Who Put The Live Boot In (Rockmasters RMC-008)
Vetch Field, Swansea, Wales – June 12th, 1976
Amazing Journey, Sparks, Acid Queen, Fiddle About, Pinball Wizard, I’m Free / How Can We Follow, Baba O’Riley, Squeeze Box, Behind Blue Eyes, Dreaming From The Waist, My Wife, Summertime Blues, My Generation Jam / Talking About It / Join Together / My Generation / Blues Guitar Interlude, Won’t Get Fooled Again
Billed as “Who Put The Boot In”, this was an all day event with Streetwalkers, Little Feat, The Outlaws, and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band with The Who headlining. The soundboard from The Who’s set has been in circulation since the day after the event (it seems) with vinyl releases like Backstage Pass (IMP-1-16), Live At Swansea June 1976 (Europe 19776), Live At Swansea (K&S 016) and Live At Swansea (K&S 2 A/B) all in various quality. On compact disc Midas Touch released this tape in 1996 as Who Put The Boot In 1976 (61011) followed by Who Put A Better Boot In 1976 on Shagadellic Records in 1997 and was copied as Always On Top (Pop 007).
The guitar and vocals are predominant in the right channel and the rhythm section in the left. Hiss is also present in the quieter parts but otherwise it is full of life and dynamics. The recording presents most of The Who’s set, and what is here is out of sequence. Missing still are the opening two songs “I Can’t Explain” and “Substitute”, “Magic Bus”, and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (the first two notes are present on the tape).
To further complicate matters “My Wife”, “Baba O’Riley”, “Squeeze Box”, “Behind Blue Eyes” and “Dreaming From The Waist” were played before the Tommy material and not after. The tape opens in the middle of Keith Moon’s intro to the Tommy material. It runs through to “I’m Free / How Can We Follow”. The first couple notes of the final song “See Me Feel Me” are present on the fade out.
“Baba O’Riley” sounds very heavy in this show, and Moon introduces “Squeeze Box” stating that “as always the Who are on top of everything” The long “My Generation” jam and medley is reminiscent of the classic performances from the early days before the show ends with a twelve minute version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
We can assume the missing songs are not going to surface and are lost, but Rockmasters could have improved this release by placing the songs in proper sequence. However this is one of the band’s greatest late seventies concerts and recordings and Roger Daltrey has said this is his favorite. The label again uses tasteful packaging on par with Unbelievable Fantastic to make this recommended.
I could be wrong but I would guess that most of the versions of this concert were taken from the radio broadcasts-the concert was broadcast a number of times on Capital Radio in London between 1976 and 1978-I stll have a cassette tape of the original broadcasts!! The songs broadcasted varied between each time-but I remember that I Cant Explain, Substitute and Magic Bus were never broadcast-although Were Not Gonna Take It (and See Me feel Me) was. I would guess the missing songs are sitting on a master tape in the Who’s archives.
since the song I Can See for Miles has been said to be rarely performed live during the Keith Moon era, does anybody possibly know of any decent live Who CD titles that aren’t too hard to find these days that include a decent I Can See for Miles w/ Moon on drums? i would really appreciate hearing back from anybody who may know.
thanks for the interesting review here