Best live album you've ever heard?

This is certainly inspired by the album that is kickin' it very LOUD here. I have many many live albums by every one from A-Z, but NONE come close to this one except Johnny Winter And Live, or the Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East. The Stones' Get Your Ya Ya's Out has to be the best live rock'n'roll album ever. God bless Mick Taylor. I live in a concrete block house, and it is still shakin'. If any of you know of a better live recording than these, please fill me in. Thanks, Tom
The Band, "Last Waltz"
You hit all of the right notes with your choices but my best goes to Ten Years After, "Undead". Peaky mikes, buzzing amps, sweat so hot that it has a sound, sloppy playing, banal raps and all in a very small club with Alvin Lee's guitar screaming in submission. Hardly purist, but the closest I have ever heard to the actual experience of seeing an electric blues band in a small club. When Lee says, at the beginning of Comin'Home, "You may all consider yourselves recording artists tonight." the hair on the back of my neck stands on end.
I think Bonnie Raitt's "Road Tested" is excellent, especially the DTS 5.1 version. On "Love Me Like a Man" her guitar and vocals are right there!!
Jerry Lee Lewis at the Star Club

Sinatra in Paris (London's even better)

Honorable mentions; Ellington at Newport Complete
Sinatra at the Sands
Wynton Marsalis Village Vanguard Box
Kurt Elling in Chicago
Massacre, Meltdown sounds clearer and has more velocity and concussion than 90% of the discs in any collection. Frith, Laswell and Hayward do some of their best work on this one.

Harriet Tubman, Prototype, also sonically light years beyond most live rock recordings. Most gigs don't sound as good even when you're right in front of the mixing board.

Kraan live 74, Amazingly skilled and inventive jazz rockers refined and developed their great studio stuff by playing 200 plus live dates per year. Wolbrandt was like an early George Benson on mescaline and steroids. The electric sax, bass and percussion are also superlative.(not the best fidelity tho').

The Who, Live at Leeds, CRAPPY!! recording, but in this case, it doesn't matter. In terms of raw euphonious explosive power, no live record of this era that I've listened to comes close. You gotta look at Hendrix and then skip ahead to the Mahavishnu Orch. before even attempting to make a comparison.
I tend to find live albums just don't transmit.
Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous was and is viewed as the high point of their career.
If You Want Blood by AC/DC is highly regarded too....
Likewise Bob Marley Live and James Brown's Live At The Apollo often are touted as the greatest live album ever...
As I say I really tend to avoid live stuff,I'm just starting to work through a lot of Miles Davis live stuff,certainly 50's/60's Jazz works better live than rock music to my ears.
I'm actually on two live albums-The Waterboys-Live Adventures and Exit Stage Left by Rush-neither of which really capture what it was like to be there which is where I came in..........................
Belafonte at Carnegie Hall and Bravo Brubeck! Don
Little Feat ... "Waiting For Columbus."
"Bob Marley Live". Not just a great album, but a moving music experience.
Dire Straits - On the Night
1. Bob Segar "Live Bullet"
2.Sting "all this time"
3. Little Feat " waiting on columbus"
4.Bruce Hornsby " here comes the noise makers"
5.Eva Cassidy "Live at blues alley"
Brand X "Livestock". This album is so well done that you would swear you're listening to a studio album, until you hear the applause after the first track. What really hits you is that this band is so tight with very difficult material, you can't believe that they played it live. Most bands would need 20 re-takes, and hours of editing to sound half this good. 99% of bands couldn't even play this material at all. Recording and sound quality is also great, which is kind of rare for many live albums. If you are into very progressive fusion, you need this album. It's one of my all time favorites.
most direct to disc live studio takes typically have next to incredible dynamics.

jazz at the pawnshop has fun jazz and tremendous ambience, thats my pick aside from dd
I agree with Twl, Brand X Livestock is a remarkable performance by musicians in a whole different league than most of those mentioned above (Percy Jones' bass work is incredible)and a superb live recording.
The Allman Brothers Live at The Fillmore East

The Talking Heads - Stop Makin' Sense (new complete concert)

Jazz At The Pawnshop

J. Geils Band - "Live" Full House

Great concert recordings, but not great quality recordings:
Benny Goodman 1938 Carnegie Hall
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra at Newport
Gorefest "Eindhoven Insanity" link. This has to be one fo the best live death metal performances I've ever heard on a CD. The sound on this CD is phemoninal, esp. since most live death metal CDs are terrible. And the actual performance was pretty good too! It's a shame this one is out of print and so hard to find.

Give it a listen on a good digital source and full range speakers with healthy amplifier behind them. Awesome.

