Bands that you prefer their live albums to their studio ones.

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axisusaxisus Frets: 9893

Two artists come under this banner for me, Joe Satriani and Neo prog rockers Pendragon.

I probably have about two thirds of Satch’s studio albums, there are great tracks, OK tracks and ones I’m not so keen on. They are mostly good, but for me his music absolutely comes alive with his live albums, two in particular, Live in San Francisco and Live in Montreal. The music has so much energy and power, and Joe really knows how to control a very loud high gain guitar. When I dig one of these albums out it stays in the car for weeks at a time.

Likewise with Pendragon. As a small independent band their early albums lacked production polish, but after 40 years they have a lot of gems in their catalogue. They were a slightly timid band live in the 80, but now singer/guitarist Nick Barrett is a seasoned pro, and once again, their last couple of live albums are brimming with scintillating solos. Prog isn’t everone’s cup of tea but it is mine, and Pendragon live would probably be the music I would listen to by choice as I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Any bands you prefer live?


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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2057
    Mountain - their studio Lp's never quite had the impact of live renditions -



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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5427
    We had a similar thread not long ago.

    Gary Clark Jnr for sure, his live stuff is way better than the albums.

    Springsteen is one as well where the energy of the live shows hasn't always been captured in the studio.
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 1411
    John Mayer. I can’t listen to studio versions of pretty much anything that’s on Where The Light Is. 
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 9893
    BRISTOL86 said:
    John Mayer. I can’t listen to studio versions of pretty much anything that’s on Where The Light Is. 
    Good call, that's a great album
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  • BRISTOL86BRISTOL86 Frets: 1411
    axisus said:
    BRISTOL86 said:
    John Mayer. I can’t listen to studio versions of pretty much anything that’s on Where The Light Is. 
    Good call, that's a great album
    I’m biased of course, because it’s what made me pick up an electric guitar so it’ll always be especially meaningful for me. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6679
    We had a similar thread not long ago.

    Gary Clark Jnr for sure, his live stuff is way better than the albums.

    Springsteen is one as well where the energy of the live shows hasn't always been captured in the studio.
    I was replaying the Clark studio albums the other day and I like them more as time goes by. They aren't what you might expect them to be or even very much like he is live but they are well made records. 

    Anyway, probably Rory Gallagher who made some excellent live recordings but the studio albums were pretty patchy. I suppose the advantage of live recordings is that they tend to be a greatest hits type deal with less obvious filler ( well, if you skip Rory's eight minute mandolin  solos...).
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 372
    We had a similar thread not long ago.

    Gary Clark Jnr for sure, his live stuff is way better than the albums.

    Springsteen is one as well where the energy of the live shows hasn't always been captured in the studio.
    I was replaying the Clark studio albums the other day and I like them more as time goes by. They aren't what you might expect them to be or even very much like he is live but they are well made records. 

    Anyway, probably Rory Gallagher who made some excellent live recordings but the studio albums were pretty patchy. I suppose the advantage of live recordings is that they tend to be a greatest hits type deal with less obvious filler ( well, if you skip Rory's eight minute mandolin  solos...).
    Rory quite clearly regarded recording in the studio as a chore - I'm a huge fan but his studio LP's are all forgettable. 

    However, back in the 60's and 70's technology was such that a lot of bands struggled to better their studio sound in live recordings, and most "live" albums had to be tweaked or, in some cases completely overdubbed. 

    That aside, the end result was often worth it.  Wishbone Ash's "Live Dates" from 1973 was so much better than their studio recordings it rendered  "Argus" and "Pilgrimage" impossible to listen to.  I don't really mind if some parts have been dubbed, and I'm sure they must have been, it's still a great album.
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  • Nightwish, because that's the only way to listen to Floor Jansen singing their old songs.  I tend to prefer the older songs but I think Floor is incredible, in fact I think she sings better on the live releases than she did on their last album.
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  • We had a similar thread not long ago.

    Gary Clark Jnr for sure, his live stuff is way better than the albums.

    Springsteen is one as well where the energy of the live shows hasn't always been captured in the studio.

    I listened to an interview with someone who had produced Springsteen albums.  Apparently he sometimes doesn't like it when everything sounds so pristine and cleanly played.  When asked what the guy does to sort that he said he just turns Bruce's guitars up in the mix, since he's a lot less refined than the other studio musicians.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4180

    Two classic examples - Thin Lizzy,  Live & Dangerous and UFO - Strangers in the Night.

    Robin Trower Live! is my favourite Trower album - possibly my favourite album full stop - but I love the studio ones as well.

    Humble Pie - Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore

    Johnny Winter And... Live and Captured Live.

    Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - Live Bullet.

    Wishbone Ash - they have lots of great live albums, although again I love the studio albums as well.

    Rush - All the World's a Stage.  I bought this particular live album before I got the studio albums, so I prefer the versions I heard first.  But Rush are great, stage or studio.

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  • mortmort Frets: 403
    The Ramones - It’s Alive

    Better than all their studio efforts. 
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 325
    Philly_Q said:

    Two classic examples - Thin Lizzy,  Live & Dangerous and UFO - Strangers in the Night.

    Yep, went for both
    also
    Live in the Heart of the City. - Whitesnake


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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8273
    Rainbow On Stage is far livelier than any of the studio LPs.
    Lindisfarne Live likewise
    Wishbone Ash: the Live dates Vol II version of Living Proof beats hands down the studio version on Just Testing
    John Mayall Jazz/Blues Fusion and Moving On are IMO his best LPs, Beano included!
    Camel live are superb, different to the studio versions perhaps but always interesting
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30420
    Take That
    "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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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 4511
    Not only live albums, but some bootlegs as well are far better than the originating studio albums.
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  • Nightwish, because that's the only way to listen to Floor Jansen singing their old songs.  I tend to prefer the older songs but I think Floor is incredible, in fact I think she sings better on the live releases than she did on their last album.
    Alas for me the last album wasn't much good. Not Floor's fault, but Thuomas for writing a poor set of songs. But yes live she does a cracking job with the old material.

    But crikey watching/listening to Floor belt out Ghost Love Score live is really something. 

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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3263
    Unless it's something like Floyd where they do stuff in the studio that's difficult to reproduce on stage, I generally prefer live albums to studio ones for most bands.
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  • the_twinthe_twin Frets: 129
    BB King
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  • proggyproggy Frets: 1535
    Waiting For Columbus is my favourite Little Feat album and Bursting Out is my favourite Jethro Tull album.
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