isle Of Wight was recorded.

    They apparently wanted to include a live version of Heaven And Hell on the 30 Years...set, but couldn't find one with a decent enough mix (it was always the first song of the set, so the soundman was still trying to get a proper audio balance), though again one appears on the DVD companion to that set, and they included it on the expanded version of Live At Leeds (and Hull?).

    Do we know how much of The Who's sets at Monterey Pop or Woodstock were shot/recorded? It seems at least some of the bands on both occasions didn't get their full sets filmed, and we know that, at least in the case of Woodstock, at least Abby Hoffman's little asshole maneuver didn't get filmed (those it does exist on the audio recording). Do we even know if any of the stuff we haven't heard is worth hearing?

    This come backs to the question of "Why wasn't such and such recorded?!", and the truth is before the 1990's, remote trucks were only brought out on the road when a live albums were being planned. That was a huge expenditure, and was something that couldn't be done just so that we could have a primo live recording that, maybe 30 or 40 years now, can be released. Likewise, bands were only videotaped or filmed if they had a particular project in mind. And I imagine if Michael Wadleigh had known that Abby Hoffman was gonna pull his stunt at Woodstock, he probably wouldn't have told his cameramen to change reels a couple minutes prior (which is allegedly why we don't have it on film).

    I do agree that it's ridiculous that The Who only undertook such a venture, really, only a couple times (the first being the Leeds/Hull recordings from 1970, and the second being the Shepperton performance in 77), but that's how it happened at the time. And of course, if there were more multi-track tapes, there's no guarantee the performance on any given would be up to snuff. As amazing as The Who were let's say most of the time, there were apparently also nights where they were not so great (and on at least one occasion, in Boston in 1976, where they barely made it through two songs before Moon's extracurricular habits got in the way and they had to cancel the rest of the show).

    So that basically leaves you things like radio/TV broadcasts and two track tapes run off of some form of board mix (either from the FOH board, or like the Grateful Dead used to do, run a separate board that's running it's own mix). Depending on how the radio broadcast was recorded, they can be, sound-wise, great or not-so-great. Two track tapes are typically rough around the edges, especially during the early portions of the set, but tend to be better than nothing at all. A lot of times, the first couple songs of a set will have things out of whack, some instruments or voices will be either too loud or not loud enough, and it takes the soundman a few minutes to get it balanced right.

    And even then, say if you've got a bassist or a guitarist onstage who has his amps cranked up (and The Who had both), then there's a good chance they're not going to be as loud as you maybe want them to be on the tape, if the tape is just of the FOH mix.

    So finding stuff that sounds good, and has a good enough performance, is a tricky issue when you're talking about something like that.
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 07-11-2017 at 11:11 AM.

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    The Kilburn '77 show is seen as very ragged, as this was not part of a tour and also Keith Moon was struggling to play consistently by this point.

    All of Monterey is available on CD, I'd forgotten that one. But it's kind of a mini-set, really...although typical of the time. Only bits of their Woodstock show have ever been released, I think.

    Apparently the Hull issue was resolved by 'flying in' the bass from the Leeds show!

    It's the same old story, you can get tons of latter-day shows (I think they even did that thing where they made every show from a tour available) with no real historical interest, and little from their peak. There are no more than a few live recordings from 1971-6 available on CD.

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    Like their studio catalog, the live catalog is a mess. The 1995 Live at Leeds is the best one.

    Even though it's a compilation across two decades, The Kids are Alright soundtrack is kinda essential. The performances of "My Wife", "Baba", and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are scorching. The Blues to the Bush is out of print but damn, this shows what they were capable of with Zak sitting behind the drum kit. The energy and fire are astounding. Again, it's a compilation but edited well enough that it feels like a single show. And don't forget that all-star post-9/11 concert in New York if it's still in print. The boys did four songs but clearly upstaged just about everyone (it always helps if Pete and Roger are having an argument before a show).
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    ^With the two Who's Next tracks in the film, Jeff Stein felt their initial performances were just not strong enough, which went down 'well' but it had the desired effect. Thank goodness he did as there's not much other good footage of these songs (his reason for doing it in the first place).

    I think the line-up with the original three and Starkey was about as close to the old magic as you could realistically get. A great shame there was no album in that period...not sure they did any studio work then, actually.

