· By Steffen Smith
The 10 Greatest Live Albums of All Time
There’s nothing like a live album to capture the energy and excitement of your favorite band. That said, concert albums can be a mixed bag. The sound can be weak, and some of them are actually “live-ish,” having been tweaked and sweetened back in the studio. The best ones catch the band at their best, with extended jams and fresh energy. These are some of the Deaf Man’s favorites:
This one won the former Humble Pie guitar slinger rock-radio immortality. And while “Do You Feel Like We Do” gets all the love, check out Frampton’s take on “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”
Standout tracks: Do You Feel Like We Do, Shine On
The first live album from the Eagles features performances from the Hotel California and The Long Run Tours, with vocals handled by five different band members over 14 songs.
Standout tracks: Seven Bridges Road, I Can’t Tell You Why
The Feat’s best-known songs are re-worked and extended on this jam-worthy double album, recorded during seven performances in 1977. Former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor adds some tasty slide on “A Apolitical Blues.”
Standout Tracks: A Fat Man in the Bathtub, Spanish Moon
Sir Paul’s barnstorm of North America nicely fills three LPs in this release, which features the definitive live version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” as well as five of his Beatles songs.
Standout tracks: Venus and Mars/Rock Show, Let Me Roll It
Early-career KISS hadn’t caught fire until this breakthrough double LP captured all the intensity of their live shows. Alive! features cuts from their first three albums and includes a tour program with photos.
Standout tracks: Strutter, Black Diamond
Captured as it went down on a hot summer night in 1976 at Atlanta’s Fox Theater, this scorching double LP features the live version of “Free Bird” that you know and love.
Recorded over two nights — March 12 and 13, 1971 — this double LP catches the Brothers’ tearing the place up, and is considered one of the best live albums of all time.
Standout tracks: Whipping Post, Statesboro Blues
This one will remind you why MTV Unplugged (and Nirvana) was such a big freakin’ deal in 1993. On a stripped-down and intimate 14-song set, Nirvana plays lesser-known material and inspired covers.
Standout Tracks: Lake of Fire, Pennyroyal Tea
The stage banter and callouts from the crowd make this worth the price of admission. Over two 1969 shows, the Stones mix cuts from the soon-to-be-released Let It Bleed album with vintage Chuck Berry covers.
Standout Tracks: Street Fighting Man, Midnight Rambler
With its bootleg aesthetic, this 1970 live set catches The Who at the height of their formidable performance powers, including a sprawling “My Generation” and a sprinkling of “Tommy” cuts. It’s simply the best rock concert ever put on record.
Standout Tracks: Young Man Blues, Magic Bus