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Despite owning the essential two-CD Deluxe Edition of LIVE AT LEEDS - which contains the entire concert - I thought it would be nice to acquire a reissue of this crucial live album on vinyl in its original configuration and featuring just six of the numbers performed on the night.
Firstly, I've no complaints about the quality of the vinyl itself. Cut at Abbey Road using the half-speed mastering process, the sound is rich and powerful and compares most favourably with the CD. The original "handwritten" labels are also present and correct at the centre of the record, in keeping with the original vinyl pressing. Unfortunately, however, the quality control employed with the disc itself hasn't been extended to the reproduced packaging.
For those like me who didn't have the opportunity to buy the album when it was originally released, the record and its plain white sleeve slotted into a kind of pouch inside the gatefold sleeve, while a compartment inside the front cover was the home to a dozen inserts which were reproductions of agents' letters, contracts, concert remuneration details and live photographs. Despite the plain, rubber-stamped sleeve giving the impression of a hastily-pressed bootleg recording, LIVE AT LEEDS was actually quite a feast for the eyes as well the ears. Unfortunately, these details have not been reproduced on this vinyl reissue. Instead, the gatefold opens up to reveal what is essentially a photograph of the original layout, with an image of the record in its plain white sleeve on the right and the inserts nicely ordered one atop the other but in strictly 2-D format on the left. Meanwhile the record itself slides out from a conventional record-sleeve opening and is housed inside a new but inauthentic inner sleeve which features a kind of collage of all of the original inserts spread across the front and back.
Sonically speaking, I'm more of a CD fan than vinyl (I suppose because it's more the format that I've grown up with) and so when I buy a vinyl reissue attention to detail with the packaging is what is particularly important to me. Not having any of the physical inserts and changing the way in which the record fits inside the jacket is something of a let-down. A lot of care has been taken with the record itself here, and it's a shame that the visual flair of the original package hasn't been recaptured as well. I'm sure that this could have been achieved as there was a superb vinyl reissue of THE WHO SELL OUT released a couple of years back (also by Universal Music) which contained a reproduction of that album's fold-out poster. Not sure what's gone wrong here. If UMC are prepared to spend the money repressing the album onto vinyl, then surely it can find the cash to reconstruct the artwork too.
So then, this vinyl reissue of LIVE AT LEEDS presents the album as a still-fiery listening experience. Visually, though, the attention to detail leaves a lot to be desired. A shame.
I didn’t really like this album when I first heard the original six track L.P. I knew that it represented just a fraction of the concert and I wasn’t sure that the songs chosen represented the best of what was available.
I fall in and out of love with The Who, sometimes I think that Tommy, for example, is a great work that deserves all the praise heaped on it and at other times I feel that the themes within it are dreadfully seedy and rather repellent. I have now got over those sort of reservation. I did get the deluxe C.D. version of this album when it was first released and have just taken delivery of the three disc vinyl version to round off my vinyl collection. I had just got the last two studio albums to complete the set. I have to say that Face Dances and It’s Hard are much better than I thought they were. I had only heard singles and the press was decidedly mixed on them; often rather obsessed with the absence of Keith Moon which blinded them to looking at what those albums actually were.
This complete Live at Leeds is rather marvellous. The sleeve is rather a compromise between functionality and remaining true to the original, but the quality of the remastering and discs is faultless (although there was some debris causing a click on side 2 on first playing) and it sounds brilliant throughout.
If you are a fan then it is well worth shelling out for the three disc vinyl.
I have embraced the whole Who catalogue again but if you want to know where to start I would say that this album is as good a place to start as any. I will always favour A Quick One, The Who Sell Out and My Generation and Quadrophenia as the go to albums.
I have all other versions of this album, including the original vynil with the inserts. I fancied this as it's a remaster of the original without the extra tracks. This remaster has a richer, fuller sound than any of the other versions (including the CD reissues) but for some strange reason Townshend's guitar seems slightly lower in the mix, while bass and drums dominate. Still a classic, though, and if you're not bothered about getting any reproduced inserts, you won't be disappointed.
