Best Live Albums Of All Time

I started my blog in 2012 to find the best live albums that have been recorded and released.

I created polls for readers to vote for the albums that they thought were the best in different musical categories or genres.

Let’s face it, if you like heavy metal, you’re probably not interested in singer-songwriters and country or vice-versa. This is what makes this information on the best live albums so special.

The Best Live Albums By Musical Genre (To 31 October 2014)

My intention is to keep updating this page when the information below is no longer broadly representative of the individual polls.

We have good results for the following polls:

  • Best Heavy Metal & Hard Rock Live Albums
  • Best Blues Rock Live Albums
  • Best Classic Rock Live Albums
  • Best Progressive Rock Live Albums

In each poll, more than 100 people have voted so let’s have a look at the top tens in each. I’ll then look at the polls with fewer voters.

Best Heavy Metal & Hard Rock Live Albums

Please vote in the poll if you like hard rock and heavy metal. More than 260 people have voted so far and I think the results are very impressive.

The Top Ten

  1. Made In Japan – Deep Purple
  2. Live At Leeds -The Who
  3. Live After Death – Iron Maiden
  4. Strangers In The Night – UFO
  5. If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It – AC/DC
  6. How The West Was Won – Led Zeppelin
  7. The Song Remains The Same – Led Zeppelin
  8. Kiss Alive! -Kiss
  9. Unleashed In The East – Judas Priest
  10. Live And Dangerous – Thin Lizzy

Here are the album covers of the top 5.

Deep Purple Made In Japan

Best Live Albums

Iron Maiden Live After Death

UFO Strangers In The Night

If You Want Blood You've Got It AC/DC

Of course all these albums are well known and the surprises lie further down the list. If you don’t agree, you need to vote.

Best Blues Rock Live Albums

Please vote in this poll if you like blues rock.More than 180 people have voted so far.

The Top Ten

  1. Live At The Fillmore by the Allman Brothers Band
  2. Band Of Gypsys Live At The Fillmore by Jimi Hendrix
  3. Irish Tour by Rory Gallagher
  4. Get Yer Ya Yas Out by the Rolling Stones
  5. How The West Was Won by Led Zeppelin
  6. The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin
  7. Live At Monterey by Jimi Hendrix
  8. Performance: Rockin The Fillmore by Humble Pie
  9. Brussels Affair by The Rolling Stones
  10. Live At The Fillmore by Derek And The Dominos

The Allman Brothers band At Fillmore East

Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys

Rory Gallagher Irish Tour 74

The Rolling Stones Get Yer Ya Ya's Out

Led Zeppelin How The West Was Won

I’ve tried to keep the hard rock/heavy metal poll and the blues rock polls as distinct as possible although there are albums that fit both categories. The main exception I made was for Led Zeppelin because I thought purists of both categories had plenty of cause to complain if they were excluded from one or the other.

Once again, these albums are well known and the more interesting hidden gems lie further down the list. If you don’t agree, you need to vote.

Best Classic Rock Live Albums

These albums are more in the mainstream with a stronger focus on melody rather than instrumental prowess. Please vote if you like classic rock. More than 170 people have already voted.

The Top Ten

 

  1. Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton
  2. Wings Over America by Wings
  3. Live & Dangerous by Thin Lizzy
  4. Live Bullet by Bob Seger
  5. The Last Waltz by The Band & Their Guests
  6. Waiting For Columbus by Little Feat
  7. Strangers In The Night by UFO
  8. Pulse by Pink Floyd
  9. Live 1975/85 by Bruce Springsteen
  10. Live Killers by Queen

Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive

Wings Over America by Wings

Thin Lizzy Live And Dangerous

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Live Bullet

The Last Waltz by The Band

If you don’t agree or you want to see what lies below the top ten, please vote.

Best Progressive Rock Live Albums

If you love prog rock, please vote for the best live albums. More than 140 people have voted so far.

The Top Ten

  1. Seconds Out by Genesis
  2. Yessongs by Yes
  3. Pulse by Pink Floyd
  4. Genesis Live by Genesis
  5. Welcome Back My Friends by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  6. All The World’s A Stage by Rush
  7. Bursting Out by Jethro Tull
  8. Pictures At An Exhibition by Emerson Lake & Palmer
  9. Space Ritual Live by Hawkwind
  10. The Nightwatch by King Crimson

Genesis Seconds Out

Yes Yessongs

Pink Floyd Pulse

The popularity of Pink Floyd and the catchiness of songs from Dark Side Of The Moon mean that they are ranked in two categories.

