Live versions that are better than the studio?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by smoothrecluse, May 12, 2020.

  1. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    2,866
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Woodstock
    Just about everything The Who ever did.

     
    Charlie Bernstein likes this.
  2. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,697
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Augusta, Maine
    I don't think in songs. I think in albums. And in these albums, most of the songs are better than most of the studio versions. So the case can be made.

    (Exceptions: The tunes on the Dead and Dave Nelson are mostly either great covers of other artists' songs or songs they recorded live but not in the studio. Hard to imagine better studio versions, though.)

    Aretha Live at Fillmore West
    Europe '72 (Dead)
    Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Capaldi, Townsend, Winwood, Wood)
    The Concert for Bangladesh (Clapton, Dylan, Harrison, Preston, Russell, Shankar, Starr)
    Etta James Rocks the House
    Get Yer Ya-Yas Out (Stones)
    The Grateful Dead (a.k.a. the skeleton album)
    Hope At the Hideout (Mavis Staples)
    Judy Garland Live at Carnegie Hall
    Keeper of the Key (David Nelson Band)
    Live In Cook County Jail (B.B. King)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  3. Muadzin

    Muadzin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I'm surprised that nobody mentioned U2 yet. Their albums are good, their songs live a million times better. Once I get my hands on some tour bootlegs I don't even bother anymore with the studio versions. There was a time I collected U2 live bootlegs and I must have gotten 80% of every live show they had played up til 2005. I've played in some tribute bands and I ahad to advocate like crazy for the rest of the band to always use the live versions of songs, and not the studio versions. Because who has unlimited overdubs live? And why reinvent the wheel when A: the original band already did and B: people most likely expect hose live versions also.

    Other bands which are superior live in every aspect are Radiohead and Muse.
     
  4. scout2112

    scout2112 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    618
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2017
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Frampton Comes Alive
    Rush - Exit Stage Left... not everything on it is better than the studio, but the older stuff they played definitely is
     
  5. tonytrout

    tonytrout Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    2,868
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Location:
    Murphy, North Carolina (USA)
    I'll have a go:

    If you can get past those damn monotonous monologues, anything that Elvis performed in 1969/1970 is good (especially with James Burton on guitar).
     
    EllroyJames likes this.
  6. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    461
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    Northern California
    I have always thought the studio/radio version of Yellow Ledbetter (B-Side of the single Jeremy I think?) is totally vanilla and nowhere near as good as the live versions. The performance from the Tibetan Freedom Concert 1997 is so beautiful - easily my favorite version and one of the best PJ performances. The clarity and tone of the guitar is magic.

     
  7. thejeffersonlee

    thejeffersonlee TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    24
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Subcontinent of South Texas
    A lot of Dave Matthews Band live recordings outshine their studio stuff. They aren't an "electric" band as such, but they are all such incredible musicians that thrive in the back-and-forth spontaneity of live music. Live at Red Rocks is their gold standard for the earlier albums. Some cool Tim Reynolds licks there.

    Pink Floyd's Pulse is another great live recording I prefer to the studio tracks. The energy there is captivating.

    Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me in the studio is a cutesy laid-back affair, but their Live at Budokan is what set them off. Rick Nielsen tears it up there.

    Honorable mention: Not a rock or guitar song, per se, but Kelly Clarkson's performance of Since U Been Gone at the 2005 Video Music Awards---a show I usually ignore and an artist I don't particularly follow, but caught by chance---absolutely kills. I will still watch the YouTube video every few months because she effing nails it. Respect where it's due.
     
  8. gregj1964

    gregj1964 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    225
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Cash, Live From Folsom

    Elvis, Live from Madison Square Garden

    Tom Jones, Live from Las Vegas

    Erykah Badu, Live. Esp. Tyrone
     
  9. Jeremy_Green

    Jeremy_Green TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    48
    Joined:
    May 4, 2020
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I usually prefer studio recordings of pop or rock type music. But the more improvisational the band is, the more I lean towards the live recordings. Anything with real virtuoso players involved is almost always better live to me.
     
  10. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    628
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    Location:
    Alora Spain
    Bruce Springsteen 'ramrod'
     
  11. sanchezj

    sanchezj TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    7
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    For me:
    Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb, Delicate Sound of Thunder
    Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird, One More From The Road
    Fleetwood Mac - Silver Springs, The Dance
    Jethro Tull - Aqualung - Living With The Past
    Cream - Crossroads, Farewell Concert
     
  12. EllroyJames

    EllroyJames Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,424
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Location:
    Sweden
    Hot Rails To Hell

     
  13. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,368
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    knoxville, TN
    Also on How the West Was Won, by far my favorite Zeppelin. It roars. Their studio stuff sounds muddy and compressed in comparison.
     
    Colo Springs E likes this.
  14. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,368
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    knoxville, TN
    Nirvana live recordings are far superior to their studio stuff, even the much vaunted Albini recording. I wonder who was responsible for the best of their live sound.
     
  15. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    California
    I disagree with this one. Plant sings below the melody on the TSRTS version. I guess he couldn't hit the actual melody notes live. To my ears the studio version has a lot more energy, too.
     
  16. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,510
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    I find the live version much rawer and edgier. Yes, a little ragged.... I like it :)
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.