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Best Live Albums Of All TIme

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Showing 1-25 of 82 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 18, 2012 10:15:40 AM PST
Chet Fakir says:
Glad to see that Grand Funk's "Live" album was mentioned. That thing rocks hard.
Others of note:
Live/Hhaï - Magma
Theuz Hamtaak - Magma (their best live album/DVD)
Live Dead - Grateful Dead
Dick's Picks Vol. 4, Live at the Fillmore East 02/13-14/70 - Grateful Dead
The Great Deceiver box set - King Crimson
Live Herald - Steve Hillage
The Last Experience live 02/24/69 at the Royal Albert Hall - Jimi Hendrix

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 11:35:25 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 10, 2012 11:36:38 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 11:32:08 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012 11:36:24 PM PST
Lots and lots of old favorites seen here on these lists, and I won't bother to re-cap them although it is tempting, i.e., Deep Purple MIJ, Live at Leeds, Bangladesh, Hendrix at Monterey, Velvet Underground Live 1969, David Live, etc.

Most of my favorite live albums are bootlegs. The sound is often not as sharp as commercially released live albums, but the soul and the power of the music still cuts through loud and clear!!!

So here is my list:

Bob Dylan Live at the Royal Albert Hall with the Band 1966. NOT the commercial release, which ironically has really terrible, muddy sound--a good ol' fashioned Swinging Pig release suits me fine!!! Perhaps the greatest single live show ever....

Bob Dylan Live in 1965 on BBC Radio (solo tour).One is called "Now Aint the Time for Your Tears". Also, there are a couple of shows from 1963 at Carnegie Hall and Berkeley Auditorium that are earth-shatteringly great. Just one guy and a guitar, and nothing would ever be the same... There is an early Rolling Thunder Review show 11/11/75 ("Satisfied Man"), and also one from Ft. Worth TX that every Dylan fan should hear.

David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars Live at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium 10/20/72 (this show has had a few decent commercial releases). There are many boots from this tour, including the last Bowie & Spiders show 7/2/73 at Hammersmith Odeon, but I have always adored the Civic show best. Right up there with Dylan 66 at Royal Albert Hall.

Liv'r Than You'll Ever Be by the Rolling Stones 11/9/69 from Oakland CA (a few weeks before YaYa's was recorded, but includes an amazing version of I'm Free in the set list, a song that they dropped out of the show a few days after this. Incredible solo by Mick Taylor, and a quite powerful vocal by Mr. Jagger. There were two shows that day, the better one being the evening show. The sound goes out on Jumpin' Jack Flash, the first song, and sometimes it's not even on the record, so the fun starts with "Carol", but it is the Stones at their best from then on.... Top 3 along with Dylan 66 and Bowie at the Civic.

Rolling Stones -- anything from the 72-73 tour with decent sound, like Bedspring Symphony etc. A band on fire, fire that is white hot....every night....

The Beatles Live on Swedish radio October (?) 1963. Only about 8 or 9 cuts, but the band is tight, hot, and ready to take on the world. Unlike Shea Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, or Budokan, you can really hear how great they were AS A BAND at this moment in time. Any of the live shows they did at the end of '63 and early '64 in England are really stupendous! And those songs!!!

Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page's birthday show 1/9/70 at Royal Albert Hall and also Live at the Texas International Pop Festival 1969. You'll burn your copy of Song Remains the Same and HTWWW..... (But keep the Live BBC album!). These rock SO SO SO hard....

Nirvana Live on the Radio -- Bootleg compilation. Rocks. Hard.

Simon & Garfunkel -- The Live albums that came out relatively recently from 1967 and 1969 are pretty great, but there are lots of other great documents of this very special duo. Voices of Intelligent Dissent (Hollywood Bowl 1968) and the 1970 shows from Paris & Holland (their last before splitting) are also wonderful and worth finding.

Blondie Live at Hammersmith Odeon 1980. There are lots of boots from 1978 tour that are also quite good, but this one is very powerful. Great Live band!!!

