As most people know, in addition to the recent (1995) remix/remaster of the "Live At Leeds" album, a bootleg of the show has been released, entitled "Live At Leeds Complete." In addition to containing all songs released on previous LPs/CDs, now unedited, the complete performance of 'Tommy' is included as well. Other than a few between song breaks, the whole show is here. Following is a detailed comparison of the two:
This is quite interesting. The remix has about 18 seconds of applause, the band tuning up, etc. The bootleg on the other hand has just a few seconds of applause and no instrument sounds. Comparing the two it would seem the remix has stuff edited in from a different show - even though the intro to the boot is a lot shorter, there's enough there to confirm the two are different. However, an audience tape of the show reveals exactly what's on the remix. Why the bootleg sounds different is anyone's guess.
Heaven & Hell
Time: LAL LALC 4:29 4:27
Nothing was edited out on the remix. However, the vocals on the first verse (up to the second 'If you've done nothing wrong') were overdubbed in the studio specifically for the remix. After hearing the boot this is quite obvious. Rumor is JAE was changing a setting on his amp and did not get back to the mike fast enough. However, listening to both the boot and an audience tape of the show reveals there's really nothing wrong with the vocal - the new overdub was certainly a very curious exercise.
There is quite a bit of 'crackling noise' on this song on the boot. This is probably the worst case of it in the concert. However, the music still shines through loud and clear. The remix employed some click removal techniques, but the crackling is still evident, albeit to a lesser extent.
I Can't Explain
Time: LAL LALC 2:16 2:14
Here again, no edits were made. However, before the main vocals come in Roger yells 'alright', which was mixed out on the remaster. On the original boot, about two seconds are missing when they sing "Forgive me one more time, now", due to a sloppy job on account of the bootlegger. A later "remastered" version of LALC has this entire section intact, but the EQ has been tampered with and does not sound as good as the original issue.
Time: LAL LALC 2:34 2:33
No edits here either. Once again though, vocals were significantly played around with. On the boot, John sings a double lead vocal with Roger. On the remix, however, he is barely audible.
Some of Pete's dialog before the song was cut on the remix.
Time: LAL LALC 2:51 2:51
Not much different between the remix and the boot. The ending cuts off rather quickly due to a master reel change, which was (only partially successfully) covered up with unrelated applause on the remix. 16 seconds of applause and dialog are missing due to the reel change. The dialog in red is what got cut off: "Uh, just a message to the people that are working the lights. Could we have a bit more, general light on the stage?"
Young Man Blues
Time: LAL LAL(rm) LALC 4:38 4:56 5:08
The first significantly edited song. A few solo parts near the end of the song were cut out. The original version (also on the box set) is even more edited than the remastered version.
Again, some of Pete's dialog before the song was cut on the remix, including the above comment about the lighting.
Time: LAL LALC 2:07 2:07
Not too different. Some of Pete's talk before the song was cut out on the remix, which is odd, as all of it was included on the box set.
Time: LAL LALC 2:13 2:12
As above. This song was also on the soundtrack to "The Kids Are Alright", although it was incorrectly listed as coming from "Live Tour, Sweden".
I'm A Boy
Time: LAL LALC 2:40 2:43
A Quick One, While He's Away
Time: LAL LALC 8:25 8:26
Not too different here either. However, most of Pete's intro to the song was cut off the remaster - it does run several minutes.
Roger re-did his vocals for "Ivor The Engine Driver" specifically for the remix. They do match the original vocals fairly well, but playing both versions back side by side makes it clear they were re-done.
The master reel was changed before and after AQO.
Up to this point, all of the songs have been available on the remaster (edited or not). Also, there are no major problems with the sound. After A Quick One, however, two things go 'bad' right away. The balance shifts to the right (easily corrected) and the speed slows down. Not by a whole lot, but the pitch is slightly changed. The actual difference is 2.8%.
Time: LALC 5:19 (5:09) [speed corrected times are in parenthesis]
A very good performance. Unlike IOW, everyone hits the first chord! Pete's soloing is also quite good.
During Pete's soloing there is a brief (.25 sec perhaps) dropout/hiccup. This sounds like a tape defect, rather than something the bootlegger did.
On the CD, the track changes to 'It's A Boy' even before the 'Captain Walker' section. The time above is right up to 'It's A Boy'.
It's A Boy
Time: LALC 0:35 (0:34)
Time: LALC 2:29 (2:23)
Time: LAL LALC 7:34 3:22/4:25 [7:47] (3:16/4:14 [7:30])
The only number from 'Tommy' released on the remaster. Surprisingly it was not edited.
Eyesight To the Blind (The Hawker)
Time: LALC 2:01 (1:57)
Another tape reel change before this song. At the show there was a several second pause (at least) after Sparks where the audience applauded. On the boot no such applause can be heard - it cuts off just after the last notes of Sparks and comes back in the middle of the count-in to Eyesight.
Time: LALC 3:23 (3:16)
The Acid Queen
Time: LALC 3:37 (3:30)
A vocal flub at the end...either Pete or Roger sings "Break your little heart" and the other sings "Tear your soul apart".
Time: LALC 2:55 (2:48)
Roger seems to be a bit heavy on the mike, at least at the start of the song. John's bass intro is truly amazing.
This is the last song on CD 1. After Pinball finishes, the crowd cheers for a sec and the sound abruptly cuts off. Then you can hear a (very) brief snippet of 'Do You Think It's Alright' before the tape totally cuts off. At the concert there was about a 20 second pause between Pinball and Do You Think It's Alright.
