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Thread: The Best Live Album?

  1. #1
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    The Best Live Album?

    In another thread I said "nobody records rock from 30 feet away" but maybe I shouldn't be so quick.

    Are there any really good live albums, recorded with hall acoustics and audience noises (as opposed to a simple feed from the live mixing board) that actually sound like you're at a live performance?

    I have my own favorites. Jerry Goodman's "It's Alive" and The Nice's "Five Bridges" and Andreas Vollenweider's "And Friends" come to mind.

    What are YOUR recommendations?

  2. #2
    There are lots of live shows on Dimeadozen that sound fantastic.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  3. #3
    I have a couple of favorite Live Albums that [IMHO] balance the acoustics of the hall, fan noises & the sound quality of the band:

    King Crimson-The Great Deceiver
    Weather Report-Live And Unreleased
    Gentle Giant-Playing The Fool-The Official Live Gentle Giant
    Earth, Wind & Fire-Gratitude

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    If we’re talking about official releases my go to album would be the Allman Brothers at the Filmore. I always thought that it sounded like you were right there in the theater.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    No progressive rock-recommendation, but I always loved the atmosphere from the debut-album from Hot Tuna, recorded live in 1969:


  6. #6
    Too many to list, but Johnny Winter And Live immediately comes to mind.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

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    I've always loved the sound and the playing on Waiting for Columbus.
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

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    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Too many to list, but Johnny Winter And Live immediately comes to mind.
    That's the first one I thought of, too.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

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    I thought about starting a thread on this subject matter, but figured it had probably been done many times before. However, here's my contribution for what it's worth:

    Seconds Out - Genesis
    Space Ritual - Hawkwind
    Live & Unreleased - Weather Report (already recognized by starless above)
    Parallel Realities - Jack DeJohnette

    and, for Non Prog:
    Frampton Comes Alive - Peter Frampton (let the tomato throwing commence )

  10. #10
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    ABB - Live At the Fillmore East
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

  11. #11
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Zappa has a gazillion great sounding live albums imo

  12. #12
    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Non-prog

    John Mayall-The Turning Point
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  13. #13
    Despite the edits, both Woodstock releases certainly fits the bill.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  14. #14
    Each of these have a certain "concerty" patina:

    Allman Brothers - At Fillmore East
    Deep Purple - Made in Japan
    Neil Young - Live Rust
    Rolling Stones - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out
    J. Geils Band - Live Full House
    "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/

  15. #15
    The problem with most live albums, since at least the early 70's, is there's so much post production (read: overdubs), that's hard to comment on what exactly is the result of a "great live recording" and what's the result of them beefing things up in the studio. The crowd noise even can be beefed up in the studio, as per Kiss Alive (Eddie Kramer's admitted he overdubbed multiple live tapes to get the crowd noise on that record), Thin Lizzy Live And Dangerous (Tony Visconti's detailed how he got the apparent sound of the crowd clapping along during the Cowgirl Song), and Lou Reed Rock N Roll Animal (Steve Katz said in Guitar Player that someone tripped over a cable in the remote truck and disabled the audience mics. Most of the crowd noise on that record came from a John Denver concert RCA had in the vault). And then there's those live albums where they make very obvious use of tape loops for the crowd noise, you'll hear the exact same wolf whistle or whatever every 10 seconds (the BBC did this, incidentally, when they broadcast Tangerine Dream's Royal Albert Hall show from April 1975).

    For the record most live albums aren't "a direct feed from the mixing desk". They're multi-track recordings. I'm talking about actual live albums that were released at the time, not archival things that came out yeras or decades later. Things like the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks releases, the King Crimson boxsets, etc are archival releases, which in my mind are different from a live album that's put out to represent "What we sound like onstage right now", or whatever a live album is supposed to represent.

    About the only live album I can think of that comes from mixing desk feeds is King Crimson's Earthbound.

    One that I always liked the sound of was Pink Floyd Delicate Sound Of Thunder. I don't know if it's actual arena acoustics or just whichever preset that David Gilmour called up the SPX-90 (or Ultra-Harmonizer, or AMS, or whichever effects processor they had in the studio) that makes it sound so huge, but I've always liked it.

  16. #16
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Zappa has a gazillion great sounding live albums imo
    But as GuitarGeek notes above, Zappa was not above some post-production.

  17. #17
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Colosseum Live (1971)
    Kraan Live (1975)
    Are pretty live'ish, sounds good and not very produced

  18. #18
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Wishbone Ash - Live Dates is a favorite.

    You can hear the click of the wah wahs engaged.
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  19. #19
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    John Mayall - The turning point (1969)

  20. #20
    I go with, as always, the MC5's first record.

    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  21. #21
    Love the piss 'n' vinegar racket on Jethro Tull's Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight (1970). One of the more spastic recordings you'll find...

    "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/

  22. #22
    when it comes to Zappa I suggest listening to the live boot from Santa Monica Dec 11 1980 (2nd set) then listen to the same guitar solos on his "Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar" series.... the boot sounds like you're immersed and the record sounds fake...
    As for the live album thread does anything beat Humble Pie "Rockin' the Fillmore" where a bottle drops on the floor at the beginning of "I Walk on Gilded Splinters"....
    didn't something like that happen on the Janis Big Brother "Cheap Thrills" album ..

  23. #23
    Chicago IV (Carnegie Hall) - no overdubs, great sound, plenty of ambience and audience sounds.
    The Who Live at Leeds - arguably the defining live album, and no overdubs.
    Grateful Dead - Europe '72.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  24. #24
    Humble Pie - Rockin' the Fillmore
    the aforementioned Chicago at Carnegie Hall and Allman Bros.
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  25. #25
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    Each of these have a certain "concerty" patina:

    Allman Brothers - At Fillmore East
    Deep Purple - Made in Japan
    Neil Young - Live Rust <—
    Rolling Stones - Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out
    J. Geils Band - Live Full House
    I love that album. I'd give away a bunch of my prog before I got rid of that. I've spent many an hour cranking that mutha.

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