15 votes

What's your favourite live album?

I've been listening to Iron Maiden's Rock in Rio album on loop for a couple of days (I'm learning a bunch of the songs), and it's such a great album. Really wide selection of their hits from across their career, some classics, loads of new stuff, some deeper cuts (the Blaze tracks). It sounds amazing, to say it was all recorded on a single night. Absolutely amazing album, I can't think of a live effort that I enjoy more.

What's your favourite live album?

31 comments

  1. SantalBlush
    Link
    Not sure how many live albums I listen to, but Nirvana Unplugged might be at the top of my list.

    Not sure how many live albums I listen to, but Nirvana Unplugged might be at the top of my list.

    9 votes
  2. [4]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    S&M by Metallica Metallica, accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Do I need to say more? Live at the Old Quarter by Townes Van Zandt My first exposure to TVZ was this live album,...

    S&M by Metallica

    Metallica, accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Do I need to say more?

    Live at the Old Quarter by Townes Van Zandt

    My first exposure to TVZ was this live album, and after that all his studio recordings just sound over-produced. For example, here's the studio version of Waiting 'Round to Die compared with the live version.

    Live at the Old Quarter is just Townes, a guitar, and a microphone. Extremely good sound quality for being recorded in a bar in Houston in 1977. Complete with Townes telling corny jokes in between songs, and "sorry about the air conditioners being off, it won't be very long...if it gets really hot in here I don't know what we'll do".

    6 votes
    1. bilbodwyer
      Link Parent
      Another one of my favourites, this - excellent choice. I've not listened to much Townes Van Zandt, but I know my brother really loves him - I'll give it a listen!

      S&M by Metallica

      Another one of my favourites, this - excellent choice.

      I've not listened to much Townes Van Zandt, but I know my brother really loves him - I'll give it a listen!

      2 votes
    2. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      My counterpoint to S&M, which is a great live album, is Metallica's Live Shit: Binge & Purge, 1993 in Mexico City.

      My counterpoint to S&M, which is a great live album, is Metallica's Live Shit: Binge & Purge, 1993 in Mexico City.

      2 votes
    3. cardigan
      Link Parent
      "I could whip through that son of a beta backwards in five seconds."

      Live at the Old Quarter by Townes Van Zandt

      "I could whip through that son of a beta backwards in five seconds."

      2 votes
  3. [2]
    dihedral
    Link
    Eric Clapton - Unplugged - I can never get enough of this album. Stripped down and acoustic, you hear everything. I know some people consider Clapton's singing voice subpar, but I enjoy the...

    Eric Clapton - Unplugged - I can never get enough of this album. Stripped down and acoustic, you hear everything. I know some people consider Clapton's singing voice subpar, but I enjoy the rawness. The album includes the best version of Layla, but my favorite track is Old Love. Really like how he hands off some solo time to the pianist on this track as well.

    6 votes
    1. timo
      Link Parent
      My pick as well. The audio mix/quality is amazing!

      My pick as well. The audio mix/quality is amazing!

      1 vote
  4. [4]
    reese
    Link
    Rush - All the World's a Stage. RIP, Neil Peart. Watching and hearing one of his drum solos live, around 2009ish, is one of my fondest memories.

    Rush - All the World's a Stage.

    RIP, Neil Peart. Watching and hearing one of his drum solos live, around 2009ish, is one of my fondest memories.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      bilbodwyer
      Link Parent
      I (shamefully) never really listened to Rush. I think I'll need to start.

      I (shamefully) never really listened to Rush. I think I'll need to start.

      2 votes
      1. spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        Here's a comment I made in another thread with suggestions for good introductory Rush songs In keeping with the theme of this thread, the 30th anniversary live version of Moving Pictures they...

        Here's a comment I made in another thread with suggestions for good introductory Rush songs

        In keeping with the theme of this thread, the 30th anniversary live version of Moving Pictures they recorded in 2011 is one of my favorite live albums ever, based on one of my favorite studio albums ever.

        1 vote
    2. moonbathers
      Link Parent
      My favorite of their live albums is Different Stages, I think. I think live they peaked in the 90s although they were fantastic both before and after then. The sound they had at that point is my...

      My favorite of their live albums is Different Stages, I think. I think live they peaked in the 90s although they were fantastic both before and after then. The sound they had at that point is my favorite and Geddy's voice was still pretty good although not 100%. Alex's guitar tone has a little more distortion in it than during the 70s and 80s and I think it adds to a lot of their songs.

