Live Albums — Dead or Alive?

I was tagging songs on my Last.fm account the other day (I like to listen to an eclectic mix of music while I work) when I noticed the sheer number of live albums which were being scrobbled from my music library. In no particular order or ranking (they are all equally excellent listening):

Perhaps it was the advent of the music video, MTV, the videotape recorder/player and the eventual evolution of the DVD player along with the rest of the technological wonders of the last twenty years or so that led to the gradual demise of the great live albums. Has any recent band and/or musician released a live album that measures up to the great live albums like those listed above? Where is the impetus for bands/musicians today to record great live albums if a video or a DVD will suffice? I don’t know. There’s something about a really well recorded live album that sticks with you long after you have heard it. It’s like an artifact of an other time. As much as a video or a DVD may attempt to (and in certain ways it may surpass a live recording) it doesn’t capture this aspect of the live album experience. Perhaps this is why field recordings are still so popular.

Let me ask, if and when a Zappa “Roxy DVD” is released, will it take away any of the mystique from the original vinyl recording?

69 Responses to “Live Albums — Dead or Alive?”

  1. Roland says:

    The material taken from the Roxy concerts was later amended with some overdubs in the studio – well, “some overdubs” is understatement in many ways. Let´s say it is one huge overdub, but anyway it´s my favourite.

    I am more concerned about the fact, that the visuals on a DVD release will take away all of the mystique from the recording, because through all the years since I listen to this fantastic album, I made my own pictures of the concerts in my mind.

  2. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Hmmm… couple of thoughts:

    * I bought Neil Young’s “Live Rust” quite a while before I got my hands on the DVD-version (how dare you forget that one in your list!). During that interval of time I’d managed to “blow up” everything about that concert to mythical proportions. Then I saw the DVD, which I think has largely the same audio-mix and I remember being a little disappointed in a “oh look, that actually happened one day, on a stage, and it’s not at all the way I imagined it” kind of way. With Roxy & Elsewhere being the apparent overdub-fest that it is, I think the disappointment will be even bigger when I/we finally get to see the concert…

    * The experience of listening to AND watching a live concert on DVD both at the same time — and for the first time — is entirely different. No expectations or delusional visions of what it “was probably like”. For instance, just yesterday we watched Rufus! Does! Judy! (Live at the London Palladium – not on your list either! For shame!). With no pre-conceptions going in, it was a most enjoyable experience.

    * There are certain live concerts where the very concept was to combine visuals with music; both components adding up to something bigger than the sum of its parts. Perfect example: Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense” (not! on! your! list!). I’d say watching that concert is more of a complete experience than listening to it.

  3. Roland says:

    Here are some “Live” releases I miss in the list above:

    Little Feat: Waiting For Columbus (1978)
    Bebop Deluxe: Live in the Air Age (1977)
    Pink Floyd: Pulse (1994)
    Brian Wilson: Live at the Roxy Theatre (2000)
    801: Live (1976)
    David Gilmour: In Concert (2002)
    Van Morrison: A Night in San Francisco (1994)
    Ten Years After: Recorded Live (1973)

    to be continued …

  4. bernard says:

    In case you’re interested in ( yes: ) free jazz downloads offered for free, there’s the very good http://destination-out.com/.
    ” What?
    An mp-free jazz blog focusing on rare or out-of-print music. We generally publish twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays (or so). Songs will be available for about two weeks, and are for evaluation purposes only. Attend concerts. Buy music.”

  5. bernard says:

    Broadening the horizon, the eclectic way.

    In case you’re interested in free downloads of great classical music performances, go to ( yes, Balint):
    Finland’s YLE (Full name, Finnish: Yleisradio Oy, Swedish: Rundradion Ab) which is Finland’s national broadcasting company.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yleisradio

  6. Paul Sempschi says:

    Careful what you say… dont want to give you know who a reason NOT to release you know what… “and here I am doing you Zappafanatics a favour!”

    You may have a point though, about visualizing a once audio experience, perhaps that’s why the Baby Snakes album never caught on… I guess when I listen to concerts, I usually just listen to the music and never really visualize a stage or anything… perhaps that’s why I appreciate jazz shows more than anything else (I find rock concerts usually devoid of improv, usually going out of their way to recreate the album sound, sometimes to the point of lip synching)… speaking of which, you forgot The Quintet’s “Jazz at Massey Hall” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_at_Massey_Hall and Coltrane’s “Live at the Half-Note: One Down, One Up” featuring the piano stylings of McCoy Tyner, so intense they’ll make you vomit!

