An amendm to my r3. The link includes commentary from one of musics finest specimens, Libertines co-frontman Carl Barat, who by his own admission would make the ideal Dorian Gray. Also the Libertines' ode to Soho, which if you aren't familiar is the gay district of London, called The Boy Looked at Johnny.
I'm far from a live music aficionado, but every Talking Heads song was better live than on record
Paul McCartney - Coming Up
The video to "Control" by Janet Jackson was a "live" concert scenario and sounded tons better than the canned studio version on the album.
Alanis Morrissette used to do a slow, ballad-y version of "You Oughta Know" in concert that was just as good.
Thanks R7 I had totally forgotten that song!
"Surrender" also by Cheap Trick
(Well, anything Live at Budokan).
Rock N Roll All Nite
"Lola" - The Kinks
Ted Nugent's "Double Live Gonzo"
All the live tracks sound better than the studio versions.
The album went 3x Platinum.
"Frampton Comes Alive" owns this thread.
Dave Matthews ants marching
Um, fuck Ted Nugent.
All the songs on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's 4 Way Street ("Ohio", "Chicago"' "Our House", etc.).
"(Then Came the) Last Days of May" by Blue Oyster Cult. Awesome atmospheric studio version, but kicked into overdrive on their first live album.
Joan Crawford & Godzilla
No Quarter by Led Zeppelin. The version on "The Song Remains The Same" soundtrack is even better than the "Houses of the Holy" version.
Foghat's Slow Ride, better on FOGHAT LIVE!
Every song on Deep Purple's Made In Japan live album was better than its studio counterpart.
Lola by The Kinks...
Everything Counts - Depeche Mode
Nights on Broadway - Bee Gees
"Victim Of Changes"; "The Ripper"; "Diamonds & Rust" & "Sinner" by Judas Priest
Gay Metal Dude
The National Anthem by Beyonce. She blews everyone else away. Perfect vocal performance at the Innauguration.
"Edge of the Universe" - BEE GEES. Possibly their best song, made even better on "Here at Last, Bee Gees Live". I agree with R25 about "Nights on Broadway" too.
'Faith', The Cure
'Down In The Park', Gary Numan
'The Family and the Fishing Net', and, 'Lay Your Hands On Me', Peter Gabriel
Deuce, Strutter, Black Diamond, Rock And Roll All Nite, Cold Gin, Hotter Than Hell, Let Me Go Rock 'n' Roll, She, C'Mon And Love Me. All better on KISS' Alive! album than in their original versions.
Frankenstein by Edgar Winter Group. Already a phenomenal song, it was propulsed into another galaxy live. Specifically on "The Midnight Special" in 1973. They blew it into fucking orbit.
Groom of Frankenstein
Puppy Love by Donny Osmond
Paper Roses by Marie Osmond
Let Me Entertain You - Queen.
Fire / Ohio Players (Midnt. Special)
Love Rollercoaster / Ohio Players (Midnt. Special)
Do You Feel Like We Do / Peter Frampton (Frampton Comes Alive)
Show Me The Way / Peter Frampton (Frampton Comes Alive)
Walk This Way / Aerosmith (Live Bootleg)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / U2 (Under A Blood Red Sky)
Turbo Lover / Judas Priest (Priest...Live!)
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman by The Kinks
Just to interject - I am so, so fucking jealous of all of you, who've seen some of this music live. So sad, to think that I will never see the Bee Gees live - or Yes - or Edgar Winter Group - or Gabriel's Genesis -
About A Girl / Aneurysm --- Nirvana
Happiness in Slavery --- Nine Inch Nails
Mystic Rhythms --- Rush
No Woman No Cry / Bob Marley
Much of Paul Simon's flawless Graceland album had even more interesting vocals and flourishes during the live Sounth African concert
Heart's recent live version of Stairway to Heaven was IMO better than the original by LZ, but maybe I think that only because of so much radio exposure to the original over the years.
Tiger Man, Baby What You Want Me To Do, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Trying To Get To You, One Night - Elvis Presley on his 1968 NBC TV Special. He took those classics to heaven and back. Not to mention how fucking sexy he looked in that black leather.
"MIDNIGHT RAMBLER" by the Rolling Stones
As much as I love the studio versions, I think "Whole Lotta Rosie", "Let There Be Rock", "Riff Raff", "High Voltage" and "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be" are better on AC/DC's first live album, "If You Want Blood, You've Got It". That album... what a smoldering chunk of rock 'n' roll.
Joe in Dallas
Michael Jackson performing 'Billie Jean' live on the Motown 25th Anniversary Special in 1983. His voice was stronger than on the studio version and HE MOONWALKED while keeping in perfect pitch. Amazing.
Barbra Streisand's People, Evergreen, The Way We Were and Happy Days Are Here Again. Even more fabulous live.
R43, I don't mean to rain on your parade, honey. But that Motown performance by Michael Jackson was canned. He lip-synched, sugar. Go back and watch it on YouTube, hon. I think your memory is playing tricks on you. He was talented, but he did not sing live that night.
