August 18, 2009 – 4:10 am

While it’s probably not the first, Tommy by The Who was the most famous of all rock operas.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Electric Factory [Rattlesnake RS227, 1CD]

Live in the USA, 1969. A brand new 2009 bootleg. Excellent stereo soundboard.

The Who’s trek across America was to be recorded for a live album, hence several shows were properly captured. Legend has it Pete Townshend was bitterly disappointed with the tapes and burnt them. Fact or fiction?

If he did, he must have made backup copies. Over the years, several shows have leaked. The two famous ones are the Electric Factory and Georgetown University shows. Both are incomplete.

What pleased Townshend though was the concert of February 14, 1970 at Leeds University in the UK. That show made it out to the shops as the album, Live At Leeds, in May. It was a much interrupted album with only about a quarter of the original concert. Yet the energy captured made Live At Leeds an all-time favorite live album of fans and critics alike.

It would only be in 2001 when a Deluxe Edition of Live At Leeds was released that the entire Leeds gig finally made it out of the vaults.

Wikipedia confirms this: “The Deluxe Edition includes more chat between the songs, and a near-complete performance of Tommy on a second disc, which features every song except Cousin Kevin, Underture, Sensation, and Welcome which were not played at the concert… the Deluxe Edition of the remastered CD moves Amazing Journey/Sparks to their appropriate place during the Tommy performance, and includes everything that was performed at the concert albeit edited.”

Finally, we can understand why Townshend may have fumed and fret over the 1969 tapes. While Leeds was sharp and edgy with early hits like I Can’t Explain and blues rockers like Summertime Blues, it also had a great rendition of the Tommy album. All the incomplete ‘69 tapes suggest there wasn’t one show that captured all this.

Since 2000, The Who have been content to supply every single recent concert as a paid download or silver-pressed CD. They also boast a fan site where decent shows are shared freely on bit-torrent. It does appear that Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey are unwilling or unable to dig through whatever tapes remain to offer up some vintage Who concerts. Should it never happen, at least fans are preserving and sharing whatever portions and scraps of these Who shows.

This Rattlesnake boot has been amped. It’s LOUD.
- The Little Chicken

Note: The Electric Factory show has already appeared at least three times previously on Nighthawk, Trystar and the Conheca Amazona bootlegs. The Georgetown show here is truncated to just six tracks. The full 13 track show can be found on 1969 Winter Time Trip, although it’s unclear whether all the tracks are from Georgetown. This Dandelion bootleg also has four more songs from the 1970 Hull show.

Previously, we have shared the Georgetown Show [the six-track version] as part of The 1969 Soundboard Tapes Vol 1. [click here]

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Electric Factory, Philadephia, PA, October 19, 1969
Track 01. Heaven And Hell (2.4MB)
Track 02. I Can’t Explain (3.8MB)
Track 03. Overture (6.3MB)
Track 04. It’s A Boy (871k)
Track 05. 1921 (3.3MB)
Track 06. Amazing Journey (4.8MB)
Track 07. Sparks (7.1MB)
Track 08. The Acid Queen (3.7MB)
Track 09. Summertime Blues (6.6MB)
Track 10. My Generation (16.0MB)

McDonough Gymnasium, Georgetown University, Washington, November 2, 1969
Track 11. Heaven And Hell (5.0MB)
Track 12. I Can’t Explain (3.1MB)
Track 13. Fortune Teller (3.8MB)
Track 14. Summertime Blues (4.9MB)
Track 15. Shakin’ All Over (7.8MB)
Track 16. My Generation (12.4MB)

City Hall, Hull, UK, February 16, 1970
Track 17. Young Man Blues (10.1MB)

The Who’s Live At Leeds Deluxe 2CD Edition is the one to get for a complete vintage Who performance. Buy it here.

  1. 17 Responses to “ROCK OPERA ARRIVES IN AMERICA”

  2. Now… Is there a good live Quadrophenia or Who’s Next tour boot???

    By Kevin on Aug 18, 2009

  3. Bloody Brilliant!!!

    By BTH on Aug 18, 2009

  4. I’m with Kevin!
    Please bigo’s team any chance to post The Who’s roios from The Who’s Next Tour and Quadrophenia Tour?
    Many thanks ;-)

    By Rochacrimson on Aug 18, 2009

  5. hey bigo, thanks! i don’t have any who in my library. growing up i had tapes and lp’s, though. it’s nice to have one thing by them.


    By Ed Saad on Aug 19, 2009

  6. I love it!

    By Jack on Aug 19, 2009

  7. Overall this is excellent. Playing with the order of songs and eliminating duplicates you can cobble together an excellent Who LP. As bootlegs go it’s right up there with Soundboard Tapes Vol. 1, which is especially spicy. I can never have too much Who. Thanks for the post.

    By Dave C. on Aug 19, 2009

  8. Thanks for the post. Much appreciated.

    If you’re looking for a nice collection of high quality loseless live WHO, go to
    Quality Boots Blogspot.

    By Jack F, on Aug 19, 2009

  9. Another great Who boot, keep em’ coming.


    By BL on Aug 19, 2009

  10. The best sounding Quad (pre-FM!) material come from the King Biscuit Flower Hour recordings taped at The Spectrum in Philadelphia on Dec. 4, 1973 and The Capitol Center in Landover, MD on Dec. 6, 1973 (both shows were professionally recorded by KBFH for later radio airplay.) Nowadays, these are common shows to come across.

    There aren’t really any good Who’s Next ‘boots’ that i know of, though the show from the Civic Center in San Francisco, Dec. 13, 1971 was pro recorded by The Who (or a soundboard recording was made by Bill Graham productions). Six songs (only, so far) from this show were released officially by The Who on ‘View From A Backstage Pass’: Can’t Explain, Substitute, My Wife, Behind Blue Eyes, Bargain and Baby Don’t You Do It. (Some of these tracks were released earlier as b-sides and ‘rare tracks’ etc.)

    There is a decent quality (mono) audience recording from the Hara Arena in Dayton, OH, August 13, 1971 that i can recommend though. The sq is good enough and the show is fantastic (almost complete) with great rare live versions of Love Ain’t For Keeping and Pure And Easy. Definitely my favorite aud. recording from ‘71 with some priceless Pete banter!

    By dandor on Aug 19, 2009

  11. This show should be called “Who Will Sing The Body Electric.” But that’s just me…

    By Brian Fairbanks on Aug 20, 2009

  12. Check this one:

    By Peter on Aug 22, 2009

  13. Superb! Thanks — I’m Shakin’ All Over.

    By elmore on Aug 30, 2009

  14. Tracks 1,2,10 & 15 need to be re-uploaded. All other links work. Can you please re-upload these tracks when you have some time. Thanks.

    Would also love to see The Who Soundboard Tapes Vol. 1-3 back again.


    By MisterManiac on Jul 22, 2014

  15. Hello MisterManiac

    Kindly refresh the page and try again.

    By bigozine2 on Jul 22, 2014

  16. Thanks for re-posting the 4 missing songs. Left a big “thanks” on the re-post of the Soundboard Tapes, but appreciate your getting these 4 songs up again as well. Cheers!

    By MisterManiac on Jul 23, 2014

  17. Terrific Stuff! I always thought the intro of synthesizers with Who’s Next took them away from rnr and they never got back—so good to hear them before it happened! Thanks!!

    By Fred Ross on Apr 28, 2016

  18. Thanks for posting. I was unable to download tracks 6, 7, 11, and 14.

    By Frank T on Dec 1, 2016

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