Although The Who had made some great recordings by this point, they hadn’t achieved a live album release prior to this album. Live At Leeds changed all that. The Who had a big reputation for being a strong and powerful Rock group with a great live sound and this album was seen to be proof of that. To fill in some time between major releases by The Who, this album was released fairly quickly after being recorded at the University of Leeds on Valentine’s Day in 1970. Let’s hear this album, and hopefully, The Who lives up to their hype on it. This is an expanded edition, with extra songs being placed on this live album that wasn’t originally there in the first place.
Heaven And Hell begins this live performance with the audience clapping and cheering, and soon enough, the band get right into it. This is instantly much more powerful than what was recorded at the time in the studio by The Who, it sounds fantastic. Singing by the group emerges over loud and raw electric guitars. Instantly, you can hear how wonderful and excellent The Who was as a live band. A great listen, Keith Moon’s drumming on this track is also powerful, intricate and interesting. Soon enough, a fuzzy yet expressive guitar solo shreds its way into existence, just sounding really top. A genuinely amazing listen, The Who nailed their live sound on this performance. With great singing about heaven and hell, Roger Daltrey is also a big star here with his singing. An extended jam is in the second half of this song, which is really cool, and a must listen for Classic Rock fans. Sure, it may border on Progressive Rock excess, but it is not. Soon enough, the chorus singing resumes to finish up this legendary performance. Excellent work by The Who.
I Can’t Explain begins with the iconic guitar chords by Pete Townshend, nimble bass picking by John Entwhistle and a really excellent Pop/Rock musical piece to boot. This is really legendary listening to, it just sounds like a band on fire. Each member puts in a wonderful performance on this tune. This piece is rather short at under three minutes long, but this is an amazing live rendition of the original hit by The Who. In the second half is a very Black Sabbath sounding guitar solo section which sounds different. The song ends fairly quickly, with the band thanking the crowd. Roger Daltrey does some talk to the crowd and comes across as a guy without too much Rock music ego. The next song then begins.
Fortune Teller begins with some melancholy sounding chords, before launching into a loud and powerful cover by The Who. From the start, this is a good choice for a live piece. The Who sound as though they have nailed it all musically, and again, Keith Moon’s drumming is truly spectacular. Enjoyable and lively, this is a really cool piece of gritty and driven Rock music. The second half has a key change that actually doesn’t sound at all awful, unlike most key changes in music. Nonetheless, a good listen, even for a cover. Well done, it segues straight into the next track.
Tattoo begins with glorious arpeggios and some wonderful singing by Roger Daltrey. He puts in a superb performance vocally, which drives this live number along very well. It sounds as though he didn’t need a second take at all in the studio or live, he just sounds tremendously great. The rest of the band does an excellent job on this song as well. In any case, this is a loud, raw and lively performance that is A Grade for a live piece. An interesting song as well, The Who have nailed it here. The song ends fairly quickly to well earned applause. Some more crowd speak before the next song is up occurs, which is interesting and witty in parts. Excellent work.
Young Man Blues is another cover and begins with live, loud and raw Rock and Roll riffs, before some extraordinary drumming enters, followed by some great singing. This is a joyous stop/start piece of music that sounds ridiculously good and is of course a blues number. Really powerful, interesting and adventurous, this is a great and wonderful live number, a real highlight of this live album. There is a really cool chugging guitar riff towards the middle. A glorious solo section for the different instruments then gets going. This is a really quintessential live performance that sounds fantastic, to this day. A great Rock band that The Who were at their peak, the extended jam here proves that not only Cream could do such a thing musically, but so could these guys. Eventually, Roger Daltrey gets singing away well again and this song pulsates with Rock energy. This song ends with chaos musically, but great chaos at that, with euphoric drum rolls to close. Brilliant, the crowd cheers nicely and the band continue to chatter, introducing the next few songs to the crowd, which is a three-piece medley section of this live performance.
