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With: Roger Daltry, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, John Entwistle
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Murray Lerner
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 85
Date: 03/18/2013

The Who Live at the Isle of Wight Festival (1970)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Their Generation

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

One of the all-time greats, The Who are logged in the Guinness Book ofWorld Records as the Loudest Rock Band. Now Eagle Rock Entertainment /Eagle Vision has re-mastered this old Who concert on a sparkling new DVDwith crisp, powerful Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound as well as DTS.This is one DVD that will truly test your speakers.

Fronted by the screeching Roger Daltry, the genius guitarist/composer Pete Townshend, the manic drummer Keith Moon and rock-solid bassist John Entwistle, The Who mastered both the art of the 2-minute single and the sprawling, jamming concept album. Even during their final stretch in the late 70s and early 80s -- minus the late Moon -- they turned in some terrific pop singles ("Who Are You," "You Better You Bet") that have aged very well. Truly, they could rock.

But there's trouble in paradise. This concert begins well, with such great tunes as "I Can't Explain," "Shakin' All Over," "Summertime Blues," "Magic Bus" and "My Generation." But then the final two-thirds is devoted entirely to the rock opera Tommy, which I consider the band's weakest moment. It's a sporadically brilliant, but tedious, pretentious and unpleasant work. Except for the explosive "Pinball Wizard," it always leaves me with a vague queasy feeling.

One only has to listen to the awesome CD Live at Leeds to understand what a great Who concert could really sound like.

It goes without saying that Tommy fans should not miss this new DVD -- which also comes with a new Townshend interview -- but I would rather recommend last year's (1979, Pioneer).

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