The Live Album Thread.

  • A place to comment on any live albums or live recording in general .Prompted by an interesting discussion on the first CD / album bought thread. Thought it deserved it's own space.

    Kicking off with a few quotes from the previous thread. Hope nobody minds.


    I think my first live album was Wings Over America, then Status Quo Live, then Eagles 'Live' (yeah, right). I'm not really a great fan of live albums.

    Quote from Backdrifter

    Same here. There's something kind of tokenistic about them



    "Unofficial live albums (bootlegs) are sooo much better as it captures the show as it really happened. Official live albums can sound artificial with no 'soul"

    More often not I find the complete opposite.

    i find generally bootlegs OK for interest and if there's a show in particular you want to hear.( Often a hollow sound and mistakes glaring.) Generally I prefer the live versions of most things to the studio ones. Especially the well produced stuff. I mentioned a few albums , in the "First CD/.Album" Thread . Others include Strangers in the Night , UFO, I If You Want Blood You Got It , AC/DC , Uriah Heep Live 73, Live Dates Wishbone Ash, and Pulse and ADSOT Pink Floyd..All great listening and all have many superior versions of songs IMO . The Live Comfortably numb versions knock spots off the already classic original. . First Kate Bush live album though , Before The Dawn , great as reminder of the show,. But I prefer.listening mostly to the Studio stuff!!!!!! ( King of The Mountain though is fantastic)

    Edited once, last by thefarmer ().

  • My favourite live album these days, influenced by Mr FIC, is probably Deep Purple's Made In Japan. It is almost flawless (it could be argued a couple of the tracks are a bit too long). That would be followed by Dire Straits' Alchemy. One day I will get to know Seconds Out better than I do now. I am also very fond of Led Zeppelin's BBC Sessions & Celebration Day.

    When Springsteen was here in 2017 he made all his shows available to download so I have the entire show I saw and it's awesome. Mark Knopfler does the same thing - unfortunately he hasn't been here for a long time, but I have downloads of two shows from the most recent tours - Manchester on the Privateering tour & Lisbon on the Down The Road Wherever tour.

  • There are many kinds of live records.

    Some are essentially greatest hits packages with some crowd noise - the performances sound very similar to the original studio versions. These are often the ones that have significant studio "repair", so they seem to be a little too perfect. I generally have little interest in these as they add almost nothing new to the original studio recordings.

    Some are greatest hits packages, but the live versions are more powerful, assured, and capture the artist performing the songs once they have really gotten to know them. Genesis falls into this category and it is generally why I love their live albums. The Band is another example of this.

    And then there are the artists for whom live performances transform their songs into something else. The live versions are often distant cousins to the original studio recordings, due to new arrangements and reimagining of what makes the song tick. Perhaps the best example of this is The Who's Live At Leeds, perhaps my pick for the best live rock record. Substitute is closest in structure to the original single, but is brutally powerful in comparison. Magic Bus turns a slight single into a lurching journey. My Generation veers off into an inspired jam that is the centrepiece of the album. And Young Man Blues, Summertime Blues, and Shaking All Over are covers that are light years away from their originators. The Allman Brothers' Live at Fillmore East is another example of this kind of live album. Springsteen is a bit of a mixture of this and the second category - some live versions are just better than the studio versions and some completely reinvent the song (Thunder Road on Live 75-85).

  • My favourite live album is Whitesnake.

    'Live in the heart of the city.'

    I love every single song on it and play it regularly every few weeks. Many Saturday mornings I will have the hoover out with this on full blast. I have also got a companion bootleg from the Friday Rock Show of Whitesnake at Reading in 1980 which duplicates most tracks.