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Flashback: the Who records 'Live At Leeds'

2/14/2014

Tonight (February 14th) marks the 44th anniversary of the recording of the Who's legendary 1970 gig at England's Leeds University -- the concert which eventually became their first live set, Live At Leeds. The original 1970 release only featured six tracks, including elongated versions of "My Generation" and "Magic Bus" along with show stoppers such as Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues," their 1966 single "Substitute," and covers of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues," and Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over."

Roger Daltrey told us that although he loves the Live At Leeds album, he isn't wild about his particular performance that night: "I always felt under pressure when anything was knowingly being recorded. I didn't mind if people were kind of surreptitiously doing it. Personally, it wasn't one of my best gigs, but the individual in the band never sees the band in the audience's perspective. It's a great album. I love that album because it captures a moment in time.”

The new version of the set, which marks the third time the 1970 classic has been expanded and reissued, is now housed in a hard-back box with cover artwork reproducing the original black stamped vinyl first UK pressing.

The expanded Live At Leeds was reissued twice on CD -- in 1995 and 2001 -- each time featuring more songs from the Leeds show from February 14th, 1970 -- with the 2001 version including the Who's full performance of Tommy.

Thanks to digital technology, the newly added Hull concert utilizes John Entwistle's bass parts from the Leeds show to cover the missing bass amp feed, which rendered the Hull show unsuitable for release back in the day.

Live At Leeds was released on May 16th, 1970 and peaked at Number Four on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The album peaked at Number Three in Britain. The only single taken off the set, a cover of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" became a radio staple peaking at Number 27 and 38 in America and Britain, respectively.

The Who returned to perform at Leeds University twice after the legendary show -- on November 21st, 1970 and June 17th, 2006.


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