Disc 1 total time: 70:57 (depending on the CD player)
Do You Think It's Alright
Time: LALC 0:22 (0:22)
On Live At Leeds Complete this track fades up, cutting off the band hitting the first chord. However, Live Tommy At The Leeds (from the same label) does not fade up - the entire chord is there. The only problem is the sound on Live Tommy At The Leeds is significantly worse than Live At Leeds Complete.
Time: LALC 1:14 (1:12)
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Time: LALC 0:56 (0:54)
There's A Doctor
Time: LALC 0:24 (0:23)
Go to the Mirror!
Time: LALC 3:27 (3:22)
Smash the Mirror
Time: LALC 1:18 (1:16)
Not listed on the packaging or the disc itself.
Time: LALC 0:15 (0:12)
Time: LALC 4:05 (3:57)
Some people have commented that the vocals to 'Sally' are not the greatest and could be fixed on a remix. To me they do not sound that bad at all. Roger does miss one "She knew from the start..." part, but that just lets the listener more clearly hear John and Pete!
Time: LALC 2:41 (2:37)
About at this time the left-right balance is corrected. One might think the master reel was changed here, but the band went right from Sally Simpson into I'm Free at the show.
Tommy's Holiday Camp
Time: LALC 1:01 (0:59)
We're Not Gonna Take It
Time: LALC 8:20 (8:03)
It should be noted that part of this performance was used on the box set. However, that version starts in the middle of 'See Me, Feel Me' and has a significant chunk edited out during 'Listening to You.'
There is a tape glitch between Tommy's Holiday Camp and WNGTI. A sloppy job by the bootlegger. Very shortly after WNGTI finishes the master reel changes once again, which amounts to another glitch on the boot.
Time: LAL LALC 3:20 3:26 (3:20)
No edits here.
Shakin' All Over
Time: LAL LALC 4:15 5:15 (5:06)
This song was significantly edited. The edit occurs at about 2:23 on the remaster. After having the boot, the edit sounds quite obvious. If you listen closely, at 2:25 on the remaster there are some vocals (after the edit) that were mixed out. These are quite audible on the boot.
The content of the edited section is 'Spoonful,' which does drag a little bit. Once used to hearing it, however, not hearing it (as on the remaster) is quite strange.
The master reel was changed again after Shakin' All Over. It ends very shortly after the song finishes.
Time: LAL LALC 14:45 15:28 (15:03)
Some of the 'Listening to You' soloing in the first few minutes has been cut. Also, at 12:42 on the remaster a small edit was made. The band actually stops for a few seconds, and it sounds like Moon hits a drum or drops a stick. On the remaster this silence was edited out. The original LP/CD plays right through, as does LALC.
A mixing difference on the remaster occurs right after "People try to put us down" at the very beginning of the song. A scream from Roger was mixed out: "[whaahhhhhh]oh, just because we get around." The scream was on the old album, as well as LALC.
Pete did a lenghty introduction to the song ("It's really wonderful to be back at Leeds"), all of which was cut for the remix.
The master reel was changed between My Generation and Magic Bus.
Time: LAL LALC 7:22 10:05 (9:41)
Major edits! 'Magic Bus' had several chunks cut out. The edits (that I quickly noted - there may be one or two more small ones) occur at: 1:16, 3:21, 3:46 (on the remaster). Also, on the boot, there is a dropout at 2:41 (2:17 on the remaster) - it lasts about a second. Near the end, at 7:16-7:17 on the remaster, Pete has been mixed out. He hit a bad note... Also, Roger's harmonica at the very end has been mixed _way_ down...
Disc 2 total time: 62:14
There's no doubt about it - I'll take the boot over the remix any day of the week. A few notes:
While the boot doesn't quite have the clarity of the remix, I prefer it. The drums are a bit lower in the mix - to these ears they are too loud on the remix. The boot is mixed very "dry", with no added echo. Both the original album and the remix have added echo to give it a more "live" sound - personally I find it very artificial sounding. The remix also has added effects on Pete's guitar in places (most notably the intro to Magic Bus) to simulate what was heard in the concert. However, a close listen to the boot does not reveal any such echo effects, which would have been picked up by the ambience track (albeit not very loudly). They cymbal sound seems to have a bit more space to it on the boot, possibly due to leakage onto the ambience (and other) tracks, which would have been masked a bit on the remix due to the higher level of the drum tracks. To me the remaster has a very flat and lifeless sound, while the boot is a bit more open and alive. The dullness of the boot is not even that noticeable unless you play the remaster and the boot side-by-side.
In live recording, it is standard practice to use two tape machines, so that nothing is missed when a reel must be changed. When one tape machine is starting to run out of tape, the other machine will be switched on so there's a bit of overlap. However, for whatever reason the Pye Mobile unit only employed one tape machine, so whenever the reel needed to be changed that part of the show would not be recorded. Luckily, all the reel changes were done between songs, but small sections were lost, notably some of the sustained notes at the end of songs.
On the remaster, John's vocal is usually panned hard left, Roger is in the center, and Pete's vocal hard right. On the boot, John and Pete are brought a bit more towards the center, but are still panned a bit. Also, since all tracks of the tape are always playing, the hiss level is somewhat higher than the remix. If you listen closely (under headphones) to the remix, you can easily hear tracks being mixed up and down, as well as edits made, as the hiss level changes quite obviously in some places. Also, I did read that some noise reduction technology was used on the vocal tracks on the remaster.
Several of the tracks on the CD do not correspond to the actual songs - Disc 2 indexes a few tracks in the middle of songs, and only has 14 tracks, while there are actually 15 songs.
Just as a note, there are no booklets, liner notes, etc...
Also, the cover pictures are not from Leeds, but rather the '69 IOW show.