Live Who vs studio who

Sroundtable at Sroundtable at
Sun Nov 21 19:12:26 CST 2004

In a message dated 11/21/2004 4:36:07 PM Central Standard Time, 
thewho-request at writes:

>  What I had in mind was 
> more like Love Reign O'er Me.  They attempt to play it more or less as the 
> original, but it completely lacks the impact of the Quad version.

I disagree about the live impact not being up to the studio version.  The 
impact live is really moving, IMHO.  The problem with the line LROM is that Roger 
struggles mightily with those low opening lines.  If you listen to a recent 
live version he's noticeably off pitch.  I also don't like the backing vocals 
they have Simon doing on the big "LOOOOOVE!!!!"  He does this descending note 
scale behind Roger that I'm just not digging.  Maybe it's to mask Roger's flaws 
on his screams or something, but it isn't working for me.  However, Pete's 
guitar work in live LROM versions is spectacular and quite a departure from the 

> The other song that bugs me is I'm Free.  The live versions don't even sound 
> like the same guitar riff to me.  Now watch some guitar player tell me I'm 
> full of shit. Believe me, I KNOW I'm full of shit.  That's what I'm hear 
> for.  Educate me!
> Jim M 

Try this.  Listen to the studio version (tends to be sort of soft, almost 
acoustic-sounding), then listen to the IOW live version, which is the best live 
AND overall version of I'm Free.  Riff is the same as the studio but is loud 
and full of distortion.  It's a true hard rock, in your face song live.  Roger 
was also extremely aggressive with it at IOW.  Now, listen to any of the 1975 
and after versions and the riff has changed noticeably.  This is the riff 
eventually used in the stage version of Tommy.  I can't remember if the movie 
version reflected this change or not.  I think Pete changed it just because he was 
bored with the old way.  You know how he loves to change his rhythm riffs.  
For this proposition, see Behind Blue Eyes from studio vs Live 2000 and after.  
The rhythm to the kick-in part is clearly different.


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