At the end of the day, live music is always better. A live performance captures a band’s talent in ways that no studio recording could ever do. It showcases a band’s impact and interaction with an audience. The experience of actually seeing a live show is truly unmatchable.
Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot see a band perform live. The next best thing then becomes a recording of the band’s live show. Though it does not fully capture the personal experience of actually being at the show, it still shows the musical group in their most natural element. Recording studios are very foreign in the way they put music together. A live show is a real band's bread and butter. They learned their material together and perfect it by listening to the reaction of the crowds they perform in front of. Instead, recording studios often have individual band members play small segments of a song and then slowly piece them together into one final, polished work.
The best live albums are made by bands that have mastered the art of the live performance. Some bands prefer the way the studios work. Those are bands that normally do not tour as much. But the truly great bands all put on truly great concerts. Some of those concerts were so great they felt compelled to fix them in time by stamping them on a record. These records were then bought and cherished by the true fans of the artists. Dedicated fans of a band will take the live experience over a studio recording any day because of the way the live recording encapsulates the spirit and essence of the band and the people who enjoy their music.
Here are the 10 greatest live albums of all time.
10 Bob Marley -- Live!
9 James Brown -- Live at the Apollo
8 The Rolling Stones -- Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out
7 Bob Dylan -- Live 1966: The ‘Royal Albert Hall’ Concert
6 The Who -- Live at Leeds
5 Peter Frampton -- Frampton Comes Alive!
4 Johnny Cash -- At Folsom Prison
3 The Grateful Dead -- Live/Dead
2 Nirvana -- MTV Unplugged in New York
1 The Allman Brothers Band -- Live at the Fillmore East
Live at the Fillmore East by the Allman Brothers Band is the best example one can make of a live album, capturing everything a rock and roll show is supposed to be. It was recorded in March of 1971 at the Fillmore Auditorium in New York City. The album became the band’s first platinum release and launched their career to new heights. The second disc of the double album features extended versions of “Mountain Jam” and “Whipping Post,” the Allman Brothers’ most famous song. Live at the Fillmore East was the final album that featured guitarist Daune Allman who died shortly after in a motorcycle accident. In 2004, the album was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress who deemed it “culturally, historically, and aesthetically important.”
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