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6 essential Live Albums (or Videos)

The Owl

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List (not necessarily the top or your favorite) the 6 live albums or live video releases that are essential to any rock or prog rock or music lovers collection...






In No Particular Order



Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes - I am not that big of fan of Later Scorpions, but I love the early stuff, and this live album chronicled that era for the band... The setlist is amazing, and production is very decent.... just a stellar double live.




Pink Floyd - Pulse - Pink Floyd did not release many live albums... and other than a live version of the Wall, and the first Half of Ummagumma there is not much in the way of live albums featuring the Classic PF lineup... But that's okay there is an extensive PF ROIO library.... but for the live albums Floyd actually did release, "Pulse" from PF's the Division Bell tour takes the cake... The first half was a great mix of Floyd New (at the time) Old, and Ancient... followed by Dark Side of the Moon in full, as well as a great triple encore... just sheer brilliance... aside from being 3/4 of Floyd.... The DVD version is just as brilliant.



Yes - Yessongs Yes has a plethora of Live albums out there, all have their own uniqueness, but for me their first is an essential. A setlist right at the time where Yes was at the top of their game... just amazing... On a side note the ABWH live album was almost tied with this one as well



Porcupine Tree- Arriving Somewhere This is probably my only "Video Only" contribution to this list... but it's worth it... Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree strive to bring great live releases and this is their best... Killer Setlist... amazing playing... amazing directing by Lasse Hoile... just Stellar


Rush - Exit Stage Left Deciding on a Rush selection for this list was hard... "All the Worlds a Stage" as well as "Rush in Rio" could have easily been on this list as well... but I am thinking "Not what I like or think is the best" but "What is Essential" and that has to be ESL... kind of like Yessongs did for Yes, ESL captures Rush at the Peak of their success... making it an essential live album


Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won Not a full concert but a collection of Songs recorded over the "Houses of the Holy" tour nap the last spot on my list... Very raw sounding, but alot of highlights... this show why Zeppelin was at the top of their game during that time





Honorable mentions....


Genesis - Seconds Out

Glenn Hughes - Burning Japan Live

Rush - Rush in Rio

David Bowie - Live in Santa Monica 72

ABWH - An Evening of Yes Music Plus

Rush - All The Worlds a Stage

Dream Theater - Live Scenes from New York

Opeth - Roundhouse Tapes

Deep Purple - Made in Japan

David Bowie - Live

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Judas Priest -Unleashed In The East

Kiss -Alive

Iron Maiden -Live After Death

Alice Cooper - The Alice Cooper Show

Rush -Exit Stage Left

Kansas -Two For The Show


I can not leave off, so it's 7 for me tongue.gif

The Allman Brothers Band- LAFE

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UFO - Strangers In The Night

Thin Lizzy - Live & Dangerous

Genesis - Live

Porcupine Tree - Coma Divine

Deep Purple - Made In Japan

Rainbow - On Stage

Edited by Tony R
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Allman Brothers - At Filmore East (band was at their peak, great jams)

Cheap Trick - At Budokan (lots of energy, great set)

Porcupine Tree - Atlanta (awesome setlist, overall great show)

ELP - Pictures at an Exhibion (Practically perfect)

Jethro Tull - Bursting Out (one of the best recordings, epic setlist)

The Who - Live at Leeds (a classic)

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Two for one special just for you guys... here's my top 12 in order:


1. UFO - Strangers in the Night

2. Rush - All the World's a Stage

3. Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous

4. Rush - Exit Stage Left

5. Deep Purple - Made in Japan

6. Iron Maiden - Live after Death

7. AC-DC - If you want Blood you got it

8. Judas Priest - Unleashed in the East

9. Foghat - Live

10. Michael Schenker Group - Live at the Budokan

11. Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes

12. Motorhead - No Sleep 'till Hammersmith

Edited by MMCXII
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Rush - Exit Stage Left

Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous

Gary Moore - We Want Moore

Pink Floyd - Pulse

Iron Maiden - Live After Death

Uriah Heep - Live 1973


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OK, I'm entirely split for this thread. Here's my top five live albums, both audio and visual.




