Turntables & Vinyl #22 – The Live Albums

One way to tell how good a band really is is to see them live.  If you can’t do that, then it is to listen to one of their live albums.  If they can capture what they have done in the studio and bring it to the stage or even take it up a notch, then you have a solid band.  Growing up, I was never in to live albums.  It was all studio albums for me.  One day, that changed and live albums became the thing.

Now, I tend to be gravitating to the live albums and trying the get them on vinyl or even CD if that is all I can get.  I figured we would go through what Live albums I have in my collection, then with the ones I am trying to get, my Top 5 Favorites and lastly let you weigh in on which ones I have to get my hands on as I am sure there are some I am not aware are great and I should go grab.

We will kick it off with the Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!!  It was the Kiss Alive albums that did it for me.  These things are great.  I have 4 of them…Kiss Alive!,  Kiss Alive II, Kiss Alive III and Kiss Unplugged.  They did get original with their names as you can tell.


But that is not all, I also have a ton of Kiss Bootlegs as you have seen through my Kiss Bootleg Series…


And don’t think everything I have is Kiss or Bootlegs…far from it.  Okay, there are some more bootlegs.  I have one from Generation X, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Whitesnake…but that is all, I swear…at least on vinyl and for now…


Do you want to see the rest?  Well, of course you do or you wouldn’t be here.  There are quite a few so we will go in somewhat of an order even though I might have gotten things out of place a little.  Here we have The Alarm, Cheap Trick and a couple of David Bowie Live albums.  Three of these are fairly new Record Store Day releases and of course you know the ‘at Budokan’ from Cheap Trick.  Who doesn’t?  Seriously, who doesn’t because you are missing out.


Some of mine you might be surprised I have and I will admit I am as well.  Especially the two Elvis Presley ones I picked up in a collection I bought…and I think the Eagles Live was in that same collection. The Duran Duran was all me when I was out and about at some antique mall. I figured, why not!


And then we have John Corabi doing the 1994 Motley Crue album called ‘Motley Crue’ in its entirety.  Hell if Crue won’t do it, why not Corabi, plus this was the only way to get this album on vinyl since Crue basically ignores it.  The other two, Johnny Cash & Janis Joplin, I picked up in yet another collection I bought.  A couple nice ones.


And they keep coming.  The Mother’s Finest Live was one that is in the Original Box of vinyl that I found that actually helped start the Turntables & Vinyl series some three years ago.  The Neil Diamond ‘Hot August Night’ is actually quite good both performance and quality.  And then I hav two Needtobreathe Live albums which I adore.


Next up some solid rocking live shows.  Ozzy’s Speak of the Devil and one of the highest selling Live albums ever, ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’.  I think everybody owns that one.  Then Queen’s ‘Live Killers’ and one I bought in the 80’s Scorpions ‘World Wide Live’. The first live album I ever bought with my money I believe.


Next up is the Stone Temple Pilots ‘Live 2018′.  I have both the 96% speed original version released on Record Store Day and the one they sent to fix the speed issue.  I also have another live album from the 80’s I bought, Styx “Caught in the Act’.  Another great one.  The U2 one was found in a collection I bought and then the Wild Feathers was from Record Store Day (just missed out as one of my favorites).


And bringing up the rear are some I have been listening to lately for the David Coverdale series posts (okay not Made in Japan since he wasn’t in the band then).  And the ZZ Top Fandago one I can’t remember where I found that one.  Oh well.


I almost forgot, there is a crate over in the side of my office from a pretty beat up collection I obtained that I haven’t gone through and cleaned up yet.  There were a handful of live albums in that one. The only one I am interested in really is the Humble Pie one.  Although who doesn’t love Sonny & Cher.



Those are all the ones I have on vinyl.  There are still a bunch I would like to get and are on my short list to obtain.  They are as follows:

  • Billy Idol – BFI Live
  • The Allman Brothers – At Fillmore East
  • The Who – Live at Leeds
  • Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous
  • Ted Nugent – Double Live Gonzo
  • UFO – Strangers in the Night


So, what are my Top 5 Favorites on the vinyl that I do own.  It was easier than I thought to decide as I always come back to these…