Genesis Live with Peter Gabriel in 1973

I was surprised to see this so high. What’s there is excellent but it’s a shame that it isn’t longer.

Welcome Back My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends... Ladies And Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake & Palmer

To see the less well known progressive rock live albums that are also highly rated please vote.

Best Live Album Polls With More Than Thirty Voters

There are a number of other polls where the results so far give a good indication of the best live albums but thee smaller number of voters means that rankings are more likely to change.

  • Best Art Rock Live Albums
  • Best Soul Live Albums
  • Best Southern Rock Live Albums
  • Best Singer-Songwriter Live Albums
  • Best Funk Live Albums
  • Best Reggae Live Albums
  • Best Punk & New Wave Live Albums
  • Best Indie & Alternative Rock Live Albums
  • Best AOR Live Albums
  • Best Blues Live Albums

Best Art Rock Live Albums

If you like art rock, please vote.

This poll has benefited from a social media campaign by the album that is out in front. More than 110 people have voted.

  1. Second Coming by Deaf School
  2. Stage by David Bowie
  3. Live Nassau Coliseum by David Bowie
  4. Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads
  5. Viva by Roxy Music

Second Coming by Deaf School

David Bowie Stage 1978

David Bowie Live Nassau Coliseum '76

The Nassau concert is a bonus for the more expensive version of the StationToStation  studio album.

If you want to see the albums below the top five, please vote.

Best Soul Live Albums

If you like soul & R&B, please vote. More than 70 people have voted so far.

The Top Five

  1. Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963 by Sam Cooke
  2. Live At The Apollo 1962 by James Brown
  3. Donny Hathaway Live by Donny Hathaway
  4. Curtis Live by Curtis Mayfield
  5. Live In New Orleans by Maze

Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club

James Brown Live At The Apollo 1962

Donny Hathaway Live 1971

If you want to see the albums below the top five, please vote.

Best Southern Rock Live Albums

If you like Southern rock, please vote. More than fifty people have voted.

  1. One More From The Road by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  2. Live At The Fillmore by The Allman Brothers Band
  3. Waiting For Columbus by Little Feat
  4. Live In Germany by ZZ Top
  5. Highway Song Live by Blackfoot
  6. Stompin’ Room Only by The Marshall Tucker Band
  7. Bring It Back Alive by The Outlaws

The last three were tied on the same number of votes. For details of the albums below the top five, please vote.

Lynyrd Skynyrd One More From The Road

The Allman Brothers band At Fillmore East

Waiting For Columbus by Little Feat

If you’d like to see below the top five, please vote.

Best Singer-Songwriter Live Albums

If you like singer-songwriter style albums, please vote. More than 40 people have voted so far.

The top five are:

  1. Live Rust by Neil Young
  2. At Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash
  3. Live At Massey Hall by Neil Young
  4. It’s Too Late To Stop Now by Van Morrison
  5. The Concert In Central Park by Simon & Garfunkel
  6. Live 1966 The Royal Albert Hall Concert by Bob Dylan

5 & 6 were tied on the same number of votes.

Neil Young Live Rust

Best Funk Live Albums

If you like funk, please vote. More than 30 people have voted.

 

1 & 2 are tied for first.

James Brown Love Peace Power album cover

Best Reggae Live Albums

If you like reggae, please vote. Just over 30 people have voted so far.

Bob Marley Babylon By Bus

 Best Punk & New Wave Live Albums

If you like punk rock and new wave music, please vote in the poll to find the best albums. Thirty people have voted so far.

The top five are:

  1. It’s Alive by The Ramones
  2. The Name Of The Band Is Talking Heads
  3. Live At Shea Stadium by The Clash
  4. Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads
  5. Live At The El Mocambo by Elvis Costello

The Ramones It's Alive album cover

Best Indie & Alternative Rock Live Albums

If you like indie rock or alternative rock, please vote in the poll to find the best albums. 30 people have voted so far.

The top five are:

  1. MTV Unplugged In New York by Nirvana
  2. Live At The Olympia by REM
  3. Live At Reading by Nirvana
  4. From The Banks Of The Wishkah by Nirvana
  5. Kicking Television Live In Chicago by Wilco
  6. Rank by The Smith

5 & 6 were tied on the same number of votes.

As you can see, this category is dominated by Nirvana. I wonder if that will continue as the poll attracts more people to vote in it.

Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York

If you want to see the albums below the top five or you don’t agree with the results so far, please vote.

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