My aim with the Best Live Albums blog was simple…
To help you to enjoy the best live music recorded anywhere by anyone.
I’ve since expanded that to include the best studio albums too. See why I changed direction.
My tastes are wide and my opinions will sometimes surprise you.
There are three elements to the Best Live Albums blog:
- Best Live & Studio Album Polls where the results are created by readers like you. I set out to give everyone a chance to express their opinion by voting in polls for their favourite live and studio albums. I’m really pleased that is exactly what is happening.
Best Live Albums Polls By Music Genre – this is the best way to find albums you will like.
The polls with the most votes are:
best hard rock and heavy metal live albums.
best blues rock live albums.
best classic rock live albums.
best progressive rock live albums.
Most of the other genre polls have received good support but please VOTE yourself as well as taking advantage of the results so far.
Over time, I will be creating genre specific studio album polls.
Best Live & Studio Albums Polls By Group or Artist
These group or artist polls are also very well supported – Rolling Stones, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Queen live albums.
Some other artists have released a large number of live albums and finding the best two or three is a real challenge for casual fans unless they use the collective wisdom of the Best Live Albums blog readers e.g. The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, King Crimson, Dave Matthews Band, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker,
There are many more polls and you can see the complete list of best live album polls. Some of them are new and won’t have any or many votes.
To see the overall results, I have combined all the genre polls to create The 106 Best Live Albums Ever Recorded & Released. (This was based on the albums that had received 15 or more recommendations/votes.)
I introduced studio album polls for major artists a long time ago but they are much less promoted than the live album polls.
I’m intending to create artist guides that will help bring everything together. I’m starting with my favourite artists and bands.
- Live Album Reviews – read what I think about the live albums and tell me if I’m right or wrong. I also pull in the opinion of reviewers at Amazon by using a special app.
By genre – Classic rock, heavy metal, blues rock and the blues, progressive rock, punk & new wave, soul, funk, singer-songwriter, jazz and many others.
By decade – 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
By artist – The Rolling Stones, The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, James Brown and many more.
You can expect some surprises because I think my favourite is one that I’m virtually certain you’ve never heard unless you know about the great Jess Roden.
- Lists Of The Best Live Albums Ever – I’ve summarised the published lists I’ve seen of the greatest live albums.
If you want to read my latest reviews and news about great live albums, please start with the Blog & Latest News.
The Best Live Album Blog Is Always Developing
My passion for recorded live music is strong and this blog will grow. I’m following the Wikipedia model of creating pages and adding more information to them later.
But I can’t do it without you. Please vote in the polls, comment on the reviews and share your opinions about the live albums and make your own recommendations.
Important – please vote in the polls. They rely on people just like you expressing their opinion of what they believe the best live albums are. Let’s be honest, the critics often get it wrong and so do the album charts.
I much prefer Graham Parker’s Live In San Francisco 1979 and Bill Nelson Live In Concert At Metropolis Studio 2011 to Frampton Comes Alive or Kiss Alive. The sales statistics and critics say different.
That’s what this blog is all about.
A chance for live music fans like you and me to share our opinions.
I want to know what you think are the best live albums ever recorded.
19 thoughts on “The Best Live & Studio Albums Blog”
looks like this will be a useful resource. There are plenty of great heavy metal live albums like
Iron Maiden Life After Death,
Motorhead No Sleep Til Hammersmith,
Zeppelin How The West Was Won
Thanks Spike. I think you’re tastes are going to vary with mine but I’m looking forward to the debates on particular albums.
When I’m in the mood I enjoy heavy rock but normally I prefer something more subtle.
I have just found that I am not alone in the universe. I have been collecting live albums for some 20+ years and I am slowly reaching a magical 1K barrier. It is not that simple given that I usually do not keep any items, which I find subpar in a longer run (and sometimes a newly released live item in one’s discography can render an old one superfluous). I was also deliberating on opening such a site, but I have never done it, because until this day I have never met/read anyone who would be interested in live albums per se, not just as a part of his/her favourite acts’ discography.
I have to say that for the moment this area is completely unexplored. Top live album summaries like the ones you have already posted merely touch the subject and are all bar none limited to most popular records and artists, usually without taking into account any archival recordings released in the recent decade. There are some specialist sites devoted to a particular group, style or market, which offer good insight into the relevant live recordings, but there has been no place like this, which could offer an good entry into the world of live records and present it as a separate domain of interest.
I am very happy to see that someone finally made a move into that direction! Nice to meet you, Paul (as I cannot see any other option to contact you, let it be through a comment).
