Thank You and Goodnight: My Top 5 Live Albums

thewhoWhile a band can prove themselves in the studio, it takes a lot of guts to prove yourself live as well. There’ve been some incredible live albums that have been released over the years: Frampton Comes Alive, Kiss Alive!, and Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison to name a few. I figured I’d share some of my top live albums in order to hear yours. So please, If you don’t know what some of these albums are familiarize yourself and then either comment on this post or take yourself over to the forums to join us in our live album conversation.

Tame Impala – Live Versions

Tame Impala has released some of the greatest modern day psych of the 21st century. That’s a bold statement considering all the bands that are releasing music that draw from their influences of the past. The formula that Tame Impala sports is something between a rocking Beatles and a psychedelic Flaming Lips. Their Live Versions album was originally a 2014 Record Store Day exclusive — now available digitally too — of a live show recorded in Chicago on October 10th 2013.

Nirvana – Live At Reading

While Nirvana Unplugged is often hailed as the quintessential Nirvana performance, Nirvana Live At Redding has to be tied or come in at a close second. The concert starts by music journalist Everett True wheeling Cobain out in a wheelchair dressed in a hospital gown. It’s a savage set that has sold 50,000 copies in the United States alone, as well as more than 200,000 copies worldwide.

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Talking Heads – The Name of the Band Is Talking Heads

Often called out for being one of the greatest live albums of all time, The Name of the Band Is Talking Heads is a double live album that really shows how things should be done. The title of the album is a reference both to the group’s preference for having no expressed definite article within the band name. The band was never The Talking Heads, just Talking Heads. The expanded and remastered edition of the album is currently ranked No. 15 of Metacritic’s best reviewed albums.

Led Zeppelin – How The West Was Won/BBC Sessions

This one was so close to call that I thought it was best to put both. What is there to say? If you’re a fan of rock then these two albums are generally among your catalog. It’s freakin’ Led Zeppelin.

The Who Live at Leeds

A live album that showcases how talented The Who really is, Live At Leeds is the real deal. With a whole of a lot of history behind and during the album, any rocker knows why Live At Leeds is one my list.

Photo credit: By Jim Summaria (Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

One comment to “Thank You and Goodnight: My Top 5 Live Albums”
  1. I’ve become so You-Tubed that I can’t take concert recordings anymore unless there is video too.

    But these are great selections. The Talking Heads record is so great because you get to hear them at two stages of their development.

    On my personal list I would add the Stones’ “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out” and Wilco’s “Kicking Television”, because both bands are better live than on record.

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