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The Who - Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970:

UK - 1996 Castle LP

UK - 1996 Castle CD

UK - 1996 Castle CD

Slipcase

UK - 1996 Castle CD (Promo)

UK - 1996 Castle CD (Promo)

Back cover

UK - 2009 Lilith LP

Red, white & blue vinyl

UK - 2011 Back On Black LP

Box set with multi-colored vinyl

UK - 2012 Eagle LP

Blue vinyl

UK - 2013 Eagle LP

White vinyl

UK - 2013 Union Square CD (Promo)

2CDs & DVD package

USA - 1996 Sony/Legacy CD

USA - 1996 Sony CD (Promo)

Japan - 1996 Sony/Castle CD

Japan - 2009 Happinet CD (Promo)


Album: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970

LPs (vinyl) Sampled: Castle (UK)

CDs Sampled: Castle (UK), Sony/Legacy (USA)

LP Comments: Sounds the same as the CD versions.

CD Comments: Both Castle (UK) and Sony/Legacy (USA) sound identical.

Summary: Each of these versions (above) sound the same.

Other Comments: This performance of "Substitute" features the lyrics, "I try walking forward but my feet walk back ... " as in the censored USA, Canada and South African single versions.

About: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970

Shortly after its release in 1996, I was on the phone with the CD's producers, Andy Macpherson and Jon Astley and they asked me what I thought of this new CD.

What do you say to the folks who worked so hard to bring us fans a new, live Who album - but at the same time offer "an honest opinion" ?

"Well... I don't really like it."

(Without going into the entire conversation)

I basically explained that I was expecting to hear a different concert version of
Live At Leeds and when I heard something else, I was disappointed.

Essentially the explanation was this...

This album could not be mixed the same way
Live At Leeds was, because John Entwistle's bass "bled" into the other tracks (on the multi-track tapes).

For those not technically savvy, what this means is you are "limited" as to what you can and can't do in terms of the mix.

For example, if the drums are "too low in the mix" and there's "bass bleed" in the drum tracks, by raising the levels of the drums, also takes that bass along with it - throwing off the rest of the mix.

So in essence, to mix something like this, you have to make compromises to make it sound "proper" - but not where it could otherwise be if there was no "bass bleed"...

I get all that.

So... what do you do?

In a world of unlimited options, you mix it, you release it and then you grab the next 20 tapes from that time period and you start mixing them for CD.

However, it doesn't work that way (
Encore CDs aside). There is no "unlimited universe" and the record companies are already annoyed that there's a "competitive product" being released to Live At Leeds.

So, do you "skip over" this concert and find another tape of the same period that's "better recorded" ?

I think these are really good questions/points - but I also recall there was a lot of excitement around this particular concert and the discovery of the multi-track tapes for it.

Personally, I think
Woodstock would have been a better choice, but I wasn't involved and I didn't "get to choose".

There are Who fans that love live material anyway they can get it.

From an audience tape that sounds like its a million miles from the stage ("Wow! Wasn't Pete great!") to the finely polished
Live At Leeds (The Who concert to compare all Who concerts of that time period to).

From my perspective, I'm more interested in "the best" than "the different". Give me the "one" best concert from any period, vs. 3 concerts from the same period and not release the other periods.

Once I heard the 1995 remix of
Live At Leeds - if something else (of similar period material) doesn't sound exactly like that, I find it "disappointing".

OK - so that's my perspective on this and I know it's different than many other folks who are happy and thankful for anything and I also share their appreciation and enthusiasm - but in a different manner.

Putting aside my
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance issues, the concert itself is excellent. Whereas Live At Leeds is finely polished, this concert is more "free form" and "off script".

There are 2 highlights to this concert for me...

* Substitute - Roger sings, "I try walking forward but my feet walk back" instead of "I look all white but my dad was black". This was the same alternate lyric that the band recorded in 1966 for distribution to the USA, Canada and South Africa. What motivated Roger to think about this and sing it here? (Did he not want to make reference to "white" as in "Isle of "Wight" ???) It seems so odd... (but a nice surprise)

* Naked Eye - Seems to be the beginning of the song's development. You'd think after the first few verses they would finish the "rest" of the song, but instead it develops into more of a jam, than the rest of "Naked Eye"...

Track Listing: Heaven And Hell, I Can't Explain, Young Man Blues, I Don't Even Know Myself, Water, Overture, It's A Boy, 1921, Amazing Journey, Sparks, Eyesight To The Blind, Christmas, The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, Do You Think It's Alright?, Fiddle About, Tommy Can You Hear Me?, There's A Doctor, Go To The Mirror!, Smash The Mirror, Miracle Cure, I'm Free, Tommy's Holiday Camp, We're Not Gonna Take It, Summertime Blues, Shakin' All Over / Spoonful / Twist And Shout, Substitute, My Generation, Naked Eye, Magic Bus

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