    The set-lists they were doing in 1975/6 are very odd...it's like they were already in nostalgia territory, with nothing from Quadrophenia at all on some shows and only a couple from the then-new By Numbers.
    Last edited by JJ88; 07-11-2017 at 09:26 AM.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=JJ88;713801]
    ^With the two Who's Next tracks in the film, Jeff Stein felt their initial performances were just not strong enough, which went down 'well' but it had the desired effect. Thank goodness he did as there's not much other good footage of these songs (his reason for doing it in the first place).
    It was Won't Get Fooled Again they had to do twice at Shepperton. In fact, the finished version that's in the film is the two takes cut together (and the shots of the lasers, I believe Stein said, were shot on a different day, too). On the DVD, there's a multi-cam feature on the bonus disc, where you can watch both Won't Get Fooled Again and Baba O'Riley from each individual camera angle. As I recall there was something like five or six different cameras. Each band member had a camera on him, then there was one or two others. One of the cameras was in the pit in front of the stage, and it moved between the two takes. So if you watch that particular camera, you'll see the point where the edit occurs (which, if memory serves was just before the organ break).

    But yeah, according to Stein, they went backstage and he had to talk the band into going back out to do another take of Won't Get Fooled Again. Apparently, Townshend in particular was really upset about that, sarcastically asking Stein if he'd like if he keeled over and died in the middle of a solo, then suggested he felt liking an audience member over the head with his guitar because kept yelling out for Magic Bus. And Stein replied, "Yeah, that would be great!".

    My question is, did Stein make Townshend do that leap and slide across the stage twice (if I remember correctly, he also did during the Kilburn concert)? On the DVD commentary Stein complains that the lighting guy brought the stage lights up a hair too late, so you don't really see that moment the way he wanted it to look. To me, that's funny, because everyone else thinks that slide is one of the great rock movie moments

    I think the line-up with the original three and Starkey was about as close to the old magic as you could realistically get. A great shame there was no album in that period...not sure they did any studio work then, actually.
    Yeah, I got to see that band once, in 2000. The thing I think made it sound great was they were actually trying to sound like the old Who. There was no horn section, no backup singers, no second guitar (except for one or two songs where Roger played guitar), and Townshend playing electric all night. The only auxiliary musicians were Zak and Rabbit Bundrick. And it really did sound awesome. Townshend and Entwistle's tones were somewhat suspect, but still, it was the best of the three times I got to see them before Entwistle went home.
    The set-lists they were doing in 1975/6 are very odd...it's like they were already in nostalgia territory, with nothing from Quadrophenia at all on some shows and only a couple from the then-new By Numbers.
    Yeah, I think they were aggravated by the problems they had from performing some of the Quadrophenia songs they didn't want to have anything to do with it for awhile. Or maybe Roger, John, and Keith didn't want to have anything to do with playing those songs, and they outvoted Pete.

    As for The Who By Numbers, they played Squeeze Box and Dreaming From The Waist regularly on that tour. They also played Slip Kid and I think However Much I Booze a few times each, but they got dropped quickly. The one version of Slip Kid I've heard sounded a bit sloppy. When it gets to the break down in the middle where Townshend does that volume pedal solo, he just sort of strums a single chord several times, like he couldn't remember what he was supposed to be playing or something. But I gather they felt those two songs, at least, "didn't work" live. And I've heard it suggested Pete at least didn't want to play some of the other songs live because they were "too depressing to play night after night". I can't remember if it was How Many Friends or In A Hand Or A Face that he said that about.

    But yeah, it is weird that they didn't play much of The Who By Numbers, even on that tour. It's kinda like what bands do now. They do one or two new songs, then it's all stuff that's older than some of the people in the audience for the rest of the night.

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    'Slip Kid' appeared in some of their 50th anniversary shows, incidentally.

    All those back-up musicians, that works on something like Tommy or Quadrophenia, but you don't need that for anything else. I really don't like the sound of those 80s shows....don't think Simon Phillips was the right choice as drummer, either (and nor was Kenney Jones).

    It would be good to cobble together some kind of live album out of the Quadrophenia tour from 1973. I know the tour had a shaky reputation but there must be some good performances of it. Most of their live albums are from 1970, so there's a sameness about the set-lists, and nothing from their most popular album (I guess), Who's Next.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    '

    All those back-up musicians, that works on something like Tommy or Quadrophenia, but you don't need that for anything else. I really don't like the sound of those 80s shows....don't think Simon Phillips was the right choice as drummer, either (and nor was Kenney Jones).
    Supposedly, the reason they "needed" all the extra musicians on the 89 tour was because they had to play at a lower volume level, due to Townshend's hearing problems (probably Entwistle's too). It's hard to explain, but apparently of The Who's sound came from the fact that Entwistle and Townshend were both turned up so loud onstage. It created this sort of psychoacoustic phenomenon that sounded "huge" (note: there's composers like Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham who compose "serious" music that relies on heavily amplified musical instruments, which create sounds that don't happen at lower volume levels).

    So to keep the "huge" sound, they needed all those extra musicians. True or not, they should have at least had the extra musicians play stuff that sounds like the original records, ie the horn section shouldn't be playing stuff that wasn't there in the first place, the second guitarist should at least try to sound like Townshend (or actually, Townshend should have played electric and the doppelganger should have been the one playing acoustic rhythm), etc.

