Live at Leeds is the first live album by the English rock band The Who. It was recorded at the University Refectory, University of Leeds on 14 February 1970, and is the only live album that was released while the group were still actively recording and performing with their best known line-up of Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon.
The Who were looking for a way to follow up their 1969 album Tommy, and had recorded several shows on tours supporting that album, but didn’t like the sound. Consequently, they booked the show at Leeds University, along with one at the University of Hull the following day, specifically to record a live album. Six songs were taken from the Leeds show, and the cover was pressed to look like a bootleg recording. The sound was significantly different from Tommy and featured hard rock arrangements that were typical of the band’s live shows.
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The following is two anonymous reviews of The Who’s fantastic live album:
“Casual listeners may well be satisfied with the sound on earlier editions of the essential “Live At Leeds”, but enthusiasts will be able to hear the difference in this edition: what was once glorious has become, uh, gloriouser?
But the real surprise is the extra material: this includes not only the complete set of tracks recorded at the actual Leeds gig, but the material recorded (with some tweaking I hear) at the Hull City Hall the next night. This second show differs wildly from Leeds (complete with glaring miscues and errors if you’re paying attention), showing all the material in a brand-new (well, 42-year-old) light. This truly showcases the improvisational nature of the Who: they basically had four soloists, each doing a two-hour improv at each and every show, and were the only band in the world who could make that enjoyable — nay, thrilling.”
“This is a great live album and I can easily understand why it is considered a classic. Excellent sound quality. The drums, guitars and vocals come through nicely. Great set list. The intros to the songs and snippets of conversation are humorous and definitely add to the experience. My favorite song is “Magic Bus” and its killer intro. Make sure you play this album with the volume up a bit to fully enjoy the dynamics (and to hear the speaking sections).”
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