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The Who Live At Leeds album cover
4.02 | 190 ratings | 12 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Live, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Heaven and Hell* (4:50)
2. I Can't Explain* (2:58)
3. Fortune Teller* (2:34)
4. Tattoo* (3:42)
5. Young Man Blues (5:51)
6. Substitute (2:06)
7. Happy Jack* (2:13)
8. I'm a Boy* (4:41)
9. A Quick One, While He's Away* (8:41)
10. Amazing Journey/Sparks* (7:54)
11. Summertime Blues (3:22)
12. Shakin' All Over (4:34)
13. My Generation (15:46)
14. Magic Bus (7:46)

*Bonus Tracks on the 1995 Remster

Total Time 76:58

2001 Deluxe Edition:

(Disc 1 Notes):
Track 10 moved to Disc 2; most tracks are extended and made seamless
(New Total Time 73:25)

Disc 2 (Tommy Live):
1. Overture (6:52)
2. It's a Boy (0:31)
3. 1921 (2:25)
4. Amazing Journey (3:17)
5. Sparks (4:22)
6. Eyesight to the Blind (The Hawker) (1:58)
7. Christmas (3:18)
8. The Acid Queen (3:34)
9. Pinball Wizard (2:52)
10. Do You Think It's Alright? (0:22)
11. Fiddle About (1:13)
12. Tommy, Can You Hear Me? (0:55)
13. There's a Doctor (0:23)
14. Go to the Mirror (3:24)
15. Smash the Mirror (1:18)
16. Miracle Cure (0:12)
17. Sally Simpson (4:00)
18. I'm Free (2:38)
19. Tommy's Holiday Camp (1:00)
20. We're Not Gonna Take It (8:47)

Total Time 53:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Daltrey / lead vocals, harmonica, tambourine
- Pete Townshend / guitar, vocals
- John Entwistle / bass guitar, vocals
- Keith Moon / drums, vocals

Releases information

MCA Single-disc Remaster with 8 bonus tracks released in 1995;
MCA 2-disc "Deluxe Edition" Extended Remaster released in 2001

Thanks to ClassicRocker for the addition
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Buy THE WHO Live At Leeds Music

THE WHO Live At Leeds ratings distribution

(190 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE WHO Live At Leeds reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars Live at Leeds is the greatest live album of al time. I am certainly not the first to make that statement, and it is highly unlikely I will be the last. Following the grueling tour for the surprise hit Tommy, Townshend collected all of the live tapes recorded in America, "burned them in a big bonfire," and chose the show at Leeds University. he also wanted to take The Who back to their hard rocking roots. The result was THE example of warts 'n all recordings that stands as of The Who's best albums.

Things open with a bang on "Heaven and hell," the entwistle-penned tune that never made it to the studio. Townshend and Entwistle shine, but the real star is Moon, who crashes away like a man possessed. They then play a fine selection of their early jits, from "I Can't Explain" through "Tattoo." Then "Young Man Blues" enters with stop-start music and lyrics and Pete and John both get to prove their skill over more wild drumming and Roger's great vocals. This is one of several covers on the album that not only captures the spirit of the original (rare for covers), it makes the songs better. The set ends with a jam version of "My Generation" that has a few sound bugs in it (hence the birth of warts 'n all) before they clsoe with "Magic Bus."

The deluxe edition contains Tommy in one of its most complete live forms (the band never played the full thing live). Detractors would say this eradicates the back to basics ethos of the original, and in a sense they are right. However, the energy that the Tommy material is infused with here makes it a welcome addition.

It's not prog, in fact it's anti-prog. However, you cannot call yourself a rock fan without this album. get the deluxe edition, it is well worth the cost.

Grade: B+

Review by fuxi
3 stars People have repeated so often that LIVE AT LEEDS is the greatest live album of all time you'd ALMOST start believing them. They're wrong, though. I can think of dozens of live albums that are more colourful and varied, more musically accomplished, more emotional - starting with Duke Ellington LIVE AT NEWPORT (1956), and so on through the decades.

However, LIVE AT LEEDS does contain some of the most strikingly energetic rock performances ever. In my view, it's especially noteworthy because of its cover versions. The original LP contained just six tracks, among which the Pete Townshend compositions are by far the weakest. "Substitute" sounded more charming in its original studio version. Similarly, the live performance of "My Generation" feels too heavy (I prefer the quick, revolutionary original) and too long drawn-out (almost 16 minutes!) although it does incorporate the band's most triumphant ever performance of the "Underture" from TOMMY (also known as "Sparks").