1. 'Seconds Out' by Genesis - Great live material. Still a progressive band with an awesome version of 'The Cinema Show'. The remastered version makes it all better.


2. 'In Person at the Blackhawk Friday Night' by Miles Davis - Definitely the best out of the two night stand at the Blackhawk in San Francisco in 1961. Some great improvs from Miles, who made 'Kind of Blue' only a few years before.


3. 'Plays Live' by Peter Gabriel - Gabe at the height of his career. The pre-'So' era produced some great live tracks.


4. 'Pulse' by Pink Floyd - This is also on my top five live videos list. Unlike it's visual counterpart, this has songs that were not part of the concert filmed for release.


5. 'Exit...Stage Left' by Rush - Just came off from making 'Moving Pictures', younger, energetic, and a great set to match.




1. 'When in Rome 2007' by Genesis - A great document from the reunion tour only four years ago. Though filmed in HD, it was only released on DVD and not given the Blu-Ray treatment. The concert itself is great. It was filmed during the last concert of the European tour in front of half a million fans who came to see them for free in Circus Maximus. Besides the concert, there are also a plethora of special features for every song and a bonus documentary called 'Come Rain or Shine' that is amazing.


2. 'Anesthetize' by Porcupine Tree - Ending on a high note is important when touring. Porcupine Tree, by all accounts, do it well in 'Anesthetize'. A full performance of their then new album 'Fear of a Blank Planet' opens the concert, with an absolutely electrifying performance of 'Anesthetize'. Of course, with Steven Wilson's quality standards, this is available in both DVD and Blu-Ray. Either way, it's an awesome concert.


3. 'Pulse' by Pink Floyd - Though many people despise Gilmour-led Pink Floyd, this is a must own for any Pink Floyd fan. As with the audio version, there is a full performance of 'Dark Side of the Moon'. Who wouldn't want that? The DVD version also comes with a cool little feature called 'Say Goodbye to Life as We Know It'. It was filmed all throughout the tour by a crew member. The document includes a lot of interesting things and chronicles the daily life of a roadie.


4. 'Live in Houston 1981' by Journey - Originally filmed for MTV, this concert captures the second night of a two night stand in Houston, Texas at The Summit. By this time, Journey was enjoying the album sales for their new album 'Escape', and every song played from the then new album is met with rapturous applause. There are also several interviews with all the members of the band which were filmed over two days in Houston.


5. 'The Wall: Live in Berlin 1990' by Roger Waters - This concert was held in celebration of the falling of the Berlin Wall. And who knows walls? That's right, Roger Waters! Even if you don't enjoy this album, the production is worth the price of admission. The wall measures approximately at 80 feet high and over 500 feet wide, built of foam bricks. A 'Wall' show wouldn't be complete without puppets. Even they got a makeover from Gerald Scarfe himself for the concert. A lot of the details of the production are explained in a small 40 minute documentary featured on the disc.

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Made In Japan - Deep Purple (most likely the best they ever played, thank goodness it was recorded, audience is as good as the band)

Band of Gypsys - Hendrix (transcendent)

Ummagumma - Pink Floyd (pretty definitive versions of 4 early Floyd classics, space rock at its best)

Live at the Boston Tea Party - Fleetwood Mac (the original lineup of Green, Kirwan, Spencer, Fleetwood, McVie and they are on fire!)

Live at the Matrix - Grace Slick &The Great Society (thankfully recorded in a club at the dawn of west coast psychedelia)

4 Way Street - CSNY (the connection between the musicians and the audience is elevating and electrifying)

Rockin' The Fillmore - Humble Pie (the late great Steve Marriott in his element as a live performer, love his interaction with the crowd, Peter Frampton never sounded better)




Led Zeppelin (2003 DVD)

Live at Pompeii - Pink Floyd (Meddle era Floyd live filmed in ancient Roman ampitheater with no audience, what could be cooler than that?)

