on 19 November 2012
I've become quite slack with all things Who in the last few years, so when i first saw the pre-order for this i thought it was going to be disappointing, but knowing what we know about Live At Leeds and its relationship to Hull, it really isn't.
The first thing that strikes me about this set, is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to listen to it and not compare every second to the same moments of LAL. That classic album has had many permutations over the last 40 years, but in my opinion, the original 6 track version still kicks like a mule. I discovered it from a Kerrang 100 albums you must own list from about 1989/1990, and could. not. believe. it. when i first heard it. So LAH has a lot of listening history to live up to.
There is a lot less banter on LAH, whether this is by design or not i don't know, but it does detract a bit from the perceived intimacy of LAL. However, the other differences are striking. Moon's drumming is, unbelievably, even more incendiary on LAH. It could be the fact that the mix is slightly different, but he just seems to be on fire. The songs are punchier, and although timings are similar, they seem shorter and more direct. The singing isn't as good, but The Who live was never about perfection. It is fascinating to hear the differences in Townshend's playing, and the surprising lack of repetition between the two sets. The production also seems to ramp up The Ox's playing, and on Young Man Blues his bass growls like I've never heard before.
One minute complaint, the inside sleeve of the 2cd set has a photo of Leeds, from the rejected set that Chris McCourt did. Weird. Maybe there aren't any of Hull.
This is an essential set. Buy it. Turn it up. And for you experienced listeners, maybe feel a tiny bit of the excitement you felt the first time you heard Live At Leeds.
on 2 December 2012
Considering that this is a recording made 24 hours after the righteous 'Live At Leeds' set, you'd think that 'Live At Hull' is superfluous to requirements, it being the exact same set (with the exception of 'Magic Bus') with the running times of the songs for the two shows almost matching second-for-second. Well, yes, maybe so, but the charms of 'Live At Hull' are plenty. The Who were not a machine, going through the motions. They played with ferocity but also sensitivity, grace and wit, and there's an abundance of it on this release. Part of the fun for the listener who knows 'Live At Leeds' by heart is in the differences in the performances, by the players and of the songs. Pete Townshend is in a more punkish mood at Hull, tearing into the 'Tommy' section with a looser, thrashier exuberance than 'Leeds'. The absence of between-song badinage makes more for a heads-down no-nonsense mindful boogie prospect. It's a relentless and beautifully punishing two hours.
Bob Pridden's production follows the template of 'Leeds' (bass in one channel, guitar in the other, vocals and drums in the middle, hardly any audience) and it's majestic, powerful stuff.
I must sing the praises of Richard Evans' art direction, the cover being a replica of an old, scuffed tape-reel box. This at once signals that this is an unpretentious, warts and all representation of The Who, and also it's a joke at the expense of record buyers who might double-take at the sight of the cover, thinking at first sight that it had been damaged in transit. One page of the booklet includes Townshend's original notes on the band's performance (e.g. 'Summertime Blues - a bit dirty. Vox good but tired. Roger uneven volume. Solo - quite short. Bass late'); I would love to have seen all of those notes.
That minor gripe aside, this is more than an historical document; it's a cracking album by a band at their zenith.
on 10 June 2014
There really isn't a great deal of difference between this and Live at Leeds (LAL). The dedicated Who fan, like me, will want both. But if you're a casual listener who would quite like to have a live Who album from 1970 in your collection you need to be aware of the differences to allow you to choose which is for you:
1. Magic Bus is missing from Live at Hull (LAH).
2. There are times when the sound seems a little subdued on this release. It says in the sleeve notes that the crowd were quiet, so maybe it's atmosphere that's lacking - it certainly isn't The Who's performance, which is magnificent.
3. There are occasional glitches in sound quality in LAH (not enough to deduct a star).
4. There is virtually no banter between songs (according to the sleeve notes there genuinely was virtually no banter - I assumed it had been removed to make this release different from LAL).
5. LAL has the tracks in the order in which they were performed. This means that Tommy starts half way through disc 1 and finishes on disc 2. LAH has Tommy on disc 2 and everything else on disc 1.
If you only want one, I hope the above will help you to decide. Suffice to say I give LAL and LAH five stars.
on 31 December 2012
If you are of a certain age you might recall that by the early 70s there were only two rock bands that were seen by fans and critics alike to be unassailable on the live stage (on a good night): Led Zeppelin and of course, The Who. Unlike Led Zep (who finally nailed it with 'How the West was Won') The Who managed at the time to document possibly their zenith in live performances circa '69, '70 with arguably the greatest live rock album 'Live at Leeds':a brutal slab of testosterone that cranked Townsend's opus 'Tommy' plus a smattering of hits and choice covers to number 11 and beyond, capturing four musicians at the very top of their game, instinctively anticipating each other's next move to create a glorious cacophony which still sounds irresistible and thrilling 40 odd years later.
'Live at Hull' does absolutely nothing to dilute or dispel The Who's claim to be the greatest live band of all time. Instead it scaffolds the legend simply by raising the hairs on the neck and enabling the listener to grin and leap around the kitchen like an idiot, clutching an imaginary Gibson SG (which has seconds to live) before ceremoniously smashing it into the cooker. It sounds fresh and exciting and different enough to 'Leeds' for a Who fan and offers the gorgeous prospect of hearing them twice at their peak. This is not just a rerun of 'Live at Leeds'. 'Hull' was to be the band's first choice for a live record had not Entwistle's bass been missing on a few tracks on playback. It not only stands up to scrutiny by those of us who have too much time on our hands and own too many bootleg recordings, it delivers because it confirms that 'Live at Leeds' was only one great night in God knows how many in the band's history, and witnessing or hearing one is not enough.
