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on 17 March 2002
Recorded at a time when The Who had just trawled "Tommy" around the US for a year, "Live at Leeds" was a homecoming, an enjoyable one judging by the passion, humour and downright showmanship displayed by the band that Valentine's night in 1970.
After dumping 80 hours of live US concert material (by bonfire) from the previous year, the Pye Mobile studio was duly booked to record The Who at their peak in Leeds and Hull University with a view to releasing a live album as a filler between "Tommy" and Townshend's next project "Lifehouse" (which was eventually partly scrapped to become "Who's Next"); only Leeds was used for the live album though as the title suggests. The original 30-odd minute LP release deliberately overlooked the "Tommy" segment of the performance to show there was more to the band; "There's people out there who think there's a band called Tommy who have an album called The Who" bemoaned Townshend.
The 25th Anniversary release of Live at Leeds gave us a taster of what else went on that night with two excerpts from the rock opera (although a bootleg version has been around for some time) and we had to wait for this 30th Anniversary edition to hear the rest. Alright, purists may argue that putting the Tommy segment onto it's own CD denies the listener the chance to hear the correct running order of the concert, but it really is a fabulous audio experience and you better make sure that not only your family, but your entire street is outa the way before playing this at full tilt!
From the opening Entwistle thrasher "Heaven and Hell" to the closing bar of "See Me, Fell Me" you can't help wishing that you were there, and you're as exhausted as the band when it's all over.
Comes complete with booklet detailing the background to the concert as well as an excellent narrative of each track from Richard Evans.
Buy and enjoy the moment.
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on 4 December 2000
If you want to know why the Who hated the studio so much, listen to this. It shows what they really did almost every day of the year from 1970-71 before Who's Next. The bass and drums are truely stunning while Roger's vocals go far above anything he did before. This (and Who's Next) is the definitive Who LP. If you want to know what was really going down during the late 60's, this is where it's at. Play it VERY LOUD!!
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on 8 March 2004
Pete Townshend wanted to record a album of the Who in concert but after a european tour which was extensively recorded, he scrapped all the tapes and decided to record two shows, one in Hull, the other in Leeds. The sound quality of the Hull tapes left a lot to be desired so it was "Leeds" that provided the content for the live album which has since become legendary amongst rock fans and Who afficionados alike.
The album catches the band at the peak of their power, four superb musicians who almost had a "psychic" link with one-another when on stage. Now the album has been re-released in it's entirety, you can hear the full show for the first time.
Classics such as My Generation, Magic Bus, I Can't Explain and Tattoo are delivered "with maximum R & B "as the old Who concert posters used to say with thunderous bass lines from John Entwistle, huge metallic chords from Pete Townshend and as ever, the whole thing propelled along by Keith Moon, playing every drum at once accompanied with a cymbal wash that would split eardrums.
They also tackle some old standards wonderfully well, giving the turbo charged treatment to Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues"and Cochran's "Shakin' All Over", both of which have really become their songs. With all of Tommy for the first time on the second CD, this really gives a balanced view of the Who in concert. I saw them live at Earls Court in the early seventies and have to say it was the best ever. This album catches that raw power coupled with virtuoso musical ability. Even if you aren't particularly a Who fan, this album was then and still is now the blueprint for how every live rock album should sound.
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on 12 July 2001
From the opening roar of "Heaven and Hell" through to the final strum of guitar chords "Live At Leeds" displays The Who at their live peak. Recorded as a stop gap measure between their meisterwork "Tommy" and the equally majestic "Who's Next", it draws from their career to date equally mixing their hits, "Subsitute", "Can't Explain" with extended versions of album tracks, "See Me, Feel Me", "A Quick One". Throughout the tightness of the musicians as a band is clearly displayed while not inhibiting them from personal displays of musical agility that few have ever matched. Townshend rips at the guitar, strokes the guitar, flays at it while all the time leading the other down paths only they're capable of exploring. Entwhistle holds everything down with a bass that throbs constantly like the engine of Centurion tank ticking over. Moon smashes and crashes his way around his kit, seeming at times to stretch out where to none of them will ever reach him but then, remarkably he brings it all back to order as Daltry wails the songs. On display with this cd are a group prepared to explore and experiment but they do it not with sour faces but in a light hearted manner that conceals their abilities, musical agilities and sheer talent! The remastered version of "Live At Leeds" finally makes available a virtually complete performance from the greatest rock n' roll group of that time while they straddled the world and others just had to watch and wish they were that good!
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on 11 March 2010
PLEASE NOTE: This review is for the "25th Anniversary Issue" CD (14 tracks, Polydor 527 1692), but for some reason Amazon has now also included it amongst the reviews for the Deluxe edition. For that reason you will find my thoughts about the Deluxe edition tagged to the end of this review.

