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The Who - Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 CD (album) cover


The Who



3.33 | 33 ratings

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2 stars When this album came out it was universally applauded, and since I remembered Pete Townhend praising this particular gig, somewhere in the 30 YEARS OF MAXIMUM R&B video ("We did the odd gig where we actually played well", or words to that extent) I thought: "I must get a copy forthwith! I'll finally get to hear TOMMY the way you were meant to hear it, performed live by the Who in their heyday!"

But when I actually bought my copy, it sounded dead W-R-O-N-G!!! I couldn't actually put a name to it but it had something to do with Keith Moon's drums. All through the gig he produced an awful clatter. Since Moon was probably the most exciting musician in the band at this time, and since I loved his performances on LIVE AT LEEDS and WHO'S NEXT, I thought this was plain unforgivable. No matter how energetic his band-mates were, down there on the Isle of Wight, classic Who without a proper Moon, in my view, was no performance at all.

Just the other day I finally discovered what had gone wrong. I watched the excerpts from that same concert in the brand-new 30 YEARS OF MAXIMUM R&B DVD, and I could clearly see that, for this particular concert, Mr. Moon was using TWO bass drums. Which simply ruined everything. I believe Moon reverted to his original manner of playing soon after, since there's no trace of such foolish and sacriligeous behaviour in any of the live performances throughout the (excellent) 30 YEARS OF MAXIMUM R&B (CD) box set.

So if you love the Who as I do, and treasure them for (among other things) Keith Moon's gorgeous drumming, stick to the recently expanded editions of LIVE AT LEEDS, where you can now hear most of TOMMY anyway, marvellously clear and properly played.

fuxi | 2/5 |


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