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Best Live Albums (Not Bootlegs)

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Showing 26-50 of 170 posts in this discussion
Posted on 7 Mar 2012, 22:27:29 GMT
I'll put in a strong vote for the 1969: Velvet Underground Live: Volume 1 and 1969: Velvet Underground Live: Volume 2, especially the first volume (for some reason the former double LP was issued as two separate CDs). Great live feel, even though it's from a mixture of several gigs (bizarrely you hear Lou Reed say "good night" at the end of what was Side 1 of the double LP) and two venues - all within a few weeks though and the sound is extremely consistent throughout. The Velvets were, to put it mildly, not a band that simply reproduced their records live, set lists, arrangements and even lyrics changing from night to night. The version of What Goes On on Vol.1, with its relentless rhythm guitar and swirling organ, is one of my all time favourite live performances by anyone.

Some more:
Bob Dylan - Live 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert [The Bootleg Series Vol.4] (Manchester Free Trade Hall 1966) and Bootleg Series Vol. 5 are both excellent. The former is the famous "Judas" gig formerly believed to be at the Royal Albert Hall but also includes the acoustic first set, the latter is a mixture from the whole tour but way better than the disappointing Hard Rain from 1976. Both fabulous.

The Rolling Stones - Brussels Affair (October 1973) Only available on download from their website (stonesarchive.com) but you can buy the flac and burn it to a CD. Much of this has been bootlegged in the past but never remotely in this quality - it sounds stunning. From probably their last really great tour, with Mick Taylor on scorching form, this is the first legal Stones live recording I've encountered that rivals the mighty Ya-Ya's - about 2/3 of it is absolutely in the zone, especially Midnight Rambler and All Down The Line. Ignore all the (mostly) crappy latterday albums, live and studio, they were huge because they could do this. Sometimes.

Joy Division - Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979 Sadly only the first 9 tracks are from the Paris venue that provides the album title - the remaining 7 are from 2 gigs in Holland the following month. But they're also rans - it's the Bains Douches tracks that are worth having and reveal JD as one of the most powerful rock bands of all time. The version of Shadowplay in particular is immensely heavy. By all accounts the band hated what Martin Hannett did to these songs in the studio, personally I love the production of Unknown Pleasures but it's great to hear what they really sounded like on a good night, fine recording too. Shame it seems to be out of print now - and that we don't have the entire gig.


Posted on 7 Mar 2012, 22:36:34 GMT
N. Hudson says:
I have to agree that almost any live JD album provides more listening pleasure than their studio work - and that's saying something, because (regardless of what the boys think of the studio recordings) JD sound great on Unknown Pleasures and Closer. I think it's great the recent remasters of the albums come with the bonus live discs.

Also have to agree with Velvet Underground, who were also awesome on a good night - and thankfully some of those good nights were recorded, albeit not always brilliantly. It is odd that the 1969 album was released on two cds, but Volume 1 is definitely the better of two.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2012, 22:54:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Mar 2012, 22:56:14 GMT
I totally agree with you about the Stones, Frankie. That Brussels gig is a stunner in this new legit form. Never heard it better.

Must check out that Velvet Underground stuff, not to mention JD.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2012, 23:12:21 GMT
Derek W. says:
Smitty - I can do you the JD

Posted on 7 Mar 2012, 23:13:55 GMT
M. Coleman says:
I always loved - Live Evil - despite the internal wranglings of the final mixes .
I also prefered " Rainbow - Live in Germany " to " Onstage " simply for the live Stargazer and keyboard intro .
Marillion - Live The Thieving Magpie
Rush - A Show Of Hands ,
Deep Purple - Live In Japan ,
Dokken - Beast From The East

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2012, 23:18:35 GMT
Hi Smitty - that Velvets album wasn't recorded for release and carries a little hiss - but, importantly, not distortion so it's not remotely a chore to listen to, sound-wise, unless you're REALLY picky. It's ripe for a remastering though. It contains definitive versions of several songs from their third album and Loaded, and several that don't appear anywhere else or were first heard in inferior versions on Looby Lou's first solo album. They were one of the best live bands on the planet in 1969.


Posted on 7 Mar 2012, 23:41:59 GMT
The Stranglers Live X-Cert is a truly ferocious document of the band at their best. Roxy Music, Viva! Roxy Music which shows what a fine rock band Roxy were. AC/DC If You Want Blood, Judas Priest Unleashed In The East, and more recently Masters Of Reality Flak'n' Flight.

Posted on 8 Mar 2012, 07:44:09 GMT
N. Hudson says:
Perhaps strangely, I prefer Roxy's "Live" to "Viva!". I think it is an incredible album, and one of the albums in my list at the beginning of this thread. Roxy were an incredible band, and are massively under-rated in terms of individual talent (eg Paul Thompson gained only a couple of mentions in the greatest drummer thread elsewhere in this forum). Live is a great selection of songs, played with style and finesse. I prefer some of the versions on this album to their studio counterparts. Roxy's later materal (say, post-Siren?) is even rendered bearable, sandwiched amongst the great renditions from their earlier glory days.

I think sometimes that reunion live recordings can be the best. In terms of official Black Sabbath live releases, Reunion far outshines any other. I never liked Live Evil - and that's not because I prefer Ozzy to Dio. (I'd go along with that cliche that Ozzy's Speak of the Devil rocked the socks of Live Evil.)

(It's not always the case, though, as the Velvet's reunion provided a decent enough live album, but nothing on the aforementioned 1969 - particularly Volume 1.)

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 07:53:49 GMT
Splendid!! Many thanks, Derek :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 07:55:59 GMT
Thanks, Frankie. Great to get this info, much appreciated!

