The Who (1970)
The best dang live album ever made, and one of the very few truly essential ones, this record shows how different live interpretations can be from studio recordings, and how magical songs can become when masterfully talented musicians improvise and cooperatively jam on them. It also showcases this group’s sense of humor with the inclusion of hilarious between-song banter. There is no question that the Who were the greatest live band ever, able to randomly whip out squalls of noise, heartbreaking ballads, transcendently tight mini-rock operas and heavy, funky covers at the slightest provocation (and often, multiple variations of each within the same jam). Leeds elevated the live album from an infrequent cash-in rarity to a rock staple that could be its own art form.
Key tracks: “My Generation”, “A Quick One While He’s Away”
See also: Live At the Isle Of Wight Festival – the Who (1970), The Kids Are Alright – the Who (1979)