2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 2 -PICK 1- RUN SEW READ SELECTS- THE WHO- LIVE IN HYDE PARK

Live In Hyde Park [Limited Edition 3 LP] [Red/White/Blue]

2020 Album Draft- Round 2- Pick 1- Run-Sew-Read selects- The Who- Live In Hyde Park.

Run-Sew-Read’s blog can be found at -https://run-sew-read.com/

My second draft pick is The Who Live in Hyde Park, their album recorded outdoors in 2015, aka 45 years after Live at Leeds.  

This 2-CD album is what I’d describe as a sing-along, because fans of classic rock already know all of the songs.  There’s no need for me to describe Baba O’Riley, Love Reign O’er Me, Pinball Wizard, Won’t Get Fooled Again, or any of the other songs.  What sets this album apart and makes it part of my desert island collection, is two things: First, I was privileged to be there in Hyde Park on 26 June 2015, so this literally transports me back to a great memory.  Second, Roger, Pete and the band perform in such a way that the songs are renewed and relevant today.  The phrase, “That didn’t age well,” does not apply to any of the 40- and 50-year old songs in this performance.  Pete and Roger’s enthusiastic performances, banter and interaction with the crowd made everything relevant to the three or more generations that were there listening in 2015.

The performance is loaded with excellent, fun banter.  The set opens with Pete reacting to the sold-out crowd of 65,000 stretching back through the park. “You are a long way away. [cheers from the crowd] “But we will f*ing reach you.” [crowd roars] Then the band comes alive with “Can’t Explain”.  

The banter continues throughout the performance, as Pete ties the songs in to the several generations present, and Roger inserts his humor.  Toward the end, Pete offers a warm welcome that spoke to us who traveled internationally to get there.  “To those of you who came a long way, welcome to England. ….  Here in England, we don’t come to concerts; we f*ing congregate!”  

The recording and production are top-notch.  The vocals are loud and clear.  There aren’t a boatload of reviews on Amazon, but the collective rating is 4.8/5, which is correct, I say.

There is no Keith Moon in here, but they long ago brought in the next best thing, Keith’s godson, Zak Starkey.  Zak is a perfect fit.  I love watching and hearing him play with The Who.

There is no John Entwistle, but Pino Palladino fills in excellently.

Pete’s brother Simon Townshend also blends in perfectly to enhance guitar and vocals. Zak and Simon have actually been touring with The Who for a very long time.  I saw them perform with Roger and John Entwistle in 1990 in Kansas City. That’s 30 years of performing with The Who. It’s not up to me to say who is and is not in the band, but just the same, I say these two belong.

The concert was also produced on video, and that DVD was included with the 2-CD set.  The DVD is an excellent way to experience the concert.  But for listening, I prefer the CDs, in my car, where they’ve been almost continuously since 2015.  

If I were to pick a subset of favorite tracks from this performance, it would probably be Who Are You, The Kids are Alright, My Generation, Baba O’Riley, and Won’t Get Fooled Again.  Those are the tracks that most effectively transport me back to Hyde Park.  

But my most favorite track to listen to on the CD is an easy pick, and a total surprise, even for me.  It’s I’m One.  On the Quadrophenia album, I thought this song had nice elements, but lost its way and became invisible among the more prominent numbers.  But on to 2015 and the live stage, where the song literally comes of age, thanks to pensioner-aged Pete’s inspired rendition, complete with proper Cockney accent.  Here it is with a nice opening of the banter I described earlier.  

19 responses to “2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 2 -PICK 1- RUN SEW READ SELECTS- THE WHO- LIVE IN HYDE PARK

  1. Two live albums by The Who in the Top 11 picks! I saw them a couple times live and they delivered both times! A great live band.

  2. Now this is cool..Two showings by the Who in our countdown and they both are live albums…that is special.

    After being told about this live performance by Run-Sew-Read a while back I finally listened to it all. It is great. I usually don’t listen to much live unless it has Mr. Moon but with Zak you get the next best thing. He doesn’t copy his licks exactly…he does one better…he plays with the same spirit as Keith did.

    This is a great performance by The Who. I saw them on this tour in Nashville the previous year but this is a notch up from that…and that is saying something. It must be the Hyde Park element.

    Great choice. The Who more than any other band was made for this large of a setting in Hyde Park…as their music is huge. You are very lucky to have been there.

  3. That’s fantastic that you got to be there for it. Lots of rock history in Hyde Park. Even though I think of them as “Who’s Left,” they’re still great and I regret not seeing them in recent years when they passed through town. I agree – Starkey holds down the drummer slot much more than adequately. It’s also nice to know there’s someone else besides me who still listens to CDs in their car!

    • ‘Who’s Left’,…good one. 😉 And I know what you mean. I did feel the need to urge people to give the ‘new’ guys a chance, and to point out that they are no longer new. It’s not easy to give them a chance when you want to hear the guys who are gone. And in many other bands it would be reason to consider whether they’ve become a tribute band. I hope I was convincing that The Who have stayed legit.

  4. Thanks for the positive comments! It was quite the challenge, trying to make the case that a second live album from The Who belongs on the proverbial desert island. It was particularly hard to say without using the cheesy, worn out phrase, ‘Hear them again for the first time’. (And, I apologize for how many times I reminded that ‘I was there’. It started out reluctantly as a sort of disclosure, but then I said it again…and then another time. :/ )

  5. CB has something to look forward to . A listening and watch party. Had no idea about this. Now I do. Sounding like a broken record (Or a broken Pete guitar) but I will say again how much I like folks personal connection to music..No wonder this is on your list RSR. By the sounds of it “The Two” plus excellent help gave a quality show that they were always famous for. I’ve listened to them so much and I never get tired. Both Roger and Pete are personable guys and would give people a good “#$^&% congregation”. Great piece on a band I love. The song you picked is one of may faves.
    Could there be more Who going to the Islands?

  6. Bob Seger’s about the only other artist who comes to mind who’d have fans pick two live albums first when ranking the discography!
    For those keeping track, in Round 1 there were 5 US acts, 4 British and 1 Irish. 8 studio albums, 2 live. 4 from ’70s, 3 from ’90s, 2 dating back to ’60s and one ’80s release. Wonder what this round will bring?

  7. Great choice. I saw The Who as well during their “The Who Hits 50!” tour in 2015, except “my” gig was in Forest Hills (Queens), New York. The sets were identical. I also thought Messrs. Daltrey and Townshend and the band kicked ass!

    I was fortunate to see them once with John Entwistle at New York’s Madison Square Garden in October 2001, eight months prior to his death!

    • Thanks! It was also the same set list when I got lucky and saw them again in 2016, but Pete didn’t put quite as much character into I’m One. I bet the show at MSG was amazing. If the walls of that venue could talk! (I’ve never been there.)

  8. Run-Sew-Read, wonderful write-up on an album that has so much significance to you. The Who are one of the greatest bands ever and to hear the banter between the numbers must still give you a thrill when you hear it on the album. First time hearing this song. I appreciate the crispness of it.

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