My Favourites

I became addicted to live albums when I had the realisation that many of my favourite albums by artists were live in concert.

Since then, if I’ve wanted to explore a new group or singer, I’ve tended to start with a highly regarded live album. You can see what I’m listening to. You can also see my favourite studio albums.

After all, if they are no good live or they can’t get their fans excited, are they worth listening to?

My Favourite Live Albums – Ratings 24 & Over

My rating system has three components:

  • the set list covering both the quality of the songs and the number of songs or the overall length of the album
  • the performance
  • the atmosphere/authenticity/recording quality.

All of these are recommended and the higher the score, the more I believe they are an essential element of a record collection.

For example, I love The Who and a lot of their live albums have terrific set lists in my opinion before they have so many great songs but the other two factors can vary dramatically.

Sometimes an album can gain and lose points for the same thing. A live compilation that summarises a tour should mean that the artist or band has picked the best performances available but it’s at the cost of authenticity for the ideal single concert recording.

I’ve struggled with trying to find the right balance between depth and breadth on this website since I want to include all the good live albums (and the less good albums by well known artists to act as a warning) but I also want to provide meaningful reviews.

I’m slowly adding my ratings to albums.

Do you agree with me?

Albums are listed by alphabetic order of the group within the rating score. I know I should rate more albums but I’m battling a depth vs width issue on the website. Ratings can also change as I get to know an artist or an album better. Some albums keep drawing me back and, of course, what usually happens is the more I play them, the more I like them.

Live Albums With A Rating Of 29/30

If I could only have three of these, I’d probably pick Jess Roden, The Brussels Affair and one of the Springsteen albums. All have the common element of rock with saxophone. The Leonard Cohen and Graham Parker albums risk being relegated to the next level because I want this highest rating to represent a very short list of the cream of the cream of albums that I can’t imagine living without.

Live Albums With A Rating Of 28/30

I love each of these live albums but they don’t quite make it to the very top rating. All are extremely highly recommended.

Live Albums With A Rating Of 27/30

Looking at this list of albums rated at 27/30 almost makes my mouth water with anticipation. If you love the band or the category of music that they represent, I don’t believe you can go wrong with these excellent albums.

Live Albums With A Rating Of 26/30

Live Albums With A Rating Of 25/30

Live Albums With A Rating Of 24/30

My Favourite Live Albums By Music Genre

There will be some crossovers between categories.

My Favourite Art Rock Live Albums

David Bowie’s 1976 Nassau concert will be high in this section.

My Favourite Blues Rock Albums

My Favourite Classic Rock Live Albums

My Favourite Funk Live Albums

My Favourite Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Live Albums

My Favourite Progressive Rock Live Albums

This is another category where I need to give marks to some of my favourite albums like Yessongs which may go straight to the top.

My Favourite Early R&B and Rock & Roll Live Albums

This is a bit of an odd category as it collects together a mix of blues, soul, R&B, jazz and rock & roll. It’s hard to define and quite wide ranging but I know the albums when I hear them.

My Favourite Singer Songwriter Live Albums

I need to grade more albums in this category to provide you with a good choice.

My Favourite Soul Live Albums



Live Albums That Didn’t Make The “Best Live Albums” Cut

I’m deliberately trying to be very selective so that you can find the best of the best.

This means that some highly rated albums scored below 24 because their strengths didn’t make up for a glaring weakness.

Live Albums That Didn’t Make The Cut – is your favourite live album lurking here and if so, can you convince me to go back and listen to it again?

The Great Missing Live Albums

There are some potential live recordings that have the potential to go to the very top of my lists – the great missing live albums that haven’t been released yet



3 thoughts on “My Favourites”

    1. Grand Funk Railroad haven’t made much impression on me or most other people in the UK. I have one of their live albums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.