Who’s ‘Live At Leeds’ Gets The Deluxe Treatment

Often acclaimed as the greatest live album ever, The Who’s “Live At Leeds” gets yet another reissue, this time as a four CD package containing more tracks, more rock, more… WHO!

Like all great live albums, there’s a story behind Live At Leeds. Back in 1970 The Who booked two shows in the U.K. – Feb. 14 in Leeds and Feb. 15 in Hull, with the intention of recording a live album.

But technical difficulties at the Hull gig, most notably the failure to record John Entwistle’s bass on four tracks, led the band to release only the Leeds recording. The original album was also released as a single disc, limiting the track selection to only six tracks. What’s more, three of the four tracks on side one consisted of covers – Mose Allison’s “Young Man Blues,” “Summertime Blues” penned by Eddie Cochran and Jerry Capehart’s and Johnny Kidd’s “Shakin’ All Over” with “Substitute” being the only Pete Townshend song on the side.

Side two contained only two Who songs – expanded versions of “My Generation” and “Magic Bus.” However, a 1995 re-release contained several tracks left off of the original, including “Heaven And Hell,” “I Can’t Explain,” “Happy Jack” and “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”

Now, 40 years later we get another taste of that magical night in Leeds as well as songs from the following evening in Hull taken from recordings previously thought to have been lost.

Live At Leeds – 40th Anniversary Super-Deluxe Collectors’ Edition drops Dec. 7. Released by MCA/ UMe, the four-CD box set contains plenty of Leeds action but also recordings from the Hull concert, with Entwistle’s bass lifted from the Leeds show and mixed with the Hull recordings.

Going by the track listings, there’s a lot of duplication in the box set. The Who performed pretty much the same setlist each evening, including start-to-finish renditions of Tommy. No matter, the box contains two separate shows, a must-have for any Who fan.

The box set also includes a reissue of the original vinyl LP and its seven-inch single containing “Summertime Blues” and “Heaven And Hell.” Other goodies include cover artwork reproducing the original black stamped pressing, a poster of Townshend and a new 64-page book with photos and liner notes detailing the album’s history.

That the original album still rocks 40 years after its release is a testament to The Who’s reputation as one of the best live bands ever and the new package should please even the most discerning of the band’s fans. And with the album coming out a few weeks before Christmas, all we can say is sometimes timing is everything.

Photo: AP Photo
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For more information, click here for The Who website.