The Greatest Live Albums Ever

There are a lot of greatest live album ever lists so I thought it would be an idea to combine them to produce one overall best live album list.

I’ll talk more about the methodology I used later but let’s get on to what seem to be consistently the greatest live albums.

There are a few surprises here.

Great Live Albums Ever – Based On Points From the Lists

  1. The Who Live At Leeds
  2. The Rolling Stones Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out
  3. Nirvana MTV Unplugged In New York
  4. Kiss Alive
  5. Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
  6. James Brown Live At The Apollo
  7. Neil Young Live Rust
  8. Led Zeppelin How The West Was Won
  9. Talking Heads Stop Making Sense
  10. The Allman Brothers Live At Fillmore East
  11. Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive
  12. Cheap Trick At Budokan
  13. Bob Marley Live
  14. MC5 Kick Out The Jams
  15. Bob Dylan Live 1966
  16. AC/DC If You Want Blood
  17. Thin Lizzy Live & Dangerous
  18. The Band The Last Waltz
  19. U2 Under A Blood Red Sky
  20. Lynyrd Skynyrd One More From The Road
  21. Iron Maiden Live After Death
  22. Kraftwerk Minimum Maximum
  23. Curtis Mayfield Curtis Live
  24. Motorhead No Sleep Til Hammersmith
  25. Radiohead I Might be Wrong
  26. Sam Cooke Live At Harlem Square
  27. Johnny Cash At San Quentin
  28. Deep Purple Made In Japan
  29. Rush Exit Stage Left
  30. Jeff Buckley Live At Sin-E

I got this ranking by taking a list of the top 100 live albums and giving the album positioned first 100 points, the second 99 points etc.

Where it was a top 50 list of albums, it didn’t make sense to give the first album 50 points because that implied this list was only worth half as much as the top 100 list so again I started with 100 points for the first, 99 for the second etc. This gives a proper rating for the top albums but effectively penalises those albums which would have been 51st to 100th if the list had been extended.

While this didn’t seem right, I was also concerned with the idea that the first album was 100 times as good as the 100th because any album that has been mentioned deserves some attention.

I then produced a second list based on the numbers of mentions in the lists I used, regardless of rating on the basis that any album that os regularly listed must be worth a listen.

This is what I got

Greatest Live Albums Ever – Based On Number Of Times Mentioned

11 – The Rolling Stones Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out
11 – The Who Live At Leeds

9 – Kiss Alive
9 – Nirvana MTV Unplugged In New York

8 – James Brown Live At the Apollo
8 – Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
8 – Led Zeppelin How The West Was Won
8 – Talking Heads Stop Making Sense
8 – Neil Young Live Rust

7 – Cheap Trick At Budokan
7 – Peter Frampton Frampton Comes Alive
7 – Allman Brothers Live At Fillmore East

6 – Bob Marley Live
6 – MC5 Kick Out The Jams

5 – AC/DC If You Want Blood
5 – Bob Dylan Live 1966
5 – Curtis Mayfield Curtis Live
5 – Iron Maiden Live After Death
5 – Kraftwerk Minimum Maximum
5 – Lynyrd Skynyrd One More From The Road
5 – Radiohead I Might be Wrong
5 – The Band The Last Waltz
5 – Thin Lizzy Live And Dangerous
5 – U2 Under A Blood Red Sky

What Do You Think About These Greatest Live Album Lists?

Many of my favourite live albums are missing from it.

I’d like to know what you think. Have the critics got it right or have they overlooked one or more terrific live albums?

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