This 25th Anniversary version of Live At Leeds is remixed and expanded. But does that make it better than the original 6 track CD release?

I would argue, no. Allow me to explain.

The first thing I noticed with this remix in comparison to the original 6 track CD is how it sounds a little softer, politer.

For the remix the drums have been made more promiment, which at times seems to have the effect of muting or diluting the power of the guitar. On some of the newly added songs, where Townshend's chords should be exploding out of the speaker, my ears had to work to hear them because of the drums. Also, despite being pushed up in the mix for this 1996 version, the drums lack a bit of extra "gut punch" slam found on the original 6 track CD.

Similarly, Entwistle's bass seems to be more "buried" in the remix than on the original CD. And when on the newly added songs he plays little occasional trebly riffs on the higher strings, the difference is so much louder and clearer from his regular low-end playing that it has a tendency to sound like an overdub.

I think the producer made a mistake with this release by forgetting what The Who were REALLY about on the live stage. Some of the newly added tracks suffer from being mixed in a style which seems intended to push the band's vocal talents to the fore. I Can't Explain is a good example of this, with the combination of Daltrey's lead vocal and loud backing vocals distracting the listener from the driving riff.

The simplest way I can think to put it is that with the original 6 track CD the sound is one of 4 guys in a room playing at maximum power, but on equal terms. With the remix the drums and vocals are often pushed forward at the expense of the other two instruments. It's a very different listening experience.

If you can live without the bonus tracks, I would recommend seeking out the original 6 track version before the 1996 remix.

Don't get me wrong, the 1996 remix doesn't sound BAD, it just sounds DIFFERENT. And if you've never heard the original album you'll probably be very happy with this expanded version. It's certainly the best of the modern remasters available of this album, sonically better than the Deluxe edition. Buy it and play it loud and you'll be in hog heaven.

But if you do ever get the chance to grab the original 6 track version, don't be afraid to give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at the difference!

And now, The Deluxe Edition.

Quite simply, the Deluxe edition gets a ZERO star rating from me.

Why?

Because The Deluxe Edition is a travesty. Yes, you get the complete concert, but what the heck happened with the mastering?

The second disc of this set has been so digitally tampered with that the sound is *noticeably* worse than the first disc, to the extent that one could be forgiven for thinking each disc was taken from a completely different source. The mastering of the second disc is also far inferior to the previous CD issue, the 25th Anniversary edition.

For any CD release such a state of affairs would be questionable at best. For a "Deluxe" edition it is unacceptable. This title should have been remastered a second time to give a consistant quality of sound across the two discs, and free replacements offered to all who purchased the initial flawed release.

But that didn't happen. So we're now left with a substandard Deluxe issue. One which is not only inferior in sound quality to previous releases, but also to the bootleg alternative.

That's not right.

ZERO stars.
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Even after 20 years of handling vinyl rarities in Reckless - and 40 years trawling records racks as an overgrown manchild who should know better by now - you never quite get over handling an intact copy of The Who's fabulous "Live At Leeds" LP in its original British vinyl form. It's simply a thing of beauty and unbridled Rock lust.

