Thursday, May 28, 2009

The 10 Best Live Albums

OK, here’s the last (I think) pilfering of the Facebook posts (at least this one is very recent). The stimulus for this post was my friend Keith Bax’s post about “Whatever Happened to the Live Album” from

That prompted a consideration of the 10 Best Live Albums of All Time. Here are my 10 favorites in alphabetical order (official releases only), what are yours?

• Bob Marley and The Wailers – Live
• Graham Parker – Live Alone in America
• Jerry Lee Lewis – Live at the Star-Club Hamburg
• Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won
• Little Feat – Waiting for Columbus
• Neil Young – Live Rust
• Roy Harper – Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion
• The Allman Brothers Band – Live at the Fillmore East
• The Rolling Stones – Get Your Ya Ya’s Out
• The Who – Live at Leeds

Also rans ... The Band – The Last Waltz / James Brown – Live in Paris 1971: Love Power Peace (I actually like this one better than Live at the Apollo; I think the musicianship is better) / Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Live Alive / Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense / Johnny Winter And – Live

PS: I would acknowledge that Frampton Comes Alive, KISS Alive and maybe Cheap Trick Live at Budokan were essential to those artists' careers and might merit inclusion on this kind of list ... they’re just not among my personal favorites.


  1. I'd add:

    Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 Live 1966
    Wilco - Kicking Television (since it was recorded a block from my home)
    Phish - A Live One
    Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Vol. 5 Live 1975

  2. Paul Simon Live in Central Park if only for "The Cool, Cool River." The live version of that song makes the studio version sound like it had all the soul of a mounted fish.