Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- A hard-rockin' copy - this British Track pressing boasts KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Demo Disc sound or close to it on both sides
- The recording is huge and lively with startling dynamics and in-the-room-presence like nothing you've heard
- The vinyl is fairly quiet, but that is rarely a concern when an album has music this loud and powerful
- Drums so solid, punchy and present they put to shame 99% of the rock records on the planet
- Cited as the best live rock recording of all time by The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, the BBC Q magazine, and Rolling Stone. In 2003, it was ranked number 170 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
- We should have all the papers that come with the album, but please be sure to double check with us, if having all the papers is important to you
- Marks in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these Classic Rock records - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
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*NOTE: There is a mark that plays 10 times at a moderate level and 12 times lightly about 1/2 way into track 1 on side 2, "My Generation."
Get ready to rock out, as this is one of the best sounding live albums ever recorded. "Young Man Blues" on a copy such as this has drums that are so solid, punchy and present they positively put to shame the drum sound on 99 out of 100 rock records! Keith Moon lives on!
The bass is amazing on this record. Present vocals and clear guitars in both channels are key to the better copies such as this one. Most pressings do not get the guitars to jump out of the speakers the way the best can. Few copies get the highest highs and the lowest lows but this one had it going on from top to bottom.
The seven minute long "Magic Bus" that finishes out the side is The Who at their best. Rock fans will have a hard time finding a better sounding Who pressing than this one, on either side.
What The Best Sides Of Live At Leeds Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1970
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
"Crackling Noises O.K. - Do Not Correct!!"
There are some crackling noises throughout that sound like noisy vinyl, but they are part of the recording, as indicated on the labels. This is raw and brutal rock and roll, so a little bit of crackle doesn't really spoil the party.
What We're Listening For On Live At Leeds
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
The Experts Weigh In
Click on the Reviews tab above to read more about the album, complete with gems such as:
"Not since Tommy has there been a record quite so incredibly heavy, so inspired with the kind of kinetic energy that the Who have managed to harness on this album."
"Live At Leeds... is not just possibly the greatest live album of all time; it is almost certainly The Who's finest moment."
"Live At Leeds is as pure as heavy rock gets."
"When the Who blew up Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" to Godzilla-like proportions, they invented Seventies arena rock."
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
- Young Man Blues
- Summertime Blues
- Shakin' All Over
- My Generation
- The Magic Bus
Not since Tommy has there been a record quite so incredibly heavy, so inspired with the kind of kinetic energy that the Who have managed to harness on this album. They have always been the type of group which relies on a simple, hard, repetitive and highly contagious theme that doesn't involve itself terribly with head stuff. "My Generation," which is included, does not depart from this formula and must rank as one of the great rock songs of all time. And they do this together with a generous sampling from Tommy, fusing several songs together on the second side in a highly powerful physical and coherent theme. The entire album flows like Tommy only beter; there's no waiting for the good stuff.
- Jonathan Eisen, Circus, 7/70.
Faced with the impossible task of following up the grand statement of Tommy, the Who just cranked up their amps. Rather than wade through eighty hours of American shows for a live album, Pete Townshend claimed he burned those tapes "in a huge bonfire" and selected a concert at Leeds University in England. Leeds is a warts-and-all live album, including an accidental clunking sound on "My Generation." There's no finesse, just the pure power of a band able to play as loud as it wants to. When the Who blew up Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" to Godzilla-like proportions, they invented Seventies arena rock.
- Rolling Stone, 12/11/03.
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
The legendary power and volume of The Who was always best sampled live. The studio tended to deaden their electricity; they recorded some fabulous singles, but no truly perfect albums; even Tommy suffered from pretentious production. Live At Leeds, then, is not just possibly the greatest live album of all time; it is almost certainly The Who's finest moment.
The album caught the band soon after touring Tommy in its entirety, itching to cut loose. A show at Britain's Leeds University on Valentine's Day 1970 was the location; the band surged at full strength for more than two hours, playing Tommy, their classic singles, and a clutch of rock 'n' roll gems along the way. Unrestrained onstage, the power-trio of musicians behind Roger Daltrey swelled to fearsome strength -- bassist John Entwistle carrying the melodies, drummer Keith Moon rolling and filling with powerhouse abandon, and Pete Townshend proving himself a pioneer of feedback and dynamics, his terse solos full of ideas and emotion, a truly understated guitarist.
The resulting album arrived later that year, packaged like a faux-bootleg in a shabby cardboard gatefold. Though later expanded on CD, the original six-track vinyl is perfect in itself, especially the devil-driven cover of Mose Allison's "Young Man's Blues," and the sprawling "My Generation," which soon becomes a kaleidoscope of windmill riffage. Live At Leeds is as pure as heavy rock gets.
Stevie Chick, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, 2005.
AMG Five Star Rave Review
A loud, raunchy concert showcase for the group, with surprisingly little material from Tommy. The group's R&B roots are showcased here far better than on their post-My Generation studio album.