  7. bernard says:

    My good friend Urban. Just discovered that you’re 44. I understand, at that age I also had the feeling of being old: looking back ( no more than 30 / 40 years). Wat was missing was the attention for the shape of things to come, for future oriented music.
    By the way I really do not understand why people want video / film/ pictures, etc. . I’ve always tried to concentrate on music, ie sounds. All things on top of that are superfluous.

  8. Birdman! says:

    At least all of Franks in-between-song talk on ‘Roxy” gave me the impression that it was recorded in a small venue. Watching Tom Fowler and Ruth play will be something special, but the preview looks very brown/orange, whereas I have always imagined an abstract space featuring the black, purple, and silver suggested by the album cover.
    Some live albums I don’t even want to see still photographs of the performance. The Who Live at Leeds? That sounds way to huge to have been performed entirely in this physical reality, and when the Dead play out in “Playin With The Band” or “the Other One” for example, who wants to imagine hariless monkeys are creating sounds worthy of glowing clouds of color flying through interstellar space? DVDs make live music look too small.
    Radiohead put out a short live CD that has them playing “out” a little, but you’re right – new bands are probably under pressure to play live shows that stick close to the album and don’t make for interesting listening. What bands can play music – improv these days anyway? Pearl Jam has put out many live albums which are reasonably interesting when you consider the source, but I can’t really get into Pearl Jam at all, but they at least seem to get the idea pretty well.

  9. Birdman! says:

    Everyone here is aware of the awesome site “Wolfgangs Vault”, right? Much good Mahavishnu, some electric Miles, and even Black Sabbath playing some songs from “Technical Ecstacy” live.

    Also, the King Crimson DVD “Eyes Wide Open” has loads of improv and is amazing. It help me see what they are doing when just listening to it sometimes seemed sterile and electronic. Possibly more interesting to watch than listen to. Highly recommended live DVD.

  10. Jamez says:

    Gotta get Lizzy’s ‘Live and Dangerous’. Haven’t got round to buying it yet.

  11. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    How about everyone’s Top Five?

    Mine, off the top of my head and in no particular order:

    * Zappa In New York (FZ)
    * Roxy & Elsewhere (FZ)
    * Live Rust (Neil Young)
    * Live At Massey Hall 1971 (Neil Young)
    * Live At Budokan (Bob Dylan)
    * Stop Making Sense (Talking Heads)
    * Live At Leeds (The Who)
    * Unreleased Live (Elliott Smith)
    * Live in San Francisco (Van Morrison)
    * Live At Town Hall (Eels)

    … oh wait: that’s ten! :)

  12. Bálint says:

    Buffalo (fz)
    Wazoo (fz)
    Bursting Out (Jethro Tull)
    Cunning Stunts (Metallica, 1997)

    .
    There are seeral performers or shows I’d like to hear, see, but some musicians do not make too much live recordings, unfortunately. I loved Suzanne Vega’s tour, when she was accompained only by a bass player, some other Jethro Tull shows were also great, I even liked KoRn’s show 1-2 years ago :-), of course Woven Hand again, and again… Too few live recordings on Gods Grey Earth.

    Anyway, FZ’s shows and some boots made my apetite for live recordings in general, I tend to like whole shows – and good shows, of course.

    And yes: Live and Dangerous is fine by Thin Lizzy!

  13. Rob says:

    Some oldies but goodies (excluding the mustachioed man):

    Townes Van Zandt “Live at the Old Quarter”
    Santana “Lotus”
    Cream “Live vol. 1″
    Neil Young “Massey Hall 71″
    Tom Waits “Nighthawks at the Diner” (live in the studio)

    Oh my God — I’m stuck in the 70″s!

  14. urbangraffito says:

    Barry, if I listed ALL the live albums in my musical library this post would’ve have gone on and on and on and on (besides, that list was just a first glance). It’s great to see all the other fine live albums mentioned by others, too (some I own, some not — time to go shopping again, I suppose).

    Here are some others which weren’t on the list, or any others:

    *Live at 25 (Huey Lewis & the News)
    *Half Alive In Hollywood (Mike Keneally & Beer For Dolphins)
    *Guitar Therapy Live (Mike Keneally Band)
    *Curtis/Live! (Curtis Mayfield)
    *Alchemy: Dire Straits Live (Dire Straits)
    *Live in Detroit (The Doors)
    *Eating the Astoria (The Grande Mothers)
    *The Song Remains The Same (Led Zeppelin)
    *On Stage (Loggins and Messina)
    *Paris (Supertramp)

    My all-time top five:

    1. Zappa In New York (Frank Zappa)

    2. Roxy & Elsewhere (Frank Zappa)

    3. The Turning Point (John Mayall)

    4. Super Session (Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, Steve Stills)

    5. Stand In The Fire (Warren Zevon)

    Number one live album miscue:

    *Halloween (Frank Zappa)

    They promise “the BIG one” but only deliver “the TINY one” (considering the actual concert is over three hours long).

