Page One - The Who on Silver Disc

I was listening to some silver disc bootlegs in January 2005 when it hit me -- the era of silver disc bootlegs is over! For those who don't know, silver disc bootlegs are bootleg cds that look like regular official cds - they're not made at home and look a lot better than cdr's. The front and back artwork/covers look at least semi-professional and the disc itself is professionally printed and not with a homemade sticker. Bootlegs of classic rock bands go for $20-$30 per cd. Double cd sets cost $45-$60.

In 1992, I bought a few Who cds from a small music store in Tel Aviv. They gave me a Who cd titled "Live in London". It had soundboard recordings of Who shows in 1965-1967. I never found it on any Who discographies and didn't know what it was I had. We didn't have the Internet then, so there was no one to ask.

In 1998, I went to a few music stores in Houston and couldn't believe what I saw - new cds of my favorite bands that I'd never seen before. Some were live concerts, some were studio outtakes - sometimes with funny moments - and some were the original demos that the songwriter created at home. Bootlegs! I bought a few and promised to return. I remember coming home with these Who-related bootlegs: Music Must Change (which could be titled Who Are You Demos), Pure Rock Theatre (soundboard live stuff from 1969 and 1970) and From Lifehouse To Leeds (hearing Leslie West add a punch to Who's Next era songs years before it was released on the double cd Who's Next Deluxe Edition) and running to my stereo to put 'em on! Hearing all of this new material was so exciting. It opened a whole new world of music. I spent the next few months visiting every store in Houston that sold bootlegs. Mostly Who and Beatles stuff.

When I got back to Israel in 1998, it wasn't hard to find a few music stores in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that sold bootlegs. They were cheaper than the $25 per cd I paid in the US. Ebay was in high-gear by this time and many of us bought silver disc bootlegs on Ebay as well. I expanded my collection -- a Sting silver disc, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and a few of Paul McCartney.

In December 2000, I bought my first cd burner. Trading by mail was the preferred method - you trade text/Word collection lists via email and send the cds via the mail. In 2002, I downloaded my first shows from websites. In 2003, sites like sharingthegroove.org went live and took things a step further by making it easier and quicker than ever to download bootlegs. By 2004, bootleg-filesharing sites became widespread and they're not likely to be shut down as the music and film industries are primarily interested in fighting those who distribute the cds that they make and sell.

Over time, the idea of buying a silver disc bootleg slipped away. If you see a new bootleg in the store, you can buy it - or you can wait a few days or weeks to see it on bootleg filesharing sites! On one hand, I'm less likely to buy them today (but I always offer generous trades for them) . On the other hand, they're worth more than ever! The peak of silver discs was in the 90's when they weren't competing with cd burners, online communities and torrents. Only a few hundred to a few thousand copies were made of each silver disc bootleg. Bootleg labels like Yellow Dog, Great Dane and Vigotone are long gone. Silver discs are being made and sold today, but never again at the level we saw in the 90's.

Today you download a show, print the artwork and put it into your collection. Its a lot easier and I love this hobby more than ever. But I cherish these relics of an earlier day! Here are my silver discs and the artwork and whatever else came with them. If you're a classic rock music collector, you'll find at least a few that you got in trades or downloaded. This is what the originals looked like!

We begin with The Who...

Live In London and Who's Back

My first bootleg! I didn't even know it was a bootleg or what a bootleg was when I got it. Can't believe it made it through all those moves intact. Who's Back has the same setlist. You get to hear The "old" Who - in the days when My Generation and Substitute were new songs. They played more covers way-back-when. Good Lovin' and Dancing In The Streets are my two favorite rarities here.

Flying To New York To Go To Court - Fillmore West, San Francisco - June 19, 1969

A good-to-excellent audience recording from the 1969 tour, the first time Tommy was toured - and this show is early into the tour. Pete explains Tommy in between the songs. You can hear the song Naked Eye develop from a show-closing jam after My Generation into a full song by 1970.


Live in Amsterdam

An incredible soundboard that only gets cooler over the years. Its a month after Woodstock and The Who are playing every song of Tommy in a proper European opera house! There's an upgrade that makes the silver disc obsolete - the sound goes from soundboard to perfect soundboard. The actual date is September 29, 1969. Bootleg labels love to have names that resemble Yellow Dog. See the caricature of the pig above!

