Better off not Live

Scott Schrade schrade at
Mon Nov 22 17:22:02 CST 2004

> 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 agree.  LROM is always weak live, IMO.  And, actually, I'm not particularly
fond of the studio version.

> The other song that bugs me is I'm Free.  The live versions don't even sound 
> like the same guitar riff to me. 

Yeah, like Mc expertly explained, the opening riff has changed over the years.
However, I wouldn't include this song on my personal "Better Off Not Live"
list.  The studio version is almost too restrained, IMO.  Most live versions are 

> First song that comes to mind is "I Can See For Miles".  The version on "Sell 
> Out" is a masterpiece.   Outside of the initial rush of hearing it live in 1982, the 
> live versions that I've heard (in '82 and '89) fall far, far short.


I've heard some OK live versions on some '79 boots, but, you're right - nothing
compared to the studio version.

> Well, it depends what era you're in. The Live at Leeds Magic Bus is killer but 
> the Zak era Magic Bus is kind of ordinary,


My favorite would still be the studio version, though.  Yes, the LAL "Magic Bus" 
is great, but it's just the shell of the song as opposed to any real attempt to du-
plicate the studio version live.  The acoustic guitar & the cool backing vocals
on the studio version can't be replicated.

> Bargain has always been one that - although great live - I thought was much 
> better in the studio.  Scott you can probably relate to my disappointment when 
> the Who's Next Deluxe came out and it seemed that Keith had either forgotten 
> or not yet decided to use the crazy double-bass rhythm live that he employed 
> in the studio.

What destroys the song for me is that Moon starts in a quick 4/4 time & then 
abruptly shifts to 2/4.  WTF?  He does the same thing on the "Empty Glass" 
bonus track on the WAY reissue.  Pretty glaring.

But, I can't include "Bargain" on my "Better Off Not Live" list simply because of
the brilliant 1972 live version from WHO'S MISSING.  That's one of the great-
est live Who performances of all time, IMO.

> Join Together comes to mind for me, although the Join Together medley circa 
> mid 1970s I absolutely love. 

Colorado Jim:

Agreed.  That's one song that doesn't translate well to the stage.

> I didn't much care for the Another Tricky Day from the last couple years' tours 
> either.  But it was nice it see them dust it off, so no harm there.   

Yes & yes.  I've always loved the song but the studio version is tops for me.  How-
ever, the '81 Essen, Germany version is by far the best live version as Kenney 
Jones drives the hell out of that motherfuckin' song.

And let's not forget "You Better, You Bet."  No live version has topped the studio
version of that song, either.

I'm tempted to include "Love Ain't For Keeping" but the Young Vic version
blows me away.  I love it.

"The Real Me."  They never topped the studio version of that song, IMO.  One could
make a case for "Who Are You," as well.

- SCHRADE in Akron

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