  15. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from bernard:

    My good friend Urban. Just discovered that you’re 44. I understand, at that age I also had the feeling of being old: looking back ( no more than 30 / 40 years). Wat was missing was the attention for the shape of things to come, for future oriented music.
    By the way I really do not understand why people want video / film/ pictures, etc. . I’ve always tried to concentrate on music, ie sounds. All things on top of that are superfluous.

    44? Old? Thanks to that 15 year old Zappa freak I carry around inside of me (the one that wakes me up in the middle of the night to download that most recently discovered field recording from Zappateers) that will never happen, bernard. And it’s that same freak that digs a lot of the new music like Eels, Morphine (okay, not so new), Aphex Twin, System of a Down, etc.

    While there’s nothing wrong with “video / film/ pictures, etc.” as long as they don’t take anything from the essential audio experience. For example, when I first downloaded the 1974 KTLA Zappa show, I found the visual effects quite distracting (like, what was the point, to prove that Zappa was wierd? Hell, that’s a given. For most of my youth I was considered weird for listening to “that” music — I’ve finally lived long enough to see “that” music embraced by an entire generation of youth).

    That said, I look to the future of music with hope and optimism.

    Getting back to the topic at hand, though. One brief observation of these lists of live albums reveal one thing: the era of the great live album was the 1970s. Some bands wanted to recreate their live act on vinyl, some were no doubt experiments. But after the financial success of Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive!” (Yes, Barry, not-on-my-lists), the record companies also got into the act (which may also be the reason for their demise as well).

  16. Rob says:

    Ah. yes, the worst 3 live albums:
    There’s Frampton, “Got Live if you want it” by the early Stones &…who wants to name #3?

  17. Birdman! says:

    “Worst of” lists are the best! Duran Duran’s “Arena” is very unnecessary, and “9012Live – The Solos” by Yes fails to impress, but there have got to be worse live albums.

    Neil Young at Massey Hall is fantastic. Hendrix “band of Gypsies” is another one like “Live at Leeds” that was recorded in a neighboring universe large enough to handle the music. I’m going to go sift through my records for horrible live albums. Here’s #1 – the poorly recorded and generally awful “Earthbound” by King Crimson. “Ladies of the Road is the same lineup, and it’s hard to believe, because it is such a good album.

    If you like live music, Rob, the seventies is the right place to be.

    Miles Davis complete Cellar Door Concerts is cosmic, too. Damn, this thread has me ready to order The Complete Plugged Nickel, too. The one disc version is flawless, and it’s Mike Keneally’s favorite live band of all time according to one interview. I’ve got lots records with bits of John Coltrane at the Village Vanguard – that’s another set I’ve put off getting.

    I’m really excited to hear about other people’s least favorite live rock records!

  18. bernard says:

    Very instructive answer, Urban. Very good as well. And your post shows that people are just broadening their spectre ( J.Coltrane, M. Davis, etc.), i e far beyond the self decalared geniuses of the 70ties like B. Cobham or P. Frampton.
    Frankly speaking I was thinking: here’s a nostalgic guy, the average man who stops learning at the age of 35, and who keeps preaching the musical gospel of his youth. Result : old at 44., while he still has 40 years to go.
    Wrong. I was just looking too much in the mirror: I’m 54 now ( and I will become a grandfather this afternoon) and, yes, I now feel much younger than when I was 44.

    ” Getting back to the topic at hand, though”. My friend Bob Singleton ( +/- 60 years) from Overgrownpath ( a slightly iconoclast , both caring about New music and the Renaissance, and – yes- very European classical music blog) just reminded me about Barry Miles. The one who wrote a FZ biography.
    You can find the post on his blog here:
    http://www.overgrownpath.com/2008/03/beatle-to-berio-to-boulez-to-birthday.html .
    Worth reading.
    Thanks, Bob.

