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
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.