Live At Leeds





Produced by The Who and recorded on Valentines Day, 14 February 14 1970 at Leeds University, Live at Leeds was released in the UK in May 1970 on Track Records (2406 001), as a CD in the 1980s by Polydor (825 339-2) a Polydor remastered CD with additional tracks (527 169-2) in 1995, as a Deluxe Edition in 2001 (Polydor 112 618-2) and as a Super Deluxe Edition on it’s 40th birthday in 2010 (see BOX SETS). It was released simultaneously in the US on Decca (DL 79175), as a CD (MCA MCAD-37000, MFSL UDCD 755), as a remixed CD (MCA MCAD-11215 and a deluxe limited (and numbered) edition that included the paper inserts MCAD-11230) in 1995, and as a Deluxe Edition (E+CD MCA 088 112 618-2) in 2001. It was reissued on heavyweight vinyl in 2017 in a gatefold sleeve but without the loose inserts (although they were featured on the liner bag) with the original six tracks remastered.

Live at Leeds  was designed to emphasise The Who as a rock band as opposed to opera singers and its packaging was also an antidote to the splendour of Tommy: a plain buff sleeve roughly rubber-stamped with the bands name and designed to resemble a bootleg. Within could be found an envelope containing replicas of Who ephemera (photos, date sheets, contracts, lyrics) and a record on which there was a handwritten warning that crackles heard throughout were not the fault of your record player. The remastered 1995 CD amended the note to say the crackling noises had been corrected. Live at Leeds  has undergone three upgrades since it was first released. The first incorporated eight extra songs from the concert, while the second featured the entire concert spread over two CDs, the non-Tommy songs on CD1 with Tommy occupying all of CD2. While some would have preferred to have had the concerts original running order left intact, that would have required ending the first disc somewhere in the middle of Tommy. This approach keeps the original reason forLive at Leeds  in focus, withTommy deliberately set aside. Live at Leeds  reached #3 in the UK album charts and #4 in the US.

Original sleeve design by Graphreaks.

The original LP and CD consisted of just six tracks.

1. YOUNG MAN BLUES (Mose Allison)
Jazz pianist Mose Allison first recorded this blues song in 1957 for his Prestige album BACK COUNTRY SUITE, and it was originally titled simply BLUES. The song was performed during The Who’s early incarnation as The High Numbers in 1964, and was resurrected as YOUNG MAN BLUES in 1968, and routinely used during theTommy tours of 1969/70.

2. SUBSTITUTE (Pete Townshend)
The Who’s fourth single, first released in March 1966.

3. SUMMERTIME BLUES (Eddie Cochran/Jerry Capehart)
First recorded by its writer, Eddie Cochran, in 1958. Other Cochran songs essayed by The Who included C’MON EVERYBODY and the lesser known MY WAY (see ODDS & SODS).

4. SHAKIN’ ALL OVER (Fred Heath)
Written and recorded by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates in 1960. In concert The Who occasionally segued into Willie Dixon’s SPOONFUL and then back again into SHAKIN’ ALL OVER for the finale. In fact, they did this at Leeds as the unedited tapes reveal.

5. MY GENERATION (Pete Townshend)
The Who’s third single is extended to 14 minutes after the bass solo into what Pete refers to as The Who Hymn, incorporating reprised sections from Tommy, including SEE ME, FEEEL ME, improvised blues and R&B, and soloing.

6. MAGIC BUS (Pete Townshend)
Released as a single in September, 1968.

The first upgrade, the 1995 CD version of Live at Leeds consisted of 14 tracks. (The two catalogue numbers for the American version represent a regular CD release including a special box set, the size of a 12″ album, so that full-size reproductions of the original enclosures could be included.) The remixed or remastered CD interspersed eight songs in their proper order from the concert as follows: 1. HEAVEN AND HELL 2. I CAN’T EXPLAIN 3. FORTUNE TELLER 4. TATTOO 5. YOUNG MAN BLUES 6. SUBSTITUTE 7. HAPPY JACK 8. I’M A BOY 9. A QUICK ONE, WHILE HE’S AWAY 10. AMAZING JOURNEY / SPARKS 11. SUMMERTIME BLUES 12. SHAKIN’ ALL OVER 13. MY GENERATION 14. MAGIC BUS.

The second upgrade (The Deluxe Edition): This 2001 version included the entire concert, but as noted above not in the original order. Since all of Tommy is included on the second disc, AMAZING JOURNEY / SPARKS is dropped from the first disc (see above). The net result is a release that is far beyond the intent and scope of the original LP. The concert was one of The Who’s best and easily merited a complete release. CD 1: 1. HEAVEN AND HELL (Entwistle) Originally recorded at IBC Studios, London, April 13, 1970, the studio version was released on July 10, 1970, as the B side of the SUMMERTIME BLUES single. 2. I CANT EXPLAIN The Who’s first single, released in January 1965. 3. FORTUNE TELLER (Naomi/Neville) Benny Spellmans 1962 minor hit, also covered by The Rolling Stones and many other Sixties beat groups, FORTUNE TELLER was a staple of The Who’s live act between 1968 and 1970. The Who recorded a studio version at Advision in London on May 29, 1968, but it remained unreleased until The Who’s box set, 30 Years Of Maximum R&B, appeared in 1994. 4. TATTOO Segued straight from FORTUNE TELLER. 5. YOUNG MAN BLUES (Allison) 6. SUBSTITUTE 7. HAPPY JACK Released as a single in December 1966. 8. IM A BOY Released as a single in August 1966. 9. A QUICK ONE, WHILE HES AWAY 10. SUMMERTIME BLUES (Eddie Cochran/Jerry Capehart) 11. SHAKIN ALL OVER (Fred Heath) 12. MY GENERATION 13. MAGIC BUS CD 2: The second disc is devoted to a live rendering of TOMMY 1. OVERTURE 2. IT’S A BOY 3. 1921 4. AMAZING JOURNEY 5. SPARKS 6. EYESIGHT TO THE BLIND (THE HAWKER) 7. CHRISTMAS 8. THE ACID QUEEN 9. PINBALL WIZARD 10. DO YOU THINK IT’S ALRIGHT? 11. FIDDLE ABOUT 12. TOMMY CAN YOU HEAR ME? 13. THERE’S A DOCTOR 14. GO TO THE MIRROR 15. SMASH THE MIRROR 16. MIRACLE CURE 17. SALLY SIMPSON 18. I’M FREE 19. TOMMY’S HOLIDAY CAMP 20. WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT

For the third upgrade, see BOX SETS.

In 2017 Live At Leeds was reissued on heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with the inserts reproduced on the inner gatefold and individually on the liner bag.