  19. Jamez says:

    Here’s my faves;

    1. Zappa ‘Tinseltown Rebellion’ (1981)
    2. Zappa ‘Roxy and Elsewhere’ (1974)
    3. Rush ‘Exit Stage Left’ (1981)
    4. Earth, Wind And Fire ‘Gratitude’ (1975)
    5. The Tubes ‘Infomercial; How to be Tubular’ (1981 rel. 2003 in UK)
    6. Maze ‘Live In New Orleans’ (1981)
    7. Jethro Tull ‘Bursting Out’ (1978)
    8. Zappa ‘Zappa in New York’ (1978)
    9. Rufus And Chaka Khan ‘Stompin’ At The Savoy’ (1983)
    10. James Brown ‘Live At The Apollo’ (1963.. I think!)

  20. Jamez says:

    Oh yeah, also ‘Moonflower’ by Santana (1977). ‘Lotus’ is good too!

    P.S. Urbangraffito, is it true that Bob Harris from the Fall ’80 Zappa band plays and sings on Warren Zevon’s ‘Stand In The Fire’ album, one of your live faves?

  21. bernard says:

    Ok, let’s be nostalgic for 3 minutes.
    Great live performances from the 70ties.
    That’s Rory Gallagher ( Irish) ” Live in Euope”. Polydor record label. Recorded in March 1972.
    http://www.rorygallagher.com/.
    He died some 10 years ago ( from alccohol abuse) , his brother is taking care of the heritage.
    Just have a look.

  22. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Jamez:

    Oh yeah, also ‘Moonflower’ by Santana (1977). ‘Lotus’ is good too!

    P.S. Urbangraffito, is it true that Bob Harris from the Fall ’80 Zappa band plays and sings on Warren Zevon’s ‘Stand In The Fire’ album, one of your live faves?

    Yes, indeed, that’s Bob Harris. All paths lead to Zappa. I can’t recommend Warren Zevon’s ‘Stand In The Fire’ highly enough, Jamez, especially the reissue from Rhino with the extra bonus tracks “that the dog ate.” It’s not a ‘Live at the Fillmore East’ or a ‘Live at Leeds’, but it’s got a raw energy and power that comes with a straight rock and roll show, no gimmicks. Zevon at his best.

    “George…get up and dance…get up and dance or I’ll kill ya, and I got the means!”

    from ‘Poor Poor Pitiful Me’

  23. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Well as long as everyone is adding live shows, here’s another must have in my opinion:

    Time Fades Away – Neil Young

    Unbelievably, this one is still not available on CD — as ol’ Neil apparently believes it’s a stinker. Not so! I actually have 2 vinyls of this seminal live recording. There’s a petition asking NY to have it released. Go sign it :)

  24. bernard says:

    Beware of turning into an old man’s gang , fully equiped with horse spectacles, Barry.
    That sort of W. Zevon & the like…
    And, yes, that’s true: N. Young might survive for another 40 years.

    The other side of FZ mirror:

    Never forget that FZ performed with people like Archie Shepp, P. Boulez, LSE, Ensemble Modern. Quite the opposite of singer / songwriters, ” kleinkunst”.
    OK, now I’m listening to Astor Piazzolla.

  25. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from bernard:

    Beware of turning into an old man’s gang, fully equiped with horse spectacles, Barry.

    History teaching 101: it’s essential to know what exactly went on in the past as it gives you a clearer perspective on what goes on in the present — and possibly the future…

  26. Roland says:

    Well Well Well: I realise now, that within this blog I am surrounded by boring old farts, grandfathers and other members of the Jurassic Park fraction of this world … which makes me feel sooo young now! ;-)

  27. bernard says:

    Yes, Bar. Full agreement.
    - YES.Essential wisdom : the future is about reinventing / deconstructing the past. T

    - NO. The future is not about overlooking history, i e starting from scratch, it’s the other way around.

    By the way, the grandchild is born, it’s a girl, called Alex. My ( caring ) wife just went to the hospital ( 100 km from here) , where the child of her son was born. I decided not to go there. I’ll do that tomorrow.
    It was born in Ghent. Just in case our US friends wouldn’t have any knowledge ’bout their own rich history, it’s :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Ghent

    And I’ll tell that child that it happens to be essential to
    (1) start eating french fries , frites, from the age of 11 months onwards and
    (2) to start listening to good music from the age of 11 years onwards.

