Miskatonic University Press

Live albums


Recently I came across The Quietus Writers’ 40 Favourite Live Albums (2013). A bunch of those albums I’ll maybe give a listen but I don’t really care about the bands; some I absolutely agree with; some I think are the wrong album for the artist; and some great live albums are missing.

I definitely agree with:

  • The Velvet Underground: 1969: The Velvet Underground Live with Lou Reed
  • Ramones: It’s Alive!
  • Fela Ransome-Kuti And The Africa ‘70 With Ginger Baker: Live!
  • Donny Hathaway: Live
  • Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Live Rust
  • Hawkwind: The Space Ritual Alive In Liverpool And London
  • Iron Maiden: Live After Death
Vag Halen, a Toronto band that does an incredible live show
Vag Halen, a Toronto band that does an incredible live show

I suggest other live albums for these artists:

  • David Bowie: Live Nassau Coliseum 1976
  • James Brown: Love Power Peace (1971) (with Live at the Apollo, Volume II (1968) second)
  • Miles Davis: Dark Magus (1974), but really anything live from the pre-retirement 1970s is mandatory listening

I’d add (with concert dates):

  • Benny Goodman: The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert
  • Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band: Live Bullet (1976)
  • Dexter Gordon with Junior Mance, At Montreux (1970) (“The Panther” smokes hard)
  • Duke Ellington: Ellington at Newport (1956), with the riot-causing “Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue”
  • Frank Sinatra with Count Basie: Sinatra at the Sands
  • J. Geils Band: Live: Blow Your Face Out (1975)
  • King Crimson: Live in Toronto: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, November 20, 2015 (I was there)
  • LCD Soundsystem: The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden (2011)
  • Rush: Exit … Stage Left (1980–1981)
  • The Who: Live at Leeds (1970), the full version

Once you get to thinking about something like this it’s hard to get it off your mind, but I hope now it is.