NY State of Mind
"Doctor, Doctor" by UFO. The 1974 studio version was great. The 1979 live version on Strangers In The Night was magical!
R7 is absolutely right about Coming Up. I remember the first time I heard it was when my parents, brothers and I flew to England for my Grandmother's funeral. The studio version was a massive hit in England and I thought it was an irritating song. I came back to the States and radio in the U.S. was promoting the B-Side, the live version. I liked that. A much better song live.
Israel / Melt! / Spellbound
Siouxsie & The Banshees
Bad by U2 at Live Aid in 1985. Transcendent and beautiful.
Hey R33 how about Somebody to love live at the Bowl '82? Or White Queen, Hammersmith '75.
Back in the day, I saw Peter Gabriel in concert a couple of times and his singing of "In Your Eyes" was always very moving.
U2's live version of BAD on Wide Awake in America has an emotional energy to it that the album version doesn't have. It's incredible.
Also U2's Party Girl (from Red Rocks, 1983) is great live but the studio version is awful.
I've seen Cheap Trick live about 20 times, even now they are still awesome live - see them if they tour!
Rush "2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx"
Rush's "Red Sector A" too. Even better live.
REO Speedwagon's 157 Riverside Avenue from their '77 double disk You Get What You Play For album.
REO's Riding The Storm Out. The studio version with Michael Murphy sucks. Kevin Cronin took the song into a whole new place.
U2's "Live at Red Rock" the few tracks of theirs that I really liked.
I just wanted to interject that MTV's "Unplugged" often had the worse of the worst versions of many songs. Eric Clapton's "Layla" just sucked.
R44 is correct.
He could have made his point without the "honeys," "hons," and "sugars."
The Foghat Live album is good if you're into Foghat.
How Great Thou Art - Elvis Presley
"A Sort Of Homecoming", also by U2
"Turn The Page", Bob Seger.
"Mythical Kings and Iguanas" - Dory Previn
Pretty much anything by Pat Benatar.
What's with all the gays liking that overrated shit band U2?
Yes, R61 & R62. Great choices!
I Love Elvis and Foghat!!!
All of the hits on "3 Dog Night Captured Live at The Forum" rock harder than the album versions. One of the best live albums ever.
R60 - Yes, hon. I could have made the point without the extra spice, but that's just the way I roll, sweetie. Take care, babycakes!
Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- Iron Maiden
"Hurt" by Elvis Presley. The 1976 studio version was operatic and beautiful, but in some of his last concerts in 1977, the song was even more emotional, poignant and powerful. Say what you will about the King, but the man was a fucking powerhouse live. I also agree with the previous posters about the '68 Comeback Special, How Great Thou Art and Suspicious Minds. Live, they were entirely different (and superior) beasts!
Flaming Elvis Fan
Baby...I want you to want me
The way that I want you
Ohh ohh ohh If you'd only let it be
I love Elvis but I had never heard of the song 'Hurt' before, R71. I just went on YouTube and was blown away by it. My new favorite song of all-time. Thank you. LoL.
WHIPPING POST by Allman Brothers. Better on the Fillmore live album.
"God of Thunder" by KISS. The original version on the "Destroyer" album is kinda wimpy. The version on "Alive II" is metallic and scorching hot.
David Lee Roth's Anal Beads
I agree with Suspicious Minds by Elvis. Especially the version on his first live album, 'In Person at the International Hotel'. That version is the best ever recorded of that classic track. Amazing.
Caught in a trap, can't walk out...
I don't think Elvis ever recorded a studio version of "An American Trilogy" but that live track is absolutely one of the hottest live songs ever put to tape.
R72, Uh, no. No that one. LOL.
Like A Prayer --- MADONNA
Take Me Home --- CHER
You Don't Bring Me Flowers --- BABS (better live without that Neil Diamond hack).
New York, New York --- LIZA (best song ever)
Mahogany --- DIANA ROSS
Born This Way --- GAGA
Somewhere Over The Rainbow --- JUDY
BURN - Deep Purple
MISTREATED - Deep Purple
I always loved the live version of Robin Trower's 'Daydream' on his Robin Trower Live! album. Pure beauty.
R28 and r25 "Here at Last...BeeGees Live" is one of my all time faves. Awesome, recorded live at the LA Forum I think during the '76 tour. Edge of the Universe is great, Nights on B, the oldies medley is stunning. Down the Road rocks as hard as anything from that era. A fantastic band captured at their peak.
R82 Absolutely one of the best live albums ever recorded. Never mentioned in 'best live albums of all-time' lists, but it should be. In my teens, I was a huge Zeppelin/Sabbath fan, but I wore that live Bee Gees album out. Fuck what any of my friends thought! That album fucking rocked.
"The Jack" - AC/DC. The live version on "If You Want Blood" owns the studio version a million times over. Raw and sleazy!
"This is for you, Daddy."
