The Quad City Mallards.
Well, in 2019, both of those teams are dead and buried so forget about them, but what happened on that particular trip is a big deal. I had this idea, let's listen to ONLY live records during the 11+ hours were going to be in the car.
Seriously, who doesn't friggin' love live albums so this was going to be the best god damned road trip we had ever taken..and we've gone on a fair few....right?
By the time we reached Middles of Nowheresburgvilletown, IL we had been asked how we were doing and if we were ready to rock so many times, those words had lost all meaning.
Lost all meaning.
So, in honor of the All Live Road Trip of 2004, let's talk to bands about what live albums they totally dig. Up first is Chron Goblin.
Check them on FACEBOOK and BANDCAMP.
1. Every major band worth its salt has released a live album. Tell me about your favorite A list band's live record and your favorite underground live album.
A list - Thin Lizzy: Live and Dangerous
Live and dangerous is such a flawless and technical album! The mix on this live album is phenomenal with a great balance of all of the instruments.
I really dig the track choices and the in-between song stage banter…some of which definitely would NOT fly in this day as it’s far from being politically correct!
I absolutely love the fact that the band can perform their songs (which can be extremely technical at times) with such finesse and style making little to no mistakes. It really proves how much talent was in the band and is a great source of influence to Chron Goblin as a live performance to strive for.
Underground (but not too underground) Earthless: Live at the Casbah
I actually bought this album not knowing it was a live album at the time. It only features 2 tracks and fills up the 38-minute mark.
Known as one of the greatest live bands of this era this album does not disappoint. They truly captured the beauty of Earthless’s improvisation skills during this wild performance.
The album makes you feel like you’ve dipped into a psychedelic trip and you're standing in the audience tripping out to the liquid light show and sonic experience.
2. Kiss, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, etc, all have released several live sets. Tell me about a band who's gotten you to purchase multiple live sets and why?
I’ve purchased numerous live ‘Clutch’ albums as they are one of my favorite rock bands. They have a truly organic sound and don’t hide behind effects or post-production edits - what you hear is just raw amps cranked, thunderous drums, and the preacher himself Neil Fallon spreading the gospel of rock n’ roll!
The live albums are true, genuine, and honest reflections of the band’s sound which is exactly why I highly recommend Clutch live albums.
3. Now, it's time to take a stand. Would you rather have an album like Kiss's Alive! where the tracks were doctored into perfection or would you rather have a Jimi Hendrix Live At Berkeley set where they just mixed and mastered the tapes?
A live album should be just that...a LIVE album in my opinion! Going in after the fact and fixing imperfections takes the ‘human’ element right out of it.
The imperfections of a live album are what give that sense of humanity and realism and has the ability to create a sense of connection to the album and the performance.
Those flubbed guitar parts and out of pitch notes are what makes a live album so special and should be left in its organic state.
4. In the early 90's, Anthrax released a live album called Live: The Island Years. Due to reasons beyond Anthrax's control, this one just never felt right to me and I soon unloaded it. Tell me about one that disappointed you when it came out?
A good friend of mine bought me a bootleg Black Sabbath ‘Live in Chicago’ album when Ian Gillan was singing. Because it is a bootleg there isn’t much information on it however my guess would be that it was recorded around 1983.
While the album is very special to me (specifically because it was a gift) - sonically the album is quite interesting. The mix is all over the place, it’s full of weird pops and other random noises, and that whole era of Gillan Sabbath is just weird to me.
To hear Gillan sing on the classics like ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Sweet Leaf’ just seems strange. All that said I’ll never get rid of the record...but it certainly doesn’t get played very much.
5. What's the right length for a live album?
I suppose if we’re talking about a vinyl record the 38 minutes mark is the golden length, however, if you’re doing a double album or digital does it really matter?
If the performance is on point and full of energy then there is no reason to shorten up the album-length and it should be captured in its entirety!