  5. Parliament
    Link
    The Allman Brothers Band - Eat a Peach. My favorite band since before I can remember and still to this very day. At least listen to One Way Out.

    The Allman Brothers Band - Eat a Peach. My favorite band since before I can remember and still to this very day. At least listen to One Way Out.

    5 votes
  6. elcuello
    Link
    Well, Iron Maiden is just spectacular live. As I mentioned in another comment I am very sensitive to music being pitch perfect so I have a natural aversion for live albums in general. I will...

    Well, Iron Maiden is just spectacular live. As I mentioned in another comment I am very sensitive to music being pitch perfect so I have a natural aversion for live albums in general. I will recommend these though that for some reason made an impression on me through the years.

    AC/DC - If You Want Blood (You Got It). I'm a huge AC/DC fan and the intens feeling and sound on this album is just captivating. AC/DC is not particular tight but it feels tight...I don't know how to describe it.

    Children of Bodom - Tokyo Warhearts. I think I'm just impressed about how clean sounding this is considering this genre can be pretty muddy live and it's from 1999. The vocals are great too and very authentic to the album.

    Dark Tranquility - Where Death Is Most Alive. It just seem to catch DTs album sound really well

    As a side note I just listened to Sum 41s live album from the House of Blues and holy shit that's bad. I can't believe they'd wanna release that. I'm seeing them in February and I'm kinda worried.

    3 votes
  7. [4]
    mat
    Link
    Lifa by Heilung (full album streamable on YT) Also I think Pop Will Eat Itself Live at Weirds Bar and Grill is their best album. In the studio PWEI are a bit meh, but live they were amazing.

    Lifa by Heilung (full album streamable on YT)

    Also I think Pop Will Eat Itself Live at Weirds Bar and Grill is their best album. In the studio PWEI are a bit meh, but live they were amazing.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      SantalBlush
      Link Parent
      I've been into Heilung recently as well. I haven't seen any North America shows on their schedule, sadly. I'd definitely see them live.

      I've been into Heilung recently as well. I haven't seen any North America shows on their schedule, sadly. I'd definitely see them live.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        mat
        Link Parent
        They're in the US right now. They're playing Denver tonight, Chicago on monday, then Silver Spring, NYC, Montreal, NYC later this month. Three gigs in York, UK, next month. Might try to make one...

        They're in the US right now. They're playing Denver tonight, Chicago on monday, then Silver Spring, NYC, Montreal, NYC later this month.

        Three gigs in York, UK, next month. Might try to make one of those but York is a bit of a trek from me.

        2 votes
        1. SantalBlush
          Link Parent
          Awesome! I had been checking for shows last year and didn't see anything, so thanks for the heads up.

          Awesome! I had been checking for shows last year and didn't see anything, so thanks for the heads up.

          1 vote
  8. boredop
    Link
    James Brown - Love Power Peace - from Paris in 1971, this is the original JBs, with Bootsy and Catfish Collins, Fred Wesley and Jabo Starks anchoring the band. An amazingly tight performance....

    James Brown - Love Power Peace - from Paris in 1971, this is the original JBs, with Bootsy and Catfish Collins, Fred Wesley and Jabo Starks anchoring the band. An amazingly tight performance.

    Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie - Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945 - Bird and Diz when they were still young and hungry. This wasn't discovered and released until 2005! (It takes about a minute for the engineer to get the mix dialed in after the band starts, and then WATCH OUT!)

    P-Funk All-Stars - Live At The Beverly Theater in Hollywood - from 1983, an incredible gathering of "the baddest brothers in the world." George Clinton, Gary Shider, Eddie Hazel, Michael Hampton, Blackbird McKnight, Bernie Worrell, Rodney "Skeet" Curtis, Dennis Chambers and a couple of dozen other musicians and singers take it to the stage and tear the roof off the sucker.

    And briefly (because I'm too lazy to find more links and write more blurbs):
    John Coltrane - Newport '63
    John Coltrane - The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
    Dr. Lonnie Smith - Live at Club Mozambique
    Grant Green - Live At The Lighthouse
    James Booker - Return of the Bayou Maharajah and Spiders on the Keys
    Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
    Maceo Parker - Life On Planet Groove
    Miles Davis - The Complete Concert 1964 (My Funny Valentine + Four & More)
    Frank Zappa - Roxy And Elsewhere
    Gil Evans - Live at Sweet Basil
    Jimi Hendrix - Live at Fillmore East (2-disc version of the Band of Gypsies sessions)

    3 votes
  9. [2]
    jahnu
    Link
    Arabesque, by Jane Birkin. Working with a Middle Eastern orchestra, she reworks a number of Serge Gainsborugh songs using traditional Arabic formats. Haunting.