  28. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from Roland:

    Well Well Well: I realise now, that within this blog I am surrounded by boring old farts, grandfathers and other members of the Jurassic Park fraction of this world … which makes me feel sooo young now! ;-)

    A quote from Roland:

    Little Feat: Waiting For Columbus (1978)
    Bebop Deluxe: Live in the Air Age (1977)
    Pink Floyd: Pulse (1994)
    Brian Wilson: Live at the Roxy Theatre (2000)
    801: Live (1976)
    David Gilmour: In Concert (2002)
    Van Morrison: A Night in San Francisco (1994)
    Ten Years After: Recorded Live (1973)

    Ahem, cough cough?

  29. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    A quote from bernard:

    By the way, the grandchild is born, it’s a girl, called Alex.

    Go be a grand dad! Achie gotverdomme :)

  30. bernard says:

    I’ll secretly (hiding behind my little finger) introduce my grandchild, when 11/ 12 years old, to great Educational music :

    - J S Bach ( Notenbuchlein Maria Magdalena)
    - J. Coltrane ( A Love Supreme)
    - FZ ( Peaches In R. )
    - A. Piazzolla & G. Gil
    - B. Bacharach ( yes, yes)
    - I. Stravinsky ( The Rite of Spring)

    One year later she wil get the whole flood over her.
    Spoon after spoon.
    From L. Berio to C. Beafheart, from E. Varèse to Albert Ayler, from C. Gesualdo to Massive Attack, from Alban Berg to C. Mingus, from O. Lassus to Rory Gallagher, etc. , etc.

    The best way to create another Monster.

  31. Roland says:

    @Barry’s Imaginary Publisher: Well Well Well, you are indeed a careful reader of this blog. ;-)

  32. Roland says:

    @bernard: Congratulations, I hope the mother & child are in good health!

  33. bernard says:

    Yes, in good health, Roland.
    They just behave as if this is the first child to be born on this great earth. ( sorry ’bout this total lack of emotional wisdom).

    Meanwhile, where’s new music in your country, Roland? Don’t laugh : right now Iceland seems to be far ahead indeed.

  34. bernard says:

    One of the best I’ve heard recently is :
    http://www.ensemblehyperion.com/default.asp?lng=&h=y

    From Romania.

    With the great Ana-Maria AVRAM. That’s
    http://meltingpot.fortunecity.com/utah/549/avram.html

  35. bernard says:

    Just in case somebody would like to download old records. ..

    http://muziekendinges.blogspot.com/

    I truly do not recommend it.

  36. Roland says:

    @Grandpa bernard: A good question – where´s new music in my country? I can´t listen to the radio since years any more (it´s not broken). I can´t see signs in sight and sound around here. Maybe you – being abroad, outside looking / listening inside can tell me, where´s new delight for my ears. To be honest, I can´t see innovative new music for miles here.

    And then on the other side, I find little treasures in my old vinyl collection, for example Robert Fripp´s “Exposure”, Kate Bush´s “The Dreaming” or Miles Davis´ “You´re under arrest” and I live on that.

    In the last century there were bands like Can, Guru Guru, Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream around here. But nowadays, it´s DJ Ötzi or Scooter and it´s far from being innovative.

    What I want to say bernard: Teach your grandchild well in listening to music. I started to listen to music when I was eleven, as well. It was Beatles, Pink Floyd, Santana and Frank Zappa. And they all never left me as it is the soundtrack of my life.

  37. bernard says:

    Roland, my dear, you’re a German?

    Be sure: there ‘s truly good new music right now in Germany.
    Just look around , for instance the Berlin scene.

    Just do not stop thinking / innovating.

  38. bernard says:

    Come on.
    Just things to start with:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Ra
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Ayler

  39. bernard says:

    Urbangr., you & i just don’t know what will happen next.

    Just listen to all things new. Try to discover new things while listening to music. It’s possible to hear the shape of things to come, just decode things .

    One of the remedies might be :

    What is noise to the old order is harmony to the new.

  40. jane23 says:

    noise is noise
    distortion is distortion
    harmony will always be harmony

  41. Roland says:

    @jane23: Are you a physician or a priest?

  42. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from bernard:

    Beware of turning into an old man’s gang , fully equiped with horse spectacles, Barry.
    That sort of W. Zevon & the like…
    And, yes, that’s true: N. Young might survive for another 40 years.

    The other side of FZ mirror:

    Never forget that FZ performed with people like Archie Shepp, P. Boulez, LSE, Ensemble Modern. Quite the opposite of singer / songwriters, ” kleinkunst”.
    OK, now I’m listening to Astor Piazzolla.

