Greatest live albums?

Kurt at Cultural Offering offers a list of the greatest ever live albums:

1.   Sinatra at the Sands, Frank Sinatra, 1966
2.   One for the Road, The Kinks, 1980
3.   Live at the Regal, B.B. King, 1967
4.   At Folsom Prison, Johnny Cash, 1968
5.   Live at the Apollo, James Brown, 1963
6.   At Mister Kelly’s, Sarah Vaughan, 1957
7.   Live Bullet, Bob Seger, 1976
8.   Running On Empty, Jackson Browne, 1977
9. … and many more

I wholeheartedly agree with some, and do know others.  What would I add?  It’s hard to separate “great” from just plain “favourite”, but these are definitely missing:

  • At Budokan, Bob Dylan, 1979 – there have been many (and, with the Official Bootlegs, many many) live albums from Dylan.  I also love Hard Rain, but Budokan is the album I point non-believers and beginners to.
  • Skull & Roses, Grateful Dead, 1971 – so much great live Dead, but I love this album.
  • Stupidity, Dr Feelgood, 1976 – a fantastic live band, full of raw energy.
  • Made In Japan, Deep Purple, 1972

And just out of interest, that Grateful Dead album is more correctly titled “Grateful Dead” but acquired the “Skull & Roses” title because the band’s debut was also eponymous.  And the reason for that is that when it was recorded, Phil Lesh insisted it would be called “Skull Fuck” … and the record company demurred.

The cover art comes from an iconic Sixties poster for a Dead concert at the Avalon which, in turn, was inspired by Edmund J. Sullivan’s 1913 illustration for the Persian poem, the “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”.  There’s an interesting post regarding all this on Dark Star Palace. here.




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