Live Albums

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Live Albums

Postby mike6262 » 04 Oct 2011, 19:50

I was listening to Live In Europe and Irish Tour, again. And I started thinking about how many great bands do not have great live albums in their discography or even good ones. Zeppelin never released a great live album in most peoples opinion, How The West was Won was released completely after the fact. Pink Floyd has Pulse, but no Roger Waters, it is a good live album, but it is not generally regarded as a great album. The Stones have two great live albums with Got Live If You Want It, Get Yer Ya's Ya's Out and I actually love Love You Live also. A lot of the live albums considered great like Frampton, Thin Lizzy, Kiss, were "touched up" in the studio quite a bit.
So here is Rory with TWO great live albums, I don't think I have ever read a negative review of either Europe or Irish Tour. I was introduced to Rory through Live In Europe in 1973. I remember growing up in the south (USA) and most record stored carried only the 2 live albums. I think it is not overstating it to say they are both iconic albums.
My question is this, is there any other artists/band out there with such great live album or albums in there discography.
Is the live album a thing of the past? It was so important in the 70's, but not so much anymore it seems me?
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Re: Live Albums

Postby Sinnerboy » 04 Oct 2011, 20:45

You don't mention 'Stagestruck' Mike, are you not a fan of that one?

Live Taste was amazing too!

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Re: Live Albums

Postby mike6262 » 04 Oct 2011, 22:29

I like Stage Struck, I do not think of it as highly as the first two. I don't consider it a classic. Good but not classic, I think the song selection for that album is excellent, but it doesn't move me like the other 2 albums. But Stage Struck is still a live album some bands would love to have in their catalog. I think he set the bar really really high with the first two, for me at least.
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Re: Live Albums

Postby mike6262 » 04 Oct 2011, 22:30

I agree Live Taste is terrific.
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Re: Live Albums

Postby Tokeiihto » 04 Oct 2011, 22:51

mike6262 wrote:Zeppelin never released a great live album in most peoples opinion, How The West was Won was released completely after the fact.

This has been a thorn in the side of many Zeppelin fans for years*. Although arriving late, 'HTWWW' - together with the amazing DVD set containing almost a complete concert Page & Co. played at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 - has finally put an end to that ordeal. But yes, Zeppelin lacked a convincing official live recording doing the band justice during its lifetime. Apart from the fact that 'The Song Remains The Same' can't really be considered a genuine live album since it was heavily edited, it's actually the soundtrack to a rather mediocre and pretentious concert movie that was only released due to the band's tour hiatus following Plant's near fatal car accident in 1975.

*Especially given Zep's legendary reputation as a brilliant live act - evidenced by numerous fantastic bootleg recordings easily accessible these days via the internet.


But there really are many great - and more important: real - live albums that were released back in the day.

Deep Purple - Made in Japan
The Who - Live in Leeds
The Allman Brothers Band - Live at the Fillmore

In particular those three albums are considered by critics and fans alike to be the top contenders for the title 'Best Live Album' by any artist. I personally count Rory's 'Irish Tour' among those three mentioned as the the creme de la creme of live rock music captured on tape (and subsequently officially released), by the way.
Probably not quite in the same league but nevertheless good to great live recordings (off the top of head):

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Live Rust
Free - Live!
The Doors - In Concert
UFO - Strangers in the Night
Bob Dylan - Before the Flood
Rainbow - On Stage
Queen - Live Killers
AC/DC - If You Want Blood You've Got It
Bruce Springsteen - Live 1975-1985
Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison

The Band - The Last Waltz
Pink Floyd - Live at Pompeii
(the last two aren't live albums by definition but famous concert movies both later released as LP and CD, respectively)


And of course there are countless stunning, sometimes stupendously good live CDs put on he market on a regular basis nowadays, unearthed from whatever vaults the tapes were hidden all those years.
Last edited by Tokeiihto on 04 Oct 2011, 23:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Live Albums

Postby mike6262 » 04 Oct 2011, 23:23

All those are great live albums, I own them all as a matter of fact. The point I was trying to make, Rory cut two classic live albums, in a 2 year span. While many legendary bands never released one, or have only one great live album in a discography that spans 30+ years. Not a knock on the other bands as much as a tip of the hat to Rory.
By the way Strangers In Night and Folsom Prison are in my cd player as I type this. Love Pompeii also, watch it again just recently.
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Re: Live Albums

Postby Tokeiihto » 05 Oct 2011, 00:38

Well, Rory was special. :D

But I have listened to enough bootlegs to know that it's really first and foremost a matter of what is professionally recorded. Many artists theoretically could have put out fantastic live albums (or more than the official ones*), cementing their status as fantastic musicians for gernerations to come if only they a) had bothered to properly tape their concerts and b) then decided to release those recordings. Sure, not everybody could pull of such rousing performances Rory consistently delivered but there definitely were a few bands that were capable of such a feat - and, for whatever reason, can't claim to have a classic live album in their discography although they had ample opportunity to record one. It certainly boggles the mind.

*Of course, you can't bring out a live album every two or three years, especially not back then ... you would have been accused of laziness and profiteering, releasing the same songs already available on the studio records over and over again. But in the case of such acts as Deep Purple, early Zeppelin and Rainbow, Pink Floyd, The Who and some others it certainly wasn't due to a lack of skill or ability to give memorable concerts that there aren't more great live albums of them today.
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Re: Live Albums

Postby mike6262 » 05 Oct 2011, 00:57

Led Zeppelin is the biggest mystery to me, I have countless Zeppelin bootlegs, and many are fantastic and with a little production polish would have made tremendous live albums. Sure that was a decision Peter Grant and Page made for whatever reason, it didn't seem to slow the Zeppelin down. Maybe it even creates mystique about Zeppelin. And your correct you can't release live albums every 2 or 3 years. But Rory didn't record the same songs, Live in Europe contained mostly new tunes, which is a very bold move, releasing a live album of mostly new material.
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Re: Live Albums

Postby asdesas » 05 Oct 2011, 01:31

I love Taste IOW, Live in Europe, IT74 and Stagestruck pretty much equally because they all document distinct phases of Rory's career as a performer. But there is a special magic about LIE and IT74; they're so intense and intimate, like you're in the middle of the explosion, or Rory and the band have set up in your living room to rock your house to the ground.

Regards,
Richard
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Re: Live Albums

Postby Tokeiihto » 05 Oct 2011, 01:37

Mike, I completely agree on both counts. One of the facts that make 'Live in Europe' and 'Irish Tour' so darn great is that they show Rory in two different stages as a musician although they are only recorded two meagre years apart. Totally different setlist*, vibe and atmosphere resulting in two distinct and in their own way fantastic live albums.

*While he certainly played some songs on the Irish tour that also appeared on the 'Live in Europe' album - such classics and fan favourites as 'Laundromat', 'Messin' with the Kid', 'Going to my Hometown' etc. - they were prudently left off.


And Led Zeppelin's live history is a paramount example of wasted opportunities: Fillmore West '69, Bath Festival '70, Blueberry Hill '70, MSG '70, L.A. '71, Japan Tour '71(!!!), Seattle '72, European Tour '73 (especially the German concerts) ... it's really a shame. You're right. It lends an element of mystery and gives a legendary or even tragic aspect to their legacy, and I'm sure some elitist Zepheads are quite content with the fact that those precious audience recordings are withold from the public & their existence only known to the hardcore fanbase. But just imagine what it would be like to have a remastered, pristine sounding recording of their final Japan gig in Osaka '71.
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