Rock Review Vinyl

Who Go To The Isle of Wight

Title: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival

Label: earMUSIC

Spanning The Who’s appearance in the famous live 1970 festival, the content does include a few lesser know pieces including I Don’t Even Know Myself, Water and Naked Eye.

The set begins with an introduction, “From Shepards Bush, London…The Who!” Actually, no. What he says is, “From Shepards Bush, London…Th’Oo!” 

Here, The Who seemed to be ‘on’. The performance was full of intensity and energy so even if you’ve heard 1001 renditions of Tommy played live, this particular example is worthy of some note. There’s also a sense of connection with the audience and maybe this is part of the reason for the concert’s success. That is, one lifts the other to emotional heights. 

This new version of the classic release comes from earMUSIC/Edel as part of a major vinyl imprint that looks to release 200 titles. This edition arrives in a gatefold triple vinyl set with a fully printed inner and bundled with a CD version.

On a mastering level? The words ‘audiophile’ and ‘live album’ are often a contradiction in terms. Basically because the inherent sonic frequencies are lined up to resemble a dog’s breakfast. 

Positioned on an elevated platform, in the open air, with rudimentary equipment set up and no isolation, the aural response is less about accuracy and more about energy and that’s what you get here. Passion, energy and music propelled at your ears with drive and dynamism. 

This live album is not about chin scratching and gauging the relative merits of any possible 3D effect of the central soundstage. Oh no. This one is about sweat, spittle, mad staring eyes (well, it is if you glance towards Keith Moon) and force. This is three slabs of emotion. And it’s all the better for it.

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  • Reply
    4th June 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Dear Paul,
    Just wondered if you could tell me which edition of the Who’s Isle of Wight I should get. Recently, I bought and returned a triple set on Amazon as the tracks were not linked with annoying pauses for a live album. Is the one on Earmusic better?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      7th June 2021 at 10:01 am

      Blimey – it’s been a while since I’ve properly heard that version but I can’t recall particularly annoying pauses. I’d need to dig it out when I have a moment to be sure though.

  • Reply
    7th June 2021 at 10:20 am

    Thanks for your response and hopefully you will enjoy playing that album again. From what I am aware of, the one released on Eagle Eye, which also happens to be a triple blue vinyl set, has pauses between songs which I found very annoying and so I had to return it to Amazon.

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