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Great Live Albums


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#1 of 74 Samuel Des

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Posted April 10 2002 - 03:20 AM

Great (non-bootleg) live albums seem extraordinarily rare. Most of the time, they seem like artists imitating -- in some cases parodying -- the better original. Still, I think that there are a few standouts. I wanted to mention a few that came to mind. What are your faves?

Velvet Underground - Live: 1969 I think that this is the greatest live rock album of all time. Posted Image I've read that Reed was teaching the band "Sweet Jane" 30 minutes before going on stage. The beautifully modal "Over You" is not to be missed. I cannot overemphasize the greatness of this album for all rock fans. Posted Image

Allman Bros Band - Live at the Filmore East The amazing thing about this album is, that for all its length, none of it seems excessive. Every lick counts. "Statesboro Blues" is a note-for-note Taj Mahal cover.

Rolling Stones - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out The best version of "Midnight Rambler." How wonderful it must have been to have loved and feared every aspect of the Stones myth. I am fairly certain that the title is a reference to Pine Top Williams' "Get Yer Ya Ya's Right Out that Door."

Johnny Cash - Live at Fulsom Prison I'm sort of mixed over the "extended" version release. But it is still essential listening in my opinion.

BB King - Live at the Regal May sound a little dated in some respects to today's standards, but really captures the power of his performances.

How's 'bout you? Posted Image

Sam

EDIT -

Forgot to mention:

Al Green - Live in Tokyo
Sam Cooke - Live at the Harlem Square Club

Guess there are more than I thought.... Posted Image
I am made out of water. You wouldn't know it, because I have it bound in. My friends are made out of water, too. All of them. The problem for us is that not only do we have to walk around without being absorbed by the ground but we also have to earn our livings.

#2 of 74 Ben Motley

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Posted April 10 2002 - 03:52 AM

Great selections there Sam, especially Cash at Fulsom and the Stones. I'll add...

The Ramones - It's Alive
Cheap Trick at Budokan - the Complete Concert
KISS Alive II
The Who - Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
Blue Oyster Cult - Extraterrestial Live
Deep Purple - Made in Japan 2cd

Sorry about not going into detail, but I really gotta crash, lol. Suffice to say, these have been favorites of mine for eons. Well, maybe not The Who, as that one came out not too long ago. Posted Image



#3 of 74 Samuel Des

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Posted April 10 2002 - 04:05 AM

Ah yes! How could I have forgotten Budokan? Is the Who's Live at Leeds worthwhile as well? I've seen footage of the Isle of Wight concert -- looked smokin'.
I am made out of water. You wouldn't know it, because I have it bound in. My friends are made out of water, too. All of them. The problem for us is that not only do we have to walk around without being absorbed by the ground but we also have to earn our livings.

#4 of 74 Greg_Y

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Posted April 10 2002 - 04:28 AM

Quote:
Is the Who's Live at Leeds worthwhile as well?

I've heard dreadful things about the Deluxe Edition that was recently released. But I have not heard it myself. Check www.stevehoffman.tv (the forums) for good information.

Sam already listed some of my favorites, but I'll add these:

Johnny Cash - Live At San Quentin
as good as Folsom, if not better.

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Babylon By Bus
Someone on the HTF recommended this. I was not disappointed. Put it on and just chill with the groove.

Nirvana - Unplugged in New York
Everyone figured this would be nothing but Smells Like Teen Spirit acoustic style. Instead we got nuanced performances and great covers.

Elvis Presley - Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite

Bruce Sprinsteen - Live 1975-1985
3 Discs of live Bruce. Some outstanding performances including The River and Independence Day which will bring you close to tears.

and finally some selections from the greatest live band of all-time, the Grateful Dead:
Live/Dead
Grateful Dead (the Skullfuck album -- this is the album that caused me to "get" the Dead.)
"Bear's Choice" + Dick's Picks Volume 4 - the 2/13/70 and 2/14/70 Fillmore East shows.
The following are available for free in SHN format from gdlive.com:
5/8/1977
7/8/1978
I have other personal favorites but anyone with even a passing interest in the Dead should start with those.

NP: The Beatles - Abbey Road (MFSL)

#5 of 74 Mike Broadman

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Posted April 10 2002 - 05:15 AM

Shall I assume we're only talking about rock music here? Ok, here are a few that come to mind:

Different Stages- Rush (1998?)
Updated performances of career retrospective material, including extended versions of 2112 and Natural Science. A 3rd disc features performance from late 70s. You couldn't ask for a better live album.

Live at the Fillmore East- Allman Brothers
Burnin'

If You Want Blood, You've Got It- AC/DC
Bon Scott and the boys rock!

Live Scenes From New York- Dreamtheater
Scenes From a Memory in its entirety, with narrator, female singer, and chorus. Change of Seasons. Scenes From a Memory. Learning to Live. The Awake trilogy (Voices, Erotomania, Silent Man). Scenes From a Memory. Jordan Rudess on keyboards.
Excellent companion album to the DVD.
Oh yeah, and they do all of Scenes From a Memory.

