Best live recordings - what do you think?

I was listening to the radio the other day and a cut from Frampton Comes Alive came on. That got me to thinking about recorded live concerts in general. What’s your opinion about the best live recorded song, and the best live recorded album or CD? If either of these are not your favorites, then throw in your favorites as well.

My favorite live song is She Loves You, from The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl album. I remember listening to the radio on the night that the album was released. I sat on my bed with my mouth open through the entire song. I had heard the song before, but never recorded live. The screaming was just amazing.

My favorite album also involves the Beatles. This is The Beatles Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; in 1962. The raw power the Beatles had at the time was undeniable.

Best live album, IMHO, is Thin Lizzy’s “Alive and Dangerous”.

I’ve changed my mind. Johnny Cash, “Live at San Quentin”. You can hear the riot kicking off.

The first that came to my mind were:

  1. Metallica’s “S&M”
  2. Nine Inch Nails “…And All That Could Have Been”

Which are great live albums, but I hate to sound like a metalhead. My favorite live recorded song is “Soma” off the Smashing Pumpkin’s Earphoria. It’s simply splendid!

Oh, and “Live From Mars”, by Ben Harper is awesome. Simply awesome. I mean… awesome.

Best Live Album: “Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East.”

Best Live Song – “Whipping Post” from the above album.

Best song, from best album Peter Gabriel plays live):
San Jacinto by Peter Gabriel. Awesome.

Counting Crows. “Round Here,” from Mtv Live from the 10 Spot.

Or Alison Krause’s live album. But I’m baised on that one, since I was at the recording of it.

The Who Live at Leeds, the first (maybe?) truly live album without any post-production audio “cleanups”.

“Benny and the Jets” - Elton John

Just kidding - yet that’s one of the greatest pseudo-live songs.

I’m partial and keen to concert albums where the audience is super-enthusiastic and seems to inspire the band to take their stuff to a higher level.

(Many have been said already).

** Yes ** - Yessongs
Joe Cocker w/Leon Russel - Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Ladies and Gentlemen
Grateful Dead - Europe '72
Bob Dylan at Budokan
Cheap Trick at Budokan
Opal at Budokan

The Last Waltz
Eric Clapton’s Unplugged

I’d hafta say Kiss Alive 1 and 2 are my fav live albums.

Songs: Helpless Neil Young Unplugged
A version of Little Wing Eric Clapton
A version of Killing Floor The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Albums: No Sleep 'til Hammersmith Motorhead
Paul Kelly Live May 1992
The Living End Husker Du
Live at the Regal B.B. King

The Who’s Live at Leeds has already been mentioned. Beware the extended version - Townshend is out of tune on everything they left off the original.

Iron Maiden - Live After Death

Dropkick Murphys - Live on St. Patrick’s Day

And there is a live version of “Hotel California” that I have on my PC. I don’t know where or when it was recorded, but the Eagles rip it up.

Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus

Black Crowes & Jimmy Paige - Live at the Greek

Grateful Dead - Dick’s Picks Vol 3 (Pembroke Pines 5/22/77)

The Correct Answers:

Kate Bush Live At Hammersmith Odeon
Jeff Buckley Myster White Boy
Jeff Buckley Live at Sin-E
Bette Midler Live at Last
Jane Siberry, Victoria Williams, Holly Cole, Mary Margaret O’Hara, and Rebecca Jenkins, Count Your Blessings

“Nirvana Unplugged” by Nirvana is amongst the great live albums.

I have a soft spot (heart or head, not sure which) for “Happy Together” from the Mothers of Invention “Fillmore East - June 1971”, with Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, from the Turtles, on vocals. Especially the spoken bit leading into the song featuring the immortal line, “Alright baby, I know when I’m licked, all over. Bend over and spread 'em, here comes my BULLET”

In another catagory, the film “Buena Vista Social Club” has a great moment near the end - forget which song/singer - where there is a seque from the concert in New York to the concert in Amsterdam, mid-song.

Get Your Ya Ya’s Out - Rolling Stones
Live After Death - Iron Maiden

Songs (apart from the entire Stones Album):
Grendel - Marillion
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash

That’s all I can think of, don’t think I own many live albums.

The Lost Brussels - live radio show (now a bootleg) from the Rolling Stones circa 1973 when Mick Taylor was on FIRE!


Live at Leeds - The Oo, yet another vote just beats
Live and Dangerous - Thin Lizzy (that’s just ‘Live’ Lola) brilliant album but has the reputation of being tweaked (ahem) after the event.

Couldn’t really choose a track, how about the Hendrix take on the Stars and Stripes? (gawds I hope I got that right) it’s sort of in a league of its own.