    Hmmmm, an old man’s gang, bernard…

    If Roland and Jamez would be kind enough to help me up from my wheelchair and atrophied position, I’ll respond…

    You appear to consider singer songwriters to be “kleinkunst” or “small art”. Is there really such a thing? Even Zappa wrote songs in the doo wop format. Is that “kleinkunst” as well? Have you heard the original sea shanty “Handsome Cabin Boy” that he based his version on? It isn’t exactly “high art” either.

    Did you know that singer songwriter Warren Zevon* also studied briefly with Igor Stravinsky, and composed his own orchestral pieces?

    Unfortunately, WZ is largely only known for his novelty song “Werewolves of London.” If one listens to his body of work, like that of Neil Young, or Stephen Stills, or JD Souther, or Canada’s Bruce Cockburn — one quickly realizes he is more than the sum of his parts. And like FZ, he largely has a cult following. And among that cult following were many notable writers such as Hunter S. Thompson, Carl Hiassen, Mitch Albom and Stephen King, and late night talk show host David Letterman.

    Also, don’t forget that Archie Shepp recited his poetry at his concerts as well.

    Zappa wasn’t always high brow. He had very little good to say regarding the LSO in interviews. And never forget that even he had a Vaudeville Band (definitely low brow).

    So, bernard, everything being equal, no one knows what will happen next.

    The past, in music: to celebrate and discover.

    The future, in music: who knows? Do I look psychic?

    *Warren Zevon’s ‘Stand In The Fire’ remained out-of-print after he was dropped by his early record label until reissued by Rhino.

  43. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Roland:

    @jane23: Are you a physician or a priest?

    Neither, Roland. He’s a dancer (and lord can he dance…)

  44. Roland says:

    noise will always be noise
    distortion will always be distortion
    harmony will always be harmony

    noise can be distortion
    distortion can be harmony
    harmony can be noise

    Dead or Alive ?

  45. bernard says:

    Yep, Urban. I guess you understand how I try to get a good discussion by being provocative.
    People like songs ( evn if they do not trly adore music). And yhere’s alng tradition: starting from the earliest scores, the trouvères & troubadours in the Middle Ages, etc.
    Why do people like songs? Because they like stories.
    Compare it with the – it’s as popular as it is good – National Geograhic TV programs on animals ( for instance : 10 hyenas attacking an old lion). Animal lovers watch those programs, probably because they want to learn more about animals. It’s as instrctive as biology. However most of those watching NG appreciate the story behind it, as it happens to be an ear catcher.
    Do I absolutely dislike singer / songwriters? No. I even have more than 80 CDs from s/ s. Just as I have CDs full of operas, operettes, musicals: stories.
    And you know about my adoration for J S Bach. One of the core elements of his art are the cantatas ( more than 200).
    http://www.bach-cantatas.com/
    Each cantata is .. a story.

  46. Roland says:

    Now you got it, bernard! This is the reason, why I like Beethoven´s poems so much. (Wrote this before, nobody got the joke in it!)

    But language is a virus (quote) and so I´d rather prefer intrumental music, like “Billy The Mountain” or “Greggery Peccary” … ;-))

  47. Ken says:

    I’m shocked that no one listed Focus – Live At The Rainbow.

  48. jane23 says:

    distortion, noise and harmony are seperate and distinct elements which can all be utilized musically.
    They are not interchangable.

  49. Hugh says:

    Nice list urbang. I have some of those you’ve listed. I’ll check out Lou, Tubes, Ponty/Duke, Cobham/Duke & Return 2 4ever from your list as well thanks. My wife thinks I have too much music already . . . she has no idea!

    I see some Top 5′s above so . . .

    1. Zappa Roxy/In New York (I’ll count as one so it’s not a Top 6 list . . . sort of)
    2. Who Live At Leeds
    3. Jimi Hendix/Otis Redding Monterey
    4. Gentle Giant Playing the Fool Live!
    5. Genesis Seconds Out
    This is my Top “5″ from my collection. But my choices for 1 & 2 wouldn’t change.

