Sunday, May 23, 2021

1970 Albums of the Week, May 14-20 and May 21-27: Live at Leeds by The Who, and Hot Tuna by Hot Tuna

Well, I got busy and blew off a week, so this is a catch-up post. And it may be the last one -- I haven't looked ahead at the rest of the year to pick more albums. So let's do a quick poll to see if I should bother.

The Who's Live at Leeds was recorded on Valentine's Day of 1970, and released either on May 16 or May 23 (claims conflict and don't seem worth investigating).

In 2012, Rolling Stone readers still ranked it "best live album of all time."

I'm not sure I agree, but it's certainly up there with the Allman Brothers' Live at Fillmore East, Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, a whole bunch of Grateful Dead live recordings (not all of them official), Dylan and the Dead, Dylan/The Band's Before The Flood, The Band's The Last Waltz, etc.

Here's "Magic Bus":

For obvious reasons, the "1970 Album of the Week" feature features '60s bands, 1970 being the final year of that decade. But you may have noticed that, it being that last year, 1970 also saw a lot of reformations from, side projects of, and splits from, big '60s acts.

In the beginning Hot Tuna was, more or less, Jefferson Airplane minus Grace Slick, and came into existence because Slick wasn't able to perform while recovering from throat surgery. It's undergone a number of membership changes over the years, but the two constants remain Airplane alumni Jorma Kaukonan and Jack Casady.

Their eponymous debut album was released some time in May of 1970, and, like last week's pick, is a live album, recorded at New Orleans House in Berkeley, California (there's also a 2010 Live at New Orleans House album, released in 2010 but featuring different performances).

Any time I feature an album that in turn features a version of "I Know You Rider," chances are that will be the track I pick to flog, and this is no exception:

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