From the CD liner notes...
The idea to release this live Lp came up on the 1st day of the Dynamo Open Air festival where we were set to play the 2nd day. When we found out that a Dutch radio station was recording some bands playing the festival on 24 tracks to be broadcast some time later on a late night rock program, and that we could get those recordings and do with' them as we pleased. Since the "Dynamo" is Hollands biggest metal festival we saw it as the high light of our carreer so far to be featured on the festival bill and it seemed like a good idea to do this little live thing inbetween tours
The basic idea behind this release is to capture the feel of that gig complete with all the little mistakes that happen when you are jumping around on a stage and banging your head off. Especially when you're playing in front of 45.000 people from all over Europe, you can bet that it gets you quite nervous!
The other thing that got us stressed was the fact that our drummer had had surgery on his right hand thumb one day before the gig, leaving him with a hole through wich you actually could see the bone. All of this didn't make him and us feel very comfortable the las hours before the gig.
Anyway it was a day we will never forget, and hopefully you all enjoyed it as the response from the crowd was really overwhelming. Thats the reason we've released this, a reasonable soundquality live recording (we think) and hope you like it. Our thanks go out to all you people who've enjoyed our gigs and supported us over the last three and a half years and who made us what we are today, Watch out for our next studio album early summer '94
GF '93
Michel Jonasz' "la fabuleuse histoire de Mister Swing" is one of the best recordings I own; be it live or studio, analog or digital. The dynamics, open soundstage and slam of this imported 2 disc CD are fantastic (and this is 1988 digital)!. The music may not be everyone's cup of Bordeaux (picture Bryan Ferry crooning in French with a fusion band) but for a stereo spectacular, it remains my favorite.
Michel Jonasz' "la fabuleuse histoire de Mister Swing" is one of the best recordings I own; be it live or studio, analog or digital. The dynamics, open soundstage and slam of this imported 2 disc CD are fantastic (and this is 1988 digital)!. The music may not be everyone's cup of Bordeaux (picture Bryan Ferry crooning in French with a fusion band) but for a stereo spectacular, it remains my favorite.
All listed are pretty good, but my favorite is "Cheap Thrills", Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Be sure to play it loud.
My favorite is "The Concert For Bangla Desh".
Michel Petruciani (sp?) live at the Blue Note in Tokyo, with Anthony Jackson and Steve Gadd. (This might only be available as an import).

Jim Dombrowski
Yusef Lateef - Live At Pep's.
Ben campbell, have you tried Miles Davis "the complete live at the plugged nickel 1965" 7 disc set. Upon my first listen it sounded a bit "studied". The next time round was a revelation of true artistry. Nicely recorded, too.
Unsound I am expecting a copy of the Plugged Nickel week,it's eight CD's actually...............
I am a complete fool.
Of course the best live album is Bob Dylan's infamous Manchester gig from '66 released officially as The Bootleg Series Vol 4-Live 1966-The Albert Hall Concert.
A double CD.
Awesome sound of Dylan and The Hawks electric (basically The Band without Levon Helm)set and Dylan's opening acoustic set.
How did I forget this???????
Undoubtly one of the few indespensible live albums and the recorded sound of history being made..............
Easy one..Gentle Giant's Playing the Fool !!!!
Two best sounding live albums by my ears ... one well known, the other not so well known. The well known one is 4 Way Street by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The not so well known one is Live At Gruene Hall by Jerry Jeff Walker.
Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
"Last Waltz"; "Frampton Comes Alive!"; "Old and In the Way"
I'll second the Little Feat "Waiting of Columbus". I doubt it's the best but it sure is fun listening.
Just a kick-ass double LP
Ben_campbell, my bad. Seven jewel boxes, eight discs.
Yusef Lateef & Adam Rudolph "the world at peace"
Joe Morris Quartet "at the old office"
Steve Roach "on this planet"
Peter Brotzman "machine gun"
Judy at Carnegie Hall. I know of no other album that conveys the true magic of a performer's entire being as that one does.
Jethro Tull "Bursting Out." Maybe because I saw them live twice on this tour but for me it brings back the memories of show I attended. What more can you ask from a live album.
Aroc - you are not alone (thank goodness - I was more than sure I was). I was going to write this, but the voice of hard music here falls on such dead ears, I had given up. So now, with gladness, here are my picks:

Destruction - Live Without Sense (a thrash epiphany)
Venom - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (one of the best ever)
Hawkwind - Space Ritual (space rock's gibraltar)

Feel free to email me anytime. This hobby is so full of people who say: "I used to be into hard music until my system got really good, then my horizons started expanding and I lost my taste for hard music." As Manowar says, "Stripes on a tiger don't wash away." My horizons aren't so narrow that I don't branch out, but I listen to what I like, which in my case doesn't even include Gorguts (although I've heard OF them, I've never actually HEARD them). I was a metal DJ from '91-'93, and they were a little after my time I think.

