Favorite & Classic Live Albums : Part 3

Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper Show

The first Alice Cooper album I bought. It was on the display wall/rack at Sam The Record Man, on sale! I knew a few of the hits from a friend who’d brought the Greatest Hits cassette to school. I remembering initially being disappointed that “Schools Out” didn’t sound just like the cassette version I knew [backing vocals lacking]. Regardless, I loved this album – slightly heavier and lengthier versions of “I’m Eighteen”, plus “Under My Wheels”, “Billion Dollar Babies”… This was Alice’s solo band and not the original band that had written and recorded much of these hits. Not sure why they never made a full 2 LP set out of these shows [a contractual obligation, I believe]. Includes his 3 Top 10 ballads from that era, as well as medleys of other classics. We never did get a definitive Live album from Alice Cooper – band or solo act, but this was a fantastic intro for a young buyer who would go on to become a lifelong fan.
Recently got the Friday Music 180 Gram vinyl reissue – great sound and nice gatefold cover.

Rare Earth – In Concert
In the early 70s this RnB-rock band was signed to Motown and released a number of classic studio albums, and a string of hits. Many of their classics consisted of taking other people’s songs and stretching them out with their own unique sound, and jamming. “In Concert” was the band at their best, featuring the hits & classics – “I Just Want To Celebrate”, “Born To Wander”, “I’m Losing You” and the 23 and a half minute “Get Ready”. Sadly the classic era of the band didn’t last much longer with singer/drummer Peter Rivera leaving, followed by further line up changes and softer albums and lawsuits amongst bandmembers. Founding member Gil Bridges still leads a version of the band.
But Rsre Earth In Concert is an essential 70s live album!

Dead Daisies – Live And Louder
This is a newer album from the band that was [until recently] fronted by former Scream & Motley Crue singer – John Corabi. I enjoy Corabi’s work – a couple of great live solo albums, and his one album with Motley Crue [a shame he wasn’t on more, and they returned to being a circus act]. He’s also worked with Ratt and made a couple of albums with Union [with Bruce Kulick]. He joined Dead Daisies for recording of the band’s 2nd album, and went on to record a few more, as well as this aussum double live set. It’s a heavy album of guitar and great vocals, featuring Dead Daisies favorites like “Mexico”, “Lock n Load”, “Mainline”, and “Long Way To Go”, as well as a handful of cool covers – most notably – “Join Together” [The Who], “American Band” [Grand Funk], and “Midnight Moses” [Alex Harvey] – all heavier and fitting well in the band’s set. Great album, and a few excellent kick-ass guitar driven hard-rock albums; too bad Corabi’s no longer there.

Queen – Live Killers
I enjoy most of Queen’s 70s recordings but kinda fell out of interest with the The Game and future 80s pop/dance/disco output. “Live Killers”, for me – is Queen at their peak. Loaded with hits and classics, Killers shows how great of a hard-rock band Queen was. Aside from Freddie Mercury’s distinctive vocals, Brian May had such a heavy guitar sound of his own, and Roger Taylor is such a great player and can sing as well. I’m not a big “Bohemian Rhapsody” fan, but even it sounds better here, as do favorites like “Death on Two Legs”, “I’m In Love With My Car”, “Keep Yourself Alive”, “Spread Your Wings”, and my own fave – the alternate rocking version of “We Will Rock You” which opened the show.
My vinyl copy if pretty beaten, so i’m hoping they’ll do something special[ie Boxset!] for this album’s 40th anniversary [which is this year].

Magnum – Wings Of Heaven Live
Toured and recorded to mark the 20th anniversary of the band’s top selling album “Wings Of Heaven”, from 1988. This is Magnum at their best. Includes the full performance of the Wings of Heaven album [track by track], as well as updated, beefed up versions of the band’s newer favorites like “When we Were Younger”, “Out Of The Shadows” and “Dragons Are Real”, as well as classics like “Kingdom Of Madness”, “All England’s Eyes”, and “How Far Jerusalem”. Great recording! My favorite Magnum live album. Reissued on 3Lp in 2018.

Procol Harum – Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Never understood why this was a single Lp release – did they not play a full show? Anyway, it’s the lone PH album to feature guitarist Dave Ball [RIP]. A fantastic performance, with the first side consisting of favorites like “Conquistador” and “A Salty Dog”, among others… Side 2 consisting of “In Held ‘T Was In I”, featuring not only orchestra, but DaCamera Singers. Gary Brooker was/is such an incredible singer, sounds so good here. *Like the Rare Earth In Concert — an essential 70s live album!
I see the reissues include a few bonus tracks from the day; have ordered.

* Recently picked up great live albums from Ken Hensley & Live Fire and The Alan Parsons Project. Ken Hensley’s “Live In Russia” features the predictable Uriah Heep classics from the 1970-73 era. It’s a very energetic performance. Too bad the full show is edited, as there’s only 1 song included from Ken’s post-Heep days , [more was performed, but left off of this release].Released “as is” – which is fine by me , love the energy and band’s performance.
The Alan Parson’s Project “Symphonic Project : Live In Colombia” was recorded in 2013. APP was primarily a studio project that released a bunch of albums in the 70 and 80s, and had a string of hits. Parsons was a studio engineer in the late 60s / 70s, and is credited on a few Beatle albums. This 3Lp set may not include those that played or sang on the APP classic hits, but it is a stunning performance of the hits and classics – Eye In The Sky, Games People Play, Time, Don’t Answer Me…. Highly recommended!

KJJ 10/19

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.