  1. Kiss – Kiss Alive!: The first live album I heard as a child thanks to my big brothers.  This was the coolest thing ever when you are like 6-8 years old.  I still think it is the coolest.
  2. David Bowie – Cracked Actor:  I bought this a couple years ago at a Record Store Day event and I fell in love with it pretty quick.  Bowie in his prime, early on.  The band was tight and Bowie sounded great.  I can’t get enough of this one.
  3. Scorpions – World Wide Live:  This is the 2nd live album I ever bought and again, I still love this one too.  It was the heyday of the Scorpions in America and it had all the songs I loved and it sounded sensational. The 80’s were not big with live albums so it was cool to have this one.
  4. Deep Purple – Made in Japan: This was the only Deep Purple I had for years and years.  It was all I needed until now that I have gone and explored them deeper.  Now I have more, but this is still great.  2 LPs over only 7 songs…now that is some jamming baby!!
  5. Needtobreathe – Live from the Woods at Fontanel: These guys are currently one of my favorite bands and this live album brought me back to when I saw them live.  I have seen them 3 times and I love each and every time.  The sound as good here as the records, but they explore the songs a little more and they enery is always  high and the crowd is always in to it.  Great stuff.


Now it is your turn.  Comment below and tell me what Live albums I still need in my collection that are essential.

Thanks for stopping by.  And do I know, I left off all the live CDs I have which are probably a similar number to above and the Live DVDs which is really just a handful.  Maybe I will explore those someday, but today it was just the vinyl.  Have a great day!

24 thoughts on “Turntables & Vinyl #22 – The Live Albums

  1. Love live albums. Love ’em. Really enjoyed browsing yours. Isn’t that “Welcome to the Blackout” (Bowie) a beaut! And Fillmore East by the Allman Brothers is a classic, for sure.

    A good live album has a special energy and consistently good playing. A great one has you out of your seat, wishing you were there and marvelling that you’ve never heard these songs like this before. So, by decade…

    Tim Buckley – Dream Letter Live in London (1968) (intimate and magical)
    Grateful Dead – Live Dead (1969) (seminal live set including epoch-making ‘Dark Star’)

    Van Morrison – It’s Too Late (1974) (incredible energy from Van the Man)
    Genesis – Second’s Out (1977) (tight, taught, powerful. Chester Thompson on drums)

    Joni Mitchell – Shadows and Light (1980) (Fabulous band incl. Pat Metheny & Jaco Pastorius)
    Richard Thompson – Across a Crowded Room-Live at Barrymore’s 1985 (just released and a cheat as I think it’s only on CD. But just brilliant).

    Pink Floyd – Pulse (1994) (Fun for fans and a potent intro)

    Wilco – Kicking Television (2005) (inspired and electrifying)

    Kate Bush – Before the Dawn (2016) (enthralling, spellbinding)

    Ooh, I enjoyed creating that list. Thanks! And let me know if you need more!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice! Great adds. I think I would love the Buckley and Morrison for sure. I will add those to the list and the others I will put on the reserve list for down the road as the Bush one does interest me. I am glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for contributing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In still not a big fan in general, mostly because so many were messed with and tidied up that they might as well be studio ones.

    That’s a great collection Jon, but you are missing my three rock faves:

    AC/DC – If you want blood
    Motorhead – No sleep til Hammersmith
    Ramones – It’s Alive!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If You Want Blood was going to be my recommendation (although there are some bootlegs that capture the band better during this era, IMHO). BB King’s Live at Cooks County Jail and Live At the Regal are fantastic. Hendrix Band of Gypsies is great too. Clapton Unplugged. Those are the ones off the top of my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wicked collection of live albums John! Great to see we have some of the same stuff!
    I like the fact that u didn’t do a Top 10 as when I did I had to squeeze 12 albums in a Top 10 list!
    Damn it next time

    Liked by 1 person

  5. deKE just ran a similar post. I have so many I like and see a few on your take that i have. Also picked up a few recommendations from the comments. It’s good to see ‘Live At Leeds’ still gets some love. It was the same thing on deKE’s page. I’ve been pulling out everything live by Cream lately. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a fine selection of live albums there. You probably have more there than I’ve ever heard!

    Recommendations, eh? Well, here’s a couple of my absolute favourites:

    Masters of Reality – How High the Moon
    Nirvana – MTV Unplugged
    Causa Sui – Live In Copenhagen (probably the best recorded live album I’ve ever heard)
    Iron Maiden – Live After Death
    Ry Cooder – Showtime
    Johnny Cash – at Folsom Prison (the best)
    Frank Sinatra – Sinatra at The Sands

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Causa Sui are a favourite of mine since I discovered their Return to Sky. Exceptional stuff. Big fuzzy riffs and thunderous rhythm section. No vocals on anything but their first album. Definitely recommend them (and they’re on Apple Music!).

        Liked by 1 person

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