In June 2009, I got an upgrade titled The Complete Amsterdam 1969 by Seymour Records. I love how they played almost all of Tommy - even Tommy, Can You Hear Me. Reminds you how great The Who are as a live band.

Sparks On The Bay - Fillmore East, New York City - October 22, 1969

The date listed on the cd (July 21, 1969) is wrong and the sound is a percent or two slow, but the performance is stellar! Daltrey's vocals hit a peak. Someone fixed the speed and seeded it on easytree and now I have two versions of Sparks On The Bay.

Cops and Robbers - Georgetown University, Washington, DC - November 2, 1969

One of a bunch of must-have soundboard recordings from the 1969 tour.

Collector's Item

A good-to-excellent recording from the 1971 Who's Next tour. Hearing the song I Don't Even Know Myself being played decades before it appeared on the Who's Next remaster is cool!

Our Drummer's Out Cold - San Francisco, California - November 20, 1973

The famous show where Keith Moon passed out near the end and a member of the audience answered Pete's call for a drummer. The quality is average at best, but this is a historical Who bootleg! I have a poster of this show as well.

Tales From The Who - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - December 4, 1973

The most popular Who bootleg from the 1973 tour. Hearing Roger tell the story of Jimmy in between the songs is amazing. Storytelling is where The Who beat their contemporaries. They challenged their audience and it adds a lot to the songs. The interviews in between the songs is an interesting format -- each short clip sets up the next set of songs. The label is Vigotone's Classics Revisited.

I got the second version of Tales From The Who in May 2008 from a collector on BootlegZone.com. It was made by Sunrise Records.

Merry Christmas Mr. Who, Volume 2 - Edmonton, Canada - December 23, 1973

A must-have soundboard from the 1973 Quadrophenia tour. Beautiful artwork. The song Naked Eye is called It Didn't Really Happen That Way At All! A silver disc with a funny mistake is cooler than one without. When I bought it, I wasn't able to get the first part with it. So I traded for it in a cdr trade a few years later.

Live at Charlton 1974 and Let's See Action - Charlton Athletic Football Club, London - May 18, 1974

By the well known Midas Touch label. The Who only played a few shows in 1974 and this one is a soundboard recording. By 1974, The Who had a reportoire that included Tommy, Who's Next and Quadrophenia. Keith Moon actually sings on Bell Boy. The Who weren't afraid of being funny -- The Who Sell Out, songs like Boris The Spider and Squeeze Box and letting Moonie sing are proof of this! Let's See Action is a silver disc that is one of a series of two cds. I have a cdr of part one, titled Soccer Rock. Another bootleg, Charlton Uncut, has better sound and includes two songs that're missing here - I Can't Explain and 5:15. When it comes to my hobbies, I'm not a perfectionist - I still enjoy listening to the older silver discs as much as the newer upgrades.

Toronto 1975 and Live in Toronto - Toronto, Canada - December 11, 1975

An excellent-to-perfect audience recording. The kind of audience recording that reminds you that its not just about soundboards. The Who're in top form during one of their best tours. I ended up buying two versions of this one when I saw it in New York City.

Live in Essen - Essen, Germany - March 28, 1981

One of my favorite 80's Who shows. Its a treat to have soundboard recordings of Don't Let Go The Coat, Sister Disco, You Better You Bet, and Another Tricky Day all in one place. Sister Disco and Another Tricky Day are two of my favorite Who songs and I'm glad they keep playing them live. Colorful artwork!

Dangerous and Dangerous 1982 - Toronto, Canada - December 17, 1982

Two similar bootlegs from the last show of the 1982 Farewell Tour. This show was officially released on video but never on audio! I also have a cdr version of the entire show - and I'm glad I have an audio version as well as the video of this show. Both silver discs here look so convincing they were easily sold in music stores.

Cotton Bowl - Dallas, Texas - September 3, 1989

From FM broadcast to silver disc. I have a cdr with the entire show. I saw The Who in Miami a few months before this show.

1996 Quadrophenia World Tour - Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York - July 18, 1996

In 1996, Pete and Roger reworked Quadrophenia. They added dialogue and had singers (like Billy Idol) play some of the parts. The result was Quadrophenia as it was meant to be! The dialogue clarifies the story. The original Jimmy from the movie, Phil Daniels, plays Jimmy live during this show! It really does justice to the ultimate story about a teenager growing up. After playing Quadrophenia, The Who play a few more songs - best of which is an acoustic version of Naked Eye.