Thanks J-D for your enthusiasm.
I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with the website and it’s already forcing me to look much deeper into my own collection of live albums.
I appreciate your honesty about the Grateful Dead and how intimidating it can be to wade through the staggering number of the live releases. As a DeadHead, we are little help as well. DeadHeads can be rather “opinionated” and not always very objective in their assessments. That said, here is one DeadHead’s list on where to start with a band that produced without a doubt some of the most incredible music on stage that I have ever seen/heard as well as some of the most boring. Live/Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 4 (from 2/13, 2/14/70), Steppin’ Out (a compiliation from the Europe 72 shows in England); One from the Vault (from a rare 75 appearance) and Reckoning (Masterfully played acoustic arrangements of Dead material as well as traditional folk songs). These would give the non-Deadhead a good overview of what the Grateful Dead were all about.
Thanks for your tips and providing a variety of Grateful Dead live experiences.
It has taken me a long time but finally I’ve come to appreciate the Grateful Dead but I’ve limited my collection to single figures.
Thanks for the link. I’ve not looked yet, but I’m hoping to find
– One More From the Road – Lynyrd Skynyrd
– Live at Fillmore East – Allman Brothers
– Unplugged – Eric Clapton
– On the Road – Jesse Colin Young
– Big Band John Live – John Miles
…..and all of the Night of the Proms albums (that’s the European rock/classic circuit, not the “LAST night…” from the Royal Pork Pie…)
I know about the Skynyrd, Allman Brothers and Clapton albums but I’ll need to check out the Jesse Colin Young CD.
I’m interested in the John Miles live recordings because I didn’t they they existed. I was aware that there was a BBC Live In Concert recording which I haven’t heard but not the others.
Great idea & site. What about Joe Jackson Live 1980 to 1986?
I’ve got that Joe Jackson live album but I’m not so sure. He’s such a chameleon changing styles.
Good idea for a site! Hope you keep up with it. I also love good live albums….although it seems with live albums they’re either fantastic….or just substandard versions of the studio versions.
Off the top of my head….some of my favorites:
Yes – Yessongs
Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains the Same
Ted Nugent – Double Live Gonzo
Allman Brothers – Live at the Fillmore
Kansas – Two for the Show
Rush – All The World’s A Stage
Rush – Stages
Deep Purple – Made in Japan
The Who – Live at Leeds
Bruce Springsteen – Hammersmith Odeon
UFO – Strangers in the Night
Dream Theater – Five Years in LiveTime
Dream Theater – Score
Muse – H.A.A.R.P. (video edition)
Frank Zappa – Roxy and Elsewhere
Iron Maiden – Live After Death
Judas Priest – Unleashed in the East
King Crimson – Absent Lovers
King Crimson – The Great Deceiver
Marillion – The Thieving Magpie
I noticed there aren’t reviews of DVDs. I feel in the last 15 years or so the live DVD has replaced the live CD….or they’re often bundled with the CD getting a smaller set of songs than the DVD. Any thoughts to adding DVDs for consideration?
Thanks for your list. This is just the type of comment I hoped I’d get much more of because I might have missed some live albums from artists and groups I am interested in. I hope you’ve voted in the various polls I have.
I forgot to cover the DVD bit. I’ll admit that I do own some concert DVDs but it’s not my favourite format. Perhaps I need a bigger TV with surround sound but I don’t find them as involving as a live album. I’ll admit though, it’s nice when the crowd suddenly cheers unexpectedly, that you can see why.
Great website and I love the idea of the voting polls to collect opinion.
I’d like to see you go deeper into soul, r&b, funk and hip hop. Your website seems to be dominated by rock groups.
Sorry I missed the opportunity to reply.
I do have polls for the categories that you suggested but I don’t think there’s a huge number of live albums compared to rock and jazz.
Soul – http://www.bestlivealbums.com/the-best-live-soul-album-ever/
Early R&B with Rock & Roll – http://www.bestlivealbums.com/best-rock-roll-early-rnb-live-albums/
Funk – http://www.bestlivealbums.com/what-is-the-best-live-funk-album/
Hip Hop & Rap – http://www.bestlivealbums.com/best-live-hip-hop-albums/
If you think I’ve missed any great live albums, it would be great if you could go to those poll pages and leave comments for your recommended albums… and vote of course.
Very good site man!!!!
Thanks Hector. I hope you have voted in some of the polls.
Love your site. Some great albums here!
Click on my name to see my personal Top 20 Albums of all time – just one live album though!