the who live at isle of wight 2004

The Who leave Isle Of Wight speechless

The Who – Live at The Isle Of Wight (Universal Music)

Genre – Rock

In 1980, The Who returned to the Isle Of Wight Festival for the first time since their legendary performance in 1970. The Who’s UK tour dates in 2004 had been their first in the UK since the untimely death of John Entwistle in 2002.

With much hype and anticipation in the lead up to the show, they did not disappoint. The Who give fans everything they want – an array of hard hitting rock songs from an arsenal of anthems.

Coming on stage to the screams of a packed Isle Of Wight Audience, Daultry, Townsend and co. wasted no time getting started, launching into I Can’t Explain.

Sonically, this recording is packed with feedback. It fully captures the enthusiasm of the crowd with a rough and ready take. This fuzzy background noise is particularly apparent throughout Substitute, where Townend’s guitar is nowhere near studio quality, and sounds tend to fade into one another.

Although there is a sonic scuzz floating over the album, Daultry’s powerful vocals are mesmerizingly clear, as he maximises the youthfulness of his teenage topics with the craft than only experience can develop.

The Who’s decision to go with a live album that really captures the festival experience has paid dividends, especially when you listen to Daultry telling the sound team to ‘turn the fucking music back up.’ This is what a live album is all about. The screams from the crowd, the showmanship, the interaction – if you want to hear Pete Townsend play in a squeaky clean studio, go and pick up Tommy’s incredible remastered version.

This is something else. This is a band that are musically complete, playing some of the most iconic tracks ever written – Who Are You, Behind Blue Eyes, Baba O’Riley, My Generation, Pinball Wizard… to a fully receptive crowd that are lapping up every word.

For fans of The Who, or classic rock in general, this album is well worth getting your teeth into. It’s something different to many of the over produced live albums that are flying about today, and it’s refreshing to hear a live album that really sounds like it’s actually been recorded live.

RUSHONROCK RATED – 8/10 Why don’t you jall fffffffff-fade away!

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Northumbria University Journalism graduate, rock and roll enthusiast and co-editor of RUSHONROCK.com.

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