Recorded the night after Live At Leeds, this is another great live performance - in fact not that different from its legendary predecessor. The mighty version of Magic Bus isn't repeated but the rest is - the great versions of Summertime Blues, Shakin' All Over and Young Man Blues especially. They're just as good, as is the rest. It's a proper live album rather than the modern, auto-tuned and otherwise airbrushed and adulterated stuff we're often served up. Daltrey produces some spine-tingling moments but also strains for some notes and suffers from some dodgy tuning sometimes (as do the backing vocals.) Towshend's guitar wanders out of tune sometimes, and there are some moments of near-shambles mixed in with some sheer brilliance. It's real music being played by real people and, warts and all, is a terrific reminder of what a superb guitarist Townshend is under the antics and destruction, and that Keith Moon may have been madder than an exceptionally mad person on National Mad Day, but behind a drumkit he was a unique genius.
Every Who fan will want this. Of course we will; as a self-respecting Who fan, I bought Live At Leeds when it came out and still have the vinyl album - bits and pieces and all - and then the expanded CD versions and I had to have this, too. I'm not sure that this adds anything to Live at Leeds, really, but - come on - we're going to buy a live album recorded the night after that historic concert no matter what. If you're a Who fan, you'll love it - but then, you already knew that.
(What follows is a personal reflection which you may not want to bother with. The thing is, although Live At Leeds a great live album - possibly the greatest in rock - I've not played it in the intervening 40-odd years nearly as much as Tommy, Who's Next, Quadrophenia and the rest. There are some great moments but I often find with live albums that you really had to be there, and I wasn't - I was at home a few miles away studying for my O Levels. I saw The Who in concert only once (at Charlton Athletic's Valley ground in 1974, since you ask) and it was a stunning experience. Daltrey shone like a rebellious god with his golden curls, Townshend windmilled and leapt like a demon, Moon was...well, Keith Moon, and Entwhistle stood like a rock amid it all while I was among tens of thousands of people, all swept away by the music we loved being played just for us, right there and right then, by the men we so admired. Almost four decades on, I still remember it with a thrill. And that's the thing: a recording of it would probably be very good, but it wouldn't be the occasion, and that's what I find with live albums generally. I'm often glad to have heard them but don't go back to them that often. I suspect it will be like that with Live At Hull, too, but then - so what? I've got to have it so I know it's there in my collection.
Sorry - rambling over.)
on 28 February 2013
If you have the De Luxe version of Live At Leeds, then the sheer whack of this album will come as no surprise. It is as good as that release, with a few caveats - part of the pleasure of the later CD releases of LAL was the chatter in between the tracks with Pete and Keith exchanging comments and jokes, and Pete engaging with the audience; it would be interesting to know if Pete did that in Leeds as he knew it was being recorded, because here there is nothing like that, just the music. The music is just fantastic though, with the Who at their absolute peak - the live version of Tommy here is just breathtaking. This is probably for the completist - it doesn't add much to 'Leeds', but it is extremely good!
on 19 November 2012
It is interesting, when the same album is recorded twice; it's always the unreleased version that is perceived as the strongest & an over-sight by The Band/Record Company for making the wrong choice.
As is the case with "..Live from Hull" the sister of "Leeds", which has gained almost mythical status over the prevailing decades.
This is a great live album, but it's pretty similar to "Leeds", apart from songs like "A Quick one." "Young Man Blues" & "My Generation", which are slightly different.
You've probably you've got "Leeds" & "Isle of White" already, so unless you're a massive Orrible Who fan, this isn't an essential purchase.
Still, a outstanding & innovative record, with a decent sound quality.
Although I'd be a bit miffed if I'd forked out all that money for the "Leeds" box then found out I could buy this for a Tenner!
on 6 December 2012
Firstly, this recording is an absolute bargain for a tenner. Yes you can sit and play spot the difference with Live At Leeds, but just enjoy it for the excellent document that it is of a band that was laying the foundations for the arena tours to come. The first 3 tracks have had the bass guitar tracks replaced with those from Live At Leeds, which, through the wonders of Pro Tools, have been time stretched and adjusted to fit. There was little scope for any improvisation in those short opening warm-up songs so this is hardly a major issue. Also remember that the much revered Live At Leeds album was also tarted up after the event when Townshend and Entwistle had to re-record their backing vocals. So despite the patched up bass, it's a great document of the band at a key point in its career.
The stitch up comes in the form of the earlier release of this desirable recording only as a part of the limited edition super deluxe collector's Live At Leeds box set, which compelled the completist fan to pay through the nose for fancy packaging and yet another copy of Live At Leeds to finally get the Hull show. Now we have the Hull show available for a tenner. Rather than rip the fans off with any more similar cynical marketing ploys, I would rather that the next time the band is minded to release some more old rarities that they do so without making people buy duplicate copies of records that they have already got. Just put the stuff out on its own and honestly priced.
Previously they pulled a similar stroke after having an exclusive live album made available to subscribers to the band's website as an incentive to join up and then within a year they had put most of that material out on general release. Some might say that it's all down to the record company, but the band and its management have a determining say in what is released and how it is presented to the public.
on 18 December 2012
The Who Live at Hull. Every Who fan should own this. Unlike Live at Leeds this does not have much banter with the audience also being a few notches up on the Leeds performance..
on 15 December 2012
The classic WHO concert, recorded live in HULL CITY HALL in the same week that the other LIVE ALBUM was recorded. In my opinion, this was a much better concert, and I am pleased that following THE WHO''s recent KC STADIUM concert in HULL, where Pete corroborated this belief, they have eventually been able to issue it. BUY AND ENJOY!