Friday, May 23, 2014

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

THE GREATEST LIVE 
ALBUMS OF ROCK AND ROLL
(Pt. II)
 ________________________

In Part One of this
series, I revealed
and examined rock's
greatest double live
albums. Today I'll
be revisiting the best
single live records.
Enjoy!
________________________ 


 10
NIRVANA
(1994)

Taped in late 1993, this 14-song
set was released only six months
following the April 1994 death of
founding frontman Kurt Cobain.
Combining many well-known band
staples with several compelling
cover tunes, it has sold over six
million copies worldwide and
remains arguably the best of
 the MTV UNPLUGGED series.


9
THE BLUES BROTHERS
(1978)

The brainchild of SNL's Dan
Aykroyd and John Belushi, the
 record featured such legendary
musicians as Steve Cropper,
Donald "Duck" Dunn, and
Matt "Guitar" Murphy. This
chart-topping album introduced
authentic blues and R&B
to a new generation of fans.


 8
JUDAS PRIEST
(1979)

Hot, up-and-coming
'70s rock band? Check.

Live album? Check.

Recorded in Japan? Check.

Simply put — this is
Judas Priest's finest moment.


7
MOTORHEAD
(1988)

From the opening track,
"Doctor Rock," to "Dogs,"
"Traitor," "Deaf Forever"
and "Killed by Death," this
record is packed with heartfelt,
timeless treasures, including
the chart-busting "Ace of
Spades" and "Eat the Rich."
Features the golden era line-
up of Lemmy, Phil Campbell,
Würzel and "Philthy" Phil.


6
THE RUNAWAYS
(1977)

Often imitated, never duplicated, 
The Runaways was the first all-
girl band that truly competed with
the boys — delivering no-holds-barred
rock and roll. Years ahead of their
time, Cherie, Joan, Lita, Sandy and
Jackie never achieved the collective
recognition that they deserved.
However, this down and dirty record
has stood up nicely since its 1977
release and remains a magnificent
snapshot of a superb band live on
stage, while in its prime. Highlights
include "Queens of Noise," "Neon
Angels on the Road to Ruin,"
"C'mon" and Lou Reed's classic,
"Rock and Roll."


5
FRANK MARINO &
MAHAGONY RUSH
(1978)

Re-channeling the spirit of
Jimi Hendrix, this Canadian
power trio unleashed a monster
with its fifth album. Oozing
electrified blues-based anthems,
it's a bona fide gem.

I'm a king bee, baby.
Dig it!


4
THE WHO
(1970)

Clocking in at a mere 35 minutes, 
"Leeds" has long been regarded
by critics as rock's all-time greatest
live record. 40+ years later, it still
shines in all of its unbridled,
blistering beauty. Highlights
include "Young Man Blues"
 and "Summertime Blues."


3
FOGHAT
(1977)

Foghat was, as they say, the
"whole enchilada." They had
fabulous mustaches, cool riffs
and — great songs. Upon its
release, three of the record's
six tunes ("Slow Ride," "I Just
Wanna Make Love to You,"
"Fool for the City") already had
become FM staples. However,
the true magic here can best be
summed up in just two words:
"Honey Hush!"


2
CHEAP TRICK
(1979)

The album that wasn't even
intended to be released in
America made this Illinois-
based power-pop group an
overnight international
sensation. Boasting the Top 40
hits, "Surrender," "Ain't That
a Shame" and the iconic "I
Want You to Want Me," the
album remains as fresh as
ever and will never lose
its charm and luster.


1
PAT TRAVERS
BAND
(1979)

Ello music lovers. Now,
here's to kick your ass —
The Pat Travers Band!

Fueled by a lethal mixture
of vintage blues and modern
hard rock, this eight-song set
is simply the most exciting,
turbo-charged live album
ever! Boom Boom, indeed.


HONORABLE MENTION

Black Oak Arkansas - Raunch 'N' Roll
Sammy Hagar - All Night Long
Rick Derringer - Derringer Live
Johnny Winter - Captured Live
_________________________________

I received a personal email yesterday from a well-known rock critic who voiced his lack of enthusiasm for this series — and I couldn't have been more pleased by his disapproval. Feel free to offer your personal comments below. In Part III, I will be revisiting some of the biggest "stinkers" and "sleepers" of the live album genre — stand by!

-Christopher Long
(May 2014)


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