The Who – Live at Leeds (1970)
Ah, the plight of the forgotten band member.
Earlier this month, I mentioned the oft-neglected Krist Noveselic & José Carreras.
Throw in George Harrison, the rhythm sections from The Jam & U2, and it’s clear the spotlight isn’t always equitably distributed among members of popular bands.
Add John Entwistle of The Who.*
Oh yeah, The Who!
– Keith Moon’s frenetic drumming
– Pete Townshend’s guitar windmills
– Roger Daltrey’s vocals
(*current blog readership excluded of course, as I know many of you share my encyclopedic enthusiasm for being able to name the assistant sound engineer from a given group’s limited edition, 7″ Japanese import. The more casual/less geekish music fan may not recall The Who’s bassist!)
Enwistle’s contributions are essential. Much like Les Claypool or Flea, his bass commands attention.
The 14+ minute rendition of My Generation acts nicely as a representative sample of the band’s live abilities. The extended medley that follows the powerful original track ventures all over the map. Somewhere around the 12th minute, there’s a quiet section that drifts into territory later occupied by Tom Cochrane’s Big League. That section is promptly followed by what sounds like a blueprint for Rage Against The Machine’s Bombtrack intro. Now that’s a diverse jam! Good as the guitar & drums are (and they are), the bass is the glue.
I should note, I haven’t really been into The Who’s studio releases. I’ve never quite understood why colleagues elevated The Who to the exclusive echelon populated by Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd. After hearing Live at Leeds, such a lofty classification makes a lot more sense and I’ll perhaps appreciate their other records that much more.