The Who’s groundbreaking live album from their performance at Leeds University three months prior, Live At Leeds was released in the United States on Saturday, May 16, 1970. Side one of the original album contained four hard-hitting classics (“Young Man Blues,” “Substitute,” “Summertime Blues” and “Shakin’ All Over”) while side two featured extended versions of “My Generation” and “Magic Bus.”
Though the tracks were not released until 1995, The Who also ran through the entirety of Pete Townshend’s rock opera, Tommy, and additional songs like “I Can’t Explain,” “Fortune Teller” and John Entwistle’s “Heaven and Hell” for the crowd of about 2,000 students.
The original Live At Leeds album also contained within a flap numerous facsimiles of memorabilia such as a publicity photo of The Who, their contract for performing at Woodstock, a full-size ‘Maximum R&B’ poster, a receipt for smoke bombs and a list of gigs with financial figures included.
After touring with The Who for the last 45 years, guitarist Pete Townshend's ears may have had enough.
Just weeks after leading The Who onstage at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, guitarist Pete Townshend tells Rolling Stone Magazine that his tinnitus has returned and may effect whether the band stays together or calls it quits.
“If my hearing is going to be a problem,” he said, “we’re not delaying shows. We’re finished. I can’t really see any way around the issue.”
Townshend had already scrapped plans for a tour later this year with singer Roger Daltrey, though The Who is still scheduled to perform Quadrophenia at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Mar. 30.
The band produced 10 studio albums from 1965 to 1982, beginning with The Who Sings My Generation and ending with It’s Hard. In 1970 The Who released Live At Leeds, which set a precedent for all future live albums to live up to, and garnered similar acclaim for Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival when it was released in 1996. The Who did not record any new material until 2006, when Townshend unveiled his newest rock opera, Endless Wire.
It is not immediately clear whether Townshend will continue work on a new musical called Floss, which he had said would appear on a record by The Who in 2010.
Following the release of Tommy in 1969, The Who began a world tour to promote Pete Townshend’s groundbreaking rock opera.
After they debuted the new live act — including Tommy in its entirety and “A Quick One, While He’s Away” — at London Coliseum two months earlier, the group played to a crowd of students at Leeds University in West Yorkshire, England, on Valentine’s Day 1970.
The accompanying album, Live At Leeds, went on to become famous in its own right as one of the first (and best) live records ever put together by a rock group.
On Friday, May 23, 1969, The Who released Tommy in the UK, and Pete Townshend’s groundbreaking new rock opera would follow Live At Leeds as the group’s second straight album to hit No. 4 on the Billboard charts in 1970.
Townshend wrote all of the original material save for three songs — John Entwistle’s “Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About” and Keith Moon’s “Tommy’s Holiday Camp.”
The single “Pinball Wizard” reached No. 4 in the UK (No. 19 in the US) and, along with “1921,” “Amazing Journey/Sparks,” “The Acid Queen,” “Go To The Mirror” and “See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You” became part of The Who’s explosive live act in the ensuing years.