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Thread: The live version is the definitive version

  1. #1
    Member bigjohnwayne's Avatar
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    The live version is the definitive version

    I'm sure this has been discussed here before, but I couldn't find a dedicated thread using the search.

    What live versions do you think of as the definitive versions of songs, maybe even to the point of not listening to the studio version much anymore?


    The Who- I Can't Explain (Live at Leeds)

    Gentle Giant- Free Hand (Playing the Fool)

    Genesis- I Know What I Like (Seconds Out)

    Marillion- Basically anything off Fugazi was better live on Real to Real/Brief Encounter

    Wilco- Handshake Drugs (Kicking Television) and Impossible Germany (Ashes of American Flags) Nels Cline makes all the difference. I know he was on the studio version of Impossible Germany, but his solo on the DVD version of that track is one of my favorite solos ever.

    Caravan- I prefer most of the For Girls Who Grow Plump and New Symphonia repertoire as it appears on Live at Fairfield Hall, but especially "Virgin on the Ridiculous"

    Soft Machine- Teeth (Grides)


    But this whole thread could be about King Crimson tracks:

    Exiles (Providence show from the Great Deceiver)
    Talking Drum/Larks II (either from the Night Watch or Vrooom Vrooom, depending on my mood)
    Pictures of a City (Summit Studios)
    Lament (Live at Mainz)
    Cirkus (Either Detroit '71 or Chicago '17)
    Easy Money (depends on what improv you prefer, but I like the composed section best on The Night Watch)
    Waiting Man (Almost every live version is fantastic, but I guess either long version from Munich '82 or one from Absent Lovers)
    Indiscipline (Vrooom Vrooom with Belew, Meltdown for without Belew)
    Frame by Frame (the stupidly fast version on London '96 or maybe the Mastelloto/Harrison madness from Chicago '08)
    Anything from Construkction of Light (Heavy Construkction)
    Neurotica (Chicago '08 or Vrooom Vrooom if I want to hear the sound of the entire world burning)
    21st Century Schizoid Man (gulp...Earthbound? It is certainly thrilling. When Boz, or whoever it is screams like 9 minutes in, when they transition into the unison section from the sax solo I could just run through a brick wall)

  2. #2
    Yes - On the Silent Wings of Freedom and Starship Trooper from Wembley 1978
    Kansas - Icarus from Two from the Show

    Bill

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    In Memory of Elizabeth Reed - Allman Brothers at Fillmore East absolutely blows away the original.

  4. #4
    Nearly every song on Deep Purple's Made in Japan. In fact, you really don't have to own another Purple album, it is so definitively definitive.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    Nearly every song on Deep Purple's Made in Japan.
    Okay, I'm with you there.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    In fact, you really don't have to own another Purple album
    Whaaaaaaaa.......?
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  6. #6
    ^ Okay, perhaps I was exaggerating. Perhaps.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

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    Kiss Rock and Roll All Nite

    All of the hits from Frampton Comes Alive
    "It's such a fine line between stupid and... clever" -- David St. Hubbins & Derek Smalls, Spinal Tap

  8. #8
    I had all four of Peter Frampton's post-Humble Pie solo albums before "Comes Alive" but I doubt that 90% of the people who gobbled up that live album have ever heard any of the studio versions of those songs. So I guess that makes that album definitive.

    As long as I'm on Frampton, I guess the live version of "I'm Ready" from Rockin' The Fillmore also trumps the studio version from the s/t Humble Pie album.

    How about that live Jackson Browne song about roadies (that I turn off the instant I hear it)... did that have a studio version?
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

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    Member bigjohnwayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    In Memory of Elizabeth Reed - Allman Brothers at Fillmore East absolutely blows away the original.
    As a non-hippie, non-redneck wannabe intellectual at a rural New England high school I never messed with the Allman Brothers. As I listen to this now, though, it strikes me that had this exact recording been on Camel's first album, it would have seemed totally normal and I would've played the hell out of it at age 17.

    Subcultures and marketing are the enemy of joy, huh?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    In Memory of Elizabeth Reed - Allman Brothers at Fillmore East absolutely blows away the original.
    Any song on those albums.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

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    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    Nearly every song on Deep Purple's Made in Japan. In fact, you really don't have to own another Purple album, it is so definitively definitive.
    I think all I have is the 2 CD Live in Japan, Made in Europe, and a greatest hits CD.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Kansas - Icarus from Two from the Show
    I'll add Closet Chronicles

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    Dharma for One == Jethro Tull on Living in the Past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    How about that live Jackson Browne song about roadies (that I turn off the instant I hear it)... did that have a studio version?
    The Load-Out.
    No studio version.

  15. #15
    Always felt the live versions of The Hunter and Mr Big on Free Live blew the studio versions out of the water.

  16. #16
    I dearly love the Andy Nogger album, but the versions of the title track and “Holiday am Marterhorn” from Kraan Live blow their studio counterparts away. Ditto “Sarah’s Ritt durch den Schwarzwald” and “Kraan Arabia.”
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

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    Bob Seger - Turn the Page from the “Live Bullet” album.

