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lunes, marzo 10, 2008

The Who - Live At Leeds (MFSL UDCD 755)


The Who - Live At Leeds
MFSL UDCD -755 (Ultradisc II)

1970-1999
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The strengths and weaknesses of the Who are revealed in all their glory and folly on these two significant remastered releases from the good folk at MFSL. Back in the early '70s, these two albums were pure dynamite; listening to them in the late '90s, I was surprised at how well this music holds up. The main strength of The Who was their boundless energy, embodied most forcefully in the frenzied drumming of Keith Moon, but also realized quite tellingly in the guitar attacks of Pete Townshend and the bass runs laid down by John Entwistle. Their main weakness was their mediocre vocalizing -- for all his straining and posturing, Roger Daltrey was really at best an average vocalist, and he often falls short of his best. Still, these two releases showcase the band at their best, both in live performance and in the studio. For all its energy and inspiration, Live at Leeds still gets dragged down by its vocals; however, Who's Next comes to life with its remastering job and extra cuts. For rock and roll fans, then, this new release of Who's Next is absolutely indispensable. Live at Leeds is also indispensable, but primarily for Who fanatics. Both releases represent MFSL at their finest -- great sound, great liner notes, and great choice of material. -- KWN

Produced by The Who and recorded on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 14 1970 at Leeds University, LIVE AT LEEDS was released in the UK in May 1970 on Track Records (2406 001), as a CD in the 1980s by Polydor (825 339-2) a Polydor remastered CD with additional tracks (527 169-2) in 1995, and finally as a Deluxe Edition in 2001 (Polydor 112 618-2).

It was released simultaneously in the US on Decca (DL 79175), as a CD (MCA MCAD-37000, MFSL UDCD 755), as a remixed CD (MCA MCAD-11215 and a deluxe limited (and numbered) edition that included the paper inserts MCAD-11230) in 1995, and as a Deluxe Edition (E+CD MCA 088 112 618-2) in 2001.

LIVE AT LEEDS was designed to emphasise The Who as a rock band as opposed to opera singers and its packaging was also an antidote to the splendour of TOMMY: a plain buff sleeve roughly rubber-stamped with the band’s name and designed to resemble a bootleg. Within could be found an envelope containing all sorts of facsimile Who ephemera (photos, date sheets, contracts, lyrics) and a record on which there was a handwritten warning that crackles heard throughout were not the fault of your record player. The remastered 1995 CD amended the note to say the crackling noises had been corrected!

LIVE AT LEEDS has undergone two upgrades since it was first released. The first incorporated eight extra songs from the concert, while the second featured the entire concert spread over two CDs, the non-TOMMY songs on CD1 with TOMMY occupying all of CD2. While some would have preferred to have had the concert’s original running order left intact, that would have required ending the first disc somewhere in the middle of TOMMY. This approach keeps the original reason for LIVE AT LEEDS in focus, with TOMMY deliberately set aside.

LIVE AT LEEDS reached #3 in the UK album charts and #4 in the US.

Original sleeve design by Graphreaks.

All songs by Pete Townshend unless otherwise indicated.

The original LP and CD consisted of just six tracks.

1. YOUNG MAN BLUES
(Mose Allison)
Jazz pianist Mose Allison first recorded this blues song in 1957 for his Prestige album BACK COUNTRY SUITE, and it was originally titled simply BLUES. The song was performed during The Who’s early incarnation as The High Numbers in 1964, and was resurrected as YOUNG MAN BLUES in 1968, and routinely used during the TOMMY tours of 1969/70.
2. SUBSTITUTE
The Who’s fourth single, first released in March 1966.
3. SUMMERTIME BLUES
(Eddie Cochran/Jerry Capehart)
First recorded by its writer, Eddie Cochran, in 1958. Other Cochran songs essayed by The Who included C'MON EVERYBODY and the lesser known MY WAY (see ODDS & SODS).
4. SHAKIN’ALL OVER
(Fred Heath)
Written and recorded by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates in 1960. In concert The Who occasionally segued into Willie Dixon’s SPOONFUL and then back again into SHAKIN' ALL OVER for the finale. In fact, they did this at Leeds as the unedited tapes reveal.
5. MY GENERATION
The Who’s third single is extended to 14 minutes after the bass solo into what Pete refers to as ‘The Who Hymn’, incorporating reprised sections from Tommy, including SEE ME, FEEEL ME, improvised blues and R&B, and soloing.
6. MAGIC BUS
Released as a single in September, 1968.

The First Upgrade
The 1995 CD version of LIVE AT LEEDS consisted of 14 tracks. (The two catalogue numbers for the American version represent a regular CD release including a special box set, the size of a 12” album, so that full-size reproductions of the original enclosures could be included.)

The ‘remixed’ or ‘remastered’ CD (depending on what cover came with the CD) interspersed eight songs in their proper order from the concert as follows:

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. AMAZING JOURNEY / SPARKS
11. SUMMERTIME BLUES
12. SHAKIN' ALL OVER
13. MY GENERATION
14. MAGIC BUS


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Blogger javirunner said...

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