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The Who - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970

Review: 091
Date: 2 Sep 02


Rating: 5 Stars

Roger Daltry - Vocals & Harmonica
Pete Tawshend - Guitar & Vocals
Keith Moon - Drums & Jokers
John “The Ox” Entwistle - Bass

Tracks Listing:
Disc One.
1.Heaven And Hell
2. I Can’t Explain
3. Young Man Blues
4. I Don’t Even Know Myself
5. Water
6. Overture
7. It’s A Boy
8. 1921
9. Amazing Journey
10. Sparks
11. Eyesight To The Blind (The
12. Christmas
Disc Two.
1. The Acid Queen
2. Pinball Wizard
3. Do You Think It’s Alright
4. Fiddle About
5. Tommy Can You Hear Me?
6. There’s A Doctor
7. Go To The Mirror
8. Smash The Mirror
9. Miracle Cure
10. I’m Free
11. Tommy’s Holiday Camp


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.

So 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


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