The Who Live at Fillmore East 1968 Released

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The Who at the Fillmore East 1968 (Photo © Elliott Landy, LandyVision Inc. Used with permission)

A month after it opened, the Fillmore East in New York City presented The Who for the very first time. Those shows, which took place on April 5-6, 1968, were recorded by the band’s manager, Kit Lambert, who intended to release an album of live recordings to follow 1967’s The Who Sell Out. Instead, the Who began working on an album they’d call Tommy, and the live tapes were relegated to the shelf. Bootlegs of one of the two April 6 shows have long been available, but now, 50 years later, some of the music played that weekend is finally seeing official release on 2-CDs and 3-LPs on April 20.

An extended version of “My Generation” is so long (33:02), it takes up both sides of the third LP.

Pre-order the CD here. Pre-order the LP here.

According to a press release, “Songs from the second night have been restored and mixed by Who sound engineer Bob Pridden (who was there in 1968). Remastered for optimum sound quality, this will enhance The Who’s reputation as the best live act of the time, regarded by fans as something of a ‘holy grail’ in live shows. Features stunning extended versions of ‘My Generation’, ‘A Quick One…’ (11:15 in length), ‘Shakin’ All Over’ and many other Who classics. Features two ripping versions of Eddie Cochran numbers—‘Summertime Blues’ and ‘C’mon Everybody’ (the latter unavailable elsewhere), ‘Fortune Teller’ played at these shows for the first time and unique live versions of ‘Tattoo’ and ‘Relax’ from The Who Sell Out.”

Related: An eyewitness report of the Who’s first NYC appearance

The Fillmore East—formerly the Village Theater—opened on March 8, 1968, with a show headlined by Big Brother and the Holding Company. The Who, with Buddy Guy and a band called Free Spirits (featuring guitarist Larry Coryell) opening for them, were the fourth show booked at the new venue by promoter Bill Graham. They had only played for the first time in New York about a year earlier but in the interim (largely due to their for-the-ages performance at the Monterey Pop Festival), they’d earned a reputation as one of the most kinetic bands in all of rock music.

Listen to a bootlegged version of “Summertime Blues” from one of the Fillmore East shows

It should be noted that the Who’s shows at the Fillmore East, which was located in the then-dangerous East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, took place on the two days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, and tension was in the air in all major American cities. While many other scheduled events were canceled, Graham decided to go ahead with the show, providing an outlet for rock fans who, like millions of others in the country, were dazed by the tragic event in Memphis.

Related: 10 great live albums from the Fillmores

CD Track Listing

Disc: 1
1. Summertime Blues
2. Fortune Teller
3. Tattoo
4. Little Billy
5. I Can’t Explain
6. Happy Jack
7. Relax
8. I’m A Boy
9. A Quick One
10. My Way
11. C’mon Everybody
12. Shakin’ All Over
13. Boris The Spider

Disc: 2
1. My Generation

Listen to the bootlegged version of “Happy Jack” from Fillmore East, April 6, 1968

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5 Comments so far

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  1. Guy Smiley
    #1 Guy Smiley 14 February, 2018, 21:39

    Disc 2 is just My Generation?

    Is it a really long, Grateful Dead-like version?

    Is it a full show?

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky 15 February, 2018, 09:12

      Very few details have been released so far, Guy. In the case of “My Generation,” the Amazon link refers to an “extended” version. We’ll update the story when we get further info.

      Reply this comment
  2. Earl Rogers
    #2 Earl Rogers 15 February, 2018, 15:10

    Is this going to be released in USA too?

    Reply this comment
  3. ChristopherG
    #3 ChristopherG 17 February, 2018, 21:11

    Rumor has it that ‘My Generation’ is 33 minutes long. (!)

    Reply this comment

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