    Arabesque, by Jane Birkin. Working with a Middle Eastern orchestra, she reworks a number of Serge Gainsborugh songs using traditional Arabic formats. Haunting.

    2 votes
    1. bilbodwyer
      Link Parent
      That's sounds amazing - I'll be checking it out on my way home from work :D

      That's sounds amazing - I'll be checking it out on my way home from work :D

      1 vote
  10. cardigan
    (edited )
    Link
    Kaoru Abe - Thursday Night. Abe plays a series of paint-peeling solos on the alto saxophone. Occasionally, two or three people clap. The Gerogerigegege - Tokyo Anal Dynamite. A strange, somewhat...

    Kaoru Abe - Thursday Night. Abe plays a series of paint-peeling solos on the alto saxophone. Occasionally, two or three people clap.

    The Gerogerigegege - Tokyo Anal Dynamite. A strange, somewhat dumpy frontman announces the title of a popular song like "Boys Don't Cry," then counts "1, 2, 3, 4!" The band makes a few seconds of shrieking noise. This then repeats about 74 more times. A miraculous record.

    Cecil Taylor - The Willisau Concert. A 71 year-old man performs a blistering hour of solo piano improvisation. He then stops to read a few lines of poetry and play for another minute. He does this one more time and then leaves the stage.

    An honorable mention goes to The Olatunji Concert, Coltrane's last live date and one of his most emotive.

    2 votes
  11. [2]
    Hidegger
    Link
    https://roadburn.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-roadburn-2013-2 Elder - Live at Roadburn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deuBDhpQ4VM Rage Against the Machine - Live and Rare...

    https://roadburn.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-roadburn-2013-2 Elder - Live at Roadburn

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deuBDhpQ4VM Rage Against the Machine - Live and Rare

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G0LcLgvnis Melvins - Alive at the Fucker Club

    2 votes
    1. calm_bomb
      Link Parent
      Roadburn is one of the best festivals in Europe. It's pretty small, but the atmosphere and the people are amazing. Also, surprise sets from bands are a delicacy.

      Roadburn is one of the best festivals in Europe. It's pretty small, but the atmosphere and the people are amazing. Also, surprise sets from bands are a delicacy.

      1 vote
  12. [2]
    markh
    Link
    Stevie Ray Vaughan - In The Beginning: https://open.spotify.com/album/5judWRJxX0B8BCohZDm69R John Mayer Trio - Try!: https://open.spotify.com/album/0X9bvQYYtrAYdkO4OKtYwz Vulfpeck - Live at...

    Stevie Ray Vaughan - In The Beginning: https://open.spotify.com/album/5judWRJxX0B8BCohZDm69R

    John Mayer Trio - Try!: https://open.spotify.com/album/0X9bvQYYtrAYdkO4OKtYwz

    Vulfpeck - Live at Madison Square Garden: https://open.spotify.com/album/5KmXBjpN0wHutYBoDJBxmM

    2 votes
  13. weystrom
    Link
    Pink Floyd - Live in Pompeii - this is them at the peak of their proginess, I feel like. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Live at Slane Castle - just beautiful musicianship, classic setlist, very well...

    Pink Floyd - Live in Pompeii - this is them at the peak of their proginess, I feel like.

    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Live at Slane Castle - just beautiful musicianship, classic setlist, very well captured on video as well (look for DVD9 version).

    2 votes
  14. Parliament
    Link
    I forgot one in my original comment: JJ Cale & Leon Russell - Live at Paradise Studios I own two separate DVD copies of this if that is any indication of how much time I’ve spent on it.

    I forgot one in my original comment:

    JJ Cale & Leon Russell - Live at Paradise Studios

    I own two separate DVD copies of this if that is any indication of how much time I’ve spent on it.

    2 votes
  15. Data
    (edited )
    Link
    I get down with Gary Clark Jr Live. Such a good album to have in the background. Hope to see him perform live someday.

    I get down with Gary Clark Jr Live. Such a good album to have in the background. Hope to see him perform live someday.

    1 vote
  16. letswatchstartrek
    Link
    I love Dave Matthews Band's Central Park Concert. I'm pretty sure I drove my family nuts as a teenager playing this album over and over.

    I love Dave Matthews Band's Central Park Concert. I'm pretty sure I drove my family nuts as a teenager playing this album over and over.

    1 vote