Sunday, July 15, 2007

Live Albums

Its been wall-to-wall TV coverage of "rock music" the last few weeks, with Glastonbury, Concert for Diana, T in the Park and Live Earth. And, you know that these days, anything filmed will eventually end up on YouTube anyway.So if you missed Arctic Monkeys doing "Diamonds are forever", no worries. Last night's Glastonbury highlights did a better job of covering the festival than watching it live on multi-channel, picking out unique items like that one, and Lily Allen singing "Gangsters" with the Specials; which somehow made perfect sense - great to see Terry Hall again, and Lily seems a perfect addition to the pop landscape here. Amy Winehouse was remarkably good, of course, and I've liked what I've seen of the Pigeon Detectives, as well as the Artic Monkeys. In other words, there does seem a genuine crop of good young artists who've not only all arrived on the scene at once, but look like they might have a bit of longevity. It's all a matter of taste, of course, I could do without Rufus Wainwright as Judy Garland, and the Fratelli's pub singalongs. But, I digress. On the day that the Prince CD came free with the Mail on Sunday (not a patch on his previous two albums, but with a number of okay songs on a first couple of listens), I'm wondering if another "casualty" of the internet's ubiquity (joining Fopp records, Ash's album career, physical CDs and Saturday morning TV pop shows) will be the live album. Why on earth would anyone want to buy one when so much stuff is available on Youtube et all to download? And, I'm not even sure, that artists will keep releasing them - or rather, you'll be as likely to be able to get a "souvenir" of the show. I know the "live album" isn't always seen as one of the highlights of most discographies, but over the last few years I've got quite a taste for them - particularly those 70s double albums - if only to hear familiar songs in a different way, or to experience a band live I'd never had a chance of seeing. I'm just listening to Jeff Buckley's (excellent) Live at L'Olimpia and this morning had enjoyed Pearl Jam's Live at Beyanora Hall take on "Masters of War"; so here's 20 great(ish) live albums...

1. Live 1969 - Velvet Underground
2. Kick Out the Jams - MC5
3. Miles of Aisles - Joni Mitchell
4. Live at L'Olimpia - Jeff Buckley
5. Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape - Bauhaus
6. The 27 Points - The Fall
7. Live - War
8. The Name of This Band is Talking Heads - Talking Heads
9. Live at Rajis - Dream Syndicate
10. Live & Direct - Aswad
11. Live at the Counter Eurovision 79 - Misty in Roots
12. Live in Berlin - Au Pairs
13. Weld - Neil Young
14. Earth Tour Live - Parliament
15. Floating Anarchy - Gong and Here and Now Band
16. MTV Unplugged - Nirvana
17. Commodores Live - The Commodores
18. Live 87 - Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers
19. Hai! (Live Album) - Cabaret Voltaire
20. He Who Dares Wins - Theatre of Hate

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