right, just to clear something up first. bootlegs, on the whole, are very naughty. they are, as the name suggests, not exactly legal and should in general be frowned upon.
every now and then, however, you get artists that turn a "blind eye", or if you will deaf ear, to concert recordings being made. Led Zeppelin, for instance, famously used to buy bootleg lps of their own gigs as the bootleggers often did a better job of the people they hired to record them. likewise, Bruce Springsteen encourages bootleggers to get the tapes rolling when he's doing a good show, and the Bob Dylan bootlegs are legendary.
and then there's the greatest Rock and Roll band in the world, ever.
around the time that they released the "40 Years Of Maximum R & B" box set (just before the term "R & B" was bewilderingly taken and applied to some very awful, mostly sampled and generally monotonous black American music), The Who called something of an "amnesty" for those sat on master tapes of bootlegged concerts in the hope of finding enough quality material to put out an official live retrospective.
not much came of it beyond the exceptional 2 CD set of the classic Live At Leeds and the reasonable Isle Of Wight set featuring a fairly complete Tommy. the world, however, benefited somewhat from The Who seemingly more or less encouraging bootlegs to be made available with any number of gigs, from rather poor quality to excellent ones being scattered everywhere.
and so it came to be that, as a consequence of the above, i got to hear this.....
Tales From The Who - Largo 1973 has got to be the single greatest concert that i have ever heard without actually being at the gig. it's a "soundboard" recording (whatever that means, presumably something to do with the mixing deck) and whilst not perfect quality, it's good enough.
now, i know a bit about The Who, but am not going to proclaim to be the definitive expert - corrections are thus welcome. this gig is from the ill-fated Quadrophenia tour, where the technology wasn't up to what the band wished to do live. backing tapes jammed, broke down or kicked in at the wrong time, and the band recall the whole thing as "frustrating". as one would expect from Townshend and co, however, any and all frustrating was pumped into the performance.
my long held view that Live At Leeds was the definitive live recording of The Who has thus been canned. whereas Quadrophenia has never been as accessible as their other, better known monolith of a rock opera Tommy, there are certainly many highlights, the majority of them captured on this recording. this is a must have, must hear for Who fans, although of course i can't actively encourage anyone to obtain a not strictly speaking legal recording.
the interesting thing is that, apparently, there's an even better recording of this gig out there somewhere -
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!