Posted on 8 Mar 2012, 08:28:28 GMT
Red Mosquito says:
I love this one. Small venue and an unusual (almost) track list Stripped

NH I'm not a Roxy fan but I did see them on the 'Siren' tour. It's one of the best live shows I've seen. 'For Your Pleasure' has been with me since it was released and it gets played often. A great album.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 10:50:54 GMT
Post Soviet says:
Smitty, just got this new legit Brussels Affair(from russ. site, which makes it super-duper legit I guess '0)), yeah, it's fantastic, loved four songs in a row from Goat's Head....., Star Star in good quality at last.
If only there was Love In Vein and Dead Flowers....
...but you can't always get what you want.

Any mentioned Status Quo 1976 gig in Glasgow, Slade Alive?
Led Zeppelin How The West Was Won?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 11:15:45 GMT
Smitty - you're most welcome.
N. Hudson - I saw that Velvets reunion, they played well and John Cale sang well. But Lou Reed's vocals made it largely unbearable. Unlike in their earlier days they didn't vary from night to night and the live album, which I've heard but thankfully didn't spend money on, was to all intents and purposes identical to what I saw. The only real high point was a fine version of All Tomorrow's Parties.


In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 11:16:17 GMT
Those last 2 Stones songs will appear on the legit version of Leeds Lungs, which is a dead cert release if this Stones Archive venture keeps on rolling.

I was really impressed with that new legit release of Brussels, it does, amazingly, blow the boots, which were fantastic, into the weeds.

Point of information. My first ever boot was this Brussels gig, on a TDK SA C90 cassette, which I got in 1981.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 13:51:01 GMT
When the Brussels download became available I did find a site somewhere (sorry, can't remember, but it wasn't hard to find) which gave a detailed analysis comparing it to Bedspring Symphony bootleg. There were two sets at Brussels and the download takes from both. Plus, on the version of the bootleg I've encountered, as well as some of the Brussels tracks being from a different show, about a third of the tracks were from Wembley, including a superior Gimme Shelter. Apparently 6 tracks on Brussels Affair have never been bootlegged before.

Here's hoping re Leeds Lungs, I fear it'll be a while before they put out another 70s one but I expect they'll get there eventually. I did buy the 1981 show and while polished and slick throughout it's not the same band - stadium rock for sure. Jagger's appalling southern accent (they're in Virginia) grates. Has its moments but I won't be listening to it much. I suspect next up will be something even later, hopefully I'll be proved wrong.


In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 15:21:26 GMT
I mentioned Live Wasn't that recorded there???

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 15:57:22 GMT
Post Soviet says:
Ha! Probably didn't check your link.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 16:57:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Mar 2012, 16:58:28 GMT
Yes, Jagger the "chameleon" master of ceremonies.

What did you think of the 78 live set? I have yet to hear the Some Girls live cd, but have the Handsome Girls 4 cd boot, the first cd of which is an absolute stoater, full of brio and energy, possibly the best Woody era tour.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 21:36:15 GMT
Hi Smitty, I think it's a curate's egg - see my review: Some Girls - Live In Texas '78 (DVD + CD) [2011]. May be different equipment but I thought the mix was better on the CD.

I liked the stripped-down presentation but, while Jagger is in very fine voice except right at the start, and the rest of the band are good to excellent for the most part, Keith plays some really uninspired lead guitar at times - amply illustrated on the two Chuck Berry covers though these aren't the only ones - and it drags the whole band down at times. Then they get to the new stuff and become a different band - one could only wish that they played the whole album, it's so good.

As you're clearly a big fan of Some Girls I'd say buy it - the versions here mostly leave the album versions standing, though I can't tell you how they compare with the boot you mention. Check how good Jagger's vocals are on e.g. Shattered and Beast Of Burden.


Posted on 8 Mar 2012, 21:48:06 GMT
J Fenner says:
I think everything I would mention has been, but didn't notice Allman Brothers Live at Fillimore and Rainbow Live in Munich.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2012, 07:38:13 GMT
N. Hudson says:
I don't know without looking about Rainbow, but Red Mosquito mentioned the Allman Brothers in the second post of the thread! ;)

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2012, 07:44:06 GMT
N. Hudson says:
ff, this is definitely why I think that reunion gigs are often the best - but not always. There is no way that the Velvets reunion was great! As I said a decent enough album (though not decent enough for me to have purchased), but nothing on their glory days.

I don't find that Lou Reed's vocals made the reunion gig largely unbearable, though I can understand the criticism. At one point recently, I felt like I was the only person on the planet who enjoyed Lou Reed and Metallica on Jools Holland. Lou Reed's vocals in recent years are certainly not what they were - but I love Lulu. (And I am not a Metallica fan at all - this effectively being the first Metallica release I have ever listened to in full, let alone purchased!)

Posted on 9 Mar 2012, 10:03:18 GMT
John Lease says:
Quo Live- Status Quo
All The Worlds a Stage- Rush
Made In Japan- Deep Purple
If You Want Blood-AC/DC
Captured- Journey
Frampton Comes Alive- Peter Frampton
Live After Death- Iron Maiden
No Sleep till Hammersmith- Motorhead
One More From The Road- Lynyrd Skynyrd
Familiar to Millions- Oasis
Alive- Slade
Live and Dangerous- Thin Lizzy
Black Symphony- Within Temptation
Stanger in the Night- UFO

Posted on 9 Mar 2012, 16:07:25 GMT
easytiger says:
Cheap Trick live at the Buddokan anybody?

Posted on 9 Mar 2012, 21:16:55 GMT
Puffany says:
So many great live albums already listed.

Bob Marley - Live
Rush - Different Stages / Grace Under Pressure Tour
Frank Zappa - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vols 1, 2 & 4 / Make A Jazz Noise Here / Wazoo / Bongo Fury / In New York / Imaginary Diseases
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