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Re: Are the Who the best live rock band ever?
> Compare the Who in say 1970/71 with the Rolling Stones in 1972 or Led
> Zeppelin in 1971 (I think is their best year live) and they matchup
> very favorably.
Of course, you have 3 eras there.
By 1972 The Stones were on their 4th incarnation -
R&B combo, Pop Stars, Satanic Majesties, The Great Days of
In British Group terms - in the mid-60's the turnover was
very fast indeed - The Who were one generation younger,
and Zeppelin younger again.
May not appear that way from the US, where the bands broke
at different times, but that's how the band members would've
related it, I think. Eg Townshend being a huge Stones fan.
* * *
Being lucky enough to have seen all 3 bands in the times
you mention, The Who have it by a mile.
Out of several sighting within your parameters
I'll take The Who @ Bath Pavilion Summer of 71
Stones @ Bristol Colston Hall March 71
Zeppelin @ Bath Festival ..... 70 I think.
What The Stones had down was The Presence. Royalty.
The event was just *seeing* them regardless how they
played. Nobody ever did that better.
But the Who were the ones where you'd actually find
you're knees shaking in anticipation ; something to do with
the very real sense of violence they contained. I've
checked this friends who were there & they confirm. Al
Kooper says the same in his book, tho' I still take the
Prime Who as 65-67.
Zeppelin come in a mile behind. Crude bludgeoning.
No class at all.
May seem hard from todays perspective when they're
considered an important band, but interviews from the
period confirm they often moaned about why they weren't
taken seriously by critics. Cos they were 2nd rate
compared to the real thing. Clever implementation of
Becks blueprint from the Beck/Stewart band. They even
covered 2 numbers off Becks album to begin with.
Good niche marketing, no heart. Volume in place of Power.
Thats what I think anyway.