Genesis --- Lamb Lies Down on Broadway from the 1974-75 tour. One I like is called Early Morning Manhattan, from Providence RI 12/8/74, and there is another show from somewhere in Florida that is really great, too. The show from the LA Shrine Auditorium was released in one of their box sets. A very powerful band at its peak in its most magical incarnation doing their best album live, along with an encore of Musical Box, perhaps their greatest single song. A treasure....

Leonard Cohen live on the BBC 1969 or 1970. Magnificent...

Alice Cooper Live at the LA Forum 1973. An animal.....

XTC Live at Emerald City. Quirky, tight, animated beyond belief. I think it is 1981, but I could be off on that.

Billie Holiday Jazz at the Philharmonic Live at Carnegie Hall 1946 Unforgettable version of Strange Fruit.... I don't want to open the jazz Pandora's Box, but I had to at least mention this one...

Elvis Costello Radio Radio from the 1977-1982 era, live radio cuts. Now that the El Mocambo and Hollywood High shows are out commercially, this incredible incarnation of Elvis' live act is pretty well documented. These radio cuts are fantastic though.... Anything from the 1982 tour is also great, and there are a few from the 1986 tour that are fantastic as well.

Joni Mitchell Live at Carnegie Hall 2/23/72. Find it!!!!

Kula Shaker -- Anything you can find from the 1997-98 tour. Blistering, mystical, beautiful live shows!!!

Mazzy Star -- The Black Sessions and Live in Chicago. Dreamy as it gets....

Elastica -- the "Radio One Sessions" and there are some live shows from 95-96 that are also really great. Not enough people know this one-album wonder Brit girl band from the mid-90's, unfortunately. They put on their stuff great live, even more raw than the record....

There are also great live shows from the Doors, the Clash, Suzanne Vega, Roxy Music, Steely Dan, Neil Young, Oasis, CSN/CSNY, U2, REM....just can't list them all. Pearl Jam also has many great shows from their earliest years, before they self-bootlegged an entire tour in the late 90's... The Who also have many great performances that were captured, but the essence is there on the complete Leeds show, or the Hull show coming out soon, or the Isle of Wight show, all from the same point in time. Lots of Hendrix, but it's mostly been released. I love the first Live on the BBC record that came out on Ryko best.

I am not going to touch the Grateful Dead, as that is a vast world, and they are not really among my favorite bands, but a couple of jam bands from the 90's should be mentioned: The Ominous Seapods and moe. I like the Seapods boots from 96-97-98 best, though the essence of their live show is captured on their 1999 live release "Matinee Idols". I've seen moe a dozen times and every show is incredible, so I'd recommend anything you can find.

These are the ones that come to mind right now, but nearly every band has bootleg recordings that capture epochal performances. They are worth hunting for, even if not exactly kosher, know what I mean???

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 11:24:16 PM PST
1. Unleashed In The East-Judas Priest
2. Strangers In The Night-UFO
3. Made In Japan-Deep Purple
4. Live After Death-Iron Maiden
5. Live-Robin Trower
6. Double Live Gonzo-Ted Nugent
7. Irish Tour '74-Rory Gallagher
8. All The Worlds A Stage-Rush
9. If You Want Blood-AC/DC
10. Tokyo Tapes-Scorpions
11. Live-Foghat
12. Onstage-Rainbow
13. Ghost In The Ruins-Savatage
14. Live-Frank Marino And Mahogany Rush
15. On Your Feet On Your Knees-Blue Oyster Cult
16. Live And Dangerous-Thin Lizzy
17. Get Yer Ya-Yas Out-Rolling Stones
18. Band Of Gypsys-Jimi Hendrix
19. Live Killers-Queen
20. Livecrime-Queensryche
21. Tribute-Ozzy Osbourne/Randy Rhoads(This one should be in Top 10. I forgot it!)
22. And Live-Johnny Winter
23. Reunion-Black Sabbath
24. Neon Nights-Heaven And Hell
25. Rock Will Never Die-Michael Schenker Group

