Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963

Sam Cooke’s live recording, Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963 is a classic from the early days of soul. Incredibly it stayed in the vaults for over twenty years before it was first released in 1985.

Originally a gospel star with the Soul Stirrers, Sam Cooke was a pioneer in both soul and cross-over pop at a time when the civil rights movement was growing.

Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square 1963 – Overall Rating =  28/30

Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club

Early versions of this album were called One Night Stand – Live At The Harlem Square Club.

Set List – 8/10 Rating

The set list is short but what’s on it is gold. Continue reading Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963

The Who Live At Leeds 1970

The Who Live At Leeds is arguably the greatest live album ever recorded.

I thought about which live album was going to be the first one to feature on my Best Live Albums blog and in the end, I decided the answer was obvious.

The first one I ever bought.

I always think of this as The Who Live At Leeds although others refer to it as Live At Leeds by The Who. From 2012 onwards, there is also The Who Live At Hull to consider.

Overall Rating For The Who Live At Leeds 29/30

Average Amazon Customer Rating – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars

The Who Live At Leeds

The Set List – Rating 9/10 Continue reading The Who Live At Leeds 1970

How I Evaluate Live Albums

What makes a great live album?

Give my passion for live albums, it’s something that I’ve thought about a lot.

Some are superb. making you wish you had a time machine and you could go back and watch/experience the spectacular show.

Others are terrible.

My Rating System For Live Albums

I’m planning to spread my rating across three categories

  1. The set list – the songs played and the completeness of the set
  2. The performance – how well the songs are played and whether something is added to the performance to make it distinct from the studio recording.
  3. The atmosphere – how live it feels. As I’m not an audiophile, this will also include thoughts on the sound quality. A muddy sound spoils a live album but I don’t expect the pristine but sanitised sound of studio recordings.

Each will be rated out of 10 giving a maximum total score of 30. Continue reading How I Evaluate Live Albums

The Best Live Group Or Artist Ever?

Before I start talking about what I believe are the best live albums, I thought it would be interesting to start a poll on who is the live group or artist ever.

I’ve picked a few groups and artists who are very highly regarded for their live performances.

Because it is difficult to pick only one, I’ve allowed you to cast up to 3 votes and you can base your opinion on performances you’ve seen, live albums and DVDs. Continue reading The Best Live Group Or Artist Ever?

The Best Live Albums Blog

Welcome to the Best Live Albums Blog.

It’s purpose is simple.

To tell you about the best live albums in popular music.

The main focus is on the classic rock, soul and funk era of the 1960s and 1970s.

I’ll venture into the eighties, nineties, noughties and even the teenies but it won’t be that often.

Sadly, in my opinion, the quality of modern music pales into insignificance compared to the glory days of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.

I could go on… and on and on but you’ll quickly see where the centre of my music tastes lie with honourable exceptions for U2, REM, early Oasis, The Pixies and a few surprises.

It’s going to be a fun ride and in particular I want to hear from you.

Do you agree with me on my ratings for the best live albums?