Amazing live bands that are disappointing on record...

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LuttiSLuttiS Frets: 693
I've seen a few bands that are absolutely spectacular (or there about) live, so i've gone off to get the album, and found it really boring..
Also visa versa, i've heard a mediocre recording, then seen them live and been blown away..

I'm a Kiss fan. There i said it. The albums are pretty rubbish, boring and lifeless. But the show is pure energy and entertainment. I'm not sure i really consider them to be a band, more just an entertainment act. I will always go to see the show as it is amazing, but i can't really listen to their music.

Saw Ricky Warwick and the Fighting Hearts at one of the HRHs, had an amazing show, great songs, really had a great time even through i'd never heard any of the music. Bought an album, recognised the songs, but was severely underwhelmed. 

I've seen the Quireboys so many times, and will always go if they nearby. Never a boring gig, different levels of lyric coherency depending on how much Spike has had to drink, but always great. On album, they are pretty boring.. Spikes vocals are really bad.. :)

There are probably others, but these are the ones i always think of as being disappointing on cd. 

Anyone else know great live bands that albums don't do justice?
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  • Not sure if they're still around, but were well known for being fantastic live and that's what they lived for. British sea power

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  • Steel Panther
    Flogging Molly
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 19601
    Crowded House
    Squeeze

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  • GassageGassage Frets: 19601
    Also:
    All About Eve. Superb live.

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2582
    Derek Trucks band. Studio albums never quite hit the spot.
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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5441
    Gary Clark Jnr, so much better live than the records, especially the debut album.

    Bruce Springtseen and the E-Street Band, especially the 70s output where live they were unstoppable but the studio albums of that time (I'm thinking "Born to Run" and "Darkness..." in particular here) never quite captured the energy that was overflowing in the live work.
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 1566
    Gary Clark Jnr, so much better live than the records, especially the debut album.

    Bruce Springtseen and the E-Street Band, especially the 70s output where live they were unstoppable but the studio albums of that time (I'm thinking "Born to Run" and "Darkness..." in particular here) never quite captured the energy that was overflowing in the live work.
    Wis'd. Live versions of Springsteen tracks almost always defeat album versions for feel, energy and groove.

    The only exceptions are some of the keyboard-heavy mid-late-80s work like Human Touch or Tunnel Of Love, both of which I adore for their own reasons (Porcaro's drums, Lofgren's guitar solo respectively)

    But even the later material tends to be better live... listen to recordings of Wrecking Ball or American Skin (41 Shots) and tell me that the studio versions are superior... I will LOL you with a button.
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    TBH just about every band should be better live than on record these days as apart from anything else that's how they earn their money.  And now they have all the technology to get a great sound on stage as well, that certainly wasn't always the case.

    There was a concert by "Jeff Lynne's" Electric Light Orchestra on TV recently, and the sound they got was almost exactly like the original recordings.  I saw them live back in the late 70's and they had to make huge compromises compared to the records.  Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys have gone through a similar renaissance - in their heyday the technology to reproduce their sound live simply didn't exist.  Ditto Dave Gilmour - some of the early live performances of Dark Side of the Moon left much to be desired.  

    I can think of a fair few bands in the past who were better on record than they were on stage but in the modern day surely every recording is going to be a let down once you've seen them live.   


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  • The Ramones. Distinctly hit and miss after the first three LPs but they remained a force to be reckoned with on stage right up to the end.
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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 996
    Spiritualized. I saw them maybe five or six times in times of yore and they were always mesmerising. I always thought the records sounded restrained in comparison and never really held my attention.
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 1575
    Not sure if they're still around, but were well known for being fantastic live and that's what they lived for. British sea power
    They're still around, did a new album last year.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 975
    A lot of country music, my wife drags me to country to country most years where we see loads of raucous live bands who sound great, get the albums and all the good bits have been produced out of them.  The exception was Carrie Underwood who was horribly screamy live but ok on cd.  
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8444
    Compare Rainbow On Stage with the first (studio) LP. On Stage is very lively and loadsa fun. The other one is played at half tempo and with no fire. It's dull by comparison.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    Compare Rainbow On Stage with the first (studio) LP. On Stage is very lively and loadsa fun. The other one is played at half tempo and with no fire. It's dull by comparison.
    To me it's the other way round - On Stage sounds ludicrously fast, like what happens when the drummer gets gig-adrenalin... it ruins the pace and feel of the songs. Dio even struggles to get some of the lines out quickly enough.

