Best Live & Studio Albums: Why The Change Of Direction

If you have visited the blog before, you will have noticed two things:

  1. The change in title from Best Live Albums to Best Live & Studio Albums.
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  2. I haven’t been posting and updating. That’s partly because of time and also because the floodgates have opened with these radio broadcast based releases that squeeze through the copyright laws. Some are fantastic in performance and sound quality but too many are shabby. I hate wasting my time listening and writing about something that isn’t good enough.

I’ve come to realise that I’ve painted myself into a bit of a corner by purely focusing on live albums.

It was never my intention to listen to live albums 95% of the time but that’s what happened. For a long time, I was updating you on the live albums I was listening to each month, partly so you could see my favourites in action and partly to help my website maintain links to pages.

I still love live albums and they will often be my “go to album” for an artist when I’m in the mood.

But there are other artists who refuse to release a great live album, even when I’m sure they are capable or who release fine live albums but at the wrong time.

I’ve long recognised the vital link between great studio albums and great live albums. Take The Rolling Stones for an example, it’s no coincidence that the fantastic Brussels Affair 1973 comes after the terrific set of studio albums in Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street. Goats Head Soup isn’t too shabby either and is widely underrated.

When an artist or group is hot, they are usually hot in the studio and live in concert as confidence flows from one to the other.

In my reconfiguration of the website, I’m planning to provide some comprehensive guides to major artists backed up with the readers polls and resources from other music enthusiasts. I still want to help you to maximise your listening pleasure by guiding you to the “best” and that has to go beyond my own favourites.

Live Recordings: How To Protect Yourself In The “Grey” Market

If you look at Amazon or iTunes, you’ll see a lot of live recordings by bands and it’s now hard to distinguish between:

  1. Official live albums approved and released by the artist and their record company.
  2. Third party recordings where royalties are paid to the artists for performance and songwriting. (I’m thinking of the BBC and Rockpalast recordings here).
  3. Grey market live recordings which are legal in Europe because of the copyright laws only protect music for 25 years unless it’s been officially released. (I’m not a legal expert but this is my understanding).

With category 1, you should expect excellent recordings, both in performance and sound quality. Of course, this doesn’t always apply as live recordings have been abused as a way to fulfil contractual obligations. Continue reading Live Recordings: How To Protect Yourself In The “Grey” Market

Miles Davis Complete Live In Paris 1949

Complete Live In Paris 1949 is a live album by Miles Davis with the Tadd Dameron Quintet.

It was recorded at Salle Pleyel in Paris, France between May 8 and15 1949.

Playing on the album are:

Miles Davis – trumpet,
James Moody – tenor saxophone,
Tadd Dameron – piano,
Barney Spieler – bass,
Kenny Clarke – drums.

Miles Davis Complete Live In Paris 1949

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Blur Parklive Live In Hyde Park, 12th August 2012

Parklive: Live In Hyde Park, 12th August 2012 is a live album and DVD by Blur. The concert marked the end of the London Olympics.

Blur ParkLive Live In Hyde Park, 12th August 2012

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Sonic Youth Daydream Nation Live 1988 1989

The Deluxe Version of Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth includes live versions of every song on the studio album recorded in 1988/89.

Sonic Youth Daydream Nation Live

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Grace Slick And The Great Society Collector’s Item 1966

Collector’s Item From The San Francisco Scene is a live album by Grace Slick And The Great Society. It brings together two earlier released albums and has also been released as Live At The Matrix.

It has the original versions of White Rabbit and Somebody To Love before Grace Slick left to join Jefferson Airplane.

Grace Slick And The Great Society Collector's Item

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Porcupine Tree We Lost The Skyline 2007

We Lost The Skyline is a short live album by Porcupine Tree.

It was recorded at Park Avenue CDs in Orlando, Florida on 4 October 2007 with only Steven Wilson and John Wesley performing.

It is available for sale via the band’s website but a few copies have crept onto Amazon.

Porcupine Tree We Lost The Skyline

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Emerson Lake & Palmer Live At The Royal Albert Hall 1992

Live At The Royal Albert Hall is a live album and DVD by Emerson Lake & Palmer.

Emerson Lake & Palmer Live At The Royal Albert Hall

It was recorded in London in 1992.

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