Saturday, August 9, 2014

On First

Back (from India), not only to rock ‘n roll, but to ultra familiar rnr.

Who Live at Leeds.jpg

Okay, raise your hands if you haven’t heard this album.  


Sexist Digression:

By the way, I suspect this is a “boy’s album”. The reptilian core of my already small brain harbors an old prejudice that girls (now women) preferred the more polished Who, while the boys (alas, still boys. At least mentally) liked this rough and ready version. But then again, I’m beginning to think Gone Girl is a comedy. Not a funny one, mind you, but a comedy.

Back to the Past:

Why buy an album - even an expanded one - when you’re already heard almost every song? After all, Mrs. Jaybee has the vinyl (so much for the above theory) as did every friend I ever had. So I was very familiar with it.

‘Cause I just got the expanded version on amazon for $5, that’s why!

You’d think it would all sound so very anti-climactic. And yet, it’s wonderful!  Which only goes to prove that you can really only enjoy “classic rock” if you NEVER listen to it on the radio.

Not only was it great to hear Pete Townsend’s er, classic, rock guitar riffing again, the added songs are excellent (“Heaven and Hell” and “Fortune Teller” in particular, since they’re it’s hard to find versions of them) and provide a different yet welcome picture of the Who as equal parts pop and rock.

Although the American release was a famously lean, mean, minimal audience interaction affair, and even looked like a bootleg, this one opens things up a bit. There's a bit more audience interaction, so it does lose a little of its mysteriousness. 

But it's great hearing them explaining the theme of "A Quick One While He's Away". So I guess it’s still a boys album. And while the boy is much older, he’s as juvenile as ever. I don’t think the Who would have it any other way. A

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