Fave Live Albums


Senior Member
What are you three faves and why? Is it the drums or something else?

Here are mine:

Genesis, Seconds Out: changed my approach to playing drums and kickstarted my appreciation of prog rock and Collins’ drumming. A desert island disc for me. I literally could listen to this everyday.

Ahmad Jamal Trio, At the Pershing, But Not For Me: Jamal’s playing is inspiring throughout and the band burns through the set. Opened me up to the possibilities of jazz.

Portishead, Roseland NYC: Beth Gibbons’ voice is otherworldly and the unique arrangements bring a deeper appreciation of the original cuts. My vinyl of this album is so clear that I feel like I’m in the audience.
The Allman bro’s. Live at Fillmore East. The drums and the music ! Actually almost any Allmans...... live or not .

Sevendust Southside Double-Wide . These guys put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen although I never saw their acoustic show except on video ( but so awesome). This particular live album is acoustic though and shows off their musicality . To take some of their metal and do justice to it and then some acoustically is yet another reason I love this band ! Plus they’re all super nice , down to earth , regular decent humans !

Stevie Ray Vaughan. Live at Carnegie Hall. Why ??? Well because it’s Stevie Ray 🤷🏻‍♂️.

And my guitarist brother got me into him and a bunch of other if not most music I listened/listen to and play to.
My brother played eerily similar to SRV and passed young like Stevie did
( 19 years ago at 37) only 2 years older than SRV and when I stopped playing music. My brothers death sucked the life and music right outta me , and I always wonder where our playing together had he lived might have led to us . I’m sure Stevie and my brother would both be killing it today had they been around all these years .

Honorable mention..... Kiss Alive . Always liked KISS. Didn’t play a lot of them though as a young drummer when they were big .


Junior Member
I'm going to second your choice of Genesis Second's Out. Love that album.

Santana Moonflower is another one. I do realize that some of the tracks were recorded in the studio. Great none the less.

Zappa's Roxy and Elsewhere is such a great band.

Weather Report's Live and Unreleased is stupendous. And such a great mix of different versions of the band with Jaco, Chester, Omar and Peter.

Weather Report 8:30. I have to add a second Weather Report live album because 8:30 is such a classic from the moment it came out.

Rufus and Chaka Khan Stompin' At The Savoy is an incredible album with ton of hits and great playing from John Robinson.

Led Zeppelin How The West Was Won is incredible. The sound quality is fantastic for a live album of that era and fans of Bonham be prepared to be blown away.

John Coltrane Live At The Village Vanguard. Classic Elvin.

The Brecker Brothers Heavy Metal Bebop. Terry Bozzio at his finest. And I can listen to Michael Brecker all day and all night long. Possibly the greatest sax player of modern times and possibly since Trane.

Chick Corea Akoustic Band Live From The Blue Note Tokyo. Great tunes and some incredible Vinnie.

Earth, Wind & Fire Greatest Hits Live - Tokyo, Japan. If you can listen to this album sitting down, then you are clinically dead.

John Scofield Pick Hits LIve. Quintessential Dennis.

Pat Metheny 80/81. Metheny, Brecker and some awesome Jack DeJohnette.

Steely Dan Alive In America. I think it's the only live Steely Dan album. Dennis and Erskine and that insanely silky smooth Steely Dan.

Steps Ahead Live In Tokyo 1986. Some great Steve Smith on that one.

I realize it's a long list. It is what it is.


Silver Member
Zeppelin - Song Remains the Same. Their performances were eerily inspired. I don't know the musical version of the sports term "in the zone" , but that they were. I can't even enjoy the studio versions of those songs after hearing the magic of the live versions on that album.

Cheap Trick - Live at Budokan. Hard to explain why. It was just the soundtrack to my early teens.

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I. George Strait: For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome (2003)

II. Waylon Jennings: Waylon Live (1976)

III. Willie Nelson: Willie and Family (1978)

Why? Three of my favorite artists putting on three great shows. It's not about the drumming. I value music as a unified effort. Drumming isn't at the forefront of any of my favorite music. It's a subtle feature of the music.

