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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

The Who

Live At The Isle of Wight DVD

Review by Gary Hill

As someone who has always been sort of a periphery fan of The Who, this video is truly an interesting rock and roll document. I had seen little live footage of the band, and watching this brings a lot of revelations. First, it seems quite apparent that much or Robert Plant's stage presence, his stance and look was derived from Roger Daltrey. Secondly, it's amazing how much of the band's whole stage presence, and especially that of Pete Townshend, was copped by the punk movement. One is also amazed at just how incredible of a drummer Keith Moon really was. The thing is, with all his talent and the way he seemed to never take the easy or minimalistic way out, he really looks like drumming is one of the most fun activities in the world to him. It's easy to forget John Entwhisttle because he just sort of stood there, but listening to the mix it's very obvious that there was good reason that he was one of the most influential bassists of all time - his playing was incredible!

This video is exceptionally well filmed. The sounds and visual are quite good, especially considering that this it's from 1970. I can't say that I am blown away by every song here, but I certainly can understand why plenty of people are. These guys put their heart into their performance and their energy is contagious. This is a very fun show.

This set, complete with a new interview by Pete Townshend, includes some of the classics ("I Can't Explain", "Summertime Blues", "My Generation" and "Magic Bus") some lesser-known numbers and a large number of tunes from the rock opera Tommy. Those last ones alone make this a "must have". This is great document for both long time hard core fans, and the less hooked like myself. This one is highly recommended.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

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