ROIO of the Week [Recordings of Indeterminate Origin]

The internet is the new rock 'n' roll all right. Here's an example of what you can get in just one day of surfing the net searching for live concerts and other music to download. Over at the BigO office, we don't touch MP3s unless the artist has agreed. Instead we look for live recordings taped by fans and recorded off the radio or from satellite broadcasts from all over the planet. All of this music cannot be bought for money as they are not meant for sale. Fans put them up on websites where you can use a fast-speed broadband connection to download them. The music is than transferred from our hard disk to a CD-R without any loss of bandwidth. Here goes:

The Who
Orchestral Tommy [Party Line/1CD]

The Who's "Orchestral Tommy" is a recording of a show at the Rainbow Theatre, London, Dec 9 1972. I recall reading about this in 1972 in a copy of New Musical Express. Lou Reizner had been approached by Pete Townshend to do a lavish, orchestral version of Tommy with superstar guests. Reizner assembled a stellar cast for a one-night stand at the Rainbow that included teen hearthrob David Essex, Elkie Brooks, Marsha Hunt, Merry Clayton, Viv Stanshall, Roy Wood and Sandy Denny.

The concerts were to support the release of Tommy with the London Symphony Orchestra and all-star cast. Reizner had recorded a different cast for the album. This was the famous version that had Rod Stewart, Ringo, Peter Sellers, Steve Winwood and Maggie Bell plus The Who. The album has been out-of-print so it was timely to find a copy of the live concert from Dec 9 floating on the internet. The sound is very good for a recording from 1972 with clear stereo and a full orchestra and choir conducted by David Measham. You can play this very loud but there will be audible hiss. The last track is unfortunately incomplete. This Rainbow concert was later broadcast on BBC, Dec 26.

Probably it still hadn't dawn on Townshend that Tommy would stalk him for the rest of his life. The Royal Albert Hall turned down hosting this concert as the Hall's management considered the show "unsavory". - Michael Cheah

The Who
Tommy At The Metropolitan Opera House, June 7, 1970 [no label/4CDs]

Rated by Life magazine, Billboard and Roger Daltrey as the best Tommy ever performed, this show at New York's prestigious Metropolitan Opera House was meant to be the last time Tommy was to be aired. It wasn't. Too bad that this audience recording is just "good" - you can hear lots of echo, the drums overwhelm the recording. From anecdotes at the time, Daltrey was in fine voice and Townshend a prick. At the end of Shakin' All Over and the jam, Spoonful, Pete hurls his guitar at the audience. Later standing in front of thousands of booing Americans, Townshend scolds the crowd and refuses to perform an encore. He then throws the mike stand at the crowd. Not caught on tape is Pete shouting "After two fucking hours, boo to you to..." The Who had played two shows, the earlier was in the afternoon.

What's most annoying about this audience recording is the taper keeps clicking his recorder on and off. To conserve tape, we presume. - MC

Note: Read a New York Times review of this show

Lee's Place, Toronto [RiMasta/2CDs]

An excellent soundboard recording of this Americana band on Oct 4 last year [2003]. The Joey Burns - John Convertino duo however fail to ignite. Why are critics drooling over a smoothed over version of the last decade’s Los Lobos? - MC

Fillmore, Feb 15, 2004 [no label/2CDs]

This was recorded before his Musicology Tour 2004 and the "artist previously etc…" was reworking his back catalogue here — Nothing Compares 2 U, Sign O’ The Times, Soul Man/Kiss and I Want To Take You Higher/ There Was A Time Jam. The latter two are smart soul covers. A bit of a boomy audience recording. - MC

Ian Dury
Rare Boots & Panties [no label/1CD]

This is billed as the 25th Anniversary Edition of Ian’s 1977 debut album New Boots & Panties. All the same songs are lined up in the same order as the album’s but with rare and live versions. Was originally released in 2002. - MC

Eric Clapton
Philadelphia, 2004 [no label/2CDs]

From the front row at the Wachovia Center on June 26, 2004, this is a powerful show from Clapton’s current Robert Johnson Tour. The band cook and Clapton even plays "God" on Layla. He has taken to including Badge to be played every night on this tour probably as a tribute to old pal George Harrison who co-wrote the song. This audience recording is the type we like - up close, in stereo and with the ambience of the hall and not too much distracting audience noise. - MC

Here are the rest we downloaded:

The Who
Young Vic Blues [Bell Bottom 1CD] live at The Young Vic Theatre, Waterloo, South London, Apr 26 1971. Ex SBD

The Who
Our Drummer's Out Cold [Wholiday Music 2CD] live at Cow Palace, Nov 20 1973. Famous show where Keith Moon passes out two songs from the end and a fan takes over! Gd Audience. Cvr says it is SBD. Not true.

The Who
Live in Houston 1975 [no label 2CD] live Nov 20 1975. Vg SBD.

Fleetwood Mac
Capitol Theatre, Passaic [no label 1CD] live in New Jersey, May 3 1975 Ex SBD

Pink Floyd
The Wall Live: Mother [Wallweeds 2CD] Pt 2 of all the Wall live shows. Live at Sports Arena, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, California, Feb 8 1980.

Procol Harum
New York 1970 [no label 1CD] live A&R recording studio, NY, WPLJ-FM broadcast.

Procol Harum
Dallas Texas 1974 [no label 1CD] live July 4 1974. A KZEW-FM broadcast.

Weather Report
Vienna 1971 [no label 1CD] live November 1971. 4tracks no titles. Ex SBD

Brighton Rocks [no label 2CD] live Brighton, England, Nov 19, 1975. FM broadcast

Phil Ochs
WBAI Studios, NY 1965 [no label 1CD] Ex studio.

Fotheringay [with Sandy Denny]
Wild Mountain Thyme [no label 1CD] BBC sessions & live in 1970.

The Who
Who Put The Better Boot In 1976 [Shagadelic 1CD] live June 12 1976 in Swansea, England. This is best version. Ex SBD.

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Dave Douglas' Speaking Truth To Power Modern Music Protest
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Neil Young's Last Album
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Elvis Presley's Desert Storm
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Frank Sinatra's Historic Oakland Concert
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Neil Young's I'm Happy That Y'All Came Down
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Beck, Bogert & Appice's Good Bye Lady
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Wilco's The YHF Demos
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David Bowie's The Rise And Rise Of Ziggy Stardust
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Miles Davis' The Complete Live At The Cellar Door

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Pink Floyd's Brain Damaged Empire
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