What's The Best Live Album Of All Time?

The guys in Gooseneck were having this debate recently: What's the greatest live album ever recorded?

There are so many great live records -- from the Allman Brothers At Fillmore East to The Who Live At Leeds -- but which one is best? What's your desert island live record?

Well, we couldn't agree on a winner, so we conducted a highly-scientific survey of music fans to determine the greatest live album of all time.

Here are the results: 

 

Let's take a look at the top 3 picks:

#1 -- The Allman Brothers, Live at Fillmore East

This is an amazing recording of the Allmans at the height of their powers, captured over two nights in March, 1971. 

You might be surprised to learn that the Allmans were not headlining these shows at Fillmore East, Johnny Winter was. But their act was so dominant that by the third night promoter Bill Graham had the Allmans closing the show.

Because they weren't headliners, the Allmans were paid just $1,250 for each night of these shows. It's a good this we have this priceless recording from those nights!

#2 -- Little Feat, Waiting For Columbus

Many of us in Gooseneck voted for this as our favorite. Not only do we love Little Feat, but also the addition of Tower of Power horns on this album makes it the obvious choice.

Of course there are lots of amazing live albums. But for us, the combination of Little Feat and Tower of Power horns on Waiting For Columbus takes the cake. 

One thing that made Waiting For Columbus so special was the addition of Tower of Power's horn section. Listen back to tracks like "Spanish Moon" and the horns will give you goose bumps. 

Indeed, Emilio and Doc and the boys from TOP horns played on all kinds of records, but arguably this is their greatest contribution to another band's sound. Waiting For Columbus captured both bands at the height of their powers.

#3 -- The Band, The Last Waltz

No argument here -- this is another amazing classic. Not only is the music great, but also there's the added drama of the dissolution of The Band and the revealing Scorsese-directed movie that chronicles it. 

Hard to believe it's been more than 40 years since The Band brought together their friends on Thanksgiving 1976 and threw one of the greatest rock 'n roll parties of all time. 

Luckily for us, they got Martin Scorsese to document the event in what is probably the greatest concert movie of all time, The Last Waltz. In fact, this isn't just a concert movie, it's a great documentary that captures the life and times of The Band and their influence on music and culture in the 70s.

To coincide with its 40th anniversary, there are some new and expanded versions of the concert album that are worth checking out.

Apart from the music itself, one of our favorite moments is when Neil Young comes on stage and Robbie Robertson points out the copious amount of cocaine clearly visible on Neil's nose. Whoops!

 

What's your favorite live record? Do you agree or disagree with these picks? Leave a comment and let us know!

 

 

Related Resources

If you like bands like Little Feat and The Band, you might also like Gooseneck's latest record, Flyin' High. Get a free copy at this link or by clicking on the image below:

 

 

 

14 comments

  • Gordon
    Gordon Kansas City
    I agree with picks 1 and 2. And I always flip, sometimes ABB is 1 and other times , Feat is 1. But for #3, I do agree with The Band. But the album would be Rock of Ages

    I agree with picks 1 and 2. And I always flip, sometimes ABB is 1 and other times , Feat is 1. But for #3, I do agree with The Band. But the album would be Rock of Ages

  • Brian
    Brian PA
    Chicago Live at Carnegie Hall

    Chicago Live at Carnegie Hall

  • Neil James
    Neil James Bethpage NY
    Best live album was At the Fillmore East ..Double Album was Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Starring Joe Cocker..

    Best live album was At the Fillmore East ..Double Album was Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Starring Joe Cocker..

  • RICK MURPHY
    RICK MURPHY Farmington HILLS, MI
    EDGER WINTERS " WHITE TRASH "

    EDGER WINTERS

    " WHITE TRASH "

  • James Ridarsick
    James Ridarsick Los Angeles
    Love This! Brought back great memories of my youth. The music was amazing and a sign of the times!

    Love This! Brought back great memories of my youth. The music was amazing and a sign of the times!

  • T. Gray
    T. Gray Seagrove, NC
    The Real Thing...Taj Mahal 40th anniversary at the Fillmore West...Tower of Power

    The Real Thing...Taj Mahal

    40th anniversary at the Fillmore West...Tower of Power

  • T. Gray
    T. Gray Seagrove, NC
    The Real Thing...Taj Mahal 40th anniversary at the Fillmore West...Tower of Power

    The Real Thing...Taj Mahal

    40th anniversary at the Fillmore West...Tower of Power

  • Bob
    Bob Myrtle beach
    The Who. Live at Leeds. Deep purple. Made in Japan

    The Who. Live at Leeds. Deep purple. Made in Japan

  • Craig Strack
    Craig Strack Garner NC
    Gotta agree with your list 1B Waiting for Columbus although Chicago at Carnegie Hall is my 1A

    Gotta agree with your list 1B Waiting for Columbus although Chicago at Carnegie Hall is my 1A

  • Andy
    Andy NYC
    Hard to imagine a proper list of greatest live albums without Bless It’s Pointed Little Head. Jefferson Airplane at their best

    Hard to imagine a proper list of greatest live albums without Bless It’s Pointed Little Head. Jefferson Airplane at their best

  • Cholo Willsin
    Cholo Willsin Seattle
    I agree with all of those picks but would like to add this one Long John Baldry ‎– On Stage Tonight - Baldry's Out! It's on Stony Plains Records and is one of the best sounding recordings I have ever heard

    I agree with all of those picks but would like to add this one Long John Baldry ‎– On Stage Tonight - Baldry's Out! It's on Stony Plains Records and is one of the best sounding recordings I have ever heard

  • Bruce Pictor
    Bruce Pictor El Cajon, Ca
    I'll go with "Waiting 4 Columbus", Allmans a close 2nd. You boys know how I feel. Love your shares and your attitude. You guys are real musician's musicians. Love to ya! Bruce Pictor. "The Association ".

    I'll go with "Waiting 4 Columbus", Allmans a close 2nd. You boys know how I feel. Love your shares and your attitude. You guys are real musician's musicians.
    Love to ya!
    Bruce Pictor.
    "The Association ".

  • Phil Boyd
    Phil Boyd Oblong, IL
    Neil Diamond Hot August Night, the original. Also, Chicago at Carnegie Hall. Sound quality isn't great, but they were young and the horns were loud.

    Neil Diamond Hot August Night, the original. Also, Chicago at Carnegie Hall. Sound quality isn't great, but they were young and the horns were loud.

  • Peter Zabriskie
    Peter Zabriskie Maryland
    I remember it well. Fillmore East was a regular go to for us growing up New Jersey. These shows we heard in a fantastic new LIVE radio broadcast to the local NYC market. Needless to say we bought the vinyl as soon as it hit the Sam Goodies.

    I remember it well. Fillmore East was a regular go to for us growing up New Jersey. These shows we heard in a fantastic new LIVE radio broadcast to the local NYC market. Needless to say we bought the vinyl as soon as it hit the Sam Goodies.

Add comment