There is a blog site I follow called Thunder Bay Arena Rock, run by the well informed hard rock and metal guru known as Deke.
Just recently, Deke had a list of his Top 10 live albums ever, with the rule being only one release is allowed from each artist.
You can read Deke’s post here.
And in the comments I mentioned a few releases that I would include in a list and suddenly I had a list ready in my mind.
So thanks to Deke for getting this list out of me.
Iron Maiden – Live After Death
It was my first exposure to Maiden and I became a fan for life. And the set list is a “best of” selection from the first five albums.
Ozzy Osbourne – Randy Rhoads Tribute
How Randy Rhoads crafted his triple tracked guitars from the albums into a single cohesive live track is worthy of a listen.
And the tempo is upped just a notch, which makes each track blistering.
Add to that a few Black Sabbath songs and the best version of “Children Of The Grave” I have heard, makes this album a keeper. Plus when I was learning how to play guitar, this album was my bible.
Evergrey – A Night To Remember
I love their melancholic, depressing and yet hopeful style of themes.
On occasions their music borders between progressive metal, heavy metal and hard rock.
There is even a Maiden “Live After Death” reference here, when Tom Englund gets the crowd involved for the song “The Masterplan” the same way Bruce Dickinson gets the crowd involved for “Running Free”.
Bruce Springstreen Live 1975-85
It was my first box set.
So much music and unbelievable live performances. No wonder Springsteen is called “The Boss”.
Even when I typed “Boss” in my Spotify search, Bruce Springsteen came up, however I was actually looking for the Aussie hard rock band called “Boss”.
Dream Theater – Live At Budokan
John Petrucci’s solo on “Hollow Years”.
You know how guitarists have a guitar solo spotlight during a concert with just them and no music. Well on this occasion, Petrucci’s solo is part of an extended solo in the song.
And its brilliant.
Dokken – Beast From The East
As a George Lynch fan, this has to be included and the band overall are in top form, regardless of their love and hate towards each other.
John Sykes – Bad Boy Live
He released two live albums.
One under Blue Murder called “Screaming Blue Murder” in 1994 to fulfill his Geffen contract and “Bad Boy Live” in 2004 under a Japanese label. While the Blue Murder live release focused more on his Blue Murder songs, “Bad Boy Live” is a career best of.
He kicks the show off with “Bad Boys” from the mega selling Whitesnake 1987 album. The second song is the excellent “We All Fall Down” from the second Blue Murder album “Nothin But Trouble”. Then its “Cold Sweat” from the last Thin Lizzy album, “Thunder and Lightning”.
So far, it’s a blistering set.
Sykes is back to the 1987 Whitesnake album and his take on “Crying in the Rain”. “Jelly Roll” from the debut Blue Murder album is next and “Is This Love?” from the 87 Whitesnake album makes it a perfect set so far.
Next up are a few tracks from his solo career, in “Look in His Eyes” from the very underrated “20th Century” album released in 1998, the punk rock pop of “I Don’t Wanna Live My Life Like You” from the self-titled solo debut in 1995 and his first ever solo single, “Please Don’t Leave Me”, released in the early 80’s.
To round out the set, there is an 8 minute version of “Still of the Night” and a blistering version of “Thunder and Lightning”.
And tying it all together is the band.
John Sykes does all the vocals and guitar, Marco Mendoza is on bass and backing vocals, Tommy Aldridge is on drums and Derek Sherinian is on keyboards and backing vocals.
Twisted Sister – Live At San Bernardino 1984
It was released as part of the “Stay Hungry” album and I watched this VHS tape every day.
Dee Snider as a front man rules the stage.
His banter between songs and how people can’t even look at the camera man is hilarious, bordering on SNL comedy.
Plus the band is in top form, delivering the goods.
Alice Cooper – Trashes The World
I don’t think it was ever released as a CD, but it did come out on VHS and I was all in.
Plus I got to experience all the classic Cooper cuts with a modern sound.
And his backing band is top notch, with Al Pitrelli and Pete Freisin on guitars, Tommy Caradonna on bass and Jonathan Mover on drums, with Derek Sherinian on keys.
Yngwie Malmsteen – Trial By Fire – Live In Leningrad
This concert sums up Malmsteen’s prime, with Joe Lynn Turner as his vocalist.
If Jeff Scott Soto stayed around, it would have been his name mentioned as well.
Anything else that came after for Malmsteen couldn’t repeat the success of the Odyssey album and tour.
Kiss – Alive III
I have a mate who is a mad Kiss fan, and he reckons it’s sacrilege that I can even think “Alive III” is better than the previous “Alive” releases.
Well to me, it is, because of the set list.
I like those 80’s songs more than some of the 70’s songs that appeared on the first two “Alive” albums.
Give me, “Creatures Of The Night”, “Unholy”, “Heavens On Fire”, “Lick It Up”, “I Still Love You” and “I Love It Loud” any day.
If they added “War Machine” and “Exciter” to the list, I wouldn’t have complained.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – One More For the Road
It was my first exposure to Lynyrd Skynrd and the 13 minute version of “Free Bird” was enough to get me hooked.
Plus there are so many other good songs like “Searchin”, “Tuesdays Gone”, “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Saturday Night Special”
Metallica – Live Shit: Binge And Purge
This one cemented to me how good James Hetfield is as a front man. He has the crowd in the grasp of his hand and commands them to get crazy and they respond.
Vote James for President.
And all the songs are sped up, the energy is intense and the set is blistering.
Well that’s it folks.