    It may depend on which one you heard first, possibly.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8444
    ICBM said:
    Compare Rainbow On Stage with the first (studio) LP. On Stage is very lively and loadsa fun. The other one is played at half tempo and with no fire. It's dull by comparison.
    To me it's the other way round - On Stage sounds ludicrously fast, like what happens when the drummer gets gig-adrenalin... it ruins the pace and feel of the songs. Dio even struggles to get some of the lines out quickly enough.

    It may depend on which one you heard first, possibly.
    Can't remember which I heard first, tbh. But Man on the silver mountain is just so ponderous on the studio lp.
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  • mortmort Frets: 403
    Agree about the Ramones.

    Another band that springs to mind were Mott the Hoople, the first few albums were very weedy sounding, but they were a riot live.


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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3538
    I never liked any of the Thin Lizzy studio stuff really but Live it had much more energy
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  • I saw the Super Furry Animals three times between 97 and 2000 and each show was tremendous. But every time I tried to get into their albums it just didn't work for me.
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  • antonyivantonyiv Frets: 53
    Manu Chao. :) Pretty repetitive albums, but he has crazy energy on stage. 

    Depeche Mode have different feel on their songs live, which I prefer to the studio versions. Although Andy Fletcher is boring as hell.
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 1575
    Not the band as I love them on or off record, but some of Ash's songs are totally different beats live, especially Walking Barefoot, Kung Fu and Jack Names The Planets.
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 47
    It's been a long time, but I saw Anthrax about 5 times in the late 80s (I think the last time I saw them was '90 or '91).

    I didn't particularly like their albums, even at the time -- I was already moving away from metal -- but they were a brilliant live act, and always had fantastic support acts (Living Colour, King's X, etc.).


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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 47
    Speaking of which, King's X were completely amazing live. 
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  • I’ll get shot down in flames for this one... but AC/DC
    Unbelievable live - not so in the studio 
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  • RandallFlaggRandallFlagg Frets: 5266
    edited January 17
    Prince. Amazing live performer but a lot of his albums sound like the songs really needed a workout and honing with a live band before recording. I have read that Prince would often record quickly and impulsively playing many of the parts himself, if not all himself. That leaves some of the albums sounding a little undercooked in my opinion.
    "This is this"
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  • Strat54Strat54 Frets: 776
    I always think that a lot of the artists and bands who gigged and gigged for years before getting a record deal are never so great in the studio. Gary Clark Jr has already been mentioned and he is dreadful in the studio but amazing live. Like two different people. Its like they can't perform without an audience to bounce off.
     To be honest quite a lot of the bands I like are much better live or rather I enjoy them live more. In fact I'm a fan of live albums for this reason. Stevie Ray Vaughan's recorded output left a lot to be desired but live he was amazing. Modern blues player like Schofield, Trucks, Laurence Jones, KWS are much better live. I often think artists should gig the new material and then go straight in to record it. 
    I'm more a fan of Joe Bonamassa live (but not at £100) than his polished records. I might blame Kevin Shirley for that, every instrument on every album sounds the damn same In fact Bonamassa sounds better on his Instagram videos than his records. Then again so does Greg Koch. 
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 512
    Although I adore both their albums, Money are less than complementary of their own studio efforts compared to their live work.

    Here's why.


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  • VibetronicVibetronic Frets: 245
    Korn; never really liked their albums apart from the odd song, and actually thought they were a bit crap. Saw them at Download and they absolutely kicked arse; tight, heavy, loads of energy and really got the crowd going. I was really surprised, but they were the best band there by a mile in my opinion!
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  • Built To Spill 
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  • horsehorse Frets: 501
    edited January 17
    Matt_McG said:
    Speaking of which, King's X were completely amazing live. 
    They weren't too shabby in the studio either though were they, at least on the albums that had decent budgets?
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  • John Mayer. Never actually been to a gig, but his studio albums are so dull in comparison to the Live at the Nokia Theatre DVD. What a stonker.
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