Reliving 7 Live Albums Released In The ’70s
Deep Purple for their Made in Japan album - Diamonds of Rock / Youtube
Aside from the studio album format which has been the staple in rock music, if not the whole industry, there’s quite the magic only live albums can offer. Whether it be impromptu jams or variations in delivery, these live albums also paved the way for artists who weren’t all too successful with their studio efforts. That being said, here are some landmark live catalogs from rock’s golden years.
Live At Leeds – The Who
The Who never really caught on with the live album craze despite their enigmatic showcases from the decade before, until Tommy skyrocketed their fame. This warranted a PR backing that had the band record their tour of Hull and Leeds by 1970. Sadly, Entwistle’s bass parts on the Hull series of shows were glitchy, leaving them with the Leeds recording. This doesn’t take away the fact that the remaining records were well-representative of the band’s live abilities.
Alive! – KISS
KISS was a touring workhorse for most of their earlier career, which had fans gravitating towards them like sharks on a trail of blood. The band wasn’t all too enthusiastic with their studio album’s sound, though, which had them recording their 1975 shows and doing some minor overdubs to polish up the sound. The resulting record is considered to be their prime work, propelling KISS into the mainstream effortlessly.
Live At Budokan – Cheap Trick
While Cheap Trick’s earlier records were hard hitters in their home court, America were snobs for most of their promotions. But the eastern lands of Japan revered them as rock gods, so the band made accommodations to play there in 1978. Following the concert, a live album its recordings were planned to be released exclusively in Japan, but it created much of a buzz that the West craved for it as well. Needless to say, Cheap Trick finally had their big break in America with the unorthodox stint.
The Song Remains The Same – Led Zeppelin
It’s no surprise that Led Zeppelin stunned crowds wherever they went in their prime years, but the band never really bothered delving into live album territory. The Song Remains The Same is the closest thing we ever got to one, being recorded from one of their final shows at Madison Square in 1973. The band was tired after a long time on the road, but The Song Remains The Same shows that their love for music and performing netted a stellar number for the books.
Made In Japan – Deep Purple
Deep Purple was making waves overseas with their hard-rocking, metal sound touching the inner metalhead of overseas fans like an anointment from the holy ghost. Budokan was a rock band mecca during the decade, which was probably why the band opted to tape some of their live album’s material in the area. Deep Purple’s classics were greatly enhanced in this live tapestry of performances, making Made In Japan one of the best live albums to ever surface from the decade.
Live Bullet – Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
Bob Seger’s career wasn’t a gradual, linear rise from the bottom, as the singer-songwriter was fairly popular already during his earlier years. “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” was one of the last records by Seger that achieved acclaim before dipping into a period of mediocrity. Things finally turned around for the better when Seger recorded a show at the Cobo Hall in Detroit for the live album, Live Bullet. Seger instantly went to stratospheric heights with the album’s release, becoming a household name in the blink of an eye.
At Fillmore East – The Allman Brothers Band
While the Allmans were definitely at the top rung of Southern rock acclaim, none of their studio records matched the scathing rawness of At Fillmore East. One of the live album’s most energy-driven cuts was the lengthy stretch “Whipping Post” transformed into, along with their usual set favorites in the mix. This marked one of the final records that Duane Allman played his best on, as he succumbed to a motorcycle crash just 7 months after the show was recorded.