Released May 1970 on Track 2406 001 - it had only six tracks - none of which were listed on the rear and came housed in a flimsy flippy-floppy buff brown gatefold card sleeve with the title stamped on it like a crate of bananas bound for the docks. But when you opened this official Track Records release (deliberately made to look like a 'bootleg' as an antidote to the opulence of the "Tommy” double-album from May 1969) - it housed two pocket pouches – the LP on the right and on the left - 12 of the coolest inserts you'd ever seen inside a glassine see-through greaseproof bag. One of these ephemera inserts was the foldout 'Maximum R&B At The Marquee' poster of Pete Townshend and his 1964 guitar giving it some scrunched-up flying welly - while another had a from-behind-shot of PT in front of the huge Woodstock audience in 1969 holding up his guitar like it was a holy offering of some kind. You then noticed the white label of the LP that told you in script that they were doing covers of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" and the Johnny Kidd & The Pirates 60ts belter "Shakin' All Over" (both of which made absolute sense in your head) and on Side 2 when you flipped it over that there was a 15-minute version of "My Generation"!
It was enough to make any young buck tremble – weak at the knees even at the mere thought of it. And decades later - when you returned to "Live At Leeds" yet again - in need of a proper riffage wig out in the comfort of your suburban Audio Mancave - Hell you'd even forgive the staples on the edges that rusted and discoloured the sleeve as the years past. As I say – The Who’s "Live At Leeds" has always been a thing of wonderment and fantasmagoricalness...

Which brings us to this glorious and well thought-out September 2001 33-Track 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' Reissue - itself substituting the February 1995 'Expanded Edition' single CD version of 14-tracks. Although some argue it's still 'not complete' – this version purports to offer the first release of the full 14 February 1970 concert at Leeds University – tagging on the whole of the double-album "Tommy" on Disc 2 in a best-ever live performance of something they'd played over 130 times on an extensive US tour. Throw in the careful digital restoration (supervised by Townshend) and semi-removal of the famous 'master tape crackles' and you can't help but feel that a good thing has only been made better – and how. Here are the maximum details...

UK released 1 October 2001 (24 September 2001 in the USA) - "Live At Leeds: Deluxe Edition" by THE WHO on Polydor 112 618-2 (Barcode 008811261825) is a 2CD Reissue with 18 Previously Unreleased Tracks that features the first release of the complete 14 February 1970 Leeds University concert (including the 1969 "Tommy" Double Album intact) and plays out as follows:

Disc 1 (73:33 minutes):
1. Heaven And Hell
2. I Can't Explain
3. Fortune Teller
4. Tattoo
5. Young Man Blues *
6. Substitute *
7. Happy Jack
8. I'm A Boy
9. A Quick One, While He's Away
10. Summertime Blues *
11. Shakin' All Over *
12. My Generation *
13. Magic Bus *

Disc 2 (53:33 minutes):
1. Overture
2. It's A Boy
3. 1921
4. Amazing Journey
5. Sparks
6. Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
7. Christmas
8. The Acid Queen
9. Pinball Wizard
10. Do You Think It's Alright?
11. Fiddle About
12. Tommy Can You Hear Me?
13. There's A Doctor
14. Go To The Mirror
15. Smash The Mirror
16. Miracle Cure
17. Sally Simpson
18. I'm Free
19. Tomorrow's Holiday Camp
20. We're Not Gonna Take It

NOTES:
"Live At Leeds" was released 3 May 1970 in the UK on Tracks Records 2406 001 and 16 May 1970 in the USA on Decca DL 79175 (peaked at No. 3 and No. 4 on the UK and US album charts).
The six songs marked * on Disc 1 are the original 1970 LP - to sequence it from CD 1 use the following track numbers:
Side 1: Young Man's Blues (5)/Substitute (6)/Summertime Blues (10)/Shakin' All Over (11)
Side 2: My Generation (12)/Magic Bus (13)

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 on Disc 1 and Tracks 4 and 5 from Disc 2 were first released as part of the February 1995 14-song single CD reissue of "Live At Leeds" on Polydor 527 169-2. Fans will note that Disc 1 here has only 13-tracks instead of 14 – that's because the double track of "Amazing Journey/Sparks" from the 1995 disc has been moved for this 2001 reissue as two separate songs to Disc 2 to facilitate a correct running order of "Tommy". All 18 other tracks on Disc 2 are Previously Unreleased.

