Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Admit It...I Love The Live Album

Well maybe not any released in the last twenty or so years but back in the day the double live album ruled.  I know that they are often heavily doctored in the studio but these live albums had a vibrancy that the studio efforts often did not have.  Usually, not always but usually, this was the case with bands that had not made what you would call a "classic" up to that point.  None of what follows will be a shocker to anyone, but I grew up with each of them and they still hold a special place in my collection.

Bob Seger had been huge prior to this 1975 classic.  The problem was he was huge in Detroit and maybe parts of the midwest.  This one put him on the map nationally.  I picked this up after Night Moves came out.  I tend ot go back and get everything an artist did when I find something new and back around 76 or 77 this was new for me.  It's hard to believe that as huge as Bob Seger got he was pretty much a non issue at West Babylon High School in the late '70's.  I think a friend and I were the only ones from school there when he played the coliseum on the Stranger in Town tour.   Oh well, I digress.  This one is rock solid from start to finish and Bob Seger rocks more and with more soul than he ever did again (and I really liked the next 3 albums).  From the opening of Nutbush City Limits to the hyper-speed Let It Rock this is a stone cold classic.

I've been buying records for as long as I can remember.  When I was but a young vinyl addict I often bought them because of the cover.  That's how I found Kiss at 13.  I was shopping with my mom at the old TSS store and there it was on the front rack.  I had to have it.  When I got home I think I played this non stop for the next month or so on my crappy little stereo.  Everything you could want at 13...

Now Destroyer was a fine record and I think I stayed on the Kiss train for another year or two, but the act wore thin as the music.  Not so with  Alive (and Destroyer).  This was a Rock & Roll Monster that still holds up today.  Art?  No.  A whole shit load of fun?  Yup.  Let Me Go Rock & Roll my friends.

My musical tastes expanded pretty fast and I grabbed a couple of Rush albums back around '76 or '77, All The World's a Stage and A Farewell To Kings (thank you Columbia House).  This was different.  A little spacey rock, a little Zep boogie and that voice.  Geddy Lee was, and is, an acquired taste as a singer but I always liked this stuff.  Rush didn't break big until Permanent Waves, but these got me on board early.  We must have drove around in my buddy's '59 Ford pickup listening to an 8-track of 2112 for a solid year straight!  I didn't much care for anything after Signals, but I still play those early records quite often.  Like all the other dads my age I got to take my son to see them a couple of time recently.  A pretty cool experience all around.

I got to see Rainbow at the Commack Arena right around the time this came out.  I think I prefer Rainbow to Deep Purple.  Ritchie Blackmore was a monster and Ronnie James Dio one of the finest singers of the era.  Too bad they couldn't get along.  Very much in the Deep Purple vein, Rainbow was all about mixing the blues with medieval images...Kill The King, Sixteenth Century Greensleeves, Man On The Silver Mountain.  A short lived burst of all sorts of musical goodness.  Then Dio left and Rainbow got wimpy.  Now Blackmore  literally plays medieval music in Blackmore's Night...what a waste.

There were so many more great live albums among them Frampton Comes Alive, UFO - Strangers In The Night, Foghat - Live.  There were also some that were less than stellar...The Song Remains The Same and the Stones Love You Live come to mind, but I can live with that.  It was a good time to be a music fan.

I'm am feeling a bit nostalgic of late, but these were great records.  I think I'm gonna keep on playing 'em.

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