No, "Summertime Blues", "Shaking all Over" and "Young Man Blues" are where true glory lies. Especially the last-named. This must be the noisiest ever performance by one of the classic 1960s bands - but how sublime the noise! If you'll allow me to paraphrase one of Ireland's greatest writers:

When things go wrong and will not come right, / Though you do the best you can, / When life looks black as the hour of night - / "YOUNG MAN BLUES" IS YOUR ONLY MAN!

If you grade LIVE AT LEEDS purely on its musical merits, it undoubtedly deserves four stars, but since (this time) the connection with progressive rock is really rather tenuous, allow me to stick to three.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Should you desire to skip The Who's 60's works or have a quick overview, the extended version (remastered) of the Leeds album would be the perfect disc to do so. It contains live version of most of their classics (Generation, Explain, Magic Bus, Substitute, Happy Jack and more, even with their first "mini-opera" A Quick One), but on top of it, you have an excellent live rendition, giving a more appropriate idea of what they were about. Don't expect much in terms of progressiveness out of their 60's works, and this album will make no exception, but in sorts, this album must be seen as a turning of the page of the group's passage from teendom to adulthood. Of note is the weird (and "prog-esque") A Quick One, the extended (15 minutes) My Generation (a medley really with many different passages, most noteworthy a See Me Feel Me excerpt), the great Diddley-esque Magic Bus and the Tommy excerpts of Amazing Journey/Sparks.

Essential only to the progheads' whose Who affinity is extended to an historical aspect of their career, Leeds is a legendary live album that received another boost with the bonus track, the full Leeds concert being presented minus the Tommy "opera suite". Definitely has its place in my shelves, especially in its full version.

Review by ZowieZiggy

One take.

That's what The Who had left from their extensive tour after the "Tommy" release.The idea of making a live album was decided during the 1969-1970 tour and tapes from a lot of concerts were considered to create it.

When the band was confronted to the daunting task of selecting the best numbers of all these concerts to compile them into a solid live album, The Who were too lazy to listen to all these reels and preferred to burn the tapes (according the legend to avoid these from being bootlegged) and they scheduled two new shows, one at the University of Leeds (February 14th) and the other in Hull (February 15th).

For technical reasons (the bass was not recorded on the tapes) the Hull concert could not be considered for the final recordings; so only the Leeds ones had to do it. Needless to say that the conditions of the "concert hall" were not at all ideal. The concert was recorded in the refectoire of the university and nor the sound nor the visual conditions were great (to say the least).

Anyway, here we go for what I consider one of the greatest live rock albums of all times. In-line with "Made In Japan", "Uriah Heep Live 73", "Rock'n'Roll Animal" and "Slade Alive!". In terms of prog, I would add "Genesis Live" and "Keys To Ascension I".

Just bear in mind that "Live At Leeds" was released well ahead all the other ones.

The Who were one of the best live act in the rock history. Extremely violent. Not only because Pete was smashing his guitar on stage, but the whole band were really disjointed for the era (mid to late sixties).

I purchased the original vinyl version in 1971while I was twelve. This contained only six numbers of which three were rock or blues classics ("Young Man Blues", "Summertime Blues" - superb rendition to be honest, and "Shakin' All Over"). "Substitute" was formatted as the original but "Magic Bus" was quite extended (almost eight minutes) and the version of "My Generation" featured here is rather disjointed. If you doubt about the hardness of a Who live concert, just listen to this piece of music. It definitely has influenced some excesses of the Purple on stage.

The original album was just over thirty-five minutes lenght.

Years later (in 1995), a remastered version saw the light and clocked at almost the full CD capacity, including their first attempt of a mini-rock opera : "A Quick One, While He's Away" released in 1966 on their studio album "A Quick One" (not easy to perform live, I would say). This version is far much heavier and rockier than its studio counter-part. A great moment of music, indeed. When you listen to intro of this number (about FIVE minutes), you'll be immediately brought into Peter Gabriel's world while he was introducng most of the Genesis classis. Again, this was recorded in February 1970, earlier than any weird little stories from Peter...

A bit of "Tommy" (more to come) with "Amazing Journey/ Sparks", a bit of Who standards with "I Can't Explain", some good Who songs as well with "Tatoo", "Happy Jack", "I'm A Boy" as well as a great version of "Fortune Teller" were of course more than welcome.

But the real big thing is the deluxe two CD edition released in 2001 which features almost the whole of "Tommy" in an incredible live version. Of course, "Underture" is not played but this recording is really extraordinary. Of course, when "Tommy" is mentioned, I am completely biased. I just adore this album so I can only advise you to grab the deluxe edition.