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2012 8:04:26 PM PDT
Two Tub Man says:
Live At Fillmore East / Atlanta Pop Festival, July 3 & 5, 1970 - The Allman Brothers Band
Raunch & Roll...Live! - Black Oak Arkansas
On Your Feet...Or On Your Knees - Blue Oyster Cult
Samurai Rock Band (Bootleg of FM broadcast, Rockford, 10/77) - Cheap Trick
Live In Europe / Irish Tour - Rory Gallagher
Kick Out The Jams - The MC5 (Truly deserves the expanded full concert reissue treatment)
It's Alive! - The Ramones
Live and Dangerous - Thin Lizzy
Live At Leeds - The Who (expanded non-Tommy edition)
Live At The Whiskey A Go-Go - X
Transistor Blast - XTC

Posted on Sep 25, 2012 2:37:27 PM PDT
Wings Over America - Paul McCartney and Wings
Bursting Out - Jethro Tull
Live and Dangerous - Thin Lizzy
Live at Luther College - Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
Stop Making Sense - The Talking Heads
Concert for Bangladesh - George Harrison and Friends
Rattle and Hum - U2
The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin

Posted on Sep 14, 2012 5:27:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 14, 2012 5:27:52 AM PDT
Snoo says:

Led Zeppelin "The Song Remains The Same"
(this album seems to get trashed by many around here...I love it !)

Posted on Sep 13, 2012 12:18:21 PM PDT
TC says:
Live At The Star Club - Jerry Lee Lewis. At one point the guitarist screws up, and you can hear Jerry Lee say " that thang right boy!" Killer.

Live At The Apollo - James Brown
Alive! - KISS
How The West Was Won - Led Zeppelin
Live At Leeds - The Who

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 12:12:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2012 12:17:59 PM PDT
Snoo says:
Foghat "Live"
Blue Oyster Cult "Some Enchanted Evening"
Allman Brothers "An Evening With The Allman Brothers"(1st and 2nd set)
Journey "Captured"
Dion and The Belmonts "Reunion- Madison Square Garden1972"
UFO "Strangers in the Night"
Neil Young "Live Rust"
Porcupine Tree "Coma Divine"
Genesis "Seconds Out"
Lynyrd Skynyrd "One More From the Road"
The Who " Join Together"
Yes "Yessongs"
Peter Frampton "Frampton Comes Alive"
Bob Seger "Live Bullet and Nine Tonight"
Jeff Beck "Live at Ronnie Scotts"
REO Speedwagon "You Get What You Play For"
Kansas "Two For The Show" (30th anniversary)

Posted on May 9, 2010 3:53:43 PM PDT
Only 2 real contenders:

Allman Brothers - Live at the Fillmore East
Cheap Trick - Like at Budokhan (The 2 disc set doesn't work - the original was perfect)

This can be judged by the fact that for both of these bands, these were by far their best albums and the fact that I have listened to them on a loop for hours before - so much so that I know every note, word of stage talk and audience sound.

Posted on May 8, 2010 8:22:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2010 8:35:15 AM PDT
So many great titles have already been mentioned. Here are a few more for our list.

Summer 1967: The Complete U.S. Concert Recordings (2001) - The Monkees
Live in Europe (1967) - Otis Redding
Live at Winterland '68 (1998) - Big Brother and the Holding Company/Janis Joplin
Absolutely Live (1970) - The Doors
Wings Over America (1977) - Paul McCartney and Wings (Paul's "Tripping the Live Fantastic" is also great.)
Live in Japan (1977) - The Runaways
A Black and White Night Live (1989) - Roy Orbison and Friends (i.e. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello etc.)

