04 October 2008

"Got Live If You Want It."

Hog Farm Members in Free Kitchen, Woodstock Music and Art Festival, 1969, photo (c) Lisa Law
[Editor Epigram:] More wisdom from inside the business: essential Guest Contributor King Bishop's second helping:
Let me begin this diatribe with a statement: I DON'T LIKE LIVE ALBUMS! Most are sloppily recorded excuses for getting an album out while we write material for the next studio album. Sometimes it's an excuse to revive previously released material and hopefully give it a second chance to hit (KISS ALIVE and FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE are two phenomenally popular examples of this), but my little article is about 10 live albums that I personally find exciting. This is just my opinion, but since I am King Bishop, my opinion is gospel!

Though this was the breakout performance for the most influential guitarist of the rock era and includes fantastic tunes (for example, LIKE A ROLLING STONE that Jimi dedicates to Bob Dylan's grandmother who he swears is in the audience!), the stage was stolen by the Incredible OTIS REDDING as white audiences were introduced to the electrifying performances of I'VE BEEN LOVING YOU TOO LONG, SHAKE, and TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS among others. Otis hadn't broke onto the airwaves yet, and sadly didn't till after his death. At the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME they have a piece of the plane that Otis died in. It says OTIS REDDING on it and gave me and my wife chills.

Not really completely a live album per se, because one side was studio (and strong! HEARD IT ON THE X, TUSH, MEXICAN BLACKBIRD, etc.), but the live side showcases the fun and power "the little band out of Texas " can display! One of their best!

Frank at his creative peak! Flo and Eddie telling the story of that famous MUD SHARK! (If you don't know the story, I'm not gonna tell you!) NOTABLE QUOTES: "Everyone in this room is wearing a uniform. Don't kid yourself!"

7.) LITTLE RICHARD'S GREATEST HITS (Okeh Records -1968 -- recorded at the Okeh Club)
This was at the height of Little Richard's revived career via TV talk shows as he tears through a set of his 50s hits and presents his over-the-top personality that makes this an absolute must! Listening to this helped create a love for 50s rock and roll that beats forever in my heart till this very day. NOTABLE QUOTES: "WANT ALL THE WOMEN SAY WHOOOOOOO! WANT ALL THE MEN SAY UGH!! OOOOOH MY SOUL!"

Jim Morrison. A live mike. Phenobarbital. Magic. NOTABLE QUOTES: "SHUT UP!!! NOW IS THAT ANY WAY TO ACT AT A ROCK AND ROLL CONCERT???"

Frampton was gone, Steve Mariott don't need no doctor and everything is cool...cold actually, STONE COLD FEVER! Their best!

Country's first million selling album (FOLSOM), Country's first # 1 album (SAN QUENTIN) and the only man who could make country music "cool" for everybody. Cash is at full power as excellence prevails. Both albums have been re-issued with the entire concerts included and we are all the luckier for it! NOTABLE QUOTES: "COULD SOMEBODY BRING ME MY BAG FROM THE BACK? YOU KNOW....THE BAG I KEEP ALL MY DOPE..ER...THINGS IN!"

Forget that Centerfold shit! Forget that Freeze Frame crap! This early Geils release has the band at their truest as WHAMMER JAMMER/HARD DRIVIN'MAN will scorch the speakers! With minor hit LOOKIN' FOR A LOVE, the band sears through some Otis Rush and other blues greats covers that will blow you away! Highly recomended!

This double album made GOD DAMN THE PUSHER MAN a household name! I don't believe I ever knew anybody of my age group that didn't have this album! Parents freaked as "I SMOKED A LOT OF GRASS...LORD I POPPED A LOT OF PILLS" blared through the weekly bunco club meetings and set the tone for the unrest to come! And it had a really cool lookin' wolf on the cover!

The soundtrack of a generation!! NOTABLE QUOTES: Arlo Guthrie: NEW YORK THROUGHWAYS CLOSED MAN! LOTTA FREAKS! Stephen Stills: THIS IS ONLY THE THIRD TIME WE'VE PLAYED LIVE. WE'RE SCARED SHITLESS!" [Editors Note: Stills is not kidding either; he has an ego the size of Texas and that Woodstock gig terrified him.] The music runs the gamut of Ritchie Havens, Joan Baez to Santana and the Star-Spangled Banner immortalized by Jimi! The soundtrack of a generation!!

There are many other "Live" albums that are worth noting (ALLMAN BROTHERS AT THE FILLMORE, LIVE/DEAD; AFTER BATHING AT BAXTER'S, etc.) and I'm sure you folks have your own personal faves! These are some of mine!
[Endnote: Thanks to my editorial staff and, again, to King Bishop.]


drcabana said...


paco malo said...

The succinct link above is to the following live album, Alison Krauss & Union Station - Live [LIVE], which I both own and also know, as does drcabana, a little bit about.

Without praising Alison or Union Station, I can say that on this eclectic masterwork Jerry Douglas redefines what it means to play acoustic slide dobro.

Hot. Hot. Hot. Praise the Lord.

LadyMadeleine said...

Some good choices on there, KB, but am I the only one who noticed there are no women on this list? This is just the kind of thing Heart and Pat Benatar had to fight! I'm surprised the blogmaster didn't add his favourite live Anne Murray album, with the extended club mix "Snowbird".

Seriously though, Otis, ZZ, Little Richard, Doors, and The Man are all good... but I might throw in Clapton's Unplugged somewhere...


whiteray said...

Lotsa good stuff on there. I still think the most thrilling live recording in my collection is "Statesboro Blues" from the Allmans' Fillmore album: "Ladies, and gentlemen, the Allman Brothers Band" and then the boys proceed to do Willie McTell proud!

Paco Malo said...

Personally, I gotta go with the full concert reissue of "The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East". The expanded, full concert, version (Tom Dowd still at the helm) has a great encore segment that is icing on the cake of this blue-eyed blues masterwork.


WHERE ARE THE GIRLS??? WHERE ARE THE GIRLS??? They are backstage, waiting with their bright red lipstick, textured hosiery and mud sharks! ( According to what Social Distortion told me!!!

Paco Malo said...


Have you ever seen Alison Krauss, or Lucinda Williams, or Emmylou Harris live. My God man, humans of the female persuasion are great fronting the band too. (All of the above have superlative live albums; if she did, Pattie Smith would be on that list. And Bonnie Raitt doing "Angel From Montgomery" with John Prine will rip your soul out.)

I must admit, your list is a bit, upon close examination, testosterone soaked. Maybe you watched even more "Wild, Wild West" than I did, or are just plain burned out on groupies and dames in general. If you need 1/2 a grapefruit, let me know -- I'll steal one up the street and mail it to you.