7 Awesome Live Albums - Part 2

7 Awesome Live Albums - Part 2

fleetwood mac live the dance
Fleetwood Mac reunites for exclusive MTV concert at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, 1997 (Photo by Sam Levi/WireImage/Getty Images)

Last year we published an article about some absolute classic live albums that are essential listening for all rock fans. We got some great feedback and as always it was an opportunity for our readers to make suggestions on which live albums are the ones that truly capture the live experience the best - recordings that immerse you back into being in that live audience, with all the sounds, smells and sights that make going to concerts such a magical experience. There are definitely a lot of worthy live albums out there - so we've put together a Part 2. 

Here are seven more live albums your collection needs, and if you missed Part 1, you can catch up on that here.  

Fleetwood Mac – The Dance 

What makes this album so great is that it reunites the bands most successful line up. (Sorry, Neil Finn) There are 17 tracks of simply brilliant Fleetwood Mac. It went to #1 in 1997 upon release, and snagged them a swag of Grammy nominations, hardly surprising really, when you have a repertoire like they do. This was kind of like a 'greatest hits' live album with a few extras thrown in, and you can actually watch a special filmed version of this that was done for MTV. Definitely one for your collection. It's just been reissued on LP too, out on October 12 and available to pre-order here.



Led Zeppelin – How The West Was Won

Here are THREE discs of Led Zeppelin fury originally released in 2003, however the recordings are from two performances in California in 1972. Jimmy Page considers this time to be the artistic peak for Led Zeppelin, and spent a lot of time engineering and editing the songs before they were released to the world on How The West Was Won, which means some songs are mixed between the two shows, and in the case of "Stairway to Heaven", Page actually mixed in parts from a show in the UK in 1973. The result, of course, is that you get the killer versions of all the hits, live. This recording got the deluxe reissue treatment in early 2018 with re-mastering from Jimmy Page - get the mega fan edition here. 


Read more: The Song Remains The Same

Deep Purple – Made In Japan

Despite this becoming a commercial success, Deep Purple weren’t particularly interested in releasing a live album, Ian Gillan recalls, "we said we would have to OK the equipment, we wanted to use our own engineer and we would have the last say on whether the tapes were released". Once it was recorded, they weren’t really interested in it, due to the lackluster equipment provided to capture it.  Keyboardist Jon Lord later noticed however that he felt this attitude meant the spontaneity of the performances and interplay between the band members was captured well.


Nirvana – MTV Unplugged In New York

The MTV Unplugged series was just fantastic, and this Nirvana version is no different. EVERYONE I knew bought this after Kurts death and it went straight to number 1 as you would expect. One of the things that makes this particular unplugged album great is that the band decided to make theirs different by performing covers, one of which David Bowie’s "Man Who Sold The World", still enjoys copious amounts of airplay on rock radio around the world. It’s a classic and you should own it. 


Read more: The Best Of MTV Unplugged

Ramones – It’s Alive

Still considered one of the world’s most important and influential punk bands, It’s Alive was the first live album released by the Ramones. They originally recorded 4 shows in the UK, but it was the December 31st, 1977 show that was considered the best because the first 10 rows of chairs were thrown onto the stage after the performance. High praise indeed! Short, punchy, harmonised anthems were the specialty of the Ramones, and it shines through brightly on this must have live album. 



Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison

Johnny was fascinated with Folsom Prison when he was in the United States Air Force Security Service, so much so that he wrote what he thought it would be like inside there for "Folsom Prison Blues". It became such a popular hit with inmates that they would write to him asking him to play their prison. Johnny had performed in prisons before but had never recorded a live album in one. His team approached San Quentin State Prison, and Folsom, with Folsom being the first to respond. The album is great because it’s a piece of history, and is truly live. The banter Johnny has between (and sometimes during) songs is a beautiful look back and a real time capsule of music. Must listen. 


The Who – Live At Leeds

Regarded by many as the best live recording of all time, Live At Leeds was the first live recording for The Who. The original LP, recorded at the University of Leeds, was just six tracks long which included a 14+ minute version of "My Generation" (due to a medley of songs being played within it) and three cover songs. Over the years this has re-released in different formats with more of the songs from the nearly 3-hour-long set being featured, including a full concert version becoming available. Definitely one for the collectors and hardcore fans. The Who were at the top of their game in 1970 when this all went down, and it shows in the recording. Very cool. 

Check out the I Like Your Old Stuff section of the Warner Music Australia official store for a great selection of live albums and re-issues here.  

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