To be honest, I don't like live albums very much. Part of the live experience is to be there in person. A live recording is a shadow of someone else's experience. It feels inadequate to me. I prefer studio albums.
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Silver Member
Rhe Who.......Live at Leeds
The Eagles....Hell Freezes Over
David Allan Coe.....Live at Billy Bob's
Artie Shaw.....Live 1939
Emmylou Harris with Mark Knopfler.......Real Live Roadrunning


Silver Member
Coe is the real deal. That is, if you can get past his BS. Ha Ha. For sure he's a strange critter but nice and cordial as can be when you go one on one with him.


Junior Member
Steps: Smokin' In the Pitt (this was Steps Ahead before they were forced to change their name...Japanese import...first tune "Tee Bag": classic playing by everybody...Steve Gadd is just ridiculous on the whole album)
Buddy Rich: Swingin' New Big Band (first BR record I owned)
Cream: Wheels of Fire (OK...only the 2nd record in the double album was live. "Toad" was the gold standard of rock drum solos at the time)
Terry Gibbs Dream Band: Explosion (Mel Lewis is as close to perfect as one can get; Conte Condoli on Trumpet and Frank Rossolino on Trombone are outstanding soloists)
Tom Scott: Apple Juice (Steve Gadd, Richard Tee, Marcus Miller, Tom Scott...what else is there to add?)
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Junior Member
Marillion - Real to Reel. Fish’s blistering, corrosive anti-sermon in the middle of Forgotten Sons is one of most powerful vocal performances I’ve ever heard

Coltrane - Live at Birdland. Elvin Jones: Afro Blue

Don’t really have a 3rd full album. I’ll just go with this halfway decent drum performance-https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s_81IomgGEY


Senior Member
Not very much into live albums, only two stand out: "Bursting Out" with Jethro Tull and "Welcome Back..." with ELP.


Platinum Member
Journey Captured - I was obsessed with this album as a child

My dad had two live albums I liked when I was a child. I dont know the names of the albums. One was Deep Purple. Ian Gillian and Richie Blackmore did a high note thing between voice and guitar, that's what I remember the most. The other was REO Speedwagon. Kevin Cronin was "talking on the phone" with his guitar player in a solo section. I was real young and dont remember much else.

I'm iffy with live albums. Some are truly awful, and some just dont capture the true feel of the band. Very few are actually good IMO.


Silver Member
DeGarmo and Key - "No Turning Back Live" from 1982. It's a "Contemporary Christian" double live album.

The songs sound and feel better than the studio versions. I think that Greg Morrow on drums helped improve the overall feel of the songs and made very good songs become great. Here's an example.

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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Scorpions WORLD WIDE LIVE!! was my first favorite live album. Coming out in the mid 80s ish.

Then I got into Phish, and then ALL I wanted to listen to was something live by Phish. I love Live Marley & The Wailers for sure


Silver Member
Rare Earth - In Concert
Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive
Grand Funk Railroad - Caught in the Act
The Marshall Tucker Band - Stompin' Room Only
Oops, that's four...


Silver Member
Judas Priest-Unleashed In The East. In my opinion this, and not their follow up Studio Album British Steel, was the first Heavy Metal album of the modern age.
Level 42-A Physical Presence. The first Level 42 album I bought and effectively a Best Of/Primer/Introduction to their greatest hits. An album that got this Heavy Rocker hooked due to their musicianship and made me embark on a 35 year and counting fan-ship.
AC/DC-If You Want Blood. Bought in my formative years, the performance and still vibrant production remain like a punch to the face. The tracks are sequenced so well that if there was ever a reissue with bonus tracks inserted in the "correct" running order it would only spoil the experience.
Big agreement on Seconds Out. Another is Piece De Resistance, the September 19, 1978 Springsteen show from Passaic NJ which was for decades only available as a bootleg and which is simply incendiary.

But probably all-time fave is Before the Flood, the live Bob Dylan/The Band album, and it remains not only one of my favorite live albums ever, but one of my favorite releases from either Dylan or The Band. And even after having seen/heard The Last Waltz many times, I was flabbergasted by the way Dylan absolutely ripped into "Most Likely You Go Your Way." Just devastating and bordering on abusive. Glorious. And, I mean, you know: Levon.