Live album

Live album

A live album – commonly contrasted with a studio album – is a recording consisting of material (usually music) recorded during stage performances. Live albums may be recorded at a single concert, or combine recordings made at multiple concerts. They usually have a less "finished" character than a studio album, and are intended to reproduce some of the experience of attending a concert performance. As such, they may include applause and other noise from the audience, comments by the performers between pieces, etc. They often employ multitrack recording direct from the stage sound system (rather than microphones placed among the audience), and can employ additional manipulation and effects during post-production to enhance the quality of the recording.

Rock and pop

Many successful recording artists have released a live album, however these albums generally are seen as expendable parts of an artists’ catalogue, often failing to sell as well as studio albumsFact|date=May 2008. However, some pop and rock artists are known for live albums that rival or exceed the sales of their studio albums. The best selling live album worldwide is Garth Brooks' Double Live, having sold in excess of 21 million copies as of November 2006 [ [ RIAA - Gold & Platinum - May 30, 2008 ] ] . Other notable live albums include Kiss' Alive!, Little Feat's Waiting For Columbus, Bob Seger's Live Bullet, Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive! British hard rock band Deep Purple's Made in Japan and The Who's Live at Leeds which is regarded as one of the best live albums of all time [ [ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Thin Lizzy top live album poll ] ] , Live After Death by Iron Maiden and Yessongs by Yes.


In jazz, live albums often stand beside studio efforts in terms of importance, as improvisation is such a major part of the genre. It is quite common for newly unearthed live recordings to be seen as vital, revelatory additions to a legendary artist's catalog, as with the release of "Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall" in 2005.


Live recordings of classical music can be similar to non-classical albums in the sense that they can record an event (e.g. The Proms, Vienna New Year's Concert). However many artists prefer to record live than in the studio, with post-performance edits to correct any mistakes. Hence many 'live recordings' can be virtually indistinguishable from studio counterparts. Depending on the closeness of the miking, such recordings may have a stronger ambient effect than studio performances. The conductor Leonard Bernstein made virtually all of his later recordings from live performances rather than studio sessions.

Additionally, several classical artists and ensembles use empty venues to record what would otherwise be termed studio recordings. An example of this is Walthamstow Town Hall in London.

ee also

*Live (album)
*Studio album


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