For everyone else - if your horizons expanded, and you stopped listening to other types of music, that is understandable (AND COMMON!), and that is the case for many people. But for some people, credibility is more important than individuality. I've seen alot of people drinking up "flavor of the day" Stereophile recommendations and so on, just to seem "hip", or "in the know". I have talked with young audiophiles before and asked them what type of music they listen to, and they rattle off a few predictable Stereophile flogs like Patricia Barber and Diana Krall, but after I get to know them a bit, their faves are actually modern hard music (Tool, NIN etc.) Once I told them I like the same kind of music, they dropped the smokescreen. Paul Klipsch had a word that would fit here. If you feel safer in a crowd, so be it, but remember that you can be your own person - music is the LAST place you should feel you have to fit in.

I'll give you three great ones, Edgar Winter- Roadwork , Gov't Mule- Live with a little help from our friends, and Lonnie Mack Live!- Attack of the killer V. TG
Hawkwind... oh my does that name bring back memories. Saw them in some small hall (Cleveland, Ohio) circa maybe 1973
Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live. Great performance and very dynamic recording.

I agree with all those folks who think Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus is an outstanding performance. I seem to remember reading about that album on Little Feats official web page. It seems Lowell George over dubbed some of the songs. That’s way the album never was nominated for a Grammy in the Live Performance category.
Oh come on, this is an easy question:
Gentle Giant: Official live Playing the Fool

I have to admit I was a bit irritated when I saw Shudson653 beat me to the answer!!!!
Jazz at the Pawnshop
In addition to some of the above:

Lou Reed Rock N' Roll Animal - Great blazing guitars. A great opening blast of twin guitars. Live, decadent, fantastic.

Jackson Browne - Running On Empty - Drums mixed second to Jackson's voice. All new material on a live album. David Lindley on board so great instrumentals and a great band.

Guns N Roses - GNR Live - I am not a big GNR fan but this has great sound and I finally understand why the band was so popular.

The Band - Rock of Ages Live on New Year's Eve. The first reissue on CD sucked. 3 horns including tuba player joining them. Allen Toussaint did the horns. Great version of chest fever. The LP was magical, can't speak as to any reissues since then.

Genesis 1967 - 1975 Boxed Set with Lamb performed live on 2 cd's and also some earlier performances. Accomplished musicianship at the top of their game. Right before Gabriel left the band.

I am sure I will think of more, but this is a start.
Johnny Winter And Live is the best Trich727 you are right.

Also thank you to Elgordo for Bravo Brubeck, the day I read this post I was at the music store and found Bravo Brubeck (vinyl used $3) and it is really tasty (I am listening now) Good Call!
Definitely some of the above mentioned albums bring back great memories! Most notably Allman Brothers: Fillmore East, Brand X: Livestock, Ellington at Newport.

Also, I know this doesn't count because its a bootleg tape,
but I used to love listening to the famous "Roscoe Pavillion" Grateful Dead tape. Does anyone know if that material is available on vynyl or cd now?

Final Vote however still goes to Gentle Giant Playing the Fool :)
Anybody mention The Cowboy Junkies "Trinity Sessions?" Tecnically there was no real audience but the whole thing was recorded live in a church and it sounds great. I still use both the CD and the LP when checking out a new piece of gear. I don't know that it would have any real historical value like some of the other "live" albums but it is a fun listen!
Heart - "The Road Home" It might suprise you. Produced by John Paul Jones
Hbarrel: I saw Heart when they were the "house band" at a bar in Seattle. They had excellent sound and could really move an audiance.

Two LP's stand out in my listening experience for great sound from a live recording; David Bowie Live at the Tower in Philly (double album), and The Guess Who Live (I don't know if that is the correct title, the album was "borrowed"), that has an extended version of "American Woman" revealing a truely political and nasty side of the band. I love them both.
Ten Years After , Recorded Live .
I'll go for Jimi Hendrix, Live at Winterland, first cd I ever bought and still spinning.....
for pure sound quality combined with performance magic the two that stand out to me are the 45rpm Classic Records reissue box sets of "Belefonte live at Carnigie Hall" and "the Weavers, 1963 Reunion". these are not rock and roll but will simply grab you and pull you completely into the performances.....almost unreal. if you are looking for the perfect recordings these just may be it.

next best would be my mint Nautilus half-speed of "The Allman Brothers, Live At The Filmore East".......totally great music but not at the magical sound quality of the other 2.