  18. #18
    Siberian Khatru / Heart of the Sunrise - Yessongs

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Dreamer View Post
    I had all four of Peter Frampton's post-Humble Pie solo albums before "Comes Alive" but I doubt that 90% of the people who gobbled up that live album have ever heard any of the studio versions of those songs. So I guess that makes that album definitive.
    At the restaurant I work at, they occasionally play the studio version of Baby I Love Your Way. Apart from the brief bits that were used in the Behind The Music show on Frampton, I think that's the only one of which I've heard the studio version. I never got around to getting any of his studio records, so I've never heard how Something's Happening, Lines On My Face, I Want To Go To The Sun, etc sounded in the studio. That's one instance where the sudden success of a given artist apparently didn't drag their back catalog up the charts.

    In Memory of Elizabeth Reed - Allman Brothers at Fillmore East absolutely blows away the original.
    The version on Wipe The Windows Check The Gas is pretty happening, too.

    A lot of the Grateful Dead stuff was better onstage than it was in the studio. Dark Star, as a single totally fails to accomplish whatever it was supposed to in that format. It certainly is no Strawberry Fields Forever, that's for sure. But the version on Live/Dead, where it sprawls out across an entire LP side (and later versions from the early 70's were even longer, with the Rotterdam version from 72 topping out around 45 minutes!) is perhaps one of the finer examples of improvisation in the context of "rock music". And they really rocked up Sugar Magnolia once they started playing it live.

    There's quite a few Pink Floyd bootlegs from the 70's where they took their written material and turned it upside down, back to front, and inside out. The obvious example being Careful With That Axe Eugene, the studio version is just sort of a doodle compared to what it became onstage, even the version on Ummagumma. But even the mid 70's stuff, like Pigs (3 Different Ones) and Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts VIII and IX, they really stretched out on, onstage.

    I still feel much of the Doremi Fasol Latido material sounded better on Space Ritual. I know there's at least one person around here who argues in favor of the studio version of Space Is Deep, but I love the wah wah guitar coda on the live version. And Master Of The Universe and Time We Left are both bettter on Space Ritual Vol. 2 than they are on in their respective studio incarnations.
    Nearly every song on Deep Purple's Made in Japan. In fact, you really don't have to own another Purple album, it is so definitively definitive.
    Except you'd be missing out on all the great songs that weren't part of the Made In Japan era setlist. I certainly wouldn't want to live without ...And The Address, My Woman From Tokyo, Speed King, Black Night, Our Lady, Maybe I'm A Leo, Pictures From Home, Never Before, Burn, You Fool No One, Mistreated, Stormbringer, Perfect Strangers itself, and their versions of I'm So Glad and Hey Joe. But then, as they say, I'm "different".

    And with King Crimson, I'll take the Earthbound version of Groon over the studio track. Actually, I've only ever heard the studio version a couple times, as I've never owned any of the compilations it appears on, but as I've said many times, Fripp's coda guitar solo on the Earthbound version is just so devastating...no wonder it's the last thing on the album, what could you follow it with?!

    And I'll say again I prefer the Providence Rhode Island version, in particular, of Starless over the studio take.

    Coming back to The Who, I really prefer the live versions of Sister Disco over the studio take. The studio take isn't bad, and Townshend's acoustic guitar solo coda is cool, but I prefer the solos he played on the live versions during the Kenney Jones era, and also that last chorus that he and Daltrey sing (and I love that Pete hated doing that song).

    And I know I'll be raked over the coals for this one, but I prefer the live version of Won't Get Fooled Again that they played in Toronto, on the last night of the Farewell Tour That Wasn't, in 1982. That's actually the first version of the song I ever heard, and I was liked that extra bit they stick at the end, turning the song's original finale into a false ending that segues into like another 90 seconds of jamming, which I always dug. I always bummed that it wasn't on the studio version. And I love that fist pumping thing Pete does in the intro, just before the vocal comes in.

    Also, I like most of the live versions of Eminence Front I've heard from 1982, including the one that was used in the video (which is like a live rehearsal/soundcheck thing), just because I like Townshend's guitar tone better (and I kinda like the "bullshit, bullshit" ad lib on the Toronto version).

    Oh, and Thin Lizzy. Definitely Rosalie (not only better than their studio version, but also better than Bob Seger's original recording) and Still In Love With You on Live And Dangerous. And I've always loved the way they segued The Cowboy Song and Boys Are Back In Town together on that album too.

  20. #20
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Days of May - BOC

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos View Post
    Days of May - BOC
    You mean the On Your Knees version? You're absolutely right!

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  24. #24
    I would say pretty much all of the tracks on Camel's A Live Record are better than the studio versions...Never Let Go and Skylines in particular.
    I only clicked on it because I thought it was going to be something more interesting...

  25. #25
    Saga - No Regrets on In Transit comes off a lot better than the version on Worlds Apart and I'd take just about any live version of Humble Stance over their studio version

    Grateful Dead - someone already mentioned Dark Star, I'll throw in St Stephen > The Eleven from Live Dead (mostly because the studio version of St. Stephen fades out before they segue into The Eleven), but also from Europe 72 that version of China Cat over the studio version.

    Lots of Zappa could probably be on this list. I'd pick a lot of live versions of Mothers songs over the studio versions. For instance the Orange County Medley off of Ahead of Their Time beats the vocal versions on We're Only In It For the Money, the Stage 2 version of Idiot Bastard Son and the 88 version of Cruisin for Burgers.

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