    As for Phillips being a good choice, it's hard to know. Maybe if the other issues about that tour could have been addressed, particularly the over rehearsed aspect. I imagine Simon got the job because he had played so much of Townshend solo work.

    As for Kenney Jones, I think he was mainly chosen because he was friend of the band and of Keith, and they probably wanted someone they would get on with well enough, as opposed to someone who could master Keith's parts. And I still don't think he did that bad a job, though obviously there's a lot of stuff where he plays everything a lot "straighter", if you will, than Moon The Loon had. To me, a bigger issue with early 80's Who has more to do with the mediocre songs Townshend was bringing to the band, production, and the fact that I think perhaps after awhile, the other three just didn't have their hearts in it as much as earlier.
    It would be good to cobble together some kind of live album out of the Quadrophenia tour from 1973. I know the tour had a shaky reputation but there must be some good performances of it. Most of their live albums are from 1970, so there's a sameness about the set-lists, and nothing from their most popular album (I guess), Who's Next.
    I honestly don't know. I've only ever heard a few songs from that tour, so it's hard to know exactly what is or isn't salvageable. I know there was King Biscuit show that was recorded on the Quadrophenia tour, I've never really heard that entire recording, but in theory they could at least release the songs that were broadcast, as I understand King Biscuit always involved the bands' who appeared on the show, letting them pick what got broadcast, etc, so presumably at least that much of it was approved by the band.

    I think a lot of the issues stemmed from the fact that, as with Tommy, they just "had" to play the entire album, front to back, without interruption. That's a lot to ask from an audience, to sit through 80 or more minutes of music that you're not particularly familiar with (or possibly haven't even heard yet) just because it's a conceptual piece or whatever.

    And for whatever reason, it was deemed "necessary" to have these sort of explanations before many of the songs, of what was happening at that point in the story. OK, so you're already playing music that much of the audience maybe it's that keen on hearing (mostly they want to hear their old favorites), now you're giving monologues throughout the show, which the audience definitely doesn't want to hear. And in an arena, you can't hear half of what's being said onstage anyway. To be fair, the "let's talk to the audience" thing was something The Who seems to have done, judging from the various recordings and bootlegs I've heard...if you watch the Live From Toronto DVD, before Eminence Front, Pete makes some sort of muddled comment, before adding, "You can't understand what I'm saying, can you?". So it might have been as much of a "the audience isn't really getting this, are they?" thing.

    The other thing, perhaps even bigger, was that they had a lot of trouble with the tapes. In the first place, I guess they didn't like having to be tied to playing the songs exactly the same every night. Sure, they did were already doing that with Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again, but to do that for half of the concert (if not more of it), playing the songs more or less exactly the same, same tempo, no stretching out during the instrumental bits, etc may have been a bit "confining" for them. It was probably particularly taxing for Moon to play under those conditions, having to match a click track, etc.

    I also get the impression that maybe they just had trouble with the tapes working at all, ie the tape not starting when it's supposed to, or something else going wrong with the tape machine. That's the risk you run when you use any kind of technology, from the PA to lasers to pyro to whatever. Anything can go wrong. Of course, in this band, you had one band member who might end up rushed to the hospital with a drug overdose, and another one who spent a night in jail after assaulting a plainclothes cop and is probably lucky he's even able to walk these days.

    But who knows, maybe they were able to make it often enough that something decent could be salvaged and presented to the public in the official canon.

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    Hmm, I just realised there's one I forgot- the Young Vic 1971 show on the deluxe Who's Next.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who%27...deluxe_edition

    Also happened to hear that 1989 arrangement of 'I Can See For Miles'. Horrible dated digital keyboard sounds up front and dumbed-down drumming (pretty obviously Simon Phillips is a technically better player than Moon but here's a reminder that isn't everything).
    Last edited by JJ88; 07-13-2017 at 01:28 PM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Hmm, I just realised there's one I forgot- the Young Vic 1971 show on the deluxe Who's Next.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who%27...deluxe_edition

    Also happened to hear that 1989 arrangement of 'I Can See For Miles'. Horrible dated digital keyboard sounds up front and dumbed-down drumming (pretty obviously Simon Phillips is a technically better player than Moon but here's a reminder that isn't everything).
    The "dumbed down" drumming on I Can See For Miles was already present when they did the song in the early 80's with Kenney Jones, so I suspect it was probably some combination of Townshend, Entwistle and/or Daltrey telling the respective drummer to play that way on that song.

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    ^Whoever is to blame, they turned it into a rather bland stadium rock track compared with the original, IMHO. The original is one of my favourite records of all time.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    ^Whoever is to blame, they turned it into a rather bland stadium rock track compared with the original, IMHO. The original is one of my favourite records of all time.
    Well, I mostly agree with you on both points. I remember reading that Townshend was upset the single of I Can See For Miles kinda tanked, because he thought it was one of the best things they'd ever done (at least up to that point, anyway). And I've heard more than a few people suggest that song was one of the baby steps, or whatever you want to call it, leading up to what we now call "heavy metal".