The Great Deceiver- King Crimson
4 CD box set of live stuff from 1972-73. Loud. Confusing improvs. Awkward versions of Cat Food and 21st Cent Schizoid Man. Starless. Brilliant. Bruford plays lots of drums.

Yessongs- Yes (duh)
Far-out polyrhythmic performance of Perpetual Change- 'nuff said. Bruford plays lots of drums.

Roxy & Elsewhere- Frank Zappa
All this time, Ruth Underwood has been saying, "What can I do that will amaze everyone?"
I ate a hot dog, it tasted real good. Then I watched a movie from Hollywood.
Napolean Murphy Brock. Tango, anyone?

Live After Death- Iron Maiden
Best live metal album ever. Guitars piped to seperate channels. Teaches you what not to do when a bird shits on you.

Pictures at an Exhibition- ELP
Not a good album. Weird crowd noise. Unnecessary keyboard solos. What the hell is Greg Lake singing about? Mussourgsky turns in his grave. I love it.

Bursting Out- Jethro Tull
"Short" Thick As A Brick. I'll sing you no lullabye. Silly flute solo. Great sound.

Shadows and Light- Joni Mitchell, aka, Mother Goddess
Jaco Pastorious plays harmonics at inappropriate times. Don Alias hits things. Goddess sounds sublime. If Joni is Goddess, than God must be a boogie man.
Why do fools fall in love?

Still Life- Fates Warning
So where do we begin? Pleasant Shade of Grey is pleasant first disc of live album. Enter Ivory Gates of Dreams. Ray Alder sings Prelude to Ruin. Then they only say goodbye.

#6 of 74 LarryDavenport

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Posted April 10 2002 - 05:40 AM

Great choices so far. Add the following:

Humble Pie: Perfomance-Rocking the Fillmore
Hopefully someday we'll get a deluxe version, or at least remaster of this great live album.

Ten Years After: Live at the Fillmore East This came out a couple months ago. Fantastic version of Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers: You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Volume 2: The Helsinki Concert Actually just about any Zappa from the 60's and 70's is worth owning. I own over a hundred FZ CDs and I always keep coming back to this one.

Doors: Live in Detroit The first of the new Doors mail order CDs. Great concert (the 3 LA shows are worth owning too, but this one is the best (so far).

Jimi Hendrix: Fillmore East/Band of Gypsies
After FZ, Jimi is the biggest part of my collection and with three great versions of Machine Gun, Fillmore East/Band of Gypsies are the best.

Blue Öyster Cult: On Your Feet Or On Your Knees has the least amount of covers than the other BÖC live albums. Has great versions of Harvester of Eyes and Last Days of May.

#7 of 74 Philip Hamm

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Posted April 10 2002 - 05:51 AM

The original Live at Leeds is the greatest live album I've ever heard. Few live albums are worth typing in the same post.

NP: Bruce Cockburn: The Trouble With Normal.
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#8 of 74 Samuel Des

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Posted April 10 2002 - 05:57 AM

Wow -- Those are some great albums. Maybe we should include "version" information, i.e., which version to get. I know that Allman Bros Filmore East has three different versions. "Regular," "with additional material," and DTS.

Also wanted to add, Joe Jackson - Live 1980-86.

EDIT -

The more I think of it, the more albums I find! Posted Image

Also add Gram Parson - Live: 1973
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#9 of 74 andrew markworthy

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Posted April 10 2002 - 06:54 AM

The Who Live at Leeds (my father, bless him, saw the title and asked, 'why would anyone want to advertise that they lived in Leeds?') is a great album. The vinyl version is radically different from the CD, BTW.

I have a soft spot for Wishbone Ash's 'Live Dates' (some superb guitar work). Elton John's 'Here and There' (the expanded 2 CD version) is surprisingly good as well.

#10 of 74 Ben Motley

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Posted April 10 2002 - 06:55 AM

I poersonally have never heard Live at Leeds, and I'm ashamed of it. So whats the diff between the old and the new one?

#11 of 74 Philip Hamm

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:25 AM

Ben,

The original release was a single LP with 6 songs on it. It has some scratchy noises from the original master tape on it, and there was a disclaimor on the original LP about this. This was released on CD in the 80s.

In the 90s a re-mix was released, with many more songs from the concert. This new version had the tapes digitally cleaned up to remove the scratchiness. Between all the extra songs and the clean sound, and the remix, it's like a completely different album. It doesn't have the same flow at all.

Recently, a two CD set has been released with the entire Rock Opera "Tommy" included as it was played that night.

The original six song version is the best.

NP: T-Bone Burnett
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#12 of 74 John Tillman

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:30 AM

Samuel said:
Quote:
I know that Allman Bros Filmore East has three different versions. "Regular," "with additional material," and DTS.