Those famous 12 inserts are spread across the six flaps within the chunky foldout digipak (including under the see-through CD trays) with the 'Maximum R&B' Poster for their Tuesday residency at the Marquee in 90 Wardour Street gracing page 27 of the 28-page booklet. Before that is a track-by-track appraisal in new liner notes from CHRIS CHARLESWORTH – a superb breakdown of the original packaging by Who enthusiast RICHARD EVANS and the whole caboodle has been overseen by long-time Who archivist and Reissue man JON ASTLEY. There are many Black and White period photos of the individual band members in full-on live mode as well as typed lyrics to “My Generation”. Obsessives like me will know that uber-rare 1st pressing originals of the British LP had the title stamped in black lettering up in the right corner - second pressings came in Blue and Red type. This 2001 'Deluxe Edition' 2CD set opts for the blue lettering embossed into the front sleeve with an attached greaseproof title sheet stuck onto the rear (if you don’t get the outer plastic slipcase).

But the big news is yet another sonic go-round that adds rather fudges. The Remixes and Remasters have been supervised by PETE TOWNSHEND and carried out by Engineer ANDY MacPHERSON and JON ASTLEY at Close To The Edge Studios – and the results are as close to perfect as you can get for such a notoriously crude recording. All the power of the band seems to have been realised here without too much compression or compromise. It’s a cliché I know – but this reissue does truly rock – the sheer sonic excitement of the band during “Magic Bus” is breathtaking and won’t cost you one hundred English pounds...

It opens with a cover of Mose Allison's Jazz Swing song "Young Man Blues" turned into a Who Rocker and you're immediately clobbered by the clarity of both Townshend's guitar and the confident strut of Daltrey's vocals - huge and attacking in all the right ways. It's followed by Townshend's witty 'three hit singles from our past' banter before they launch into a two-minute version of "Substitute" where Mooney's huge drums have no crocodile tears and genuinely threaten your speakers with malevolent intent. 14 June 1970 saw Track Records UK edit down "Summertime Blues" into single form and along with a studio version of Entwistle's "Heaven And Hell" on the B-side release the band's 14th seven-inch single on Track 2094 002 (the US copy on Decca 32708 had "Here For More" as its flipside). That side ends with a Rocking and yet Funky rendition of "Shakin' All Over" - quivers down the backbone indeed.

But for me it's Side 2 with the extended the 15-minute "My Generation" and the near eight-minute "Magic Bus" that puts the LP into legend. Including bits from "Tommy" like an improvised "See Me Feel Me" and a Bass Solo - "My Generation" stills feel dangerous and anthemic - even at such a huge ambling length. The riffage of "Magic Bus" is explosive stuff and when the band finally does kick in - you know why people in the audience never forgot the experience of The Who in full flight. Of the extras I love "Tattoo" from "The Who Sell Out" LP - that perfect combo of melody and crashing pomp - while Entwistle's "Heaven And Hell" lets Pete riff away as if it was own song - a powerful set opener. But best of all is the witty mishmash that is "A Quick One, While He's Away" - a six-part musical Who tour-de-force about an unsuspecting girl guide and a not-so-innocent Ivor The Engine Driver with amazing vocals traded at the beginning and throughout. The booklet advises that after extensive research - the largely unreleased "Tommy" on CD2 is the best played version yet found and when you hear them tear through "The Acid Queen", "Pinball Wizard" and "I'm Free" - you're in no doubt that's no idle boast designed to beef up already overblown liner notes – it's actually true. Amazing stuff...