Posted on May 6, 2010 7:25:57 PM PDT
P. Perkins says:
Live Dead

Posted on May 2, 2010 11:47:35 PM PDT
Pat says:
Bursting out- Jethro Tull

Posted on May 2, 2010 10:23:39 PM PDT
Deep Purple: Made in Japan is always listed but I like Live in Stockholm 1970 better. Is an amazing album! I listen to it constantly and rarely listen to MIJ anymore. Unbelievable live versions of Mandrake Root, Wring That Neck, Child in Time. Every song is great.
Lou Reed: Live and Rock and Roll Animal taken from same show I actually like Live better. Oh Jim has an unbelievable guitar duel by Hunter and Wagner. Wish it was on video.
Grand Funk: Live Album. Powerful, energetic kick ass live performance by the first band I ever loved and called my own.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2010 1:59:03 PM PDT
MC says:
Great Album

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 11:12:52 AM PDT
I don't think anyone mentioned Eric Clapton - Just One Night.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2010 8:28:18 AM PDT
MC says:
Seconds out and Uriah Heep, maybe?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2010 8:26:56 AM PDT
MC says:
Rory Gallagher - Irish Tour
Dead - Live Dead
Bob Marley - Live!
Hot Tuna - Double Dose

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2010 7:58:43 AM PDT
E. Firmani says:
Grand Funk Railroad - Caught In the Act

Posted on Apr 26, 2010 10:01:32 PM PDT
Frank Zappa - Broadway the Hard Way/Best Band You've Never Heard/Make a Jazz Noise Here (All from his final tour in 1988, so I count them as one)
Zappa & The Mothers - Roxy & Elsewhere (Hey Gail...give us the video)
J. Geils Band - Full House
Deep Purple - Made In Japan (Love having the encores on the CD re-issue)
Genesis - Seconds Out (Dance On a Volcano/Los Endos is my fave live cut ever)
Humble Pie - Rockin' the Fillmore (Frampton's last album with them)
Chicago at Carnegie Hall
Uriah Heep - Live '73
George Harrison - Live In Japan (Backed by Clapton and his band)
Grand Funk Railroad - Live Album (Pure power trio energy)

I've noticed a number of postings have mentioned "Yessongs" and ELP's "Welcome Back My Friends" on their lists. Being a huge fan of both groups (I've seen Yes 17 times, with the Yessongs tour being my first) I simply cannot include these two albums on my list. I own both, but could never understand how two groups with such quality musicianship could release live albums with such poor recording quality and shoddy production values. "Welcome Back" sounds like it was recorded with microphones at the back of the arena. This album was also slated for a quadrophonic release. I'm not sure if it ever was, but I would hope that it would have sounded better than this.

As for "Yessongs", the entire album sounds as if it was run through a phase shifter, with muddy bass and muffled drums and vocals, with the exception of "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround". Coincidently, these are the only two songs recorded with Bill Bruford on drums, before he abruptly left the group mid tour. Apparently Alan White was given only two weeks to learn the entire set list before the tour resumed. I've always wondered if the sound quality was meant to mask White's inexperience at the time with the complexities and intricacies of Yes' music.

For extra credit, which two albums on my list both feature Chester Thompson on drums? Here's a hint: Bill Bruford also appears on two songs on one of the two and left this band mid tour as well, to be replaced by Chester.

Posted on Mar 14, 2010 4:37:52 AM PDT
Sydney Dude says:
Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus

Posted on Mar 10, 2010 2:06:16 AM PST
James Brown - Live at the Appollo.

Posted on Mar 9, 2010 6:06:08 PM PST
Rob says:
I'm not a big fan of live albums. That said, there a couple that I will play and enjoy:
The Who "Live at Leeds"
Neil Young "Live Rust"
Blue Oyster Cult "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees"
The Kinks "To The Bone"
Cowboy Mouth "Live"
Someone mentioned U2 "Rattle & Hum". One of my favorite albums, but not really a "live" album. It's an album with live cuts.

Posted on Mar 9, 2010 5:53:24 PM PST
The Who- Live At Leeds (1970)
The Rolling Stones- Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (1970)
The MC5- Kick Out The Jams (1969)
Slayer- Live: Decade Of Aggression (1991)
Nirvana- Live At Reading (2009)

Posted on Mar 8, 2010 5:32:19 PM PST
Sinatra at the Sands [remastered] Count Basie, Frank Sinatra
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Initial post:  Jul 6, 2007
Latest post:  Nov 18, 2012

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