Substitute begins with some upbeat guitar chords, before going straight into a powerful and energetic piece of music that still sounds really great and excellent to this day. The singing and band mesh together in such a wonderful way that is really well delivered and impressive. The Who nailed their live performances on this record, and songs such as these proved that. Less than two minutes long, this is a good and short listen that segues into the next song.
Happy Jack begins with some clean guitar riffing, launching into a great and decent Pop piece that is a tale of distress. The live performance present is again of very high quality and amazing, the harmonies in particular on this song are irresistible. The Who have nailed this live album, and the powerful and energetic performances present are undeniably great. A refreshing listen.
I’m A Boy begins with some pounding drums, excellent singing and a great tune at hand, once again. A very interesting tune with nice strummed guitar, this is a really thorough and excellent listen which has Roger Daltrey singing in his prime. Although many people have mentioned that this isn’t the greatest live performance ever by The Who, this is sensational regardless, pointing to the fact that The Who was a great live band as well. A catchy and different listen, there are pounding drums leading straight into a section full of pretty harmonies towards the middle. Pete Townshend also comes across as an underrated guitarist, filling in all the spots necessary that he can. This song concludes after just less than three minutes long, with much applause from the crowd. The band get to speak to the audience about the next song with witty humour about what it is actually about, which is interesting to hear. The conclusion is gold, and very funny. A must listen.
A Quick One, While He’s Away begins with dual vocals by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, before guitar parts get going. The song itself is from the second album by The Who, and it is obviously about sleazy sexual endeavours. Nonetheless, this is a nice, powerful and interesting listen. Keith Moon in particular puts in an amazing performance on the drums. Everything on this song is amazing sounding, and it all sounds really awesome and fantastic to hear. The suspense on this tune as it progresses is fantastic, with many stop/start sections. The song itself is classic British tongue-in-cheek style musical humour, and it works exceptionally well on this song. Towards the middle is a prominent bass guitar part, with other wacky sounds, including some soothing vocal harmonies. This section sounds a lot like Reggae music, in fact. Enjoyable and humourous listening, this is really great, and it just sounds top-notch. If you need a laugh from the 1960s, this is not a bad place to start. The playing and structure present in this tune are brilliantly done, and this live performance is amazing and sensational. Towards the end is a crazy-sounding song section that is very loud, with the repeated refrain, “You are forgiven”. A great song about an affair that nobody ought to know about, this song concludes with some great singing and musicianship, before concluding well. A great piece of music.
Amazing Journey / Sparks begins with the iconic guitar riffs from Tommy. Soon enough, this song gets going into a glorious and enjoyable tune that is one of The Who’s best pieces from the Tommy album. A really excellent listening experience, Roger Daltrey in particular sounds really great on this album. A fine and wonderful song to listen to, Keith Moon’s drumming on this is really amazing as well. A great live album and performance by The Who, this sounds expressive, artistic and sensational. This song sounds like The Who at their peak. Some magical guitar soloing is present in this song, and the whole tune is very uplifting. The jam that begins around the middle of this amalgamation of music is really powerful and lively. The Who nailed Classic Rock very well on songs such as these, and their music has stood the test of time. Soon into it, the second half of this song begins with the iconic chords present. Pretty, lovely and interesting sounding, this launches into a louder and much more powerful version of this song than the original ever was. A really great listen throughout, this is a genuinely decent Rock jam, for those who wish to hear a jam of its sorts. Really fine and excellent, with plenty of musical suspense, the music present on this album is a blueprint for future live bands out there. Great stuff, it finishes to loud applause. Well done.
Summertime Blues begins with more punchy guitar chords, a good rhythm section and some decent melodies to hear. This is really excellent music, and it is more Rock and Roll power to you. The playing by each band member is super intricate, and the lyrics are fairly interesting in this song. Roger Daltrey is a really great singer here, and the music is really superb and excellent. There are some wailing guitar solos in the second half of this song, which do sound fantastic. A really interesting and driven piece of music, this is barely over three minutes long but is fantastic. Great work.
