These are my favourite Live Albums, the ones that I listen to regularly, that I connect with. Certainly not a definitive collection of ‘Greatest Live Albums EVAH’. More a collection that brightens my day and hopefully contains one or two that are new to you, inspiring you to investigate ‘em further. Also, they’re not ranked, ‘cos I like ‘em all!
Pearl Jam – Live At Benaroya Hall (2004)
Ahhh, yeah…. full disclosure; I’ve been a mega fan of Pearl Jam ever since I first heard Ten in my teenage years. Their back catalogue overflows with live material, mainly because they decided to release every gig they play as an official bootleg. However, Live At Benaroya Hall was released by their record company as a full 2 CD release.
As it’s 2004 it doesn’t contain their latest material. But it does contain the classics, some rarities and some covers. All played pretty much acoustically. Beautifully recorded and rare for a live album – the audience actually adds to the ambience. But the greatest thing about it is it’s warts ’n all; the mistakes are left in and talked about, the in-between ramblings from Eddie, the interplay between band members.
If I feel like some Pearl Jam but can’t decided which album, this is a no-brainer for instant gratification. A corker. On headphones or a good hi-fi you feel like you are there.
Highlights for me are, erm, all of it! But especially “Man Of The Hour” written for Tim Burton’s Big Fish movie, the Ten epic “Black” and Victoria Williams cover and set staple “Crazy Mary”.
If you enjoy this but want the band fully electrified try the Live At The Gorge boxset (7 CD’s!). For more acoustic awesomeness look for their Unplugged session (it also came as a bonus DVD with the Ten Redux release). Continue reading Live Albums: My Top Picks