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The Who - Live At Leeds CD (album) cover


The Who



4.02 | 148 ratings

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4 stars Historic pillar of rock music

I've often mentioned "spark" when reviewing albums and it's most appropriate here. "Live at Leeds" is not the definitive Who album some make it out to be, in terms of material it's far from the loftiest of Townshend peaks. However, it is the one with the most bang, the one with the most vicious of hands grabbing for your throat. It's up there with "Live Cream." For here is the one with the youth still in the bloodstream, the one well before the boys were tempered ever so slightly by excessive fun. Especially in the Moonie and Pete camps. Townshend's guitar sounds like the growl of a '69 Challenger revving inside the garage, pure brawn, growl, and spit. He crunches through these numbers with force and economic aggression. Meanwhile Moon matches him in performance, rolling and tumbling in tornadic fashion. The purist rock and bluesy numbers are suitable for the mood of the performance, expressing anger, bliss, and other testosterone fits in between. Several of the numbers have stoic introductions which add charm, and I'll add a plug for my favorite number from the early Who, "A Quick One." This deluxe edition also includes a performance of "Tommy" on a second disc. A nice bonus but it is the first disc that is the great one here. Not much needs to be said about Leeds: if you're a rock fan, it is essential listening both for pleasure and for understanding the influence this band would have on future rock bands.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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