You'll get a typical Who concert like the one from Woodstock, also available (but in boot format) and the Isle of Whight one. On both of these, the sequence of the original concerts are kept (which is not the case on Live At Leeds).

Four numbers were played after "Tommy" : "Summertime Blues," "Shakin' All Over," "My Generation," and "Magic Bus" but maybe for consistency reasons, the whole of "Tommy" was placed on the whole of the second CD.

This fully expanded "Live At Leeds" is GORGEOUS and I will rate it with five stars (while the original would probably deserve three and the remastered version four).

This live album has of course nothing to do with prog. It is wild, it rocks like hell and a like it an awful lot.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I have the 1995 remaster which is really the whole concert except instead of the whole "Tommy" suite there are instead just two songs off of it added here.This was actually released after the "Tommy" album and before the "Who's Next" record. The band had just completed a tour of the U.S. and had recorded several of the shows, but Pete Townsend didn't want the job of going through all that material so he had the sound engineer burn all the tapes. Instead they played a concert at Leeds University on February 14,1970 and recorded it warts and all, and originally released it with just 6 songs on it. Coming off a long tour these guys were at the top of their game. What impressed me most was the playing of Keith Moon. He is leading the way often, and is rarely not heard. Yet there are no drum solos from him, just amazing playing. All four of these men are so talented and this recording really gives us a chance to hear their skills while they are in their prime.

"Heaven And Hell" was often a concert opener for the band in the late sixties. It's a John Entwistle song and one of his best. Not surprisingly the bass work is a highlight on this track. I also like the raw and aggressive guitar solo from Townhend 2 minutes in and later. "I Can't Explain" was the first single they ever released. The original single had Jimmy Page on second guitar. This has a good beat to it. "Fortune Teller" is a cover of a Benny Spellman hit, an R&B tune that really kicks in at the 2 minute mark where they are really working hard. "Tattoo" is a great song, I especially like the mellow sections. "Young Man Blues" is another cover that sound so good live. A blues song from 1957 that has such a good rhythm to it. I mean check out Moon and Entwistle on this one. Especially Moon ! Love the guitar as well in this ass kicking song. "Substitute" again features Moon outfront and leading, it blends into "Happy Jack" where Keith continues to blow me away. Cool lyrics as well. "I'm A Boy" is an energetic,uptempo tune. "A Quick One, While He's Away" is like a mini rock opera with six very different parts to it. It actually works here.

"Amazing Journey / Sparks" is part of the "Tommy" suite. Here we get about 7 1/2 minutes of what would have been about one hour and fifteen minutes worth of music. This is a great little snippet though, I especially like the "Sparks" song. It takes about a minute for Moon to start to take control before Townshend fires off a round 3 1/2 minutes in. A catchy melody follows. From the five minute mark on this is pure bliss for me. The drums and guitars making a magic soundscape. The next two songs are covers, and to be honest i'm not a fan of either, although "Summertime Blues" is pretty good. "My Generation" is almost 15 minutes long but only the first 3 minutes are actually that song, as they veer off into sections of "Tommy" the rest of the way. This is my favourite song on this album. The bass playing, the ripping guitar solos, and of course Moon. I can't say enough about the band interplay on this one either, just incredible instrumental work here. "Magic Bus" is blues flavoured here with even a harmonica solo. Some great guitar late.

So there it is with the plain cover and what looks like a rubber stamped title on it, but that is the only ordinary thing about this live recording. Again when you listen to this, pay attention to Keith Moon and I know you'll be impressed. 4 solid stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, if you were there in the seventies, this album must be one of your precious collection of live albums altogether with Uriah Heep "Live 1973", Deep Purple "Made in Japan", Grand Funk Railroad "Live", Led Zeppelin "The Song Remains The Same" , Yes "Yessongs" and Genesis "Live". In fact it's quite hard for me to select which one is the best because all of them are great and each have their own unique identity and characteristic as a rock band. As far as "Live at Leeds", one thing that I like is the sheer dynamics of the music, especially performed live, which is much better than the studio version. With limited technology, the sound production of this CD sounds really vintage.

I am referring this review with a one CD version as this was when I knew the album the first time in the 70s. Of course the first two tracks "Heaven and Hell" and "I Can't Explain" represent already what I mean with dynamics performance. From the opening track I can hear how the four members of the band contribute one to another to produce great rock performance on stage. I enjoy Entwistle's bass playing because it reminds me in away with Uriah Heep's Gary Thain. It's really a joy listening to this live record. Daltrey provides some introduction just before "Fortune Teller". "Tattoo" provides some musical breaks but Keith Moon still provide with dynamic drumming.

