Best Live Album – 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards
Last year’s best live albums were more than mere concert souvenirs. The greatest of them revealed glimpses of hardworking bands on the road, hammering out their familiar material in new and often exciting ways. Some of them expanded on classic live albums from back in the day, while others showed still-vital bands operating at their full audience-pleasing power. But which was the best? Vote now for the Best Live Album in the 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards, and let us know.
‘Live at the Academy of Music 1971′
‘On Air: Live at the BBC Vol. 2’
Before they retreated to the studio to create their masterworks, the Beatles were regulars on the BBC’s various radio programs. This second volume of originals and covers from those days surges with youthful energy and playfulness.
Chickenfoot‘s first live album, recorded during their 2009 and 2012 tours in support of their two studio albums, unsurprisingly includes songs from both of those records. Their road-seasoned sturdiness comes through loud and clear.
‘Miami Pop Festival’
Jimi Hendrix’s abbreviated set from this rain-drenched music fest is full of guitar fireworks, as the instrument’s master (as well as his rock-solid band, the Experience) storms through some of his best-known songs with reckless fury and pinpoint professionalism.
‘Rockin’ the Fillmore: The Complete Recordings’
Humble Pie’s famous live album was pared down from these recordings. This new set collects every single note played at these shows. Even though the same songs were repeated night after night, the electrifying performances were totally original.
‘Metallica Through the Never’
The soundtrack to Metallica‘s big-screen feature ‘Through the Never’ doubles as a nifty live album from a band that hasn’t released a full-scale physical concert document in 20 years. Thirty years of thunderous classics wrapped up in two powerful discs.
Recorded at a 2011 show, Ted Nugent‘s ‘Ultralive Ballisticrock‘ rolls through almost 40 years’ worth of the Motor City Madman’s greatest hits, all delivered with stage-hardened precision. Best of all, Nugent band vet Derek St. Holmes is back on board.
‘Clockwork Angels Tour’
There are plenty of classics to go with the newer songs culled from Rush’s tour in support of their latest album. But the big news here is the string section onstage with the trio, adding new levels of depth to the music.