After being booked as headliners
for the two great Rock ‘n’ Roll festivals
of 1969, “The Who” were immediately re-booked
as headliners for the 1970 Isle Of Wight
festival. Over the previous 18 months
“The Who” had released two milestones
albums in the double concept album “Tommy”
and the fantastically raw “Live At Leads”.
“Tommy” took on a life of its own and
is still on Broadway as a stage musical.
The film version starring Roger Daltry
by Ken Russel is a classic of its kind.
“Live At Leeds” showed the world for the
first time what they were, a full throttled,
full ahead Rock ‘n’ Roll band. “Live At
Leeds” has to be in any true rock fans
top 3 live albums of all time, and since
the advent of C.D, has been released in
expanded version, stretching it from its
original 40 minutes to the whole show
at nearly two hours.
why would you want to get yourself a copy
of a set recorded a year later?? Well,
simple really, it’s longer, better, faster,
funnier and by way more furious, which,
if you review the circumstances, is quite
surprising. Everything that could go wrong
at the Isle Of Wight had gone wrong. Fences
were broken down to let the audience in
free and there were terrible fights between
the heavies of the seventies and the peace
loving hippies of the sixties, firmly
marking the end of an era. John Entwistle
had changed into his brand new stage gear
of a black body stocking with a human
skeleton painted on it, only to find that
it was so tight he couldn’t sit down.
He had to remain standing for 4 hours
before hitting the stage. This delay was
caused by the band schedule running 4
hours late, so not going on at 11.00 p.m.
as expected “The Who” didn’t get on to
play until 3.00 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Under these circumstances it’s incredible
that they turned on such a show. Bursting
straight into John Entwists “Heaven &
Hell”, “The Who” immediately demonstrated
what magnificent musicians they were,
and after a year on the road there wasn’t
a tighter band in the world. Although
you maybe buying material you have bought
before in one form or another, never will
you have heard it in such magnificence.
Don’t think twice about shelling out for
this. No other recording shows “The Who”
in the entirety of their talents. Pete
Towshend at his most explosive after the
tragic loss of Hendrix, and Eric Clapton
going into voluntary seclusion he was
probably carrying the mantle of most innovative
Rock ‘n’ Roll guitarists in the world.
Listening to him leading the band through
the shattering Rock ‘n’ Roll medley at
the end of the set is nothing short of
jaw dropping. John Entwistle holding the
whole band musically together with maximum
Ox-ness. Keith Moon, at the peak of fitness
after a year on the road, plays with an
exuberance only he could summon up and
few drummers then or since have hit the
drums harder. Roger Daltry had by now
become the ultimate showman and his long
fringed jacket had become The Who’s trademark.
He sung every song as if he’d lived everyone
of them. How his voice was still in tune
after two hours is a true wonder.
After this set “The Who” went back into
the studio to record “Who’s Next”. The
live set was completely revamped and this
was the last time that the original “Who”
were able to play the whole of Tommy live.
What a monster the rather sterile studio
recording became on the stage, Daltry
and Tawshend bringing it to a shattering
conclusion with “We’re Not Going To Take
It”. After this it’s a toss up between
who is having a better time, the audience
or the band, as they go into a 25 minute
encore swapping between classic Rock ‘n’
Roll and their own compositions, brought
to a conclusion by the sound of the band
self destructing and destroying all their
equipment. A great end to a great concert.
Probably after six hours allowing “The
Ox” to strip off and sit down. Rock music
at its ultimate best.
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew