Just heard for the first time the album version of Bob Seger’s Katmandu. I say for the first time because this version almost never gets radio play. The only version I have ever heard is the Live Bullet album he recorded at a concert in Detroit.
In fact, several of the tracks from that concert are that way… the live version’s pretty much the only one you hear these days, the studio cuts are practically rare.
This, to me anyway, seems the reverse of the normal… where a studio track has all sorts of glossing up and the live track is “just” the guy/gal singing. But with Bob Seger’s blue-collar sound, you’re not going to add a lot in studio and I guess the energy of the live crowd actually helps.
Any other examples of artists where, for a lot of their songs, the only version you’ll hear of several songs is from a concert? Peter Frampton comes to mind, Frampton Comes Alive.
I pretty sure I’ve only ever heard a live version of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me”. I’m fairly sure there must be a studio version out there somewhere, but it certainly hasn’t ever turned up on any of the radio stations I’ve listened to, and some of them play that song way too often.
It doesn’t seem to get a huge amount of radio play anymore in either form, but for a long time I only ever heard live versions of AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” too.
U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday. The live concert version from Under A Blood Red Sky got tons of play on MTV when I was in junior high. I still can’t listen to the studio version without some part of my brain saying “wait a minute, that’s not the right song.”
I hear a live version of “Hotel California” on the radio almost exclusively.
Two songs by Garth Brooks, “Friends in Low Places” and “The Thunder Rolls,” have live versions with extra verses that get more plays than the studio versions. IIRC, until his Double Live album came out, these two were radio-exclusive.
That kind of happened with “Sweet Jane”. The original Velvet Underground studio version from “Loaded” is a classic, but the heavily reworked arena-rock version from Lou Reed’s live “Rock & Roll Animal” LP may get more play.