I was looking at the DTS version at Best Buy and was wondering how it sounded... Can anyone comment about it?
__
JT

#13 of 74 Rich Malloy

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:32 AM

Some very good ones already mentioned. Here's some more:

Grateful Dead "5/2/70 Harpur College" (Dick's Picks #8, I believe) - even though the electric set is in mono (unlike every other GD recording I've ever heard), it's one of the grandest shows ever. And the acoustic set's in stereo!

Bob Dylan "Live 1966" (Bootleg Series Vol. 4) - the "Judas" show! (And, despite the title, a legit Columbia release)

Duke Ellington "Ellington at Newport (1956)" - ok, we now know that the original release wasn't all "live", but blah blah blah, get the new one, it's in real stereo, blah blah blah.... I'm shocked this one hasn't yet been mentioned since Paul Gonsalves' 27 choruses in "Diminuendo/Crescendo in Blue" is probably the most famous jazz solo ever pressed on vinyl. They've even tracked down the dancing woman who supposedly inspired him so...

The Band "The Last Waltz" - but don't buy it yet! The new and much addended 4 disc version is coming out at the end of this month (followed by the DVD in May)
"Only one is a wanderer;
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#14 of 74 Samuel Des

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:37 AM

Rich -- There's a new version of Ellington at Newport? (non-studio)

Philip -- I just figured out that NP = "Now Playing."
I am made out of water. You wouldn't know it, because I have it bound in. My friends are made out of water, too. All of them. The problem for us is that not only do we have to walk around without being absorbed by the ground but we also have to earn our livings.

#15 of 74 Darren H

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Posted April 10 2002 - 07:58 AM

Waiting for Columbus by Little Feat is my all-time favorite live album, and it's just been rereleased in a spankin' new 2-disc version. A MUST have.
[ long pauses ]

#16 of 74 Rich Malloy

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Posted April 10 2002 - 08:34 AM

That's right, Samuel! You need to look for the "Ellington at Newport 1956-COMPLETE" version (that's the title). It's at CDNOW here:

http://www.cdnow.com....ID=tn_srch_txt

From the handy-dandy notes:
Quote:
[f]ollowing a period when its sales had slumped and its critical acclaim had lapsed, the concert and the release of an album from the event played a major part in that turnaround.

But surprisingly, it turns out that we've never really heard that famous concert on the old Ellington at Newport LP and its subsequent CD reissues. Now producer Phil Schaap has pieced together a truly amazing reconsideration of this historic recording.

The first stunner is that a good chunk of the original LP was actually re-recorded in the studio the following day. On this expanded two-CD set, we finally hear the three-section "Festival Suite" as played in front of the audience. This was new music to the band, and they didn't handle everything without flaw, but since the studio versions are also included, we get both immediacy and perfection.

The same situation applies to the two Johnny Hodges features, "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)" (the studio version was used on some previous issues) and "Jeep's Blues" (the live version of this one was used in preference to the studio one). They were programmed to emphasize that the band's star soloist had returned a half-year before, following a long period of working as a leader. There will be no complaints about twice as much of his meltingly sensual alto sax.

There was no way that Paul Gonsalves' famous 27-chorus solo in between "Diminuendo in Blue" and "Crescendo in Blue" could have been improved on by redoing it in the studio. Yet still, this version is better -- because it, like all of the concert, is now in stereo! Not fake stereo either; there were two recording crews working that day, Columbia's and the Voice of America's, and the two tapes have now been synchronized.

Also, Gonsalves' solo was previously "off-mike," because he was playing into the VOA microphone instead of Columbia's, so now he can be heard more clearly than before. Since his solo is the reason this album is revered, that alone is major news. (By the way, drummer Sam Woodyard's powerful backbeat makes this item quite a rocker.)

The stereo-through-synchronization approach is not without flaws. Ellington's piano seems to migrate around the stage when he starts his solo after Gonsalves' on "Crescendo in Blue," and there are other moments where the perspective shifts in immediacy. But the benefits outweigh such moments. Throw in the concert's previously unreleased tunes, and this set is now quite a treasure trove.

"Only one is a wanderer;
Two together are always going somewhere."

#17 of 74 Samuel Des

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Posted April 10 2002 - 09:03 AM

Rich - That is EXCELLENT news, and I am very glad that you posted that information. Posted Image Posted Image

Darren H - I am only a casual fan... would you still recommend that to me? BTW - Nice webpage.
I am made out of water. You wouldn't know it, because I have it bound in. My friends are made out of water, too. All of them. The problem for us is that not only do we have to walk around without being absorbed by the ground but we also have to earn our livings.

#18 of 74 Carl Miller

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Posted April 10 2002 - 11:41 AM

Adding one to the already great list of live albums mentioned here:

Van Morrison, It's Too Late To Stop Now
Carl

#19 of 74 Van Patton

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Posted April 10 2002 - 12:24 PM

Grateful Dead - Europe '72
Phish - A Live One

Too many too list really.

#20 of 74 Randy_M

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Posted April 10 2002 - 12:32 PM

I've been telling people for decades that the Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore East is the best live album ever created. Nice to hear other folks like it.
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