The Who

Greatest Hits Live [Geffen]

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Typically, an album called Greatest Hits Live appears on some kind of fly-by-night label looking to cash in on the legacy of an established act, but the Who’s 2010 double-disc set of that name is not a quickie: it’s a high-profile tie-in to the band’s appearance at the 2010 Superbowl, a collection of 22 highlights recorded between 1964-2009. 45 years is a long, long time to cover on one compilation, but Greatest Hits Live keeps the hopscotching between eras to a minimum by focusing on the '60s and ‘70s - i.e., the glory years with Keith Moon -- on the first disc, with selections from the '80s and beyond on the second. Some of these cuts are previously released - there’s “Magic Bus” from Live at Leeds, “My Generation” from the BBC Sessions -- but by and large, these tracks are unreleased, chosen to showcase the Who at their sturdiest, not their most transcendent. As such, Greatest Hits Live is enjoyable, but it’s never quite compelling, even on that first disc, which by all rights should be smoking, but due to the construction of this compilation, it’s merely solid.

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