In May 2017 "Live At Leeds" by THE WHO will be 47 years young. And I have to say that this 2001 Deluxe Edition of it does that in-yer-face legend proud...
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One guitar, one bass, one singer, one lunatic drummer, four different personalities. This was The Who. Live at Leeds is simply the best live album ever, and now for the first time (officially) you can listen to the whole show. The running order has been changed so Tommy is all on one disk but all of the concert is there. If you already have a version of Live at Leeds then this one is worth buying just to listen to the banter between songs, the intro to "A Quick One" is simply superb.
So if you want to hear a truly superb live rock and roll band in action or you ever wondered what The Who were all about then buy this album, put it on your CD player, turn it up really loud, sit back and be prepared to be amazed...
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on 8 March 2002
I borrowed an old vinyl copy of this album some time ago; I felt that whilst it represented the best live Who I had heard from a band performance aspect, the paltry 6 track/38 minute running order left a bit to be desired, especially when 3 of the titles were old rock'n'roll covers (not a genre I'm particularly in to). This release has answered the criticisms and then some, with the addition of some cracking renditions of other original and cover material, the mini-opera "A Quick One..." and of course a complete "Tommy", all with upgraded sound (well done John Astley). Two things struck me about the performances here; firstly how I had previously undervalued John Entwhistle's bass playing, and how, at the end of the gig, Keith Moon could still be drumming in such a ferocious style after nigh-on 2 hours of playing. The tightness of the whole band is fantastic throughout (save for Roger's voice sounding a little bit worn-out in the closing stages) and the extra flair compared to the studio cuts adds enormously in all instances. I would urge anyone who enjoys rock music to buy this CD and play it loud. ESSENTIAL!
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on 9 October 2001
OK no messing about , if you have got this far you are at least interested...well don't delay like I did, BUY IT NOW and do yourself a huge favour!
Why...well you obviously like the Who or you wouldn't be here, but whether you like, love or are obsessed with the Who your cd collection NEEDS this record.
I had the original vinyl Live at Leeds [LAL] and progressed to the extra tracks cd reissue with Fortune Teller, Heaven and Hell etc. This was a major leap forward in the enjoyment stakes cos it was longer, better recorded and had lots of lovely pics and liner notes/booklety thing to read.
Oh, although it goes with out saying I had better say it anyway, that the actual performance is as close as you can get to the 'OO live in their dynamic earbusting pomp and prime without actually watching them. Crashing power chords, thrashing crashing cacophany of artillery..sorry I mean drums and a bass sound that doubles as another rhythm guitar such is its power and invention. The playing continuously sends goose bumps down your neck with its dynamic tension [sic.]
And I havn't even mentioned Daltry yet which is where this double package adds the cream to an already mouth watering cake.
The complete Tommy performed live...except on bootlegs, this is the first chance to hear what cemented the Who's rep. as the premier live band in the World, [well depending on whether Zep or the Stones were touring at the time.]
Its great to hear the classic album [which lets be honest can be a bit incomprehensable and limp in its studio guise ] performed live, without frills and with the maximum of emotion and feel. Listening to it you DO actually feel you are part of the crowd experiencing part of rocks historical holy canon!
And if that ain't enough for 2 discs of incendiary rock history, the packaging is excellent.
A double fold over card board cover, actually stamped/indented with the title, its own plastic slip case and of course the usual excellent sleeve notes and booklet.
Even if you are only a peripheral Who fan or if you have never heard the Who before[where'vya been??] but love genuine rock you owe it to yourself to get this - [Tommy] CAN YOU HEAR ME?!!!!
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on 28 November 2016
Superb. Well put together on vinyl in the correct running order. This show was recorded 46 years ago. It could have been last night. It just shines. I was born in 73 so was not around to have had the chance to see such a gig. But this is the next best thing. THE greatest band on earth. THE greatest live album on earth...buy it...
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