Once again “Mr. List” Brent Chittenden- AC
The live album has been a staple of everyone’s music collection since the soundtrack to the Woodstock movie came out. But how can one decide what is a good live album and what is a bad one? Which ones are worth picking up and which ones are worth tossing? Well here’s a little list of what are my top ten live albums of all time.
10) Daft Punk – Alive 2007
It may seem odd to a lot of people to place an electronic act such as Daft Punk anywhere close to this list but the proof is in the pudding. Alive 2007 not only gives you the best of Daft Punk (up until that point) but also shows how they changed and remodelled songs for a live setting and really bringing it to their audience. High energy and just great tunes.
9) Frank Zappa And The Mothers – Roxy And Elsewhere
Probably the best of the many, many, live recordings you can find of Zappa. Incredibly well produced and including material you can’t hear anywhere else, it’s a tribute to a band and a man who had musical skills that were pretty much not of this Earth.
8) Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive!
This was the breakthrough album for Peter Frampton and later went on to being one of the best selling live albums of all time. Great sound that really showcases the talent that Frampton posses.
7) Kiss – Alive!
Love’em or hate’em, Kiss is huge and wouldn’t be huge if it weren’t for this breakout album. For my money, this is the Kiss that people should know; before the brand was stamped on everything from condoms to baby food, Kiss was a hard rocking band, hungry to prove to the world that they were the best rock act in town. Alive! captures that version of Kiss perfectly.
6) Nirvana – Unplugged
Featuring little in the way of hits (very unusual for a live record and for Unplugged specials), Nirvana’s Unplugged record may not be the sound of the band that kicked down the doors for grunge and alternative music but it a great testament to the song writer that Cobain was.
5) Johnny Cash – Live At Folsom Prison
This is quintessential Cash and was probably in most of your father’s record collections and should be in yours as well.
4) Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Live Rust
Capture both the sound and the fury of Young and Crazy Horse, Live Rust showcases the rock and the acoustic sides of the band incredibly well. If anyone ever questions you on what the big deal is about Neil Young, make them listen to Live Rust and they will shut up.
3) Led Zeppelin – How The West Was Won
I think it can be generally agreed that Led Zeppelin is one of the most important rock bands ever. Which makes it odd that we had to wait until 2003 to have a good live release from the band. But the wait was worth it. How The West Was Won gives you the band in their best form in terms of creativity and as a live entity.
2) The Who – Live At Leeds
My generation has never had a chance to hear The Who in a live setting. Sure we’ve seen More Or Less The Who but without Keith Moon it isn’t the same. Recorded during the tour that followed the release of Tommy, this is The Who at the height of their powers.
1) The Band – The Last Waltz
One of the best concert films ever made also produced one of the best live albums ever. The Band were unlike anyone else and this live set not only documents their career from start to finish with guests like Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan but it also serves as a reminder of how good they were. Great album to own but if you have a couple of extra bucks, spring for the box set that includes all of the music.