The Who To Officially Release One Of The Most-Bootlegged Concerts Ever

The Who is finally releasing an official live recording of their legendary April 6, 1968 performance at the Fillmore East, a full fifty years after the fact, and we say better late than never. Of course The Who Live at the Fillmore East was one of the most widely-circulated Rock bootlegs of all time, which not only helped cement the band’s reputation as perhaps Rock’s greatest live performers, but it also elevated this particular concert into holy grail territory for Who fans, even rivaling the Live at Leeds concert which was recorded in 1969 and released in 1970.

In fact the two albums are similar in a lot of ways, with the band doing a large percentage of old Rock & Roll covers, and even some of the same ones: Eddie Cochrane’s “Summertime Blues”, Allen Toussaint’s “Fortune Teller” and “Shakin’ All Over”, which I would argue was done best by the Guess Who. The big difference is that Leeds was recorded after Tommy came out, and Fillmore was recorded before, when the band was a little more raw and a little less polished and jaded.

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And if you want to talk holy grail the real prize on this reissue is a whopping 33-minute version of “My Generation”, which to me sounds like a thrilling Rock artifact worth seeking out. Most of the bootleg versions of Fillmore included only 10 or 15 minutes of this performance but even the truncated version was breathtaking, a loose organic jam highlighting the jaw-dropping skills of three of the greatest Rock musicians who ever lived. Pete Townshend does things with his guitar that leave you shaking your head in wonder, and many fans have wanted to hear a full remastered version for a long, long time.

By contrast the 15-minute Leeds version of “My Generation” evolves into a Tommy medley, which is great enough, but nothing like the epic jam this version promises to be. The Who’s website says the song climaxes with “guitar smashing and drum demolition” which may in fact be cause for some relief after 33 minutes of mayhem. But I can’t wait to hear it. The Who Live At Fillmore East 1968 will be released by Universal Music on April 20.

One comment to “The Who To Officially Release One Of The Most-Bootlegged Concerts Ever”
  1. OOOOO Maybe they’ll do a Record Store Day variation. They’re pressing this for the U.K RSD – The Who “Live at the Isle of Wight” – Vol.1 and 2 on White Vinyl

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