Perhaps it is just me and my son, but sitting one night listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘One More From (For) the Road’ we both agreed that there is definitely something about a live recording. So as you do the discussion started as to the reasons and what were the best live recordings we listen too. We at least agreed that Deep Purple’s ‘Made In Japan’ would make a top listings. As to why, live? Neither of us could put our finger on it. More alive well yes, more emphasis on certain areas of a guitar solo, lyric or even that extra drum roll. Funny though we both did feel that more modern live albums are somehow more sterile. Go back to the 70’s, the early 80’s and there is definitely more to it. A difference to the original studio recording. Yet so often the live album is poorly received, less of a requirement to collect and I believe easier to pick up for a reasonable price, well sometimes.
OK, so to my top live albums – sorry I am going to have to drop in a couple of CD’s from the collection and in no particular order.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Live Rust. Recorded in 1978 during the Rust Never Sleeps tour. Folk rock that builds through the album to a powerful finish, from acoustic to ‘When I grow up I want an electric guitar’.
Release Year: 1979. Cat No: K 64041
Lynyrd Skynyrd – One More From the Road. Southern rock at it’s best culminating in the classic track ‘Freebird’. “Play it pretty for them, Alan.” Could just be my number one, favourite.
Release Year: 1976. Cat No: MCSP 279
Simon and Garfunkel – Live in Central Park. It may not have that power associated with a rock concert, but the music is timeless and the recording spot on. A more restricted performance than the others listed here, but still a classic.
Release Year: 1982 Cat No: GEF 96008
Deep Purple – Made in Japan. Often regarded as the greatest ever live recording screams power and the band just melting the audience with the exuberance of their performance. Unrestricted musically as the band, well, just let rip!
Release Year: 1972 Cat No: TPSP 351
Eric Clapton – Just One Night. So sweet, old ‘Slowhand’ just proves he is a master of the guitar. Another underrated masterpiece in my opinion. My introduction to Mr C, yet the album is only a recent addition to the collection.
Release Year: 1980 Cat No: RSDX 2
Pink Floyd – Pulse Live. A 4 x LP box set that is as rare as hen’s teeth, and worth as much! So the CD copy is what I have. Still, it rolls through the classics, plays through the whole of Darkside and finishes with the usual encore. Gilmour is sublime throughout and with the recording in analogue, the production had to be spot on. So it was.
Release Year: 1995 Cat No: 7243 8 32700 19, EMD 1078
There are quite a few albums that never made this list that by this time tomorrow I will think should have done. But hey… isn’t that the fun of the music? Which ever way the mood takes you.
This was written to the live drum beat, the flowing power chords and powerful vocals of Deep Purple, Made in Japan. The Remastered Edition.