The Who – Live At Leeds (Original Edition)
Purchased: Hock Shop (2 dollars)
Key Tracks: Not a note wasted on this bastid
The vaunted “greatest live album of all time”, Live at Leeds serves as testament to one of, if not the most dynamic live acts in rock history. The key to The Who’s live sound (at least before the death of Keith Moon) is tension. This band sounds as tho it’s about to blow apart into a billion pieces at any moment. The rhythm section of Keith Moon and John Entwistle pretty much define organized chaos, with Entwistle playing a super charged, super loud lead bass and rendering the fretboard molten. Moon is…was… well… the first 10 seconds of “Summertime Blues” pretty much say everything that need be said. The cat is all over his kit and there is nary a high-hat to be found… all crash cymbal white noise and ostinato to the heavens. Peter Townshend and Roger Daltrey provide further showmanship, with Daltrey belting the maximum R and B with a full throated shout (dude’s vocal chords are like a brick shit house). Townshend’s guitar provides melodic crunch and is barely contained within the structures of straight time. The penultimate ultimate ultimatum of a track here is “My Generation.” At almost 17 minutes long, it stretches and stretches building from climax to climax, throwing bits and pieces from Tommy into the mix and ending with what pretty much sounds like the end of the world… to have BEEN THERE! The Who is the ultimate time machine band and this album (in its original 7 track form… all other editions are pretty incredible but lack the get-the-frock-in and get-the-frock-out urgency of the original) provides a ticket to the most dynamic show you’ll likely ever hear. All excitement, all chaos, all testosterone, all in your face… BAM, take it, hear it and let your life be changed; the way mine was back in 1994 when I first heard this… genius.