Modrophonic - Earl's Court, London, England - December 7, 1996

The inside pages have pictures and a list of the musicians. The dialogue and singing are so cool, this is one of my favorite tours to listen to. I really hope they release one of these one day.

Quadrophonic in Oslo - Oslo, Norway - April 26, 1997

In 1997, The Who kept touring Quadrophenia. I bought these bootlegs in the late 90's, 1-2 years after the shows. As someone who usually lived too far away to see The Who, at least I was finally able to hear recent concerts. That was a huge step -- until the late 90's, I'd only heard a few live Who performances - the single cd Live at Leeds, Who's Last from the 1982 tour, Join Together from the 1989 tour and everything on The Kids Are Alright. Those were the only official live Who cassettes/cds that were available then! If $50 for a double cd bootleg sounds like a lot, keep in mind that at that point most of us had only heard a few other shows of our favorite bands.

We Shall Be Beneficient - Mountain View, California - October 30-31, 1999

Its rare to hear The Who playing acoustic-only shows. Even rarer to hear them playing I Shall Be Released (with other musicians). Makes you dream of Daltrey covering Dylan!

The Tommy Demos

I'm glad I have a silver disc of Yellow Dog's Tommy Demos, the ultimate demos bootleg! Pete wrote each part - guitar, bass, vocals and drums - and its not far from the final product. The biggest difference is in the ending - it ends after See Me, Feel Me and doesn't go into Listening To You. There's a short song, Success, which isn't on the official album.

Lifehouse and Quadrophenia Demos

Whoa. Demos for Lifehouse (which became Who's Next) and Quadrophenia - Pete's next two big ideas after Tommy. I remember the shock at just seeing this in a Houston music store - demos of your favorite albums?!

The Punk Meets The Godfather

This one also has band rehearsals of Drowned and I'm One plus three Lifehouse demos - Pure and Easy, Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again. The label here is Whoopy Cat - you can see their logo.

Music Must Change

Who Are You demos! I'd never heard these before. This is also where I first heard the famous Baba O'Riley synthesizer demo. Music Must Change impresses anyone who listens to it -- the rich, full sound is as good as The Who's take on it.

It's Face Demos

Face Dances and It's Hard demos. Three songs here - Dance It Away, What Is Love and You Got It In Ya (also titled Virginia) appear here years before they showed up elsewhere. You Got It In Ya is now on the remastered Face Dances. Athena is another favorite. For a laugh, try to find the name of the bootleg label.

Maximum Live Rarities

I love compilation bootlegs. Its nice to hear rarities like So Sad About Us, Water, I Don't Even Know Myself and Dreaming From The Waist played live.

Pure Rock Theatre and Dream of '69

Two silver discs with similar songs. Pure Rock Theatre was one of the first bootlegs I ever bought. Hearing soundboard songs from 1969 was mindblowing -- in 1969 and 1970, The Who hit a peak that few bands hit on their best night. Here's the setlist:

October 15, 1969 - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1. Heaven & Hell
2. I Can't Explain
3. Fortune Teller
4. Tattoo
5. Young Man Blues
February 14, 1970 - Leeds, UK
6. Substitute
7. Happy Jack
8. I'm A Boy
October 18, 1969 - State University of New York, Stoney Brook, New York, USA
9. Overture
10. It's A Boy
11. 1921
12. Sparks
13. Underture
14. Tommy's Holiday Camp
15. We're Not Gonna Take It
16. See Me, Feel Me
17. Listening To You
18. Summertime Blues
USA 1969 (unknown source)
19. Shaking All Over
Fillmore East, New York, USA,  April 5, 1968
20. Little Billy
21. Relax


Greatest Hits Live

Another greatest hits compilation. I don't know why they add songs from Live at Leeds which are officially released and not-so-rare. Here's the setlist:
1-2, 5-6,10: Capitol Centre, Largo, Maryland, USA, 12/6/73
3-4: The Spectrum, Philadelphia PA, USA, 12/4/73
7-8: University Refectory, Leeds,  UK, 2/14/70
9, 11-15: Essen, W. Germany, 3/28/81
16: Madison Square Garden, New York, 6/27/89
17: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto Canada, 12/17/82

