Chris Belin Drums - Traveling Drum School & Freelance Drumming
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Live Album Awareness

The Positive Spin on Drums 
by Chris Belin

Live Album Awareness 

  There is something about a live album that has always captivated my interest. Whether it’s a typical album opening with crowd cheers, or the fact that a live album usually captures a specific moment in time for an artist, they’ve always been an extremely integral part of my music collection. Sometimes live albums have been my intro to a new group or genre of music. Other times they’re just a more raw in-the-moment interpretation of songs from a band I’m interested in. Above all the most important influence I get from listening & absorbing live albums is the desire to be a part of a live concert experience, as a performer or attendee.    
  I started playing drums along to live albums as a kid. Back then my music collection was mostly cassettes & some vinyl. So i’d play through the first side & when complete I would flip it as fast as possible, pretending that I was playing a real concert. Even though I was an energetic 11 year old I would get tired after a few tunes, especially since the gap between songs is approximately 2 seconds on a album! Regardless I would trudge through usually completing every song. Over time it got much easier to finish. This helped me tremendously when I started really playing live.   
   As I got older & started to drive, the live album, now on CD, became a great soundtrack to a road trip. Just like playing I still loved listening from beginning to end. Nowadays I still play live albums in my car via the iPod. I usually tend to shuffle them, especially with one artist, listening to tracks that span portions of their career.    
  The following is a list of what I feel are the quintessential live albums for all the major musical genres. Do yourself a favor and check some of these out. They are in alphabetical order as there is NO way I could pick a “best live album of all time”. I would love some comments, your lists, reviews, recommendations, etc. Hope I didn’t forget any!!
Aerosmith-Live Bootleg 
Allman Brothers-Live at Fillmore East  
Anthrax-Live, the Island Years  
Average White Band-Person To Person 
Erykah Badu-Live 
The Band-The Last Waltz 
Blink 182-Mark, Tom, & Travis show 
Clifford Brown / Max Roach-Live at Basin Street 
James Brown-Live @ the Apollo  
Dave Brubeck Quartet- Live at Carnegie Hall  
Jeff Buckley-Mystery White Boy 
Johnny Cash-At Folsom Prison  
Cheap Trick-Live at Budokon 
John Coltrane-Live at the Village Vanguard 
Miles Davis-Live Evil 
Deep Purple-Made in Japan  
Eric Dolphy Live at the Five Spot 
Bela Fleck & the Flectones-Live Art  
Peter Frampton-Frampton Comes Alive 
Genesis-Seconds Out 
Dizzy Gillespie-A Night in Tunisia  
Grand Funk Railroad-Live Album 
Grateful Dead-Europe ’72  
Jimi Hendrix-Band of Gypsy’s
Iron Maiden-Live in Rio  
B.B. King-Live at the Regal 
Jack Johnson-En Concert
Led Zeppelin-The Song Remains The Same  
Lynyrd Skynyrd-One more From The Road 
Bob Marley-Babylon by Bus  
Dave Matthews-Live at Red Rocks
Medeski Martin & Wood-Tonic  
Thelonious Monk Quartet w/ John Coltrane @ Carnegie Hall  
Nirvana-Unplugged in New York  
Maxwell-MTV Unplugged 
Ted Nugent-Double Live Gonzo 
Pearl Jam-Live on Two Legs 
Phish-A Live One  
Poison-Swallow This Live  
Portishead-Roseland NYC live 
Prince-One Night Alone Live  
Rage Against The Machine-Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium 
The Ramones-Loco Live 
The Rolling Stones-Get Your Ya-Ya’s Out 
The Roots Come Alive  
Rush-Exit Stage Left  
Jill Scott-Experience Jill Scott 
Shleigho-Live @ Ho-Down 2000 
Slayer-Decade of Aggression 
Spin Doctors-Homebelly Groove 
Steely Dan-Alive In America 
Tower Of Power-Soul Vaccination Live! 
U2-Rattle & Hum 
Stevie Ray Vaughan- Live Alive the raw 
The Who-Live at Leeds 
Widespread Panic-Light Fuse Get Away


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