"Young Man Blues" (5:51) is a very attractive song which gives Daltrey performs his evocative singing with strong accentuation. I love this song because it's dynamic and there are many breaks during the song. The bass guitar is powerful and tight, guitar solo is stunning and drumming is top notch. The CD also features the band's hit in US, "Happy Jack". Of course I like the band's epic from second album "A Quick One, While He's Away" (8:41) performed this time in live version and it sounds better than original studio version. Of course the most interesting part is the medley under "My Generation" where I can truly enjoy the great things about live album.

Overall, this is a must to those of you who love rock live performance as it offers you great performance by the band with great songs. Every home must have this record, I believe. It's a legend. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by Warthur
3 stars This review is of the 2001 deluxe edition of the album. If it were of previous versions, I'd have probably knocked half star off. Whilst it is a legendary loud and noisy album, the first disc of the 2001 edition (which more or less conveys the content of the expanded 1995 edition, with the Tommy track moved to the Tommy performance) is actually a bit hit and miss. When it's good, it's fantastic, but there are little niggles here and there that stop me getting into it. First off, all the between-songs banter has been preserved, and whilst this does give an honest look at what the live performance was like it also occasionally drags on for too long - the worse instance of this is the intro to A Quick One While He's Away, which is absolutely interminable (and, when the band start sniggering about underage girls being "seduced" by old men, really kind of disturbing in retrospect). Also, when the band try to play some of their lighter, gentler, airier studio material, their naturally raucous stage presence means it doesn't quite come across right.

However, the absolute top reason to acquire the 2001 deluxe remaster is the full performance of Tommy presented on the second disc - truly what most Who concert-goers were turning out to see at that point in time - and that's where you get your money's worth. Songs which seemed limp and lifeless to my ears on the studio disc are invested with a thunderous, all conquering-power that makes this my preferred version of the Who's most famous rock opera. Two and a half stars for disc 1, three and a half stars for the Tommy disc, three stars overall.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars This review is about the original LP release from 1970.

"The greatest live album of all time". Well. In my opinion, it isn't. I expected great things from this album after I read that it was considered by many people as a great live album. Maybe if I have listened to this album when I was a 13-15 year old teenager maybe I could consider this album as "the greatest live album of all time". But now...

Anyway, it is an energetic live album, with "raw" and spontaneus performances by a young band. But even with all these things being considered, I still think that there are better performances of some of these songs in other live albums. For example: the live version of "Young Man Blues" which was released in "The Kids Are Alright" soundtrack album in 1979 is better than the live version which was included in "Live at Leeds". The live version of "Summertime Blues" which was included in the "Woodstock" film is also better than the live version which was included in "Live at Leeds".

"My Generation" in "Live at Leeds" is a long version which also has a lot of improvisation from the band, also including some parts from other songs like "See Me, Feel Me" and "Sparks" from the "Tommy" Rock Opera. It is too long (15 minutes in duration) and it is not very interesting for me. The song "Magic Bus" has never been one of my favorite songs from the band, and this live version is not so good.

Anyway, "Live at Leeds" includes very energetic performances from the band, which are good but not better than other live recordings from the band, with Keith Moon's "hyperactive" drums playing, Pete Townshend's heavy guitar playing, John Entwistle's "thunderfingers" bass playing, and Roger Daltrey's very good lead vocals. But the original "Live at Leeds" album from 1970 also showed some mistakes in their playing and singing. Maybe due to this, it could be considered as an "honest" and "raw" live recording from this band, with the later expanded editions from this album being released with "corrections" done in the recording studio. So, the original LP release of "Live at Leeds" has it merits due to the more spontaneous playing and singing. Also, the cover design was a very good idea, with it being like a parody from a bootleg LP.

Good but not- essential, at least for me.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I am really glad to see The Who included on PA. Due to my own personal definition of prog rock, bands like The Who, Led Zep, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath (among others) deserve to be considered prog since at the time of the their formation, rock music was progressing because of what these bands ... (read more)

Report this review (#1373669) | Posted by ster | Friday, February 27, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Maybe it's a fake live album. Anyway, even if it's a false one, the music here is great at a point you can't imagine. Only 6 songs on the vinyl version (I own), including an almost-15-minute-long version of My G-g- g-g-g-eneration. The CD reissues proposes more and more bonus tracks (highly recom ... (read more)

Report this review (#163471) | Posted by Zardoz | Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With THE WHO being one of the best (if not THE best) live band in the world at the time, a live LP couldn't have failed and it didnt. Not a lot I can say on this one except for stunning performance from all 4. Sound quality is excellent, really powerful. Always great to hear tracks that either w ... (read more)

Report this review (#130037) | Posted by kingdhansak | Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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