1. Summertime Blues
2. My Generation
3. Pinball Wizard
4. See Me Feel Me
5. Won't Get Fooled Again
6. I Can't Explain
7. Happy Jack
8. I'm A Boy
9. 5:15
10. Don't Let Go The Coat
11. Sister Disco
12. You Better You Bet
13. Behind Blue Eyes
14. Substitute
15. Baba O'Riley
16. Boris the Spider
17. Who Are You 


Higher Education

The best kind of silver disc compilation -- the kind with rare stuff! It starts off with the Georgetown show that's also on Cops and Robbers and moves onto demos, b-sides and rarities.

Who Zoo Two

Who Zoo Two and Higher Education were released by the same label - Tendolar. They're both similar in that both are awesome compilations. Here we find some interesting stuff as well -- Pete doing a commercial for the US Air Force, alternate versions of Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere and Substitute, a studio version of Young Man Blues and best of all - an alternate vocal take to Eyesight To The Blind that appeared on certain LP's in the 70's and 80's.

New Years Eve

The name of this silver disc comes from the first two songs - December 31, 1970 - but its the last 11 songs that make a difference. This is The Who rehearsing Tommy in the studio!

Life With The Moons

As The Who weren't afraid of being funny, this silver disc does 'em good. There are even more bits of a 1973 Keith Moon BBC Radio 1 special that first appeared on the Maximum R&B box set. The funniest part is the Daltrey-Townshend dialogue before a take of Behind Blue Eyes in the studio. The Name Game, with Pete and Keith, is also funny. There's an alternate version of The Real Me that has a cool rhythm to it. This one sees lots of time in my stereo as I love the track list.

Maximum BBC

Today there's a Who cd called BBC Sessions that is easy to find at the music store, but until 1999 this was the only way you could hear the songs The Who played at the BBC. I never knew about the 1970's BBC performance until I got this silver disc. The live version of Our Love Was is rare. I'm Free and The Seeker are powerful. I like the artwork for this one - so many good Who pic's on these bootlegs!

Lifehouse To Leeds

Like a few others here, this was a must-have bootleg in the 70's, 80's and until the mid 90's. That's because the Live At Leeds songs here were eventually released on the remastered Live At Leeds and the studio material with Leslie West was also eventually released on a remastered Who's Next. Leslie West's guitar work on the Who's Next songs is the reason you listen to this. I first heard Leslie West on the Woodstock soundtrack and movie and appreciate his mastering of the electric guitar.

In The Studio

If you lived in the US in the 90's and listened to classic rock radio stations, then you're familiar with the In The Studio radio series. A band member or two are interviewed, a few songs are played and you get an accurate documentary of a different album with each show. I also have cdr's of this series for most Pink Floyd albums as well. These technically aren't bootlegs as this is what radio stations received and aired.

Wild Action - London, England - April 14, 1974

Pete's first solo concert! During the show, Pete plays a tape with bits of My Generation demos on it.

Music Must Change - New York City, New York - August 7, 1993

Pete's Psychoderelict concert. There's an official video of this, but until 2003 you needed to go bootleg to get it on cd. Pete's website Eel Pie sells official copies of this show. Like the 1996-1997 Who performances of Quadrophenia, this has dialogue that sets up the music.

Harborlights - Boston, Massachussetts - August 13, 1998

In 1998, Pete played a different version of the Tommy song I'm a Sensation, titled She's a Sensation -- the song where Tommy proclaims himself messiah was originally written about a woman Pete was in love with!

Summertime Blues - Boston, Massachussetts - December 8, 1985

I'm a big fan of Roger Daltrey's solo career and appreciate having a silver disc soundboard recording of one of his shows. Roger's first ever solo show was only on December 2, 1985. After these six 1985 shows, he didn't do it solo again until 1994. I'm glad he at least played one classic from the 70's, Giving It All Away.

Left For Dead At Jaxx - Springfield, Virginia - October 23, 1998

John Entwistle had a nice solo career as well -- a bunch of cds and tours. He toured more than Roger did.

That's my Who silver disc bootleg collection. Counting double discs as two, I have 64 silver disc Who bootlegs. But that's not all! I also have a bunch of non-Who silver discs -- The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and more!

Click Here For Page 2 of Sixties Collection's Silver Discs