Avoid the 2001 Deluxe 2 Disc edition - I don't know what they did to it, but it sounds terrible: the punch and clarity has somehow been softened and it's all a bit of a mess, particularly the second disc comprising Tommy, which sounds like it's been channelled through a cardboard cone.
By contrast the 1 Disc 1995 remixed/remastered rocks like a Very Rocky Thing, even if we don't get all of Tommy, AND it's ridiculously cheap! Finally I get why this is considered one of if not THE best live rock album of all time. Lovely too to hear the between-song banter between the band and audience.
I don't know about the 2010 4 Disc set comprising both the Leeds and Hull gigs, both including Tommy, but that's a bit much for me to fork out for.
However I hear the 2014 download-only complete Live At Leeds sounds even better than the 1995 edition, so I might shell out for that, but for the moment, the 1995 edition is grin-inducingly brilliant. Thoroughly recommended.
The vinyl version of the Deluxe Edition of the Who's Live At Leeds. This is half speed mastered edition done at Abbey Road Studios. The album is spread over 3 LPS (full concert) and the covers based on the original album sleeve, which was made to look like a bootleg album. A pity that the original inserts were not included in the package. Get while you can at good price!
This is better than I expected. I have the deluxe expanded CD version but the depth of sound on the vinyl is much improved. All for £15.00 p&p included. Listen to this and 'made in japan' by deep purple and you will have in essence what 70's live sound was. I wish I was there! No click tracks or overdubs.
Well, I have just heard the most incredible live concert ever recorded, and I can say that with my hand on my heart. I have heard a lot of excellent concerts (both live and on record) and not one of them compares with this. I thought that the Isle of Wight concert was pretty damn amazing, but compared to this, it falls way short (though a lot of that is down to the quality of the recording).
I previously had the version of Live at Leeds that only had 14 tracks on it. I kept feeling I was being robbed. And how right I was!
The mixing on this is utterly FANTASTIC. You can hear every beat of Moonie's bass drum (which is usually lost somewhere in the mix), John Entwistle's mind-boggling flourishes on the bass, all of Pete's notes as clear as a bell and Roger's voice soaring over it all. To give those who might be considering getting this album an idea of how clear this recording is, you can hear Moonie's snare drum rattling unmistakably in the background when John Entwistle does a particularly percussive bass line. You rarely hear those details when you're actually at a gig, let alone on any other live recording I've heard, especially from a concert that took place in 1970.
This is definitely The Who at their towering best. The vocal harmonies that the guys produce (especially during Tommy) are spot on and made even more impressive by Roger saying that for the first 15 years or so of his career with The Who, vocalists didn't even have monitors, so that a lot of the time they were guessing whether they were singing in key or not!
Being a huge fan of Moonie's drumming, this was musical heaven for me to be able to hear every beat on every drum and every cymbal wash in such clarity. It doesn't matter how many times I listen to him play, I never get bored of it, and the rhythmns and syncopation that he comes up with never cease to amaze me. Not only that, but it sounds as though The Who have about 6 drummers, instead of just the one!
My only comment would be...what the HELL happened to his drumming during I'm Free and Tommy's Holiday camp?! He sped up ridiculously during I'm Free and some of the drum fills were over-ambitious even for him. I'm suspecting that he imbibed something in the upward direction prior to him playing those particular tracks as for the rest of the show, he is pretty much flawless.
I can only regret that I wasn't old enough to see The Who between 1967 and 1975, but particularly in 1970 - they were absolutely at their prime and I don't think a band before or since could touch this album.
The legendary Live at Leeds in all it's glory ! I have an original 1970 early pressing but this has every track in it's entirety remastered ! A great triple album gatefold with lots of sleeve notes and a must for any rock music fan. This is the high point of live 70s rock music from a band at their zenith !