Shakin’ All Over begins with some 12-bar blues-style guitar parts, launching into a very Bluesy tune at hand. This is a great listen, even if it is unfamiliar territory for The Who. Roger Daltrey sings his guts out very well on this song, and this sounds really fantastic and glorious. A really wonderful and precise sounding tune, the drumrolls towards the middle with the rest of the band playing away are nothing but fantastic. The whole band play very nicely as a unit, and they sound as though they are on fire. Excellent music that has stood the test of time, this is a really cool live set from The Who. Powerful, alive and energetic, this is without a doubt one of the best live sets released as an official album. Great music, and worth hearing this Bluesy number. It ends fairly quickly with loud clapping and cheering from the audience.
My Generation – Medley is an extended 15 minute plus version of the original song. It launches straight into the song at hand, complete with the iconic guitar riffs and Roger Daltrey’s signature stutter on this song. This is a very good song for a live rendition, it just sounds powerful and energetic. A very good call-and-response section is next, before going straight into the key change. Uplifting and pulsating full of youthful energy, the music on this song is stunning. This piece then launches into a fantastic jam section, which sounds extremely impressive. The repeated guitar riffs and interaction between the band members are fantastic. This launches into other songs in this lengthy jam that are by The Who. This extended medley is very impressive. There are clanging basslines and powerful electric guitar parts, followed by a lone solo electric guitar section that sounds beautifully brilliant. This is great live music to hear, and it sure sounds interesting, rocking and powerful. Pete Townshend gets his guitar on, and he sounds very great here. This whole piece speeds up as it approaches the middle of the song, before releasing into a Led Zeppelin-esque conclusion before Pete Townshend’s guitars take the fore. These are proto-U2 style riffs present and the whole thing sounds really awesome. Soon enough, the band return to the medley at hand, and they all put in 100%. This is somewhat Progressive Rock in terms of musicality, and the guitar shredding that emerges is absolutely brilliant. The band again stop for the guitar solos alone, which are well played and are quite different. A pounding and heavy guitar riff emerges, and this song launches into a frenzied jam. A really awesome listening experience, this medley is wonderfully done. It may not exactly be Pink Floyd in terms of Progressive Rock, but it works very well regardless. A great and excellent combination of playing and songs, this really does sound inspired and fantastic. The linking of tracks present in this song are cleverly picked, and the whole medley is really excellent. For Classic Rock fans, this is very essential listening. Towards the end are more subdued and delay-laden guitar parts, before launching into a final jam that sounds really great. The playing is expertly done, and everything present in this extended jam is wonderful. Eventually, this concludes nicely. Great job. It ends magnificently. The crowd cheer loudly and clap very hard, a decent finish to a great medley.
Magic Bus is the last song on this live album. It begins with clap stick percussion, the audience clapping along well and some excellent guitar playing by Pete Townshend. This is interesting guitar playing from the start, launching into the classic number by The Who. This is loud, great and powerful music, and is a great live rendition of this song. A very 1960s sounding piece of music, the sounds present and singing are both quintessential from this album. A chugging rhythm eventually emerges, and this tune sounds really awesome and interesting to listen to. Cool and awesome listening, the music present on this album is really amazing as a live rendition. There is a harmonica here as well, just to make things more interesting. In the second half are some muted guitar parts and some classy singing from Roger Daltrey. There is a call-and-response band and singing section to listen to here, and this live rendition then goes chaotic in the second half. The tempo speeds up nicely towards the end, before concluding with Pete Townshend shredding and a brief jam session ongoing before this tune ends properly. Great music, and very unforgettable indeed. The crowd show their appreciation by applauding loudly, which is much deserved.
If you love Classic Rock and The Who, this release is a real no-brainer to explore. It is seen as one of the greatest live albums of all time and deservedly so. This reissue is a must for those who dig The Who, Progressive Rock jam and great songcraft. The Who would admittedly hit their peak with the Who’s Next album, but that was to come later on. This is just as enjoyable, however. A must-have for those who dig the older Rock styles of music.
Excellent jam band music.