ARTICLE: 50 Great Live Albums For Easing Yourself Back Into The World

gazzaboy

Active Member
Been waiting for this for a few weeks, since you first mentioned it. Thanks for a great list, with many on there that I know, there are some others that I’ll be checking out very soon. In terms of a live experience, I’d say Springsteen is one of the best that I’ve had, and think that the 1975-85 box set is well worth checking out (though it’s not one gig, it highlights the energy of the performances of his early stuff) or for a more evolved performance, the live in NYC set is equally compelling.
 

Fasen

Standard Member
Great list Ed. ! I'd recommend Eva Cassidy Live at Blues Alley. Fantastic atmosphere and my god she can sing. Goosebumps guaranteed.!!
 

gagaga

Active Member
Arab Strap - Mad for Sadness
Shows how time and repeat performances refines songs over the album versions.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Stage? Really? Throw a stick in the 1970s and you'll hit a better live Bowie album. Honestly Ed, you've managed to pick the worst live Bowie album by a mile (Isolar II was a rubbish tour). Try Santa Monica from '72, the final Spiders from Mars gig in '73, David Live from the first leg of the Diamond Dogs tour, Cracked Actor from the second leg (dubbed the Philly Dogs tour), or Nassau '76 from the Isolar (Station to Station) tour. All are vastly superior and the first two are worthy of admission on the back of Mick Ronson's mighty guitar work alone.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Stage? Really? Throw a stick in the 1970s and you'll hit a better live Bowie album. Honestly Ed, you've managed to pick the worst live Bowie album by a mile (Isolar II was a rubbish tour). Try Santa Monica from '72, the final Spiders from Mars gig in '73, David Live from the first leg of the Diamond Dogs tour, Cracked Actor from the second leg (dubbed the Philly Dogs tour), or Nassau '76 from the Isolar (Station to Station) tour. All are vastly superior and the first two are worthy of admission on the back of Mick Ronson's mighty guitar work alone.

If I change it, will you leave me in peace? I can't possibly give you David Live though. Even though there are now 24/96 versions doing the rounds, it sounds like it was recorded by holding a Fisher Price tape recorder up in the direction of the stage and then storing the cassette in a puddle for a few hours.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
Came here to see if Nirvana unplugged was in the list. Absolutely quality album. Noel Gallaghers - The dreams we have as children is also pretty good, with some quality tracks.

Other guilty pleasures for live albums are James Blunt - Bedlam Sessions, and Florence and the Machine - MTV unplugged. Also recently, Liam Gallaghers unplugged in Hull is surprisingly pretty good.
 

highly_defined

Active Member
I know these lists are subjective, but The Who Live At Leeds is regularly held up as being one of the greatest live albums of all time but doesn't feature here?
 

highly_defined

Active Member
And one more, probably terribly unfashionable - but Supertramp Live In Paris is also fantastic.
 

Badger Mushroom

Active Member
Some beauties in there, thanks Ed.
 

gardenflyer

Novice Member
Excellent, I really like a good live album. Studio albums might be technically better but the energy from a live set more than makes up for it in my view. Most of these are new to me so will be checking them out, assuming I can find them on Qobuz that is 😉! Sad to see one of my all time favourites isn‘t on the list, but I guess Dire Straits were never very cool!
 

StTim

Novice Member
Some crackers there - but no Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous. Best live band I have ever seen and I have seen a few on this list.

Next best experience was probably Peter Gabriel!
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I know these lists are subjective, but The Who Live At Leeds is regularly held up as being one of the greatest live albums of all time but doesn't feature here?

See the intro text.
 

Grumpyrocker

Active Member
No Iron Maiden? Live After Death should be any list of great live albums.

And How The West Was Won is a much better live document of Led Zeppelin in their pomp than The Song Remains the Same. There are also the BBC recordings which includes an excellent concert where they play a song the fans hadn't heard before - called Stairway to Heaven.

My favourite live album is The Gathering's A Noise Severe. But it's a bit obscure so wouldn't have expected to see it on the list. Amazing atmosphere though, crowd and band working together to raise the temperature.
 

Tom Davies

Editorial Contributor
That LCD Soundsystem live set is unbelievable.

High on my list would be The Smiths "Rank" and default choice Of Montreal "Snare Lustrous Doomings". Default because it's their only commercially available live set and, as amazing as it is, doesn't even come close to the insanity of their Sunlandic Twins / Hissing Fauna tours.

Switch out Neil Young for his unplugged set too.
 

Saul Goodman

Distinguished Member
Agreed LCD live are amazing, their set at Glastonbury 2016 was one of the best headliners I've seen at Glastonbury.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
If I change it, will you leave me in peace? I can't possibly give you David Live though. Even though there are now 24/96 versions doing the rounds, it sounds like it was recorded by holding a Fisher Price tape recorder up in the direction of the stage and then storing the cassette in a puddle for a few hours.
I've got David Live on a 5.1 DVD-A disc, it's one of my favourite Bowie albums. It's the artistic reinterpretation of Bowie's earlier songs that I love, who cares about the quality of the recording? In fact I'm going to listen to it tonight... in lossless 24-bit 48kHz 5.1!
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
who cares about the quality of the recording?

Consider this statement in the context of video and your buying habits there and then have a sit and think about what you just typed.
 

davidm

Active Member
Thanks for the list Ed, interesting choices. Great to have some ideas to have a listen through.

Been mentioned earlier: -

Led Zep How The West Was Won is much better than The Song Remains The Same (BBC Sessions are also superb).
Eva Cassidy - Live at Blues Alley is wonderful
Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous is a classic
You could also put forward Deep Purple Made in Japan plus Iron Maiden Live After Death are worthy of consideration.

Keep up the good work :)
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
Great list Ed. ! I'd recommend Eva Cassidy Live at Blues Alley. Fantastic atmosphere and my god she can sing. Goosebumps guaranteed.!!

Thanks for the recommendation, listening to it now, fantastic 👍
 

paulw77

Active Member
Surprised to see a U2 album on there, but the list is all the better for it, despite the tracks actually being taken from 3 different shows. Only 2 of the tracks are from the legendary Red Rocks performance. If anyone wants to see the full Red Rocks show (minus one track), it's available as a DVD with the 2008 re-release of the album and is a stupendous performance by the whole band.
 

gazzaboy

Active Member
Ed & Steve, how about Bowie's Glastonbury 2000? Granted it's a bit later on in his career, but nevertheless a great set.
 

curvature

Active Member
Depeche Mode 101 - not listened to this for a long while so will have to dig it out from my collection.

My go to DM live album though is Songs of Faith and Devotion which regularly sells on vinyl for up to £300! 101 rarely goes above £50.
 

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