Monday, May 26, 2014

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

THE GREATEST LIVE 
ALBUMS OF ROCK AND ROLL
(Pt. III)
 _______________________

In Pt. I and Pt. II of
this series I covered
the "biggest" and the
"best" live albums of
all time. Today, I'll be
taking a look at the
"sleepers" and the
"stinkers." Dig it!
_______________________

SLEEPERS
These amazing live sets should have
catapulted the mid-level acts into the
big time, yet they failed to deliver
Frampton-like results.

5
UFO
(1979)

A modest hit on the band's home
turf in the UK, this double-live
album should have cemented
UFO's international superstar
status, however, it only reached
#42 on the U.S. charts. The last
record with guitarist Michael
 Schenker, it offers the cream of
the "A-list" crop, including
"Rock Bottom," "Lights Out,"
"Doctor Doctor,"  "Too Hot to
Handle" and "Shoot Shoot."


 4
ANGEL
(1980)

Great band. Great songs.
Great live show. But after
five underachieving studio
releases, time was running
out. So it's perplexing why
the most beautiful, exciting
and promising band of the
day would have opted for
such an underwhelming
cover — a tremendous
album nonetheless. Within
a year, Angel was no more.


3
MICHAEL STANLEY
BAND
(1977)

A major Midwest live concert
attraction throughout the '70s
and early '80s, Stage Pass
should have made the band a
household name. It didn't.


2
HEAD EAST
(1979)

Four modest-selling studio
albums and two oft played FM
singles had this Illinois-based
combo positioned for the big
time. It's been rumored that
the 1979 trucker strike kept
A&M from getting product
into stores in a timely
fashion. Despite a strong
start, by the time trucks
were once again rolling, the
record had lost momentum.


1
OZARK
MOUNTAIN
DAREDEVILS
(1978)

The pride of Springfield, MO
already had achieved gold and
platinum status with its first
two albums. By 1978, the
band's popularity was waning.
It's Alive was the perfect vehicle
for showcasing its impeccable
songwriting and downhome
chicken-fried style. Sadly,
it tanked — stalling at a
dismal #178 on the charts. 

______________________________

STINKERS
Hold your noses, kids. Here they come!

5
AEROSMITH
(1978)

If the intent was to produce
a sloppy, amateur-sounding
album that looked as if it had
been designed by a drunken
six-year-old, then the mission
was accomplished perfectly.
But compared to Just Push
Play, it's an epic masterpiece!


4
KISS
(1993)

Not even a third installment of the 
iconic Alive! series could save KISS'
sinking ship in '93. This likely was
due to the record being dreadful
and the band's half-scab line-up.

Quick — get Space Ace and the Catman 
on the phone! We've got an offer that 
they can't possibly refuse!


3
ALICE COOPER
(1977)

Seemingly "phoned in," this
hour-long Vegas show was
packed with hits, yet fell
(far) short of recreating the
live magic of the original
Alice Cooper Band.


2
VILLAGE
PEOPLE 
(1979)

Combining "live" versions of
hits with a handful of new
studio tracks, Live and Sleazy
brought an abrupt end to the
group's three-record platinum
streak — effectively ushering
in the beginning of a (temporary)
 end for the once top-selling act.


 1
POISON
(1991)

A more fitting title might have been
"Smell What the Cat Dragged In."
Sounding the "death rattle" for the
hair band era, the edited 2004
single-disc version was much
easier to swallow.
____________________________ 

This concludes my three-part series. I hope that you had as much fun revisiting these treasures as I did. Feel free to offer your personal suggestions and comments below. Now, where did I stash that live Abba bootleg?

-Christopher Long
(May 2014)


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