Live at the Isle of Wight / Tangled Up In Who - The Who (2 live DVDs from 1970, including Live at Leeds we have 3 explosive full shows of them right in the middle year of their '69-'71 peak)

Live In Concert 72/73 - Deep Purple (one of the most exciting live bands of the 70s in their absolute prime)

Genesis: 1970 - 1975 - Gabriel era Genesis all their glory (gathers together all availble visual material including 2 full performances of 'Supper's Ready')

Led Zeppelin - Knebworth Festival 8-11-79 (Zep's triumphant return and one last moment of glory)

Yessongs - Yes (film & album)


AUDIO & VIDEO: Woodstock (nuff said)



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Essential, huh? (Official I'm guessing)


Rush, ESL

Kansas Two for The Show (expanded edition)

Genesis Three Sides Live

Yes Yessongs

Floyd The Wall Live

Zappa Tinsletown Rebellion

Led Zep Song Remains the Same

Queen Live Killers

ELP Welcome Back my Friends to the show that never ends....

Jethro Tull Bursting Out

UK Night After Night


Those should get you through the winter!


I hate live video (as evidenced by never watching them because they never seem to capture what I want out of a concert)


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Maiden Japan

Made in Japan

Another Stony Evening


The Great Deceiver



not necessarily in that order

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In no particular order:


Yes - Yessongs

Rush - Exit...Stage Left

Genesis - Three Sides Live

Joe Bonamassa - live at the Royal Albert Hall

Pink Floyd - Pulse

Rush - All the World's a Stage

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Essential Live Albums:


Allman Brothers - Live At Fillmore East (should be on everyone's list)

Grateful Dead - Live Dead (let's face it - studio Grateful Dead sucks. They are a live band - plain and simple)

The Who - Live At Leeds (it goes to 11)

Zeppelin - How The West Was Won (big improvement over Song Remains the Same)


Those 4 came to mind easily. I have a hard time to come up with 2 more, but it would be from the following:


Simon And Garfunkle - Central Park (relaxes me like no other album can)

Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsies (who the hell are Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding)

Frampton Comes Alive (no explaination necessary)

Exit...Stage Left (there's got to be more than 3 guys on stage, right???)

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Grateful Dead - Europe 72


Rush - Exit Stage Left (Video)


Allman Brothers - Live at the Fillmore East


Iron Maiden - Live After Death


Kiss - Alive!


Rush - All The Worlds A Stage

Edited by greg2112
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6....can't narrow it down to 5.


Allman Bros. - Live At The Fillmore East

Deep Purple - Made In Japan

Kiss - Alive


UFO - Strangers In The Night

J. Geils Band - Live Full House



If you've never heard the last one and you're a fan of high energy rock/R&B, get it!! This is NOT the "Centerfold" J. Geils Band, this is the raw, ass kicking earlier in their career band that is still one of the 5 best live bands I have ever seen.



Video top 5 still to come........

Edited by driventotheedge
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QUOTE (Tony R @ Jun 6 2011, 03:25 PM)
Rainbow - On Stage

If you like On Stage (which I think is a horrible hodgepodge of performances) you should try out any of the live albums from Rainbow's German tours like Live in Germany '76, Live in Munich 1977 or Deutschland Tournee 1976. Much better representation of the Dio era.


My picks are:


Frampton Comes Alive

One More From the Road (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

One For the Road (The Kinks)

2011 Legacy Edition Disc 2 (Ozzy, from the Blizzard of Ozz tour, released with the remastered Diary of a Madman)

Strangers in the Night (UFO)


Honorable mention to Let There Be Rock: The Movie (AC/DC), Live After Death, Live at Leeds, and Live in the Heart of the City, which is Whitesnake before David Coverdale discovered peroxide.


These aren't necessarily my favorite bands, but I deduct points for "live in the studio" albums (Alive, Unleashed in the East), as well as releasing albums showing a band that is before (All The World's a Stage) or after (Live at Radio City Music Hall [Dio era Sabbath]) it's peak.


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QUOTE (Rick N. Backer @ Jun 9 2011, 08:28 AM)
Rainbow Live in Munich 1977

The d.v.d. is Fanfuckingtastic

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Greatest Live Album of all time;

One More from the Road - Skynyrd!


Best Live performance on video

Live at the El Mocambo - Stevie Ray Vaughan

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