The Vinyl Issue: The Who's Live At Leeds

Classic Rock photographer Ross Halfin is an avid record collector - especially when it comes to The Who. He owns multiple versions of the band’s classic Live At Leeds album, and here he talks us through ten of them.

“The Who’s Live At Leeds is my favourite album of all time, which is why I started collecting it. The original on vinyl is way better than the uncut, remastered version, which is too much. It goes on for too long. The original edit by Townshend captures the dynamics of The Who. And the vinyl sounds better.In England, there were three variants of Live At Leeds. The first came out with a black-stamp cover, and the first 1,000 copies of it had the ‘Maximum R&B’ poster from The Who at the Marquee [in 1964] inside. There have been versions with blue stamps and red stamps as well.”

There have been Taiwanese versions, Spanish versions, a Peruvian version with a picture of Townshend jumping on the cover… The critic Nik Cohn, who inspired Pinball Wizard and wrote the article that became Saturday Night Fever, reviewed Live At Leeds for the New York Times, and called it a “hard rock holocaust”. The hardest version to find, then, is the one that came out in Israel with Cohn’s quote translated into Hebrew on the cover. It had to be withdrawn. To be honest, I am obsessed with collecting them all.

Images below from top left: Taiwanese pressing, Colombian pressing, third UK pressing, second UK pressing, Brazilian pressing, Israeli third pressing, Spanish pressing, UK first pressing, withdrawn Israeli pressing, Israeli second pressing.

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