I was a music collector as a kid, at a time when music was all about vinyl. The beauty of it was the real sense of experimentation – when you would take a chance on a record and strike gold. I found the Ramones that way, picking up their debut album in the ‘70s because the cover just grabbed me. It was so simple and straight-forward.
But nothing could top a live album. When a band you were into put out a live album it gave you a chance to hear them raw, out of the studio and unfiltered, or at least relatively so. The stage was where musicians couldn’t hide.
The thing is that the issue of live albums came up recently during a discussion with a colleague, who had spent the weekend rediscovering Live at Leeds. It sparked a debate about the greatest rock live albums of all time.
As with anything it’s clearly subjective. But we bounced around a few ideas, and it prompted me to take it to the blog.
So, here’s my list of the top 10 of all time, in no particular order:
The last two are clearly homer picks. I loved Geils’ stage shows before their “Centerfold” pop phase. That album captures the energy of what was an amazing blues-R&B band. And as anyone who has read my posts here knows, I loved Thin Lizzy since I was a kid, so this remains one of my favorite rock live albums.
Of course, there’s more to live albums than just rock. So, I have a few others on my must-have list. I put them on a separate list because they’re not rock albums per se. But they’re awesome recordings.
Here’s my top five non-rock live albums:
So, what’s your list look like?
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LHListeningRoom