  50. Roland says:

    @jane23: With my deepest respect to your opinion, but distortion, noise and harmony are not seperate and are all utilized musically. Don´t think so conservative (although the preachers were always the most conservative beings): It depends on the perspective you are listening. Of course you know this. ;-)

  51. bernard says:

    ( PARENTAL WARNING: this post is extremely unreadable until paragraph 5 or so. It may be occasionally unreadable after that. You can’t say I didn’t warn you)
    - The only thing common to all music is that it gives structure to noise. Our musical process of structuring noise is also our political process for structuring community
    - Music runs parallel to human society, is structured like it, and changes when it does
    - Noise is violence, i.e., murder. Music is a channelization of noise and a simulacrum of sacrifice, a sublimation to create order and political integration. Therefore music is ritual murder.
    - Popular music (music not fully controlled by society) has been our one strain of subversion.But most of what now passes for popular music is really just the complete silencing of noise.
    - A new noise is being heard (a new way of making music), suggesting the emergence of a new society
    - Spectacle: the concert hall replaces the religious, festival, and official court settings of sacrificial music that was produced by unproductive workers (i.e., in the previous stage there was musical activity, largely that of domestic servants, but there was no wealth created by this activity)
    - NOISE DEFINED: “A noise is a resonance that interferes with the audition of a message in the process of emission.” (26) It is any disruption of any social process, any source of pain. At the extreme (extreme volume, for instance), it kills.

    Is this puzzling enough?

  52. bernard says:

    Come on, two instructive videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aYT1Pwp30M&feature=related

    And from 1966:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtSdBtJC42k

  53. urbangraffito says:

    Here are another handful of live albums/live compilation albums from my ever expanding music collection:

    *Yo Miles! Sky Garden (2004)
    Henry Kaiser & Wadada Leo Smith feat. Mike Keneally et al

    *Running On Empty (1977)
    Jackson Browne

    *Live at Winterland ’68 (1998)
    Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company

    *Live Songs (1973)
    Leonard Cohen

    *G3/Live In Concert (1997)
    Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai

    Roland, if you looking for “new music” in your own neck of the woods, check out this site I discovered a few months ago which allows local musicians and bands to upload their work to the internet. I didn’t realize there were so many quality musicians and bands right in my own back yard:

    http://www.reverbnation.com/

  54. bernard says:

    Ok, let’s turn again to live music.
    Why not in our kitchen?
    J. Cage : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGrhL49-YQw&feature=related

    Much later, the swedish :
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8000409016826512649

  55. bernard says:

    Just another Great live performance.
    4’33″
    The mirror image of noise.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E&feature=related
    Ok, there’s no silence left anymore.

  56. Roland says:

    @urbangraffito: Thank you for the hint ! ;-)

  57. Roland says:

    @bernard: It is puzzling, but I like it!

  58. Bálint says:

    thanks for the suggestions for everyone!
    urbangraffito: is Queen Live Killers really that good? I’ve heard it once years ago, but seemed to be quite weak compared to the richness (in vocals and arrangement) of the studio albums. But if you say so, I’ll give it a try! :-)
    (The same with Led Zeppelin: I’m not a huge fan, but tend to like some of the songs – but in concert?… much much weaker than the studio cuts! To me.)

  59. Rob says:

    Balint: Give the recent live Led Zep DVD a try. Great sound and visuals (also in 5.1 surround sound!)

  60. Rob says:

    ps—not “The Song Remains the Same” movie, but the 2-dvd set from a couple of years ago.

  61. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from Bálint:

    thanks for the suggestions for everyone!
    urbangraffito: is Queen Live Killers really that good? I’ve heard it once years ago, but seemed to be quite weak compared to the richness (in vocals and arrangement) of the studio albums. But if you say so, I’ll give it a try! :-)
    (The same with Led Zeppelin: I’m not a huge fan, but tend to like some of the songs – but in concert?… much much weaker than the studio cuts! To me.)

    For the most part, Balint, I don’t think Queen live shows transfered that well onto vinyl or CD until the advent of the video age. While Queen Live Killers isn’t an exceptional live album, in my opinion, there are some really fantastic live tracks to be found on it that really show off Brian May’s guitar even though he was unhappy with the album’s mix:

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    It was recorded live during the European leg of Queen’s Jazz world tour between January and March of 1979. The album was self-produced by the band and was their first album to be mixed at their own studios, Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland.

    Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor revealed on the US radio show In the Studio with Redbeard (which spotlighted the making of 1980′s The Game) that the band was not happy with the album’s final mix as the band mixed the album themselves.

    Same thing goes for Led Zeppelin’s Song Remains The Same. There are a few exceptional tracks which make it a must in any collection.

  62. Hugh says:

    If and when the Roxy DVD is released I’m sure it will be enjoyable, but a totally different feel compared to the album. After all the years of listening to those tracks I think the vinyl will always be the pure experience for me. There are many songs out there that give me sense memories that could never be replaced by a new set of images.

    P.S. You can add “Concert for New York” @ Madison Square Garden 2001 (just for THE WHO’s performance alone) to the list. For me it was very moving and still is.

