Billboard has selected the seven best live "rock albums that rock — which means no unplugged albums."
In no particular order:
KISS -Alive!: "This album shows the New York City rock icons at their finest... The music is rock solid, especially renditions of classics 'Strutter,' 'Cold Gin,' 'Deuce' and 'Black Diamond' that are better than the studio albums. KISS is a live band, and this is their best live recording. Period."It's hard to say how much of this album was actually recorded in concert. Producer Eddie Kramer has said that the only live recording on the album is Peter Criss' drum tracks.
Cheap Trick at Budokan: "This live recording of 'I Want You to Want Me' -- a No. 1 hit in Japan at the time -- stands as one of the most hair-raising live moments in '70s rock history."
Jimi Hendrix -Live at Woodstock: "This is the audio recording of not just one of rock’s greatest moments -- but one of pop culture’s greatest movements, delivered at a time when political upheaval, a war in Vietnam and a generational divide shook the nation. This is the sound of '60s counter-culture incarnate."
Bob Dylan & The Band - Before the Flood: "Though billed as a joint outing, with the two groups sharing the stage and album, the highlight is a transformative Dylan, who rejiggers his classic songs into red-hot rockers for arenas across the nation. Recorded predominantly at the final shows in Los Angeles, this double LP is the sound of Dylan’s rebirth."
Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive!: "This album proves the power of live music... A No. 1 album in the U.S. [in 1976] -- and one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. With his infectious live energy, guitar god licks, bare-chested/blonde-locks good looks -- and, of course, his inventive use of the Talkbox -- he gave the songs from his previously released solo albums new life. It remains perhaps the most explosive live album to date."
The Who - Live at Leeds: "This is the raw, unleashed power of one of the most wildly careening live bands at the peak of their powers..."
MC5 - Kick Out the Jams: "This album from a band of Midwest misfits invented an all-new sound with a primal, aggressive ferocity that laid the groundwork for punk music to come."