Wednesday, May 21, 2014

GREATEST LIVE ALBUMS OF ROCK AND ROLL (Pt. I)

THE GREATEST LIVE 
ALBUMS OF ROCK AND ROLL
(Pt. I)
 _____________________

By the mid '70s, every
rock act was seemingly 
jumping onto the live 
album bandwagon. In 
fact, it practically had 
become an industry
requirement. Some 
artists met with better
results than others.
_____________________

Live albums — you can't even count 'em all! Any major classic rock act worth its weight in Viagra or Geritol has released at least one. While efforts by such superstars as Rod Stewart, The Eagles, Styx, The Doobie Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel, Journey, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Supertramp have offered adequate representations of their concert performances, live recordings from such biggies as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Who have been epic disasters.

However, in this first installment of my new three-part series, I will revisit and celebrate the cream of the crop — the Top Ten definitive double-live rock albums of all time. So break out those Bics, 'cuz here we go!
______________________

 10
TED NUGENT
(1978)

After years of non-stop touring
with The Amboy Dukes, Nugent
finally struck out on his own, and
in the process, he struck gold with
his self-titled 1975 solo debut. By
1978, the "Motor City Madman"
was as hot as his pistol. "Gonzo"
marked the last of his four-
record platinum-selling streak.
Oh, so that's how you refer to
girls from West Tennessee.
YIKES — duly noted!


9
NAZARETH
(1981)

This Scottish powerhouse hit
pay dirt briefly in 1975 with
the iconic Hair of the Dog LP. 
Recorded during the band's
headlining glory days, It's
Snaz was the perfect show-
case in which finally to "close
the deal." It didn't. However,
it remains one of the best
live rock albums ever.
Now you're messin' with a...


 8
THE OUTLAWS
(1978)

Possessing brilliant harmonies
and tasty, triple-layered chicken
pickin', Tampa's own "Florida
Guitar Army" had much more
 to offer than most of its southern-
fried contemporaries. This two-
record set achieved "Gold" status
and boasts blistering versions of
"Hurry Sundown," "There Goes
Another Love Song" and a 20+
minute rendition of "Green
Grass and High Tides."


7
REO SPEEDWAGON
(1977)

During the early and mid '70s,
REO built its audience the
old fashioned way — on tour. 
However, the band had yet to 
capture its live energy and
magic on record — that is
until 1977, when this turbo-
charged live set brought the
Illinois-based act platinum
results. In sum, two words:
"GOLDEN COUNTRY!"


 6
PAUL McCARTNEY
AND WINGS 
(1976)

In 1976, Wings was arguably the
hottest act on the planet. This
colossal three-record set show-
cases the best from the band's
four consecutive #1 albums as
well as an array of Beatles
treasures. Features the Top
Ten hit, "Maybe I'm Amazed."


 5
FLEETWOOD MAC
(1997)

After a decade-long break,
the classic "Mighty Mac"
line-up reunited and reclaimed
its chart-busting crown in short
order. Recorded live, in front
of an adoring So-Cal audience,
the band was in top form and
the songs sparkle like never
before. Offering more than a 
mere nostalgia trip, even new
material including "Temporary
One" and "Bleed to Love Her,"
shine brightly.


 4
LYNYRD SKYNYRD
(1976)

Despite the dopey jokes and
mind-numbing monotony of
its over-played staples, the
fact is, Lynyrd Skynyrd was a
savage rock band — especially
on stage. This record proves it.
Forget the standards. Just soak
in the raw power of "Saturday
Night Special" and "Whiskey
Rock-a-Roller." 'Nuff said!


 3
THE
ALLMAN BROTHERS
BAND
(1971)

Although KISS has been given
(too) much of the credit for
igniting the live album craze, be
sure that the Allman Brothers
lit that fuse long before the
"masked messiahs." Four
sides and seven songs worth
of unbridled passion. "Oh
Lord, I feel like I'm dying!"


 2
PETER FRAMPTON
(1976)

If there was ever a musician
who was an honorary member
of San Francisco's society —
Mr. Peter Frampton! 
From that iconic Jerry Pompili
intro to the final wah-wah of
"Do You Feel Like We Do," this
landmark multi-million seller
made Frampton an instant
household name and remains
as fresh-sounding as the day it
arrived in stores in early 1976.


1
BOB SEGER
(1976)

Recorded live in Dee-troit —
before he became an "over- 
night" sensation. Although
"Turn the Page" has become
the acknowledged "darling"
of FM radio programmers,
"Nutbush City Limits,"
"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man,"
"Katmandu," "Get Out of
Denver" and "Let it Rock" are
the true gems. This is THE 
ultimate live rock and roll
album ever — bar none!


HONORABLE MENTION:
KISS - Alive! (Great record, but it wasn't live.)
The Kinks - One for the Road
Crosby, Stills, Nash &Young - 4 Way Street
Little Feat - Waiting for Columbus
Blue Öyster Cult - Extraterrestrial Live
Jethro Tull - Bursting Out
The Band - The Last Waltz
Neil Young - Live Rust
The J. Geils Band - Blow Your Face Out
 __________________________

There ya go, kids. You're now permitted to walk about the cabin freely. You're also welcome to discuss this among yourselves, and by all means, you're certainly welcome to post your comments below. Get ready — Part Two of this three-part series is on the way — stand by! (Pt. II / Pt. III)

-Christopher Long
(May 2014)


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1 comment:

  1. No love for Live after Death by Iron Maiden? Granted its a metal record, but you have Judas Priest on another post. Other than that omission, great post!

    ReplyDelete