  63. Bálint says:

    I surprises me that some say that a DVD might go against the music in some instances. I’ve never had this kind of experience – okay, there are some shows I like that I’ll never be able to see. But in the case of Roxy: some protions are available here and there, and I find them really enjoyable – but the reason I’m waiting for itis the music itself from this lineup: Dog/Meat, T’mershi Duween, Big Swifty, etc. And seeing them, yes, shold be a great experience.

    One thing came into my mind, arguig with myself: I’ve find that after a while I do not like to WATCH the zpz dvd: I got tired of Dweezil’s passivity. The way he just stands there… soooo lifeless to me. Yes, in this case I prefer just to listen.

  64. urbangraffito says:

    Indeed, Hugh, if and when the Roxy DVD is released I’m sure it will be enjoyable, but a totally different feel compared to the album. After Ryko released Roxy & Elsewhere on CD, I thought to myself, this doesn’t sound the way I remember it on record, and immediately went out and bought another vinyl copy. And I was correct. The original mix is the best, in my opinion. When and if the Roxy DVD is released, I hope they’re smart enough to use the original mix (so at least my grandchildren, or great grandchildren can enjoy it in its original glory).

    And, Balint, your point regarding Dweezil’s passivity on stage is well made. He may well be attempting to emulate his father’s stage presence, but he doesn’t pull it off because FZ had well chosen band members to improvise off of during his concerts throughout his career (which is why ZPZ is great to listen to, but boring as hell to watch, and why I’d much prefer to pay to see Banned From Utopia if I’ve got to pay such ticket prices — at least BFU know how to play off of one another). By the way, Balint, have you seen BFU’s DVD? How do you think the two bands compare?

  65. Roland says:

    @urbangrafitto: I´m afraid you have to do a time travel to experience the release of the Roxy-DVD. Then, the world is covered with cover bands, like ZPZ (Zeppelin Plays Zeppelin) or QPQ (guess which band I mean …) etc. It´s that mankind will be divided into Eloy (on the surface) and Morlocks (underground). The Eloy listen to the original music from all kind of sources, while the Morlocks do the covers. And while the originals are so much better, Eloys are eaten by the Morlocks, because of simple jealousy.

    Due to the static behavior of FZ´s son, I have to add that I find it pathetic to show videos of FZ on a screen in the background while ZPZ do their job.

  66. bernard says:

    Keep laughing: I prefer the CD ” Favorite Intermissions”, see:
    http://www.delaurenti.net/music.htm

    ” Secretly recorded at orchestral concerts across the country, this collection of intermissions teems with unusual soundscapes, startling (and unintended) collective improvisations, and surprising, sometimes gritty sonic detail from the sacred space of the concert hall” and ” “Each intermission has its own character,” remarks Clive Bell in a review appearing in the May ’07 issue of The Wire magazine; Bell lauds Favorite Intermissions as “a high-concept masterstroke by a guerilla phonographer” and adds a sublime description: “The musicians sound like a copse full of birds, all individual voices with no intention to blend.”

  67. urbangraffito says:

    I cannot say I’m as pessimistic as you paint the future, Roland, except that I doubt I’ll see the Roxy DVD in my lifetime (but never say never). I agree, it was somewhat pathetic to show videos of FZ on a screen in the background while ZPZ played, especially when they weren’t even in synch. There once was a time when acts actually rehearsed for three to six months before going on tour with elaborate stage shows. But now? It’s get ‘em in, get ‘em out, put the money in the bank. And while they’re at it, video tape a couple of shows so you can sell ‘em some DVDs and bonus CDs excerpted from them. It’s all about the money.

    Still, I’m hopeful concerning this current generation of musicians and consumers of music. A new revolution in making music, distributing music, exchanging music is on the horizon, which is perhaps why the old guard is so nervous (wink, zft, et al). The status quo simply doesn’t work anymore, and the kids won’t put up with the usual crap coming between them and their music. It’s either adapt or find yourselves (record labels) left behind.

  68. Jamez says:

    I hope I’m not dead before the Roxy DVD comes out.

  69. Slap says:

    A quote from Rob:

    Ah. yes, the worst 3 live albums:
    There’s Frampton, “Got Live if you want it” by the early Stones &…who wants to name #3?

    I have always felt that Crimson’s Earthbound is the most horrifically-recorded official release I’ve ever heard. USA is far better….As a young’un, EB almost turned me away from Crimson, it was so abysmal.

    Then a buddy played me Larks Tongues in Aspic and, well, I’ve been a fan ever since.

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