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10 Live Recordings That Trump Their Studio Counterparts :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste

Not a bad place to start. What are some of your favourite live recordings?

10 Live Recordings That Trump Their Studio Counterparts :: Blogs :: List of the Day :: Paste

Recording a single song in the studio is usually a full day’s work. Hours can be spent tweaking drum sounds, getting a dozen guitar takes and overdubbing vocals. It takes a perfectionist to sit in the producer’s chair, making sure every note is in its place. So when a band can press “record,” step out on stage, and capture something more spectacular in a single take, it’s an accomplishment. These 10 songs are just a handful of the many times that the magic of an audience triumphs over the most advanced recording techniques. I could have continued the list with The Avett Brothers, Frightened Rabbit, Phish, The Hold Steady, R.E.M., The Dave Matthews Band, Wilco and countless others, but these 10 stood above the pack.


From Twitter 10-06-2010


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  1. I haven’t read the list yet, but the two that leap immediately to my mind are Led Zeppelin’s rendition of “No Quarter,” on The Song Remains The Same and Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like I Do” from Frampton Comes Alive. Also, the Dead Can Dance release “Toward the Within,” contained all kinds of songs that didn’t exist on any album at that time (and some that still don’t) and were wonderful; I think it’s actually their strongest album despite being live.

  2. Cheap Trick, “Ain’t That a Shame” or really anything from “Live at Budokan”.

  3. Pretty much any live music with decent production values is likely to make my list, with the possible exception of really intricate and/or delicate music (e.g., there are days when I’d rather hear Jean Michel Jarre in studio than live).

    Limiting myself to commercial releases, then. Songs that stand out are “Family Snapshot”, “Intruder”, and “Biko” from Peter Gabriel Plays Live; “Morning Dew” on the Grateful Dead’s Europe 72; “Motorway City” by Hawkwind on Live ’79; and any track you want to name on Renaissance: Live at Carnegie Hall. I’m surely forgetting about fifty or a thousand tracks I ought to mention, but just home from work and delivering offspring to education makes for bad brain function.

    More later, perhaps.

  4. I tend to prefer live music to studio work, especially when it comes to metal. But by far my favorite has to be Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony performing For Whom The Bell Tolls at the S&M show.

    The entire concert is fabulous. Michael Kamen, then the musical director of the SF Symphony, made the 100-piece orchestra a part of Metallica, instead of just backing the band.

    A close second is Judas Priest’s Heavy Duty/Defenders of the Faith

  5. Just about any 1975-82 Fleetwood Mac.
    Anything by The Who. Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits….

    The hell with it! Studio’s fab, but there’s NO substitute for being Right There while the music’s being MADE.

  6. The rooftop version of Get Back.

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