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The Who - Live At The Royal Albert Hall
SPV
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2003-06-26
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Artist: The Who (www.petetownshend.com / www.johnentwistle.com / www.teencancer.org)
Title: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Label: SPV (www.spvusa.com)
Genre: Rock/British Psychedelia, Album, Mod, Pop, British Invasion, Hard
Format: 2 CDs

I love it, The Who, legends of rock n' roll on an independent label. This seems to be happening more and more regardless of a band's popularity and history. I think bands welcome dismissing the meddling corporate big label approach. The less bullshit the more they can concentrate on what is important, their music.

Live At The Royal Albert Hall (the scene of many great concerts over the years) is the most recent release from the legendary British rockers. There is something very special about this live performance in comparison to others they have released, the proceeds from the concert went to a foundation called Teenage Cancer Trust. It is the goal of the trust to build twenty facilities through efforts such as this. Since 2000, The Who has helped immensely with providing for two facilities. This indeed is a noble and just cause and I applaud this group of musicians for giving of their time and talent so freely to help others that are less fortunate. Point your browser to www.teencancer.org to learn more about the trust or to contribute.

Some of the special guests that show up for this gala event are Bryan Adams, Eddie Vedder, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller and Kennedy (violin). The Who does not need any help performing but it was nice hearing younger artists having an opportunity to play onstage with the people that no doubt influenced them one time or another during their development. It must have been a real thrill to be onstage with original members Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle (The Ox), and Pete Townsend. Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey stepped in behind the drum kit to hold down the back end of the rhythm section for the boys on this night.

What could be a better timeless snapshot parked away in your mind than seeing Townsend taking his long arms and whirling them around in his patented windmill cranking out "Baba O Riley," "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Magic Bus," which are all incredible performances. I particularly enjoyed the funky version of "Relay," what a great tune, it was a real righteous display of archetypal Who artistry. Daltrey was in very good voice on this evening and The Ox (god rest his soul) played a magnificent solo on an amazing run of "5:15," one of my favorite tracks of all time. The track stretches into over 11 minutes of unadulterated classic rock music.

There is a limited quantity of CDs available with a third bonus disc with the last performances of John Entwistle. This reviewer was not fortunate enough to receive that package, nevertheless I was pleased and grateful to have the opportunity to listen and write about this breathtaking 2-disc set, it really was a great pleasure indeed. This is twenty-five tracks of the very best of The Who live and uncut. Beware fans with youngsters, Pete Townsend has no problem being quite blunt on a few occasions with his language so you may want to consider putting the kids to bed before you listen or check it out on your way to work in the morning. Hey, this is rock n' roll and I do not have any problem with foul language, I use it myself. I have little ones and choose not to expose them to that in my home, so I am just letting folks know. Please do not let that stop you though! This is all great rock music by one of the elite bands in the history of recorded music, so do not miss this for anything!

CD1
1. I Can't Explain
2. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
3. Pinball Wizard
4. Relay
5. My Wife
6. The Kids Are Alright
7. Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand
8. Bargain
9. Magic Bus
10. Who Are You
11. Baba O'Riley (feat. Kennedy)

CD2
1. Drowned
2. Heart To Hang Onto
3. So Sad About Us (feat. Paul Weller)
4. I'm One (feat. Eddie Vedder)
5. Getting In Tune (feat. Eddie Vedder)
6. Behind Blue Eyes (feat. Bryan Adams)
7.You Better You Bet
8. The Real Me
9. 5:15
10. Won't Get Fooled Again (feat. Noel Gallagher)
11. Substitute (feat. Kelly Jones)
12. Let's See Action (feat. Eddie Vedder)
13. My Generation
14. See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You (feat. Eddie Vedder and Bryan Adams)

Line-Up:
Roger Daltrey - Vocals
Pete Townshend - Guitar
John Entwhistle - Bass
Zak Starkey - Drums
John "Rabbit" Bundrick - Keyboards


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