    And it's got one of the greatest guitar solos ever. I'd like to see Yngwie Malmsteen try to master that one!

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    It just about limped into the Top 10 in the UK:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wh...graphy#Singles

    But they weren't really that big until Tommy anyway. They weren't close to The Beatles or The 'Stones in terms of popularity- no Number 1 singles or albums, despite the high quality of both. The Who Sell Out is their first masterpiece, yet even that didn't really set the world alight on original release.

    The underperformance of 'I Can See For Miles' led to a rather directionless period, witness fairly (by comparison) lightweight singles like 'Call Me Lightning', 'Dogs' and 'Magic Bus'. The latter became a stage staple, though (much to Entwistle's chagrin!).

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    It just about limped into the Top 10 in the UK:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wh...graphy#Singles

    But they weren't really that big until Tommy anyway. They weren't close to The Beatles or The 'Stones in terms of popularity- no Number 1 singles or albums, despite the high quality of both. The Who Sell Out is their first masterpiece, yet even that didn't really set the world alight on original release.

    The underperformance of 'I Can See For Miles' led to a rather directionless period, witness fairly (by comparison) lightweight singles like 'Call Me Lightning', 'Dogs' and 'Magic Bus'. The latter became a stage staple, though (much to Entwistle's chagrin!).
    Yeah, Thunderfingers said he hated playing Magic Bus, because it'd be 8 minutes of the other three jamming, with himself going "gan-ga-gank" on an open A string.

    But yeah, I gather they didn't make very much money until Tommy came out. I should get out The Who Sell Out and listen to it again, I haven't played that in awhile.

  20. #20
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Another two thumbs way up for the 2-disk Live at Leeds. Whenever I want to hear something I know I'll enjoy that one comes out. And talk about great road trip listening!

    I don't think the Live at the Royal Albert Hall from 2003 has been mentioned yet. I re-listen to it from time to time and am always reminded how strong it is.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  21. #21
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    ^I mentioned it...the show itself came from 2000, I think, and I think the DVD came out around then. The CD was from 2003. A surprisingly vital performance for what was certainly a 'nostalgia act' at that point in time.

    Most of their 1970 Isle Of Wight set was filmed and has been released several times. This show at least has Tommy in the middle of the set as it was actually performed, although the earlier Leeds performance is much tighter.

    I'm amazed by how little of their Woodstock performance has been released. Some in the band felt the performance wasn't great but I always thought they seemed really 'on' based on what has appeared. And it seems their set was seen as one of the highlights at the time.
    Last edited by JJ88; 07-15-2017 at 12:34 PM.

  22. #22
    Mod or rocker? Mocker. Frumious B's Avatar
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    BBC recordings
    Isle Of Wight 1970
    Hull 1970
    The Kids Are Alright soundtrack

    Also View From A Backstage pass is really good, but that was only available via The Who's website and is pretty expensive now.
    "It was a cruel song, but fair."-Roger Waters

  23. #23
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    That San Francisco 1971 show has appeared piecemeal on various releases, going back to a 70s B side. Based on what has been released, it sounds like an absolute scorcher of a show...why not release it in full?? They can push the fact it has Who's Next material when it was new.

  24. #24
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    That San Francisco 1971 show has appeared piecemeal on various releases, going back to a 70s B side. Based on what has been released, it sounds like an absolute scorcher of a show...why not release it in full?? They can push the fact it has Who's Next material when it was new.
    The Who really need to get someone to go through the vaults and start assessing what should be released. Also, re-released because there's plenty of things that aren't available any more. I can't think of a top tier act that has a more disarrayed catalog. Look at their peers: the Stones have the From the Vault series, Zep just did a whole series of remasters of the studio LPs that finally got a good portion of the unreleased material people have been clamoring for, the Beatles have done a stellar job, Pink Floyd had the big box last year and the Emersion boxes earlier. None of these efforts are perfect but they're light years above what the Who have done and as a Who fan I find it frustrating to have to consider piracy to capture things gone out of print or never properly released. Even the Kinks don't have such a fucked up mess and that's saying something.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  25. #25
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    There is supposedly a singles CD box coming out which will presumably feature all the tracks on the recent record equivalents. That is something given that they had a lot of non-album singles (although many of the A-sides were on the surprisingly good Who Hits 50 2cd set, the best Who release in years IMHO).

    But still leaves the albums! Some of the remixes are good (if only they were all as good as the remix of The Who Sell Out), some of them are not. Odds And Sods in particular is a mess, with no regard to the original sequencing and by all accounts, all sorts of weird screw-ups.

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