Or, at least, the Stevie, her producers, and the radio stations like that one.
"Here at Last, Bee Gees Live" was my favorite 8-track back in the Summer of '77. I remember evenings of cruising the strip in my '77 Firebird while cranking that son of a bitch to the maximum, with my best friends (most of whom are long-gone). You Should Be Dancing, Jive Talkin', Down The Road, Edge Of The Universe, The Hits Medley, Boogie Child, Nights on Broadway, Wind Of Change. God damn, what a fucking album. That was the shit. Just before the Bee Gees went massive with Saturday Night Fever!
anything by Stevie Wonder
David Bowie's - Heroes
Inside Looking Out - GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
Mean Mistreater - GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
Shock Me - KISS
We Will Rock You - QUEEN (The fast version that kicked off the Live Killers album was so bad ass).
Crazy On You - HEART
Child In Time - DEEP PURPLE
Another great song on 'Here at Last...Bee Gees Live' was 'Can't Keep a Good Man Down'. It was an 'okay' song on the 'Children of the World' album, but it was balls out rockin' on 'Here at Last...'
"The Rain Song" by Led Zeppelin
The entire "At Budokan" album by Cheap Trick. That entire album is incendiary. The songs sizzle with frentic energy and the momentum never lets up. My favorite cruisin' album in the summer of '79.
I saw Stevie Wonder live and didn't enjoy it.
Songs from party bands like the B-52's always feel better at a concert where you shake your ass with others while the song is performed on stage.
If I only had a nickle for every time I've said that...
"Lights Out", "Love To Love", "Natural Thing", and "Rock Bottom" by U.F.O. - Those songs just cut to the bone on their 1979 live album, "Strangers In The Night." Scorching hot!
I always preferred the live version of Heart's "Crazy On You" to the studio version. Both are great, but the live version kicks a little more ass.
Joe in Dallas
Holy fuck, r81. I didn't think anyone would even remember who Robin Trower is.
Robben Ford is another great guitarist at his best live. Gary Clark, jr, too.
Anything by Faith No More, especially this.
R42/R96 Hey, Joe in Dallas, you have great taste. You listed my two favorite live albums of all-time: AC/DC's "If You Want Blood, You've Got It" and UFO's "Strangers In The Night." I spent many late-'70s nights jamming those two albums. Maybe it's a Texas thing, LOL. I grew up near San Antonio and that's where I got into that stuff.
For those who mentioned Robin Trower, I salute you. He was one of my favorites as a kid. My older brother (RIP, 1959-1979) was a huge fan of his and used to play his 8-track tapes in his car. I get chills every time I hear "Bridge of Sighs." I love that live version of "Daydream" that R81 mentioned. That was my brother's favorite song.
I always liked "Walk This Way", "Sweet Emotion", "Sight For Sore Eyes" and "Lord Of The Thighs" better in their live versions on Aerosmith's 1978 album, "Live Bootleg."
"Midnight Rambler" by The Rolling Stones.
Prince - most songs as good or better live, but esp. Days of Wild and Sexy MF are enhanced by an audience.
Elvis - Trying To Get To You and the slower version of Hound Dog
George Michael - Star People unplugged version
Bette Midler - most songs as good or better live
Sara from Fleetwood Mac is, in my opinion of course, much better than the recorded (edited) version on Tusk. The Tusk version is just too precious and syrupy. Stevie Nicks writes like a junior high school poetess anyway, but it just seems way too dreamy even for a fan like me.
The live version has some more guts to it, probably thanks to Lindsey Buckingham's guitar and the very good rhythm section. Her vibrato was used to good effect, although lowered a bit. Interesting how it was already starting to break down between '75 and '79. It's a little long, but then again the album version suffered from the same and was chopped several times until they reached the version that made it to vinyl.
Jefferson Airplane's Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon --- brilliant live, so-so studio version & David Bowie's Moonage Daydream.
"Detroit Rock City/King Of The Night Time World" by KISS, on "Alive II." The songs just pulsed with energy and really kicked the album off with a bang!
"Slow Ride" by Foghat, on "Foghat Live!" The original version kicked ass, but the live version kicked it into overdrive.
"Big Eyes" by Cheap Trick, on "At Budokan." The "In Color" version was good, but live it was a completely different animal.
"You Should Be Dancing" by Bee Gees, on "Here At Last...Bee Gees Live." The original is on e of the greatest songs ever, but the live version was even more frenetic.
"Lola" by The Kinks, on "One For The Road." The original was bad-ass, but the live version "goes to 11."
Aqua's "Barbie Girl" is much better in its live version.
I see the mentions of Kiss. To me, their studio albums were kind of so-so, but their live albums ("Alive!" and "Alive II") rocked with a passion and immediacy not heard on their studio albums. I really loved those first two "Alive" albums. Huge part of my teen years...
"Astronomy" by Blue Oyster Cult on "Some Enchanted Evening" (1978). Scorching hot and beautiful!